By Jessica Hartman, Certified eFlirter
There are so many details when it comes to a first date — what to wear, where to go, what to say — that often one very important aspect gets overlooked: where to sit. But this seemingly minute detail should be given just as much attention as the others. A common complaint about the first date is that it feels like a job interview: question after question without much real conversation.
But a contributing factor is that most people sit directly in front of each other on a first date, much like you would on a job interview. Avoid this at all costs. Sitting face-to-face leaves little to no opportunity for physical interaction, which is essential when reading signs from the other person. It also gives the date a formal, less personal vibe. Here are the best seating arrangements possible for any given situation.
If you’re …
at a bar: The bar itself naturally ends up being the best seating arrangement. You’re forced to sit next to each other, usually close together, and you can easily turn on your stool to play flirty footsie if the mood strikes.
on a couch or chaise: At some bars and clubs, the décor is more a la living room than coffee shop. This definitely breaks the physical barrier faster, but you don’t want to go too far too fast. Start by sitting side by side turned toward each other, arms either by your side or on the back of the couch. As you get more comfortable, your body language is free to get more relaxed!
at a four-top table where there’s a chair on each side: Choose to sit at a 90-degree angle. This makes for great body language; you’re close enough to not feel like an interview but still have distance between you so you don’t feel crowded. Guys: let the lady sit down first and then take the chair next to her.
at a four-top table where there are two chairs on either side, or at a booth: These should be avoided at all costs, but sometimes that’s not possible. Start the evening across from each other. As you warm up, smoothly move over so you’re both sitting at the same side. This can be done when you’re in the middle of a funny story, sharing something more vulnerable, or after you’ve had a few drinks and are more comfortable getting close.
at a two-top table where the chairs are across from each other: This is the worst situation and should be avoided if you have any choice in seating. Do some research beforehand to see if other options available. If not, pick another place. Tip: call ahead and ask to be seated in a specific location.
Bottom line? Body language is key and often signals more than what you’re actually saying. Make sure it’s a top priority!
Know a great date spot with amazing seating options? Share below — just don’t forget to include your city!