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Dear Caroline,

I met someone I like online, and we’re about to go on a first date. I am very nervous.

Any advice? 

…Blind Date Jitters

Dear Jitters,

Here are a few thoughts:

Meet in a public place, and be sure to keep the dynamic lighthearted and platonic.

Don’t drink alcohol on a first date. (If you’re planning the date, choose a place where alcohol isn’t served.)

No matter how impressed you might feel, don’t edit your opinions in order to please this new person.

Keep your eyes and ears open. Don’t turn a blind eye to glaring red flags. If you see red flags, don’t confront them; just quietly note them so you can make a clear-headed decision about whether you want to see this person again. Red flags you spot on the first date tend to show up again.

If you feel an instant chemistry, consider yourself lucky, but don’t get swept away.

If the conversation takes a direct tone, be honest about what you’re looking for. If one person wants a casual fling and the other wants something serious, it is best to accept and acknowledge that deal breaker, so you can both amicably move on.

Keep first dates short. Some people are magically charismatic. Even if you’d love to sit and talk all night, force yourself to step away and get out from under their spell. And then you can come back a few days later to see that new person through fresh eyes.

Hope you have a great time!


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