So you've plucked up the courage to start dating again. But it's been a while since you had to think about getting to know somebody, romantically. Or perhaps you've been on loads of dates recently, but can't seem to meet the right person?
Dating Do's and Dont's
Banish first date jitters with these tips for romance
So you've plucked up the courage to start dating again. But it's been a while since you had to think about getting to know somebody, romantically. Or perhaps you've been on loads of dates recently, but can't seem to meet the right person? First impressions count. Nervous yet? Well, don't be, because with a little planning beforehand, you can breeze through the occasion - and make sure you get a second date.
Take the initiative. Whether you're deciding which wine to order, or which film to watch - don't be afraid to state your opinion; your likes and dislikes count. Of course, don't be bossy, though! Try to strike a happy medium of offering your opinion at some points, then letting your date decide at other points. You can take charge of a date by asking questions that will give you a glimpse into your date's character. But don't ask anything you wouldn't be willing to answer yourself!
Over-share. While it's good to get to know each other, bombarding your date with your life's history might be too much too soon for a first date. Keep personal details private until you know this stranger better. Ex-partners are off limits for a first date. Nobody wants to hear about what a loser your ex was as they are trying to muster up some romance. You should be looking to move forward, anyway, not back. As long as you are single - that's all he/she needs to know on the first date. Likewise, don't bore your date with endless tales of how adorable your children are - talk about yourself, instead. Avoid talking about sex on a first date - this is a date, not a hook-up. You're here to, hopefully, start a meaningful relationship, avoiding this topic shows you are both serious about getting serious - romantically.
Prepare. Unless you are an effortlessly witty and charming person with endless easy conversation on the tip of your tongue - you need to prepare for the date. There's no shame in thinking about five or six topics of conversation you might discuss during the date. You could talk about music, films, food, your ideal job, your ideal holiday or favourite book. These sorts of questions might sound a bit pedestrian but, in fact, they will give you a good insight into your date's personality. So you can figure out whether he/she is suited to you.
Panic. There's no point. Either it will go well, or it won't. Being calm will make the date more likely to go well, though, as you'll put your partner at ease. You want to present yourself as a desirable person not as a drama queen, so keep your cool. Dressing in clothes that make you feel comfortable but look like you've make a bit of an effort will help you feel in control and calmer. Think smart but also relaxed in your dressing and you'll be fine.
Talk positive. Emphasise your strengths, not your weaknesses. Talk about the good things, the interesting things and the exciting things that have happened in your life. It's a first date not a life history. Your date wants to know about what interests you and fires you up. Don’t talk about how unfair life has been - you'll kill off the romance from the start. Equally, you are not the victim of a previous bad marriage, financial problems or career injustices. If you do feel you are a victim, you are not ready to date. You need to sort out your emotional issues before you look for love.
Brag. While it's good to talk positive about yourself, nobody likes a bragger. So don't rattle on about how much money you have, your wonderful house and how nobody can believe you are still single. That's just embarrassing.
Be polite and considerate. This means taking an interest in what your date is saying - and listening. Whether you get a second date will hinge on how interested you are in the person with you, so make an effort. However tempting, don't drink too much alcohol. You want to make a good impression - not come away with a hazy one!
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