How to have a successful first date

You did it, you got the famous first date! After many exchanges, (through chat, texts, emails, calls) and your various efforts to break the ice, he or she has accepted your invitation for a THE first date. Are you feeling the pressure? Don’t worry, it’s completely normal. However, for it to become a “real” relationship instead of just an online romance, the first date cannot be improvised to make your online dating a success: it takes a little bit of work and preparation. If you already got a “Yes”, it’s a sign you made a good first impression. Your goal now it to confirm that and to raise their level of interest so that when the date is done they say, “Wow, this special one was not like the others!”.

Confirm the first impression

Your objective here is to confirm the first impression they had of you. If they said “Yes” to a date, you likely already have a lot in common, giving you lots to talk about for them to get to know you better. But just because you got the first date does not mean you hit the jackpot. In reality, the real fun and work begins now. Don’t try to seal the deal on the first date or you may end up regretting it. Having a little patience will pay off in the long run. Take your time!

The first date gives you the opportunity to really get to know one another. To avoid any awkward moments, the best solution is to talk about your shared interests (which you may have already discussed during your online chats) and create a lasting connection. The things you have in common will allow you to highlight your compatibility. You already have so much to talk about, so now is the time to dig deep and really learn about each other.

Listen to what they have to say

When talking with someone, it’s easy to want to fill the silence at all cost, preventing any awkward pauses, even by taking up most of the conversation yourself. But don’t stress. It’s not necessary to control every aspect of the conversation, which can quickly become annoying to the other person if you’re the only one talking. Instead, ask questions that are open-ended and listen to their responses. Show your interest in the other person by actually paying attention and being involved, instead of just pretending. Conversely, you should avoid saying something just to impress the other, which can come off as desperate; you’re not here read off your CV or boast about your success and list of achievements.

Avoid topics like politics, religion and the current state of affairs; remain neutral and open-minded and avoid sensitive issues. There is a time and a place for these kinds of discussions and your date may not feel comfortable talking about them so soon after initially meeting.

Have Fun

Good humour is contagious! To put the odds in your favour, your ability to flirt and make the other person laugh are good ways to ensure a successful first date and many to follow.

It’s not life or death, so try to relax and enjoy the moment. One or two jokes to create a comfortable atmosphere will put your date at ease and make them smile, setting the tone for the rest of the evening. Humour is a true weapon of seduction, but like anything else, try not to overdo it, especially if you’re a natural born comedian. Overdoing it can have to opposite effect and instantly kill the mood.

Have manners & be polite

Even if you don’t have the soul of a gentleman, there are still some rules of etiquette you should follow in order to show the other person that you’re a respectable and polite date.

Most men will take insist on paying the bill for both, which is not to say that it’s automatic. Women tend to object and offer to pay themselves, but it makes the man feel happy and gives the woman the opportunity to return the favour next time. However, do not insist if you see that it makes your date feel uncomfortable; some women do not appreciate the gesture and would rather show their independence and pay their fair share.

Small things, like holding the door, pulling out their chair and helping to put on a their coat are also kind and chivalrous gestures to make on a date, but again, do not do these things too much if it makes your date feel uncomfortable. Read the situation and gauge their reaction.

After the date

Some will do it without thinking while others will forget, but sending a quick follow up text about 1 hour after the date is a thoughtful thing to do. Even if you both clearly had a good time, sending a short message that says so is a nice way to let them know you enjoyed yourself. It’s also a great way to suggest a second date. For example: “I had a great time, I hope we can do it again sometime!”. This let’s them know that you’re serious about wanting to pursue the relationship further.

Once it’s been sent, it’s out of your hands and up to them to text back. If you do not receive a response within one week of your first date, it’s ok to move on; if they want another date, they will text you back.

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