“Think about it: On a first date what do you really have to lose? You’ll be less nervous if you take yourself out of the hot seat and remember you are also deciding whether or not this person is a good fit for you.”
And how to land a second one
You’re driving to this cozy Italian restaurant downtown. You have your best suit on. The occasion: meeting your stunning and smart colleague for a candlelight dinner. It’s a date. You want to feel confident, but you can’t get rid of a weird feeling in your stomach. First dates can be scary. But it’s important to make the most of them.
Jonathan Bennett, Columbus, Ohio-based dating coach, told Rewire Me, “First dates are important because they are the first romantic impression you make with another person.” Bennett adds, “And, studies show that first impressions, whatever the context, are extremely important. Around half of an opinion about another person is formed instantly.”
Want to have a great first date? Here are five mistakes to avoid:
Mistake #1 – Sounding desperate
Some people literally go out looking for a spouse on their first date. “Rather than relaxing and being mindful of the actual date, they think way too much about the possible future outcome,” Bennett says. “The best attitude for a first date is to be detached, fun, and confident.” Tip: Focus on making light-hearted conversation and just getting to know the other person.
Mistake #2 – Tooting your own horn
Everyone has at least one horror tale about a date that just didn’t shut up. Terri Orbuch – relationship expert and author of Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship – says in an interview with Rewire Me, “Don’t spend the entire first date talking about yourself.” Get your date to open up by asking fun questions about their music preferences or travel experiences. “Someone who asks questions is seen as interesting and attractive on first dates,” Orbuch explains.
Mistake #3 – Trying too hard to impress
It can be hard to focus on a date because so much of your brain power goes into mulling over whether you are making a good impression or not. According to Tina Tessina, licensed psychotherapist and author of Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences, “One of the easiest ways to lose your objectivity and balance in this is to worry about what your date thinks about you.” Tessina says, “You’re supposed to be evaluating the other person, not thinking, positively or negatively, about yourself. Pay attention so you know what you think of your date.”
Mistake #4 – Revealing too much
This is a cardinal sin of first dates. Remember that girl who went into a tirade about her last relationship on a first date? A put off, right? “On a first date, people make the mistake of laying it all on the table, the good and the bad, so the date knows everything,” Orbuch says. “Instead, reveal things about yourself gradually. People who tell too much too soon are seen as overwhelming and burdensome.” If you hit it off with this person, you will have plenty of opportunities to reveal different facets of your personality to them over subsequent dates.
Mistake #5 – You don’t take risks
It’s important to find common ground to make a conversation go smoothly. But if you want to score a second date, don’t forget to take risks and spice things up a little bit. “Creating chemistry is more than just discussing common interests over a meal,” Bennet explains. “If you ignore things like being flirtatious, you may end up as ‘just a friend’ as opposed to ‘second date’ material,” he says. So, don’t hesitate to get a little naughty.
First dates can lead to long-term relationships or may end up being one-offs. Whatever the case, just remember to put your best foot forward, and have fun.