Ahhh – the first date problem. For the single person, the first date is an all-important event that can make or break a potential relationship. Married and long-time couples can easily forget what it’s like to be in the dating world at all, and especially how fraught with difficulty that first date can be. So their advice is usually to just be yourself and not to worry. Unfortunately, that’s really not enough. Here are some ideas about what you should and shouldn’t do on a first date. Good luck!
Do the right thing
Meaning, choose the right activity for that special first time. It’s very important to do something that allows the two of you to talk and to get to know each other, but still provides some distractions when needed – you can’t be ON all the time. So a movie or play is probably not a good choice, because your attention will be totally on what’s happening on the screen or stage. A better choice would be going ice-skating or to a museum of some kind. Clearly your choice should have something to do with what you both enjoy, so decide and relax.
You should know and communicate some important things before the event. Are there any resrtictions on what the other person can eat – if she or he is a vegetarian, you don’t want to go to a steakhouse. Be sure that plans are clear for who is driving, who is picking up whom, where you are meeting, and so on. Attention to the little things will always be appreciated.
Leave the phone at home or turn it off
Nothing is more annoying than being with someone who is constantly looking at his or her cellphone. Well, it’s probably even more annoying to watch your date texting or emailing or actually making a call. It’s a good sign that you are incontrol of yourself and that you are interested in the other person if you put the phone awy, after turning it off, of course.
Knowing how to be a good listener is one of the most important people skills anone can have. On a date, it is even more vital that you listen carefully, give encouragement to show that you’re engaged, to make eye contact, and to respond appropriately to questions. By listening effectively you are telling your date that you have areal interest in what he or she is sayinh, and that you value the opinions and views being expressed.
Think about what to talk about
A lull in the conversation on the first date is going to happen, more than likely, but you can always be prepared. Memorize a short list of converstion starters that you can bring up if the silence gets uncomfortable. You can find these in books and on the Internet, or you may come up with something more specific and personal, depending on how well you know your date. Having something to talk about is a sign of consideration and intelligence, which is never a bad thing.
Dress for the occasion
You should always be comfortable – but there are limits and distinctions between casual and frumpy. The way you dress, the clothes you wear, make an impression on your date. You certainly don’t want to be overdressed for the date, but you can also make the mistake of under-dressing. Know where you’re going and what you’re doing and make the appropriate choices.
Be aware of what you are saying without using words. We communicate using body gestures and posture, facial expressions, and in many other ways. Learn about non-verbal language if you don’t know what it is, and practice being aware of yours – before the first date.
Finally, the old cliched advice is usually given for a reason – it’s good. You need to be truthful and honest, but also show confidence and a sense of self-awareness. You have to be yourself and not try to be something or someone you are not. If yoy are not genuine and authentic, most people will pick up on your deception, and the impression you make won’t be good.