The dating scene can be intimidating for those who aren’t used to the playing field, and with a myriad of dating websites and apps out there, it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for your lifestyle. Sure, you can try to avoid online dating and dating apps altogether, which will likely lead to being set up by friends or family, or meeting people through work, at a bar or through other activities—and this isn’t always easy, especially if you’re caught up in the hustle of big city life. This is why the convenience of online dating is now more normal than ever, as people are actually finding long-term partners through these once stigmatized rituals.
“We like to think of Bumble almost like an online restaurant,” said Alex Williamson, VP of brand content at Bumble, who’s known as the voice of the brand and IG for this dating app. “You wouldn’t go into a restaurant and expect to see the online epidemic of ‘dick pics.’ On Bumble we hold people accountable to present themselves like they would if they were meeting someone in real life.”
Well said. But as with any dating service, taking the convo from text to IRL can be daunting, so we asked Williamson for some simple, essential tips for your first Bumble date.
It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere
The happy hour drink is a good option because you’re meeting midday. There’s less pressure to feel like you need to stay longer than it takes to have one drink.
“Man’s Best Friend,” You Say?
Going for a walk with your dog gives you a good “out” if you’re not feeling the date or allows you to continue the date with or without your dog. If you’re not into it you can say, “I’ve got to take the dog home,” but if you’re feeling it you can take your pet, or pets, if he or she has one too, to a patio or park together.
Face the Music
This setting for a date is great because you can both enjoy some entertainment while getting to know each other, but the live music allows for breaks in conversation, which welcomes the occasional, long awkward pause that might otherwise occur.
Meeting for brunch is a good first date if you’re looking to have a meal together and know you want to spend a longer amount of time with your date. It doesn’t put any pressure on either of you to feel like you have to go back to someone’s place for a nightcap since it’s during the day. Plus, morning or midday dates always feel less threatening for both parties.
Nothing Good Happens After…
Getting a late night cocktail or drink is highly advised against since many people may feel pressured to go back to your date’s place afterward, even though you may not feel ready for that yet. Also, late night drinking may cloud your judgment in general, leading you to do things you don’t actually want to do.
Going to get dinner together on the first date isn’t a good idea because you’re obligated to stay for the whole dinner. Since it’s at night, you may also feel pressured to go for a drink afterward which can lead to unwanted advances.
Seeing a movie together on the first date is a bad idea. During the movie, you’re not getting to know your date since you’re not talking and paying attention to the movie.
Meet the Fam
Going with someone to a wedding or family party on the first date can be kind of intimidating and puts too much pressure on both of you. Meeting close family and friends isn’t something that should happen right away, especially if you’re not sure you want to continue seeing the person after your first date.
Proof Your Profile
1. Your first photo should represent what you currently look like, not one from five years ago.
2. Look approachable by smiling in your photo and avoid group photos so it’s clear who you are, exactly.
3. Avoid modeling photos, as it’s an inaccurate representation of you and they’re likely retouched.
4. Keep your bio simple and either tell a little about yourself, or include a saying that represents your personality or a conversation starter to help break the ice.
This article originally appeared in the spring 2017 “Relationship Issue” of Resource Magazine. To pick up a copy, visit the Resource Shop or enter our giveaway to win a free copy, subscription and more awesome photography prizes!