Let me paint you a picture. . .
You sit on the lumpy lounge chair at the coffee shop, sipping your cappuccino while trying to look occupied reading today's local newspaper, your eyes periodically shifting to the front door of the shop, hoping to catch a quick glance of the man you'll be meeting for the first time. You've had a million first dates, it seems, but the nervous anticipation and excitement always seems to show itself through your sweaty palms and rapid heartbeat. What will this meeting be like? Could he be "The One?"
More from YourTango: Intimacy Freak-Out & Gay Men: Part Two
Even though your blood's pumping at the prospect of meeting someone new, you feel confident and relaxed within yourself as you approach this situation. You've worked hard to be a good, upstanding man and you recognize that you're a "good catch." You're comfortable with who you are and you have a solid vision for what you're looking for in a potential mate, having taken the time to craft a dating plan that emphasizes your personal needs, wants, values, and requirements in a relationship and partner.
Your first date here is an opportunity to meet and get to know a new person with no expectations of outcome. You are going to be yourself, knowing that this isn't about performance, and you'll have a chance to briefly gauge whether this man possesses some of the traits and qualities that you seek in a Mr. Right. Your thoughts are interrupted by the presence of the handsome creature that now stands before you. You both shake hands as you greet, smiles beaming, and he proceeds to sit down to begin the get-to-know-you dialogues.
Who is this man sitting across from you? Is he boyfriend potential? While compatibility largely rests on the goodness-of-fit between the two of you with your relationship visions and attraction/chemistry, this article will pose some provoking questions for you to track the answers for when you begin your dating quests with new people and learn about whether they're your "type" or not.
These questions can act as guideposts through your dating journey. And remember, the answers you obtain do not reflect upon this person as being "good" or "bad." The answers are simply used as a way to help you quickly determine if this individual matches with your personal requirements so that you can make informed choices that will promote your achieving a successful and lasting relationship with your Mr. Right.
More from YourTango: Intimacy Freak-Out & Gay Men: Part One
The First Date Evaluation
Generally speaking, first dates are usually best structured when they're short, focused, and allow for lots of dialogue. Learn as much as you can about this person so you can begin the process of "sizing up" his compatibility with your vision and needs. According to David Steele, founder of the Relationship Coaching Institute, there are four critical skills that singles must possess during their life partner quest. Two of those skills are relevant to our discussion here.