Dating can create some absolutely euphoric experiences. It can also just as easily lead us into our fair share of quirky and complicated situations—many of which make us wonder if we should give up on dating altogether. In my work with over thousands of singles, I’ve observed that a good majority of the wacky encounters that men and women come across while dating tend to happen on first dates. So I did a little research and created a blueprint to help those who (like me) are tired of wasting time, money, and energy on first dates that leave them more frustrated than hopeful.
Here are five key first date tips that will ensure that every first date you go on is not only successful but enjoyable as well:
1. Spark the chemistry beforehand.
In many cases, when first meeting someone whether online or off, there isn’t an immediate chance to forge a connection. I recommend a quick phone conversation (no longer than thirty minutes) to help get the energy flowing. This will allow you to develop some rapport so that you don’t feel like you’re showing up to a date to engage with a complete stranger. You can learn a lot in a short, simple conversation. Enough to help you find common ground that both parties can use to build from on a first date.
2. Leave your expectations at home.
It’s important to know what you want. Expectations are great, but there’s no need to take them everywhere you go. On many first dates we leave the house, hoping to meet out spouse. The problem with that hope, is that it creates unseen pressure. Instead of being overly occupied with what you want and what you’re looking for, focus on connection. This will allow you to communicate at a deeper level. You’ll be more empathic and open, which will go a long way in helping you to create a moment that blossoms into that deeper connection you’re looking for..
3. Be present.
Many times we miss opportunities to make great connections simply because we’re paying attention to everything but the person in front of us. Here’s a tip; leave your phone in your purse or your pocket, whichever you prefer. No texting, tweeting, or Instagramming. (I do have one caveat however, I’m a huge supporter of taking pictures of good food.) Besides that, stay off the phone. Be there, in the moment. That’s where the magic is.
4. Lead with your authentic self.
The best way to find the person who’s the best fit for you, is to be yourself the people you’re engaging with. It takes a certain level of confidence and self awareness to provide a clear look into who you really are. This way of being will allow you to dive deeper on dates than those unwilling to go beyond the surface. Which will also stop you from wasting your time in the future. And even when you know there won’t be a second date (sometimes you may like someone but know that they aren’t someone you’re interested in romantically) doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the moment you’re in right now. Remember, stay present.
5. Safety first.
First dates should always be social. I recommend meeting in a public setting in which you both arrive separately. Inform people you trust about your plans and if your phone allows you the option, share your location with friends and family. Even when there’s amazing chemistry beforehand it is best to be cautious. Keep in mind trust should be earned over time.
It’s no secret first dates can be nerve wracking but if you approach them the right way they can also be a whole lot of fun. Keep in mind these five simple tips, and you may be surprised by how much better your dates go.