The first date in your life after divorce - handy hints to help avoid the pitfalls

The first date is the very stuff of legend.  There is unlimited potential for everything from a mild embarassment to a complete disaster.  Our handy hints are designed to help make it all go superbly well.

African sunset with two giraffesBefore the first date (especially if you met on the internet, as so many people do now) you will have gone through the communication hierarchy of email, phone and text.  There is already a relationship of sorts.

The first date moves everything up a couple of gears as you see whether this might translate into something like a real ‘walking hand in hand at sunset' type of relationship.

Stay safe
The most important thing for women is to stay safe, that should be paramount in your thoughts.  The key is to tell a friend where you are going together with the name of your date.  Arrange to call your friend about half an hour after the start of the date to let them know all is well.  This is best done during a visit to the loo!  Always met in a public place that you know and where you feel comfortable.

Do the revision and remember the important stuff
Conversation on the first date is often a bit of a worry, especially if you have not been on a first date for many years (or even decades!).  The comparison between a first date and an exam is a little difficult to avoid so do a little revision beforehand.  Remember their profile on the dating site and all those emails.

Re-read the profile and the emails to make sure you can remember all the stuff about their work, their children and what they like to do in their free time.  Opening a conversation about winter sports with someone who in their profile said they had never been skiing is not a great opener.

A little research might be good
A spin around the usual social networking sites and even Google can be a good idea but don't go overboard on it.  Recounting all you discovered about your date makes you sound like a MI5 reject and is a tad spooky!

Watch the booze
Alcohol is a great social lubricant but on a first date it's best handled with caution.  One glass each should be good and this goes down fine with the boys in blue and their breathalyser.  We all know a few glasses of Pinot Grigio or Stella has the ability to light the fires of lust quicker than a lighted match tossed on to a summer haystack.  It can be great at the time but it's definitely not the best way into a long term relationship.

Be on time
This is the original no brainer.  There is no worse start to a date than the man arriving late, rushing into the pub to find her sitting staring into space and somewhat stressed.  The best plan is for the man to arrive ten minutes early and the woman five minutes late.  I know it sounds old fashioned but it works.

Day of the week and time of the day
The best time for a first date (especially an internet date) is early in the week.  This has two great advantages, firstly there is less pressure to make a big night of it and it will be far easier to escape if things don't go so well.  Secondly if things do go well a second date at the weekend could be on the cards. 

A coffee and sandwich at Monday lunchtime or a coffee after work are classic first date timings.  They lower the pressure and give each of you the ideal exit strategy.

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