Correspondent Cabral Richards, relationship expert Ashley Howe, and Wilder Weir team up to discuss first dates.
The First Date Manual
First Date Do’s!!
1. Lighten up, it’s just a date!!! Be Positive/Fun/Laugh at their jokes!!
Even if you have heard the joke 100 times or more (or it just isn't funny at all) laughing along with your date will make your date feel you are interested in him/her. It will at least make your date feel more comfortable with the situation which in turn will lighten the tension and allow you to be yourself and to see more of what your date is really like as they will have relaxed a little. The best way to disallow someone from actually being themselves is to make them feel uncomfortable, and to INCREASE the tension by being a stick in the mud when they are tying to be funny!
It is always polite to give a laugh. To laugh at his/her jokes and humor will show the appreciation you have for the efforts they made to make the date interesting. So give him/her a laugh, without being over the top or making it look fake or forced. Try to have fun. Your life does not hang in the balance. It’s just a date. All you’re really doing is hanging out for a few hours with a new acquaintance. Lighten up.
Enjoy the date - A date is a chance to get to know each other and to enjoy yourselves. Have fun during the date. Try not to be hyper-critical and just take things in stride. If you're not having fun, your date will notice and, trust me, he will get nervous which will probably start ruining the experience for both of you. Also, just let your guard down for a little while. Let him see the real you. He may or may not like it, but in the end he will appreciate the honesty of the act. Besides, if he doesn't like you for you, why should you keep on dating?
2. Be the best version of you!!!: Bring something to the table, don’t be a boring!!
Be yourself - You won’t fool anyone by pretending to be someone you are not, but because none of us are the same person, we are ALL interesting!! Be yourself. Let me amend that to be your best self.
This is not the time to admit to all the vulnerabilities and insecurities that regularly beset you, nor to share the story of how the shock of catching your fiancé in bed with your brother landed you in a mental institution. Try out the tried-and-true tales that showcase your sweet and sparkling personality!
But don’t Try to be someone you are not -If you eat meat and he’s a vegetarian, fess up to your carnivorous ways. Ditto if you’re a two-pack-a-day gal and he’s a non-smoker. The truth will always out eventually: Sooner is truly better than later. But, be unapologetic about who you are! Have a great story ready about how you became a vegetarian or why you are a meat eater!! Don’t just say who you are, tell a story about it!
BE YOUR BEST VERSION OF YOU! This is your chance to really shine or to really blow it. Rather than take that as a pressure-filled few hours, use it as an opportunity to be your best self. If there’s any chance you want to have a future with the person sitting across the table, tell the truth about yourself (without spewing too many details about your horrible childhood and even if it means fessing up about how you fudged your online profile).
Be nice - Have a positive attitude, find things that you like and tell him. Compliment him about his clothes, how he looks and how well the date is going. It puts him at ease and also makes him feel important. It also shows him that you're taking notice of him and you appreciate him. But, don't lie. Like I said, look at the bright side of things - the service of the restaurant may have been slow but the ambience was terrific. Try making it into a habit, you aren't lying - you're just being diplomatic!
CONFIDENCE IS ATTRACTIVE!
Focus on what you can control...you!! Be your best..cant control if he is boring etc...
How can you be the best version of you??
Do prepare by taking good care of yourself the day of the date!! This will increase the chance that you will feel confident in yourself!!
Give yourself some time to put yourself first before you give your full attention to your date.
Do whatever it is that will help you feel better in your body and give you a confidence boost. That does mean working out, not rushing to get ready, putting on some power jewelry, being sure your best jeans are ready to go, maybe even getting a manicure, taking a nap, getting a pep talk from a friend, or arriving a bit early to scope the place out before your date arrives
Being confident includes NOT SELF REJECTING!!! Don't "self reject." Deciding that someone is out of your league and failing to make a move will ensure you never get rejected or accepted. Why? Because you rejected yourself first!
3. BE SAFE AND KEEP YOUR HEAD ON STRAIGHT!
Yes, we all know dates are supposed to be fun, but knowing what's going on is important both for your own safety and for you love life. Is your date acting suspicious or just nervous? Maybe you'd want to end the date early or do something to calm him down. Is he taking notice of what you're wearing or just ogling? The choice to either wink at him or just stare knowingly is up to you. Is his attention on you or the girl next to you? You might wish to reward him with a smile or a slap. Situational awareness is not just for soldiers on the front but also for young women on the prowl.
