Are you getting stuck on the first date? Do you feel like you are trapped in a loop and can never get past #1 to the increasingly anticipated date #2? If you feel like you may be becoming a serial first dater, read on. Maybe we can revamp your strategy and get you back into the driver’s seat on this journey called… dating. Read on for a list of dos and don’ts that can help you.
Bring the best version of you to every date. Projecting a positive attitude and good energy will help you look, feel and be your best, not to mention make a huge impression on your date. It helps if you give yourself ample time to prepare mentally before the date. To get in the right frame of mind, visualize yourself as a happy, competent, compassionate, loving person who genuinely enjoys life. Then visualize yourself manifesting all those qualities visibly and palpably when you meet that first date. What do you do? How does your date respond? Can you see the relaxed face and body posture, the big open smiles? By visualizing, you help yourself truly know and own all the fabulous things that make you your brilliant authentic self. Control any negative thoughts. The visualization will become reality if you invest in it fully.
Come across as bummed out, blasé or guarded. You may feel disheartened, disillusioned or disenchanted, due to some unfortunate first dates, or the failure to get something more off the ground. But don’t bring that energy to subsequent dates. You may worry that coming to a date full of vibrant enthusiasm and optimism will send the wrong message that you are “over eager.” But in a recent survey, one of the main reasons people did not want a second date with someone was that they were put off by low energy. (Which may have been feigned disinterest concealing the genuine excitement inside.) Don’t hide your enthusiasm under a bushel! Don’t guard the very essence that makes you you, no matter how scared you feel about rejection.
Bring the social, casual, humorous, easygoing version of you to the first date. There is no need to approach a date like a list of tasks or a strategy meeting. Conversation, tone, even facial expressions are different when we are in a social setting than when we are working or completing tasks or tackling problems. A first date should be neither work nor a task nor a problem – but fun!
Bring your work energy with you. Sure you may be highly successful and perform miracles at work but, whether you are a man or a woman, projecting that dominant energy on a date will backfire. Your date may feel intimated or put off by perceived competition. Professional energy won’t show the fun, adventurous and easygoing side of your personality that everyone enjoys.
Know that a date is a social event and dress accordingly. Wear something that you love and that reflects your unique personality. Women, feminine is best. Wear that flirty little skirt that reveals just enough to be interesting while maintaining some mystery. Or something soft, or colorful, or simply delicious. Whatever you choose, it ought to show your best features to good advantage! Men, wear the shirt that accentuates your fine qualities, whether through a flattering color or a cut that reveals the results of your hours at the gym.
Wear professional attire on a date. You wouldn’t wear a snow suit to the beach so don’t wear a business suit to a casual meeting. While you may need to maintain a certain image at work, that image could send the wrong message or create a skewed first impression. Conversely, don’t wear your at-home clothes either. Those comfy jeans with a hole in the knee or old gray leggings may be your faves, but they would send a message that the date is not important enough to dress up for.
Engage in light-hearted conversation as you are getting to know your date better. Listen more than you talk and show genuine interest in what your date is saying, through good eye contact and open body language. Be in the moment and allow the conversation to have a life of its own. Discuss topics of mutual interest that don’t veer towards the overly personal. Make the best of this chance to “read” your date for what captures his or her attention. At the end of the date, if you had a good time, say so, thus sending a clear message that you are open for a second date. In fact, if you are so inclined, this is an opportune moment to ask for a second date.DON’T:
Make your work or job the main topic of conversation. It is not the time to talk about your latest conquest at the office; it may make you look adversarial. Also stay away from topics such as previous relationships, and avoid all negativity or controversy. Some big no-nos: politics, religion, the ex from hell, health issues, family drama. (If a first date goes to a second and then a third, there will be plenty of time to open up about some of these things.)
Rest assured: getting the second date that you want isn’t difficult. Being prepared with the right mindset and some excellent first-date skills will increase your chances of having a second shot at romance. And most importantly: relax. Your anxiety is telegraphed to everyone around you. Just enjoy the process of getting to know new people on your dating journey. Remember the odds – for every first date you go on, you are getting closer to a second, and ultimately to the relationship you desire.