Come Away from Your First Dates Feeling Satisfied
First dates are as different as the people on them; they may be incredibly boring, painfully awkward, extremely annoying, or amazingly awesome. Most people would agree that at the very least what they want is pleasant company and an engaging conversation.
Prepping for a first date can be nerve-wracking, but try not to place too much importance on it. People go on first dates all the time and it’s not always going to go as smoothly as you’d like.
The purpose of dating is to find someone you enjoy being around and who fits at least somewhat with what you’re looking for. Not everyone is going to whisk you off your feet right off the bat, but by following the tips below, your dates should produce better success rates overall.
Be Aware of Your Appearance
In the age of Internet dating, it’s likely your date is a stranger, which means this meeting will be your first impression of each other. Wear something age appropriate, but flattering to your body type.
While you should dress according to the setting of your date, it doesn’t hurt to dress up a bit nicer than normal. In general, it’s best to look as close to your photo as possible if you’re meeting a date off the internet.
Don’t do anything too drastic with your hair or makeup, but it’s important to make an effort, especially if you expect them to do the same.
Mind Your Manners
Both men and women have expectations when it comes to dating, and one of the biggest is good manners. Introduce yourself with a handshake or a quick hug if you feel it’s appropriate.
Chew with your mouth closed and finish your food before you speak. Thank them if they open the door for you or pull out your chair.
Even if you’re not into chivalry, the thought is what counts. You can always tell them later, if you decide to go on more dates, that they doesn’t have to do those things.
Politeness and consideration are much preferred to rudeness and selfishness.
Avoid Awkward Conversation
There are also certain topics that should generally be avoided in conversations on a first date. Politics, religion, or any prejudices or judgements you may have about a person or people are not appropriate topics to bring up right away.
Don’t ask them about past relationships or pry too much into their personal life right away, which may make them feel awkward and uncomfortable. Focus instead on shared interests you may have, family background, or pop culture as these are universal topics that can really reveal things about a person.
If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable in a conversation, redirect the topic or let them know how you feel.
Active listening in a conversation can often make or break a connection in addition to whatever natural chemistry is already there. Make eye contact when your date is speaking and acknowledge what’s being said by responding or nodding your head.
Be prepared to listen a lot, but remember to ask them questions too, especially interesting ones that will open up the conversation more or really get them thinking. If you like where things are going, touching their hand or arm slightly will let them know you’re into them and are interested in the conversation.
But please, whatever you do, don’t pull out your phone every few minutes or answer a call or text during your conversation. Phone checking is a huge turnoff for both sexes.
There’s nothing sexier than confidence, especially when you’re first getting to know someone. Projecting an air of confidence shows you are sure of yourself and what you want out of life.
It’s also a subtle way of showing that you don’t necessarily need a partner, but instead want one, which drives people crazy with desire. Showing confidence during a date will also make it go smoother as you won’t be going back and forth between options presented to you, like where to grab a drink after dinner.
It’s also appealing during a conversation when you stand behind your beliefs and opinions and aren’t easily swayed by what your date or another person believes.
How you should say goodnight after a first date is a highly contested issue and there is no universal answer for everyone. Younger people under 30 and men in general tend to expect sex right away, more so than women and middle aged people.
However you decide to end the night, make it appropriate to both the level of connection you felt during the date and your own comfort. Listen to your intuition.
If the date went well and you’re attracted to the other person, a kiss, whether on the cheek or on the mouth, may be appropriate. If you just didn’t click, a handshake or a hug should get the message across.
Don’t worry about what the other person thinks too much. If it doesn’t work out, oh well! Onto the next one!