While you're practicing the tough stuff, here are a few things you can do immediately.
- Don't worry about impressing her or being suave -- just be yourself.
- Get to know her interests so you have something to talk about.
- Wear what you know looks good on you. This isn't the time to experiment with trends that might make you insecure or uncomfortable.
- "Be comfortable" isn't an excuse for being sloppy -- always make sure your clothes are clean and well-kept.
- Don't confuse confidence with arrogance. Obnoxious behavior won't make you look more sure of yourself.
- Put your cell phone away, but don't make a big deal of it. This will make your date feel like the most important person in your orbit for a few crucial hours, and it'll make you look more mature than most of your peers.
And on a more serious note, make sure you're clean. Your mouth is often an overlooked part of your daily routine. You're probably already brushing, but you really need to floss, especially if you're a regular drinker of coffee or energy drinks. Chemicals in these beverages will cause odors that linger around your mouth, steadily getting worse for hours. Chase a non-water beverage with a glass of water whenever possible, and at the very least, discreetly chew sugar-free or whitening gum. (Mint flavors will smell subtly fresher than sweet or fruit varieties.)
Some doctors believe that teen guys are more prone to poor hygiene -- it's just sloppy habits, they say, based on a general unawareness of proper procedure and how that affects appearance [source: Griffin]. If your hygiene skills have been below par so far, it's not too late to get a fresh start. You should be proud to take care of yourself.
Chances are you'll be dating for years before you find the right person, but that's not supposed to be discouraging -- this is exciting! There's lots more information on the page with links to articles about socializing and navigating the romantic landscape.
More Great Links
- BusinessWeek. "Secrets of the Male Shopper." Sept. 4, 2006. (Sept. 20, 2010)http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_36/b3999001.htm
- Discovery Health. "Teens and dating." (Sept. 22, 2010)https://health.howstuffworks.com/relationships/dating/teens-and-dating.htm
- Griffin, R. Morgan. "Hygiene For Kids: Tips For Your Teen." WebMD. (Sept. 20, 2010)http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/germ-fighting-guide-10/teen-hygiene
- Jonna, M. "One Teen's Perspective on Dating." Discovery Health. (Sept. 22, 2010)https://health.howstuffworks.com/relationships/dating/teen-perspective-on-dating.htm
- Today.com. "Five tips for teen dating." (Sept. 20, 2010)http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/3088174