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Jul 14, 2021

How to date IRL as a couple

It's a little bit more than one plus two makes three

By Abby Moss

Dating as a couple is, obviously, a rather different experience to dating one on one. If you’ve been chatting to someone online and have decided to take the plunge and meet up IRL, you might be nervous and not sure what to expect. That’s ok! First dates can be nerve-wracking! Here are our tips about what to expect, how to prepare, and how to prevent any awkwardness.

Set your boundaries beforehand (and communicate these to your date)

Decide before you even leave the house how far you’re comfortable with your evening going. If you all really hit it off will you be inviting them back to your place, or maybe going to a hotel room? Or do you want to limit the evening to a few drinks and then go your separate ways this time? Discuss this as a couple first and make sure your boundaries are clear to your date before you meet them. That way you’ll all be going into the date on the same page, all knowing what the boundaries are.

Make your date feel comfortable

As the couple, really try to go the extra mile to make sure the person you’re dating feels comfortable. It can be daunting to meet two people who are already in a relationship, and the balance of power will always be slightly weighted in your favour. You know your partner well, you may be able to pick up more easily on how they are feeling and what they are thinking. Because of this, your date is somewhat the outsider in the situation, so it’s on you to make them feel at ease. You can do this through small gestures, like asking them where they’d like to meet, asking them where they’d be most comfortable sitting when you get to a venue, making sure to ask them about themselves and finding common ground.

Top tip: Avoid accidentally making your date feel like they’re being interviewed by considering how and where you’re sitting. If you’re at a table for example, don’t sit on one side with your date on the other, but rather try to sit in a way that makes everyone feel equal.

Don’t be afraid to talk about past experiences (and be honest)

There’s no bigger turn off than a bullshitter. If this is your first experience dating as a couple, say so. And give your date space to explain their experiences too. It may be different to yours and that’s ok, but open and honest communication about this in the beginning will lead to better communication going forward.

Talk about sex (but not only sex) 

Feeld is a place for sharing your desires in a shame-free and judgement-free space. It’s ok to be upfront about what you’re looking for sexually (in fact, it’s a good idea to talk about this early on to make sure you’re all looking for the same thing!) Discussing sexual desires can be a great way to find out if you’re compatible with your date. And not just sexually. Discussing sex should be fun and it’s a great way to break the ice - it’s ok to feel a bit awkward, to giggle, to not take it too seriously. But it’s also important that everyone feels respected as a human being. Don’t focus on sex for the whole date. Instead, find out a bit about each other too. Getting to know each other is the best way to ease nerves and to feel comfortable around one another, and if you’re relaxed you’ll have way better sex.

Nobody likes ghosts (so follow up) 

Even if there wasn’t much of a spark, follow up after your date. If you don’t want to meet up again, it’s better to be honest and just say so than to leave someone hanging. After all, you never know when you're going to bump into someone else again. And besides, at Feeld, we treat everyone with respect, full stop.

The IRL date checklist

DO discuss boundaries and expectations beforehand and make these clear to your date 

DO try to think about how to make your date feel comfortable and show them you’re being considerate to them as the single person in the situation 

DON’T bullshit or try to come across like the world’s ultimate sex guru (unless you are, in which case go for it!) Honesty is sexy 

DON’T ghost. Follow up with your date, even if you don’t want to see them again

Abby Moss is a freelance journalist specialising in sex, relationships, and feminism. She lives in London with her partners and their growing animal menagerie, and can be found on Instagram @abbyrmoss

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