Let’s review some first date do’s and don’ts to help you navigate a bit better.
1. Screen before a first date
Proper screening is incredibly important to avoid wasting your time going on first dates that should never happen in the first place. Anyone who you’re planning on going out with, screen them with a preliminary call before going on the date (a text conversation doesn’t count).
This call will allow you to weed out anyone who isn’t a good fit. The call doesn’t have to be more than 20 minutes.
Ask yourself questions like: is he/she interested in getting to know me? Do I feel a connection? Is the conversation enjoyable and easy? Does he/she seem friendly and interesting? Do we have things in common? Am I getting a good vibe? Listen for red flags.
If he/she won’t agree to speak to you on the phone before the date, don’t go on the date.
2. Do have a positive attitude
I know, I know, much easier said than done but maintain a positive attitude when you’re dating but it will help you tremendously. The negativity will weigh you down and anyone you date will feel that energy. Positive energy attracts positive attention and results. Dating can feel a bit exhausting, but it can be really fun when you have the right strategy.
3. Do have realistic expectations
It’s healthy to have realistic expectations of yourself and anyone you go on a date with. We are all human. A lot of us demand perfection without even realizing it. The perfection we’re looking for is a set standard we’ve made up in our mind. Take a moment to think about whether you’re truly being realistic or not. You should absolutely set the bar high but not so high that no one could reach it.
Also, don’t go into a first date with preconceived notions of how things are going to go or how you might feel. Be open minded and see how you feel.
4. Listen and pay attention
You know the saying, when people tell you who they are believe them. The first date is all about picking up on the obvious and not so obvious, but important things about a person. Pay attention to their quirks, their manners, their body language, how they communicate.
Give yourself time to speak about yourself but also carve out time to truly listen and take in who this person is and if they might be a good fit for you.
5. Do trust your gut
This is one of the biggest and most common mistakes that I see singles make. Often when a client or even a friend breaks up with someone, one of the first things they mention to me is that there were several red flags and they didn’t trust their gut. ALWAYS trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore or bury that feeling, you have the feeling for a reason and it’s a real mistake to ignore it. Explore the feeling and get the facts you need to then make the decision that feels best for you.
6. Do discuss things that matter to you
Talk about things that interest you, something you’re passionate about. When you talk about things that you care about, not only do you seem interesting but you’re also showing different sides of your personality, which is great.
7. Do limit your drinking
We all know our personal limits. I suggest not having more than a drink or two. You want to be clear headed. Getting drunk and possibly doing or saying something that’s not representative of who you are is not worth the risk, especially if you’re on a date with someone who you may have potential with.
I get the appeal of drinking to limit the nervousness or awkwardness, but the alcohol will make it worse, not better.
7. Do remain positive
You want to be careful about what you say and what you emphasize because this will be what your date learns about you. You don’t want to complain about your friends, your career, your family, past relationships. It’s not a good look.
For example, if you’re on a date with someone who says: “My job is pretty boring, I don’t really have close friends, I see my family twice a year for holidays, I like the warm weather so I don’t really know why I live in NY”. That’s a debbie downer right there and not someone you’d choose to be around again.