The first meeting with a dating prospect brings with it a host of emotions, more commonly a mixture of excitement and nervousness, whether it’s a blind date or someone you’re already acquainted with. As the pivotal moment approaches, thoughts can become centered on such questions as: “Will he like me?” “Will I like him?” “Is he going to be The One?” “What if I mess things up and make a fool of myself?” “What will I talk about? What if I run out of things to say?”
This article will offer some tips on how to approach your first date with that lucky guy you’ve chosen. While these are by no means “rules”, these ideas can offer a means to ground yourself. Pick and choose the ones that seem right for you and create your own principles. A healthy dater lives with integrity and follows his own values.
BEFORE THE DATE:
*When setting a time and place for your date, be sure to make it a short meeting (1-2 hours) for the first time and select a place that is either activity-oriented or allows for lots of opportunity to talk. Avoid movies and instead opt for a short get-together at a coffee shop or at the zoo. You can always extend the date if you’re getting along comfortably.
*Instead of a date, view it as a chance to meet a potential new friend. This can allow you to relax without focusing on the outcome of the date. Avoid placing too many hopes and expectations on the encounter; let it evolve naturally and if a spark ignites during your time together, then that’s an added bonus!
*If you’re particularly nervous, take some time to do some relaxation exercises (deep breathing, visualization, etc.) to help soothe yourself and get centered. If you’re worried about what to talk about, generate a list of possible ideas beforehand to build confidence. But don’t rely too much on this or you’ll appear stiff and rehearsed. Be cool and be yourself. This isn’t about performance.
*Dress comfortably and in clothing that makes you feel good about yourself.
*Be clear to avoid any miscommunication.
DURING THE DATE:
*Be punctual and relax. Not to try to impress your date. You are great just as you are. Let him get to know the real you; otherwise, you’re engaging in a form of deception that will only come back to bite you later. Be genuine.
*Be attentive to your date. Show respect by maintaining good eye contact and don’t let those eyes stray if there are other attractive men in the room. Have an open posture and let your nonverbal communication and body language convey interest in learning about your date.
*Really listen to what he’s saying. Balance active listening with sharing things about yourself. Be positive and let your sense of humor shine through.
*Avoid alcohol, as this may alter your behavior, and stay away from sexual content. Discussions about sex and sexual preferences can come later after you’ve been able to establish more of a genuine, mature connection. Questions like “Are you a top or a bottom?” may appear crass at a first meeting and may cause an unfavorable impression of you to form in your date’s mind.
AFTER THE DATE:
*Whether your date was a smash hit or a disaster, exercise good manners and thank your new acquaintance for the date. If you’d like to see him again, state this and call him in a day or so.
*If you didn’t feel a “love connection” with the guy, thank him for the date and kindly and tactfully tell him that it’s not a match. But be honest and don’t tell him you’ll call him again if you really have no intention of doing so. That’s cruel.
Dating is both an art and a science, combining common sense decision-making with self-awareness. Cheers to your dating success!