Primarily, dating is about finding out who you are and who the other person is; in its purest form, it is auditioning for mating, and auditioning means we may or may not get the part. People who met at work, on the bus, on campus, in a mall or supermarket, or simply get introduced by a mutual friend most times would decide to go on their first formal date usually in a restaurant or other fun places in other to know more about their potential partner. However, internet is now in the mix as we have seen, and few weeks back a guy proposed to his girlfriend via twitter, of course they met on twitter before deciding to go on their first date; and as they say, the rest is history.
From searching for that perfect outfit, to hunting for ways to be engaging and impress, to dissecting each detail when it’s over to check for mistakes; first date can make even the most confident person lose his cool. So today, we will check out few things we should do or should not do on a first date.
Just as important as asking great, open-ended questions is, how you listen to your date when he or she is talking is equally important, as listening skills are more than just waiting for your turn to talk. Try to keep the conversational back-and-forth flowing by showing interest in your date’s answers, also pay attention to your own body language; good listeners have open posture as well as open ears. You can lean in a bit as your date is speaking, nod in understanding, and if you can, briefly paraphrase your date’s answers as encouragement to keep her or him talking.
Being honest is one of the most important things you can do to help a first date go well. Be honest about who you are, what you do, what you like, and do not try to be what you think your date will like because in the end, you want him or her to like who you really are, not who you pretend to be. And that can include everything from the type of music you like, to whether or not you have kids. Though some people always try to hide the fact that they have kids from previous relationship(s); I think your date will not like that if he/she finds out about the kids after you guys eventually become lovers.
BUT HOLD A LITTLE BACK
While you need to be honest and open, don’t overdo it. Don’t be too open about your plans for a relationship future with him/her on the first date. It is okay to meet a person for the first time, and they fit perfectly into the picture of who you want to spend the rest of your life with, but do not say it to them on a first date or even first few dates, you could be shooting yourself in the foot.
DON’T BE OVER FLIRTATIOUS
When we’re attracted to, or comfortable with another person, we often unconsciously send out some flirty gestures and body language, which is not a bad idea. Flirting with your date allows you to share details about yourself in a humorous yet intimate way, making eye contact, smiling and lightly touching your date’s arm are great non-verbal cues to show attraction. But, be sure to do this subtly, or your flirty behavior may seem downright awkward and you might be sending the wrong signals, especially if the other person is still sizing you up.
DO NOT PATRONISE YOUR DATE
It is good to give complimentary and honest remarks about your date, but it is important not to overdo it or to sound too patronising. If she has a nice smile or lovely hairdo, say it as it is, do not say ‘you look like an angel’ or ‘you are the most beautiful woman to ever walk this planet called earth’ as some may consider such statements patronising.
DON’T GO FOR THE MOST EXPENSIVE MEAL
I was introduced to a girl by a friend of mine years ago, and we decided to meet up in a restaurant close to where she lived. Aside ordering ice cream and food for herself, she ordered for 2 extra bowls of ice cream and 2 take-away packs of food, needless to say that was the last time I ever saw her. So, I repeat, DO NOT go for the most expensive meal on the menu or order for your friends and loved ones back home especially when you are not the one paying. You would not present yourself in a good light if you do so and your date might just as well dump you while you are still munching your meal.
LEAVE THE EXES OUT
If you don’t have a relationship at the moment or you just got out of one, simply say so; don’t go on rambling about how much of a jerk or a whore your ex was. In other words, don’t bad-mouth them, simply say, we broke up over irreconcilable differences, especially on a first date. You can share all the details later when you become lovers.
DUMP THE GADGETS
Constantly checking your mobile phone or tablet during a date is one of the quickest ways to make someone feel uncomfortable. Playing with your phone or chatting away on your bbm sends the signal that you’re not interested in your date. If you have an important call to take, inform your date courteously that you need to pick that call and once you are done, keep the phone away. Even if there are no sparks, be courteous, pay attention to the conversation and offer a goodnight handshake when the date is over or a hug if you are both comfortable with it.
In this time and age especially, be conscious of protecting yourself especially if you don’t know your date too well or if you guys met on social media and you are meeting in person for the first time. Let your friends or some close confidants know where you are going, when you are meant to return and if possible, give them information about who you are meeting. Never assume anything.
In conclusion, going on a date should be an enjoyable, relaxing and interesting experience for both parties. No one should be unusually anxious about what the other party may or may not do properly. So, be yourself and have fun with it without freaking your date out. Best of Luck!