Going on that big first date is a huge step as a teenager. You may feel nervous or unsure of what to expect, but chances are, so does your date. These four tips will help you to be safe and feel your best.

Using a Safety Word

Before leaving, establish a safety word with your parent or caregiver. If you find yourself in an unsafe situation on your first date, this will allow you to call for help without being obvious. For example, if your safety word is “dog,” you could call your mom and ask if she fed the dog. This would alert your mom to come and pick you up from wherever you are located. Be sure that a responsible adult has your location and contact information just in case.

Getting Dressed

Both teenage boys and teenage girls are concerned with the clothes they wear. Be sure to dress for the type of activity that you’ll be doing. If you are going on a paintball excursion, wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting stained. For a movie date, something more stylish may be appropriate. Also be sure to dress for the weather, adding a fun accessory such as a knit hat for cold weather or sunglasses for a summer afternoon.

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene is important in every social situation. Follow your usual personal hygiene routine and add a few extra steps to look and smell your best. Professionals, like those at Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics know that you should be sure to brush and floss your teeth. Just before you leave, swish with an antiseptic mouth rinse. This will get rid of bad breath. Put on some extra antiperspirant in case you sweat more than usual. Clean underneath your fingernails too.

Peer Pressure Awareness

When going on a first date, there is always a risk of peer pressure. If the date is part of a group outing, the other people may pressure you to try smoking or drinking as a way of relaxing together. Your date may pressure you for more physical interaction than you are ready for. Be aware of these issues and practice some way to resist the peer pressure while on your date.

Dedicate an hour or two to prepare yourself for your first date. This will give you time to style your hair, take care of your hygiene and get dressed in clothes that make you feel great. Also practice your safety plan so that you can feel confident about your personal safety while dating.