by Dr Valeria Chuba, World Association of Sex Coaches Certified Sex Coach
Dating should be easy. After all, meeting potential sex and relationship partners is a core part of the human experience. And yet, in today’s world, dating is more challenging than ever.
The first date is a hugely important part of the dating process. After all, you only get one chance to make a great first impression. If you’re currently on the dating scene (or planning to get out into the dating world), here are some tips to help you make sure that your first date is a success:
- Make sure that you chose the right person. This would be someone you are excited about; someone who treated you well during your initial conversations; and someone who didn’t set off any internal alarm bells.
- Choose a good venue for your date. The old stand by, dinner and a movie, doesn’t quite cut it. You may end up being stuck for hours at dinner with someone who turns out to be not such a great match for you, after all. Then there is the expectation of who picks up the check… in short, constant pressure. Instead, opt for a more low-key first date. Meet during the day, have a coffee, and then, if things are looking good, go for a nice leisurely walk. The goal is to be together in everyday conditions, and get to know and interact with your date in a natural way.
- Dress and hygiene are important. You’d think that this is rather obvious in this day and age, but it never hurts to pay attention. Your dress code will be dictated by where the date will be held, but, unless it’s a formal soiree or a fancy restaurant, you’ll be safe wearing smart, business casual or casual clothes. The key is to dress the way you normally dress, with just a bit more effort. Here’s another tip for you: many of us own a special, “lucky” item of clothing, like a dress or a shirt, that always gets us compliments and makes us feel fantastic. Wear this item to boost your confidence, and be safe in the knowledge that you look amazing.
- Stay present and connected. Instead of worrying about how you appear to your date, or what he or she is thinking, focus on connecting with them. Don’t get caught up in your own fearful and anxious thoughts. Instead, take a deep breath and ground yourself in your body and in the present moment. After all, you’re there to get to know this person, so pay them the courtesy of being present for them.
- Listen. This is an incredibly rare and valuable skill, and especially important if you are somewhat anxious about small talk. Remember: nothing makes you more interesting to someone than you being interested in them. Simply listen, in a focused and attentive way. Not only will you appear as the most fascinating person in the world, it will help you stand out in a very favorable way. You will also have the added benefit of actually learning some important things about your date. And by listening, you can pick up verbal cues to help you continue the conversation. Think of it as a game of catch: your date will throw a bit of information your way, and you’ll use that information to throw a question back at them. Before you know it, your conversation will be flowing effortlessly.
- Don’t air your dirty laundry! This one is a biggie. Remember: your date is not your therapist, and dumping your emotional baggage on them is both unfair and unappealing. Similarly, listen carefully about the way he or she talks about their ex-partners. If you’re hearing a lot of bitterness and unresolved resentment, treat it as a huge red flag. This person may not be ready for dating, and you don’t want to find yourself trying to prove to them that you are not “just like all those other guys (or women)”. Move on!
Did you enjoy these tips? You can get even more in this episode of the Get Sex-Smart podcast. Dr. Valeria Chuba and sex coach Sarah Martin discuss these and other tips and give advice to help you create a successful and enjoyable first date:
Here’s the simple truth about dating: it’s not as scary as we think. But, it also shouldn’t be left to chance. Hopefully, these tips will help you get started with the right mindset and a successful strategy. And remember: dating should not be a chore! Remember to have fun and enjoy yourself. After all, few things are more exciting than the possibility of meeting that special partner who is just right for you.