First Dates that Lead to Second Dates
Advice tips for a successful first date
First dates can be filled with a gamut of emotion: heart fluttering with excitement about the possibilities, but not wanting to get those hopes up too high; nervousness about what to say and not say, uncertainty about where to go, what to wear and praying this new person is as great in person as they seemed before date one.
As a relationship coach, one of the most often cited reasons people say they shy away from date number two is the agony of sitting through a date with a person who engaged in nonstop, self-centered chatter. This almost guarantees placement on the do-not-call-me-back list. While you may have many fascinating stories to communicate, those who talk about how wonderful they are from the first bite of antipasto to the last crumb of the tiramisu are having a date with themselves. Sharing information is positive; not having the grace to care about what makes the other person tick will not lead to many first dates and a slim number of second dates.
Granted, most people are a little nervous on a first date and my advice before two people meet is to give each other a little consideration for the jitters. However, one can prepare for that important first impression, having a plan of safe topics to reveal and engaging questions to ask your date.
Good first date conversation includes:
Not sharing dates-gone-bad stories. Really, you do have more in common than sharing and comparing dating battle scars. This includes former flames, exes, custody battles, stalkers and any former relationships that left you heartbroken, mad, sad, or a little freaked out. Keep the conversation light because the first meeting in person is all about leaving a feel-good impression with each other. You want to be excited about date number two and not wonder about their relationship decision making skills or vice versa.
Listening to each other. Take turns sharing a little about yourself; activities you like participate in, creative outlets you are passionate about and career aspirations. The conversation will flow naturally when you both are attentive to what the other is saying instead of thinking about what you want to say when the other stops talking. By staying in the moment, you will find the overall experience more enjoyable.
Not overanalyzing. It is important to listen to your intuition when you are dating so you can recognize red flags in that person's behavior and character. On the first date, refrain from overreacting to anything innocently said to you. Your date cannot possibly know what areas are sensitive to you when you are just starting the process of getting acquainted. Relax and go with the mindset that you will have an enjoyable time, regardless if it's a hit or a miss connection.
Toning down the drama. Just because you have a captive audience does not mean you need to share life's inconveniences. Your date does not want to hear that your car broke down for the fifth time this month, you hate working for such a mean boss and had a spat with your best friend.
First dates are wonderful opportunities to open new doors to love that may lead to commitment down the road. Taking the time to prepare for a positive experience will prevent you from potentially sabotaging an introduction that may have a bright future.