When you go out on a first date you should approach it with a positive attitude. But there is such a thing as too much of a positive attitude. Positive they are are perfect for you, positive that you are soul mates, positive that they are “The One”. If you find yourself thinking in these terms, dial it back a few notches and step away from the wedding registry gun. For two simple reasons: (1) aiming that kind of enthusiasm at a person you’ve just met freaks them out and turns them off (2) Until you meet face-to-face you really don’t have a full picture of who they are.
I would gladly exceed my minutes for you
First dates are supposed to be a low-key meeting of two people getting together to see if there are any in-person sparks. Yes, yes I’m sure you have chatted endlessly online, exchanged adorable texts and have exceeded your cell plan with those five-hour-soul-baring conversations. That is all very awesome. They may very well be a match, but let that discovery unfold naturally during the date instead of forcing the issue and scaring them off.
Beautiful emails do not make a relationship
In my 20 years of dating one thing I can tell you is to never judge a book by it’s cover, or a man by his emails and texts. There were many guys who wrote me beautiful flowery emails but could barely string two sentences together in person. There were also many who seemed secure and confident online and then showed up unable to make eye contact and were clearly uncomfortable in their own skin. None of which I found appealing and encouraged me to hold of our determining our our status as soul-mates.
Some Do’s and Don’ts to keep your excitement at bay:
Before the date:
- Do get excited about a first date, have a positive attitude and an open mind.
- Don’t start rearranging your furniture to make room for their stuff and tell people to “save the date”.
- Do re-read your dates profile shortly before the date if you met them online. It may provide some valuable topics to discuss or remind you of things you want to ask about.
- Don’t memorize their profile or print it out and sleep with it under your pillow.
During the date:
- Do ask what they are interested in and passionate about. Keep your conversation in the present.
- Don’t fill the conversation with future plans for the two of you and how you want to introduce them to your parents (that actually happened to me).
- Do be a good listener and enjoy the conversation.
- Don’t give them the third degree. If you have key things that are deal breakers for you (Kids yes/no, cat or dog person, smoker/nonsmoker, serial killer/upstanding citizen) bring them up in a fun, light way. It’s better to know those things sooner then later and save you both some time.
So, when will I see you again?
Hopefully you will make it through the date without blurting out the names of your future children and you’ll have some sense if there are any sparks. Don’t push for a second date on the first date. Go back to your respective corners. Let the meeting digest a bit and consider if you were getting the right signals and feeling the right vibe. If you had a great time let them know by sending them a fun text or quick email the following day that just lets them know you look forward to the opportunity to see them again. Notice I said “a” text/email not 5 of them in the immediate 12 hours after your first date.
Let that first date marinate, listen to your gut and think about what you observed in their words and body language. I suspect that if you’re really present and paying attention to how the date went, you’ll know what to do.