Look for the good in every dating situation. Even if your date doesn’t look like a Calvin Klein model, he might have an incredible sense of humor, a smile that lights up the room, or be a fabulous conversationalist! Use each opportunity to meet someone new and to hone your dating skills.
Take your time. Don’t let yourself immediately fall for the wrong person! I know, I know, that sexy Frenchman Jean-Paul is all but irresistible with those full pouty lips, ringlets, and delicious accent! It takes all of your strength not to quit your job and show up at his door in nothing but a garter belt and high heels with a bottle of wine and a bag of croissants under your arm. But the fact that he is in the country illegally, broke, and kinda has a girlfriend and a wife back in Paris should snap you right back to your senses.
Tame your jitters. Remember that this is just a first date. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself thinking about where the relationship is going. This is a crucial time for learning about your date, so take your time and allow the evening to develop. One of the easiest ways to get thrown off balance is to worry about what the heck your date thinks of you. You should be evaluating your date! Pay attention to what he is saying and doing so that you can decide if he is worthy of you. Women tend to wonder too much on the first date if this person is “the one.” Well, he might be “the one” or he might not, so just have a great time and relax. Tell yourself how special you are, and Mr. Right will show up in your life when the time is right.
Be mysterious. Even if you feel very comfortable with your date and feel like you can talk to him about anything, keep a bit of mystery about you. He doesn’t need to know your whole life story on the first date, especially if you have one of those dramatic backgrounds like so many of us do—the kind that would make for a good independent film starring Courtney Love. The poor guy just wants to have a nice, relaxing evening and a chance to get to know you a bit, not hear about how you suspect that your mother cheated on your father. And don’t go on about how it stressed you out so much that you took up drinking and then ended up in AA. Of course, that is where you met your first roommate who “saved” you so you became born again, which is why you vowed not to have sex until you were married. But then you met a rocker with a Jesus tattoo on his arm and was sure it was a “sign” . . . and on and on we go. (All of this is a true story, by the way, told to one of my clients within ten minutes of ordering the appetizers.) You get my point. If you reveal too much too soon, there won’t be a second date, if that’s what you were hoping for.
Be open to someone who doesn’t fit your usual profile of the perfect man. I know that we all have our “dream man” pictured in our head. “He must be over six feet five.” “If he doesn’t make at least a million a year, I won’t meet him.” “I don’t date Scorpios or Virgos.” “I would never date an attorney.” Be a tad bit more open-minded, and you may discover that a 5'9" man is a lot easier to access for smooching, or that the Scorpio who you just gave a chance to has a Libra moon and has you over the moon in love. Or that handsome young attorney that you almost turned down is suddenly making a great case on why he’s such a great catch! You never know what package your soul mate is going to arrive in. Be flexible, and you just might be pleasantly surprised.