How to make not so common sense out of dating

So you have written a great profile, posted a nice picture, have read my tips on safety (twice!) and are about to meet your first blind date. Hold on to your hat because the fun is about to begin. You are probably a little nervous but also excited about the opportunity ahead of you.  Yes, I do mean opportunity! Remember, even if the person you are about to meet is not the one of your dreams this is an opportunity to hone your dating skills. Dating, after all, is supposed to be FUN and this entry is about making sure it stays that way. I will teach you how to be on your game and put another person at ease. It’s actually simpler than you might think. If your job is to relax them you will be surprised at how much easier it is to feel at ease yourself.

Let’s start with basic hygiene.

Making an Entrance: Owning a room

Think about all of the best qualities about yourself before you arrive. I mean take the time to find at least five things about yourself that you really like and be thinking about the best one when you walk through the door. Sound crazy? Well have you ever seen a fairly average looking person walk into a room and still command attention? That person has confidence and that is attractive. You do not have to be the most conventionally beautiful person to attract other people. As hokey as it sounds beauty really does radiate from within and if you feel good about yourself other people will be drawn to you. Whoever you are meeting is about to meet a person YOU like - why wouldn’t they like you too?

The Introduction: putting another person at ease.

Smile! If you are one of those folks who hates their teeth and tries not to show them then at least smile with your eyes. Tell them you are happy to be there. Odds are they are nervous and hopeful and everyone wants to feel well received. You took the time to get ready, find your way there and put your best attitude on so . . .

Expect to like them!

Once you are settled ask how their day has been. I know you are nervous but LISTEN to the answers you are given. It is amazing how engaging it is to have someone be interested in what you are saying. It is also easy when you are nervous to be so concerned with what you are going to say next that you forget to listen to what the other person is saying. Everybody wants to be heard. That is why so many psychiatrists are driving nice cars. When you truly listen to what your date is saying you will find that your nerves disappear. 

You have probably discussed over email at least one common interest (astrology springs to mind) so ask about that. Do they have kids? Pets? Interesting hobbies? The point here is that everyone’s favorite thing to talk about ( whether they admit it or not) is themselves. If there is mutual chemistry it will likely be a verbal tennis match of answers to questions. Generally a great sign on a first date. If there are a few uncomfortable pauses don’t panic. First dates can be awkward and successful dating takes a little practice. With any luck, right about the time you feel like you have had that dating practice the person you are looking for will arrive.

Keep it positive!

No matter how much stress you are under or what your current hardships are the first few dates are not the time to get them off your mind. Please don't launch into a tirade about how much you hate your boss or ex or go into your financial worries. You're job is to put yourself in a good light and put your date at ease. Neither of those things are accomplished by complaining during your date. Focus on the parts of your life that you do like. I know you have some if you have taken the time to think of five things you like about yourself!

Ending the Date: Next steps or lovely parting gifts?

So you have officially conquered the first hurdle and it went pretty well. How do you end the date? Well I wasn’t there so it’s going to depend on how you feel. Most of the time I feel a handshake is good on the first date. But truth be told I am not a hugger unless someone has wowed me in which case it’s entirely possible that it could happen. I’ll even admit that on rare occasion I have been so blown away that I kissed a man on the first date. Don’t think there is a hard and fast rule here other than make sure the other person consents to any physical contact. It feels respectful to me if a man asks ‘May I kiss you?” I can always smile and say “I would prefer to wait until I know you better”. In any case if you enjoyed meeting them SAY SO. It’s amazing how much analyzing people will do after a date and having heard the words “I really enjoyed meeting you” can make the difference in whether or not you have a second date.

So what have we learned here?

  1. Make an effort--dress like you’re going on a date!
  2. Bring your confidence! It’s sexy.
  3. Be interested as well as interesting. Listen!
  4. Be polite to the wait staff and tip well. Okay we didn’t cover that but I’m hoping to change the world one patron at a time.
    and finally. . .
  5. If you enjoyed yourself SAY SO!

Now get out there and have some fun!

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