First dates are nerve-wracking. What do you wear? What do you say? You want to feel comfortable talking to the person but, at the same time, not let your guard down completely. Moreover, nerves do take over and if you do not know how to relax, there's potential for things to go astray.
I felt out-of-place entering the dating scene after my divorce. I didn't even want to date. What was the point? Well, I jumped back into it after much debate. I learned, all over again, what not to do. As trying and awkward as my first dates were, I was glad I went through the process. If not, I would not have found my prince charming.
If you want to have a smooth first date, learn to relax and enjoy the moment.
Introduce your children to your date
If you choose to have your date pick you up at home and you have kids old enough to understand you are dating, then it is not a bad idea to introduce them to each other. Make sure your date is kind toward your children. If you receive a negative vibe from your date toward your kids, chances are the first date is the last.
Do not speak of your ex
The only exception is if your date asks you something about your ex in reference to your kids. A quick but respectful response is best. It is not mature to badmouth your ex regardless if he was good or bad to you. Your first date is not the place for that type of discussion. Remember, this is your time with someone new. Learn about each other, not each other's past relationships.
Do not eat at the same place you and your ex used to frequent
It does not matter if you love the food and the place. You have a new person in your life. You deserve a fresh start with new memories in new places.
Men, treat your date with respect
Open the car door for her, hold the restaurant door for her and pull the chair out so she can sit. Ask if she would like for you to order on her behalf. Compliment on the way she looks, but do not compare her to anyone - not even a celebrity. And this goes for both: be attentive to one another. Even if you are near to tears with a boring conversation, be courteous.
Ladies, wear comfortable attire
There is no doubt we want to look our best on our first date. Nevertheless, dressing in tight skirts where you are constantly pulling it down as you walk, wearing a see-through blouse knowing others are staring at you or wearing five-inch heels you never wore before will raise a red flag. Your date will sense how uncomfortable you are. Dress beautifully yet comfortably. Ask your sister or best friend to help you out, if you are too nervous.
Watch how you eat
Eating sloppy or talking with food in your mouth can make your date slightly uneasy.
Leave your cell phone on vibrate
Unless there is an emergency or your children are calling, do not use your phone. This is your moment. Give each other that one to one attention. You don't know if you are sitting across your future spouse.
Remember, first dates are all about having fun and learning things about one another. The time spent together will dictate if date number two is on the horizon.