Do be safe. Set up a check-in system with someone you trust -- your brother, a friend, another single person who gets it. Text them with relevant information, like your date's name and where you're meeting, and let them know you've gotten home safely. Be sure you have a taxi app or phone number already in your phone. Don't do something ridiculous like drive if you plan to drink. Do meet somewhere public in an area you are familiar with or can easily navigate. Don't trust someone just because they are attractive, clean-cut, or seem to be honest and nice. Don't put yourself in a vulnerable, isolated situation with a virtual stranger (knowing someone for a few hours or microbrews doesn't count). While you might be tempted to run off to someone's apartment and ravage each other, know that your safety is critical and holding off a bit is seriously better than satiating your first-date impulses.
4. What a difference 7 seconds can make!!!
When you meet someone face to face...93% of how you are judged is based on non-verbal data!
Make eye contact!!
This may sound like a simple point, but too often daters are nervous or in a hurry, and don’t focus immediately upon the person who has taken time out of their day to simply meet them. Show your date you appreciate their effort, look at them and say hello when you arrive, rather than looking around for a table (or an escape!)
- Making eye contact on a date is very important. It makes the other person feel important.
Eye contact says that you are paying attention and are interested, if you lean forward it shows that you are engaged in what they are saying
- Smiling shows that you are positive, willing to have fun and are happy that they took the time to come to meet you.
- Express some form of a thank you!
- Use their name in first 7 seconds!!
- Dust off those shoes and pay attention to your hair!!
What about the 7% that is not nonverbal??
Well, a good place to start upon meeting someone right away is to use their name as soon as possible, shake their hand while making eye contact and say express a thank you for coming to meet me...or a thank you for meeting in the spot you chose for instance.
People like to hear their own name. When you say a person’s name in first 12 words, you are sending the message that you value that person, and nothing gets someone’s attention more than calling them by name!!
Upon meeting, people look (some more subtly than others) from your head to your feet. In that case, don’t put off getting that much needed hair cut, and be sure your shoes (even if they are not the most expensive or trendy of shoes) are well maintained and clean looking!
Be sure to give your date a nice compliment- whether it be on their hair, clothes, smile or whatever you personally notice. Giving compliments will show your date that you cared enough to take the time to observe the efforts they made in putting themselves together.
But don’t over-do-it with the compliments!! It's not cool to keep complimenting on the same thing over and over again!! So give a nice compliment that is not too personal like, nice shoes, coat, scarf and then move on to show you have interesting things to say and you want to know more about your date than where they got their pretty scarf!
5. Be a Curious George, without the interrogation! People like those who show interest in them and people like to talk about themselves!!
Ask meaningful questions that will give you a glimpse into your date's personality. Listen to your date and provide input into your conversations. The first date is generally an audition for further meetings, so use it to your advantage by trying to find out as much information about your date as possible. You don’t need their life history, but what you do need is to get a sense if this person is someone you’ll want to see again.
Always remember to keep the conversation lighthearted and fun!! Stay away from serious conversations or anything too personal.
- Where did you grow up? What was it like there?
- What is the last book you read?
- Do you like to travel? Favourite place?
- I’m love running, or yoga or dancing....do you? Or what do you like instead?
- You like movies? Talk about actors the latest etc...safe...
Keep the conversation alive - That dreaded silence when no one knows what to say can seem to last for a life time and will make both of you think the other is boring. Jot down a few questions you would like to ask (but don't refer to the list during your date!). Practicing for the date can make quite a bit of difference and once you have started a great conversation, the rest will just follow.
But try not to ask too many serious or really personal questions!
This is your first date and your date may not want to reveal too much about himself/herself just yet. If you like each other and want to continue with the relationship then there will be plenty of time to ask more intimate questions.
6. GIVE THEM A SHOT!-
Do give this person a fair chance. Just because she's wearing the same dress as the mean lady who dumped you while you were on a cruise to Mexico or just because he's obsessed with Radiohead just like Evil David you dated last year doesn't mean she or he is going to shatter your heart like your ex. Find out more about this person before you close off your heart and a potential good thing with snap judgments or comparisons to people who are no longer in your life.
Unless he’s a total boor or potential nutcase, give him another try or two before writing him off! Rush to first date judgment and you’ll have lots and lots of time to regret the hasty rejection of someone who might have been the love of your life.
Finally, set a time limit on the date in advance. This will ease any stress in trying to end the date and allow you to go home and reflect on it to better decide if you'd like asecond meeting.