Once you get a great profile set up and weed through your inbox, you’re going to be going on some first dates. This is great news because first dates sometimes lead to second dates and if all goes well, relationships! Even when they don’t, they provide valuable learning experiences and a chance to connect with another person.
In order to have the best possible dating experience, you’ll want to keep your objective in mind. Dating doesn’t have to take up all your free time if you’re focused and use the time you have wisely. In order to do this, I recommend that you screen dates first, put your best foot forward, and relax.
Making sure that a date goes as well as possible starts before the date. Pre-screen your dates by emailing a bit and talking on the phone at least once before meeting. Only meet at venues you’re comfortable with. This will help you to avoid meeting the dreaded parade of strangers at Starbucks or other such banal dating experiences.
It’s best to meet at an agreed-upon location for a first date instead of having him pick you up. You don’t know him yet and your safety is important. I always recommend telling someone you know that you’ll be going on a date, where you’ll be, and checking in with someone when you get home.
It helps to keep first dates fairly brief. This minimizes the awkwardness of spending hours on end with someone you barely know.
Put your best foot forward by being friendly and open. By the time you actually go on the date, you should know a little bit about this person and feel somewhat comfortable with him. Ask him open-ended questions and listen to the answers.
If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, be sure to ask him what kind of relationship he’s looking for. Perk up your ears and really listen to what he says. If you hear any kind of disclaimer like, “I’m not looking for a relationship right now” believe him.
You won’t change his mind, so find out where he stands now and act accordingly. It’s not necessary to interrogate him or be unfriendly. This question can be asked nicely, but it needs to be asked. Also, be prepared to answer this question yourself.
Ultimately, the purpose of a first date is to decide if there will be a second date, so relax and enjoy it. This is your opportunity to connect with another person. Even if he’s not the future love of your life, you can still have an enjoyable time.
If you think he might be the future love of your life, slow yourself down. It’s wonderful to meet someone you like, but you still want to take the time to get to know him.
Regardless of the outcome, it helps to think of first dates as a chance to connect with someone. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
If you get to know someone a bit before the date and remain relaxed and friendly, you’ll have a much better dating experience than most people do. You’ll be able to use the time you have as efficiently as possible and be well on your way to having the relationship you want.
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