Tips for a First Date (& land the 2nd one)
While first dates can be a hit or miss, they’re a great chance to have fun, practice your people skills, do something new, and possibly meet the love of your life. However, no matter how you connect, through a dating site, a friend match, or a random encounter, first dates can be stressful. When we’re nervous, our body releases cortisol and adrenaline, our heart races, we sweat, we may talk too fast, or not at all. It takes practice to feel confident and poised, but you can pull it off smoothly with a little preparation.
1) What to talk about
Talk about yourself !!
This might sound like a no brainer but its trickier and happens less often than one might think. Put together a list of attributes or what you love about yourself and whittle it down to maybe three. Some ideas … a hobby, favorite trip, bucket list adventure, the last movie you saw, a good book, a joke, your plans next weekend, or last weekend, and just go with the flow.
If you get nervous, remember, they probably are too. If you do cut them off when talking, or talk to fast, just take a deep breath and admit you’re a little nervous. It will probably break the ice.
It’s hard not to feel a connection and warmth when someone smiles, plus it creates an instant human connection. People smile back. Smiling is linked to releasing endorphins that make you feel better and tells your body and brain that everything is A-OK. Your stress levels lower and your confidence increases.
Do not go into a date intimated. Do whatever you have to do to – drink a red bull, talk to yourself in the mirror, call up a friend for a pep talk – but make sure you hold eye contact when you’re talking, smile and greet them
warmly, and just remember, they’re likely feeling the jitters also.
4) Please and thank you
Manners go a long way, and not just with your date. When you talk to others – the hostess, waitress, cash attendant – be respectful and considerate. Your date is most likely keeping notes and manners are a key indicator of personality which is prominent in how the future relationship may pan out.
5) Do your homework
…..on them, know a few details, remember parts of their dating profile, or if it was a blind date recall a detail that your mutual friend shared. Then, be sure to bring up one of those details when you’re talking. Not in a creepy, stalker-kind of way, but in a I-paid-attention-to-you kind of way. People feel a connection when you bring up something important to them. It shows you care.
People like compliments. Hearing them activate the striatum part of the brain, and generate the same feeling as getting cash. It fills a universal human need of being acknowledged and seen. Plus, they will remember it later. You could say that is the money shot. Just be genuine about it.
7) Don’t complain
This may sound like common sense. But don’t complain about life, about other people, your job… anything really. It shows negativity and being around someone who can’t or won’t filter that out on the first date isn’t a great sign moving forward. Plus, it throws out vibes you’re not enjoying your time with them.
Please just don’t. It’s not sexy and people can pick up on it like crazy. Signs of desperation – don’t seem too eager to plan the next date before this one is over, don’t say things like “next time we meet” or “you should meet my parents” or “wait till you meet my dog” or “wowww this is so great thank you for meeting me” … you get the idea. You’re better than that. You’re sexy, you’re cool, you got this … because you’ve been planning and you’ve got me rooting for ya!
9) Don’t argue
Really, if you are arguing on a first date then where is the motivation or reason for a second? You don’t have anything to prove, there isn’t enough history between you to have a debate, talk politics if you want (I certainly do), but why argue. Sometimes it happens naturally when we’re nervous out of a self-protective response, but gently remind yourself you’re there to enjoy your time and get to know someone, solving life’s problems can wait. This is YOUR date, YOUR time.
10) Keep your ex where they belong
Out of your date, out of the conversation, out of your mind. They were yesterday’s news and you are living for the here, now and present.
11) Don’t talk more than you listen
Conversation is a two way street. It’s easier said than done however, if they’re nervous, or you’re nervous it can throw off the vibes and all of a sudden you’re left with dead space. That’s fine! Just breathe and think of how you’d talk to your best friend. Conversation flows naturally with our friends, right? We don’t think about what to say next, we don’t stress about whether we shouldn’t have said something, we just talk. Put yourself in that mindset, and hopefully the conversation starts flowing again. If your date talks about themselves nonstop is that a dealbreaker? Not necessarily, but they might be out of practice or nervous too.
Enjoy the date! It likely took some planning and time to get here, have fun and be yourself, because the right person is going to enjoy being with you right back! Oh, and take a few notes (about what made their eyes light up, what they ordered, how they dressed, any important dates or details) in the event you have a 2nd date you’ll score instant points!