I believe in first-dates. I go on a ton of them. The pure potential, openness, novelty, and spontaneity of a first-date are all highly appealing. The second date, however, is on an entirely different level. Here are overall ten tips that you can utilize to either shorten or prolong the First date in hopes of getting a second one (or not).
Strategies to Prolong a First Date
You’re digging this person, but you’re not sure if he/she feels the same way. Why does he keep looking at his watch? Why is she so quiet? Don’t panic. Take a breather and try these methods.
1. Adapt to their body language & their speech.
If she’s crossing her arms, check if you’re subconsciously giving her signals that you’re closed off. Likewise, if she’s giving you positive signals such as leaning close, lean closer. It’s an interesting and effective psychological trick to mirror your date's behavior. If they start whispering, whisper too. Alikeness breeds familiarity and familiarity fosters attraction. Stay subtle and classy.
2. Pick an exciting venue.
Bowling, hiking, painting, or rock climbing. Concerts, karaoke, workshops, or parties. Museums, old antique gift shops, hipster cafes, or even cemeteries (yes, that happened to me once). A stimulating venue provides a third medium that can dilute any weird quirks that might come up on the first date.
3. Focus on how you’re alike, NOT the same.
Look for what you both have in common BUT have a unique opinion about what you all have in common. Let’s say you’re both passionate about music. Great foundational glue. But if you start ripping off what he enjoys, then you have no personality. Stay authentic. Have fun. Dare to even critique his eclectic taste in Jazz.
4. Confident Flattery.
Flattery Will get you far. But the keyword is confidence. You need to compliment someone affirmatively, and in a way, that enhances Your value at the same time. “I like wit in a girl” vs. “You’re so smart!” Instead of, “Gosh, you are so hot!” say “Guys in uniform are so sexy.”
5. Live in the Moment.
If you become too pre-occupied with making an excellent first impression and self-monitoring every move of your date, you’ll lose track of the present moment. Go into the date as if you were meeting an acquaintance of a really, really good friend. Imagine you already have their pre-approval (they are your “best friend’s friend” anyway). When you don’t have a little self-critic in your head, you’ll truly be present and enjoy the date, no matter the outcome.
Shortcuts to End a First Date
Now, alternatively, you might encounter a disaster of a first-date, and you couldn’t want to be out of there any sooner. Maybe, you might not have even wanted to go on a date with this person in the first place. We’ve all been there. Here’s what I found most effective when caught in such a dilemma.
6. Arrive late.
This is assuming that you already are not looking forward to a date with this person. Being late any more than 15 minutes will leave a bad impression. If your date forgives you quickly, then it’s going to take way more for him/her to budge.
7. Be non-engaging.
Only talk about things you want to talk about. One-sided. But even so, not too much of that either, since you’ll show passion for what enjoy talking about. Of course, be polite, but engagement/active listening should be on a minimal level. Good, nice banal and boring topics include: weather, chairs, trees, plates, laundry, pencils…you get the idea.
8. Go dutch or be cheap.
Turn that traditional pay set-up on its head (this goes both ways). If you’re not into the girl, go dutch or insist she orders with a coupon. If you’re not into him, make sure you get your own check and that you owe him nothing. However, when neither party has any expectations on billing etiquette, this might not be as effective. Then again, no one really likes a Scrooge.
9. Pull out a “Red-flag.”
Depending on the cringeness-factor of the date, you might want to use this sparingly. You need to balance this a bit. Just reveal something about yourself that isn’t incredibly appealing but not jarringly horrendous. Keep it peachy. If it's quite severe of a date, any of these standard remarks could be readily used: “My ex…(anything)” or “You remind me of my Mom/Dad.”
10. Plan a backup intervention.
This should only be used as a last resort. To deliberately end a date, you can come up with an excuse of an either urgent or unexpected significant event that requires your immediate attention. “My shift starts in 30 minutes.” “I promised I’d meet my friend for her birthday.” “I have to commute.” Avoid clichés like “I need to feed my dog” or overly dramatic scenarios like, “My cousin’s grandmother’s grand aunt is getting a CAT scan for her Alzheimers.” The more truth in your excuse, the better.
These tips are incredibly powerful. Like Ben Parker says, use them responsibly 😉 Good luck daters!
Sarah Suhaimi practices 명음 by day and the art of dark chocolate bar swindling by night. She is currently working closely with a local Pittsburgh non-profit that serves sex-trafficked victims, Living in Liberty, as a volunteer and grant proposal writer. She founded the Southeast Asian Student Alliance (SEASA) at her university, and, as well, the "Offer Islam Campaign." Her works vary from prose to poetry to articles. Her published works include, ‘The Home of an Immigrant’s Daughter’ in the Art Catalogue for the 2012 Dublin Biennial, Dublin, Ireland and ‘Hidden Beauty Reveals Itself (Intellect Vs Instinct)’ in the Art Catalogue for the 2011 Florence Biennale VIII, Florence, Italy.