Last things first
To start, don't be late. Plan to get there about 15 minutes ahead of time so you have a little wiggle room. Prepare realistically for traffic -- if it's usually clear in the afternoon, but you're heading out at 6pm on a Friday night, you know you might hit a rush hour jam.
Ahead of schedule? Don't even think about killing time until you are no more than 20 yards away from your final destination. More than one woman has gotten the address wrong or mis-remembered the directions and then panicked to get there on time.
Be ready for anything
To save your tail and keep your date interested in your gorgeous appearance, prepare for the evening with Murphy's Law in mind. Keep a small "emergency kit" with you at all times, whether safely inside your purse or tucked close within the inside pocket of your coat. (You can keep it inside your glove compartment too, but a lot of good it will do you if you aren't the one driving!)
This stress-saving kit should include the following:
- Dental floss: If not the entire spool, find a travel-sized package, or put a small coil of floss wrapped inside a tiny bit of tinfoil. This very small yet oh-so-important item will really save face -- literally -- should a bit of your meal decide to cling stubbornly to your teeth. Other clever uses include helping hold your clothes together where a lost button or zapped zipper have failed you, and filling in for a broken clasp on a necklace or bracelet.
- Toiletries: If you happen to receive an unexpected visit and find yourself completely unprepared, the only thing more mortifying than making do with wads of toilet paper would be dragging your new beau to the drugstore under some pretense so you can pick up some Tampax. If you don't always have some with you, as the days creep nearer to your time of the month, be sure to keep at least one tampon or pad with you at all times. (No-applicator tampons like OB are super-tiny and can easily be tucked away and subsequently palmed, unlike their cigar-sized counterparts.)
- Clear nail polish or spare stockings: If you'll be wearing a dress or skirt in the cooler months, chances are you'll be wearing tights or hosiery. Be ready for runs.
- Gum, mints, mouthwash or Listerine strips: No matter what delicious menu selection you choose for dinner, your breath will probably need some freshening before you go in for a killer smooch goodnight. Excuse yourself to the ladies room, check your hair and makeup and "freshen up." You'll find any of the above to be a godsend.
Other helpful items to have on hand should include your cell phone for emergencies, change for tolls and parking meters, eye drops and pressed powder, concealer or cover-up so you can touch up your makeup if a blemish should appear. Finally, don't forget at least $20 in cash and your ID.
Too much of a good thing?
We know you want to smell wonderful, but less is more when it comes to fragrance -- at least until you know that he loves perfume. Realize that some guys hate the stuff, some like it in moderation, and others you'll send into a sneezing fit. When in doubt, let your shampoo and bodywash be your scent.
If you're wearing a strapless gown or an outfit in which your arms are bare, remember to be careful with the antiperspirant/deodorant. Many women perspire more when they are nervous in certain situations like a job interview, a court date or a first date. Deodorant can be a pesky substance, often rubbing off even hours later onto furniture, seats in cars and even onto other people's clothing. If you typically apply the stuff liberally, be very cautious when hugging or kissing your date goodnight.
The last things you want to linger are your soft lips, your flirty fragrance and your sexy appearance... not white deodorant residue on his clothing!
Just before you go
If you are nervous about your first date, take a momemt before you leave to sit down, close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. Walk through your worries and your solutions to them. Stressed about bad breath? You have it covered. Concerned that you'll be late? Don't worry -- you have plenty of time. (Doublecheck the address and directions one more time if you need.) Worried you won't know what to say? Plan a couple of icebreakers in case of a long, awkward silence.
As you step out the door, remind yourself how terrific you look, and realize that he is probably just as nervous as you are! Find 100s more first date tips here>>