The first date is as exciting as it’s decisive. As they say, it’s make or break time. Here are some tips to get the odds in your favour.
1. Looking neat and nice. Before meeting with your date, make sure you’re neat as a pin. Remember that you only have one chance to make a good first impression, which according to several experts, happens in the first seven seconds of a meeting.
2. Arriving on time. Punctuality is a sign of respect. It’s therefore better to arrive ten minutes in advance than two minutes late.
3. Planning a first date. Choose the activity you plan for your first date carefully. Make sure this choice reflects your personality. By being at ease, you will make a better impression. Stepping out of your comfort zone to impress a person is not recommended.
4. Switching to silent mode. Nothing is more rude than answering your phone or to a text while on a date. Your messages can wait unless you’re on call as a first responder or caregiver. In this case, inform the other person at the beginning of the date, then apologize before you leave if you were to receive one of these calls. Answer quickly and return to your date.
5. No offence in being politically correct. You don’t have to agree on everything, but it’s best to remain courteous when disagreeing. No one is indifferent to rudeness and arrogance.
6. Drinking with moderation. Alcohol can lower our inhibitions, make us spout nonsense and act foolishly. Be careful not to exceed your alcohol consumption limits. If it’s hard to limit yourself, you’d better not drink.
7. Practising your listening skills. Don’t monopolize the conversation. A date is a time of exchange and discovery. The need to detail the story of your life, achievements, sorrows or frustrations is not the goal. Try to find a balance between talking and listening. Religion, politics and your past relationships aren’t favourable topics. Choose safer subjects such as travel stories, movies or books you love, or a project you’re working on.
8. Being your authentic self. Don’t try to reflect a personality other than your own. If the person you meet loves golf and you hate it, it’s better to express kindly that this activity is not one of your favourites rather than accepting an invitation to play it. Be as true to yourself as possible. Laying your cards on the table right away forces the other to know who you are and not who you claim to be.
9. Chivalry, please. Women appreciate and will always appreciate a man who helps them put on their coats or walks them back to their car. These little gestures are a valued, especially if they’re offered in kindness and without effort. However, if it’s a far cry from your personality, don’t try to score points by over doing it.
10. Offering simple decency. The following day, it’s a good form to send a quick thank you note. If you enjoyed your meeting, take the opportunity to propose a second outing in the following days. However, if the first date is inconclusive, don’t leave the other one in the dark. Thank the person for the pleasant moment or just find the right words to say that you prefer end it there.
Generally, we know whether a date went well or not. When in doubt, it might be a good thing to give the person a second chance. If you’re looking for a serious relationship, speed dating or furtive encounters hardly offer the real opportunity to know someone.
In retrospect, ask yourself if the person seemed shy, nervous or reluctant at the first meeting. These personality traits can mask the reality of this first impression. Who knows? The second date could run very smoothly and reveal an unsuspected facet of their personality.