As a former matchmaker, I would receive followup from each client after they went out on their first date. The most common negative comments agreed with the recent study by the Bowes-Lyon Partnership dating agency. The National Student article revealed that nonstop, self-center chatter sent the date quickly to the do-not-call-me-back list. Guys who talk about how wonderful they are from the first bite of antipasto to the last crumb of the tiramisu is a big turn off for women. Opening up about yourself is positive; not having the grace to care about what makes her tick will not lead to date number two.
Granted, most people are a little nervous on a first date and my advice before two people met was to give each other a little considerate for the jitters. However, one can prepare for that important first impression, having a plan of safe topics to reveal and engaging questions to ask your date.
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Good first date etiquette includes:
Refraining from horror past date stories. Really, you do have more in common than sharing war tales about dates gone bad. This includes former flames, exes, custody battles, stalkers and any former relationship that left you heartbroken, mad, sad, or a little freaked out. Keep the conversation light because the first meeting in person is all about leaving a feel-good impression with each other. You want to be excited about date number two and not wonder about their relationship decision making skills or vice versa.
Listen to each other. Take turns sharing a little about yourself; activities you like participate in, creative outlets you are passionate about and career aspirations. The conversation will flow naturally when you both are attentive to what the other is saying instead of thinking about what you want to say when the other stops talking. By staying in the moment, you will find the overall experience more enjoyable.
Don’t be hypersensitive. It is important to listen to your intuition when you dating so you do not get emotionally entangled with someone who will end up pushing all the wrong buttons down the road. On the first date, refrain from overreacting to anything innocently said to you. Your date cannot possibly know what areas are sensitive to you when you are just starting the process of getting acquainted. Relax and go with the mindset that you will have an enjoyable time, regardless if it’s a hit or a miss connection.
Tone down the drama. Just because you have a captive audience does not mean you need to share life's inconveniences. Your date does not want to hear that your car broke down for the fifth time this month, you hate working for such a mean boss and had a spat with your best friend.
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First dates are wonderful opportunities to open new doors to love that may lead to commitment down the road. Taking the time to prepare for a positive experience will prevent you from potentially sabotaging an introduction that may have a bright future.
Nancy Pina is a highly recognized author, relationship coach and speaker. She is dedicated to helping individuals attract emotionally healthy relationships through her practical, Christian-based advice. Visit here for articles, exercises, coaching options and recent books.