Some people talk about dates like they are a job interview. If your dates feel like work, you’re doing it wrong. While it can be a bit nerve-racking to prepare for and go out on a date, it doesn’t have to be such a trauma filled anxiety producing experience. Here are some tips on how to have the best date ever.
I sure hope they like me
First and foremost keep in mind that they are just as nervous as you are. While you’re sitting at home getting ready for your date wondering if they’ll like you, odds are they’re wondering if you’ll like them. It’s a universal truth that humans want to be liked and accepted, no matter how much bravado they have. Deep down inside, we’re all that little kid on the first day of school hoping we will be liked and invited to join the group. So don’t go into the date worrying if they will like you, just work on being you.
What do I say?
One of the most awkward things about dates is figuring out what to say. It’s good to come prepared with some topic ideas. I don’t mean bring note cards and a PowerPoint presentation, but do give thought to what you might like to talk about. If you met online review their profile before the date and see if it sparks some conversation ideas. It always works in your favor when you show that you actually read their profile and have interest in what they wrote. But remember, that asking them about themselves isn’t the same as giving them the third degree, it is about inviting the conversation to flow.
If you can’t think of any questions to ask them about themselves, consider some open ended conversation starters. For instance: Do they like to travel? What kind of movies do they like do they like? Have they been to any interesting shows, concerts or festivals lately? The topics are endless. The point is to ask questions and then leave room for their answers. No matter what topics you choose, the point is to find ways keep the conversation flowing. That means talking AND listening.
The silence is deafening
There is nothing worse than long silences on a date. But those silences can also help you determine if you have similar communication styles. I find that if I have to drag a conversation out of someone, it’s a pretty good indication that we won’t work. But, when conversation flows it might be a clue that there could be something there. Generally, when the conversation has forward momentum, it’s because the two people communicate in similar ways and have similar communication cues. Both good things if you are hoping to have a relationship with them.
If you’re really worried about how to keep the conversation moving there are numerous websites and books about conversation starters and icebreakers. I don’t necessarily recommend pulling one of those books out on the date, but it might be something that’s helpful to read beforehand .Then again pulling out a book on ice breakers might just help break the ice.
Leave your expectations at the door
While it’s hard not to have some preconceived notions about someone that you’re going on a date with, try to keep it to a minimum. If you have expectations about how your date should behave or what they should say, be aware that your new date may not come equipped with the same expectations that you do. Their interpretation, rules and expectations for dating are sure to differ a little or a lot from yours. Not everyone has the same guidebook as you do for love, so don’t be surprised if all your expectations aren’t met. Also, make sure that they aren’t preventing you from enjoying a date because you’re hung up the unspoken expectations of your own personal dating etiquette.
Go into a date with a relaxed attitude. Being anxious and on high alert is no fun for anyone. Remember that you’re there to have fun and get to know a new person. Don’t put a bunch of pressure on yourself or the your date for perfection, fireworks and a path to happily ever after. If you really need a goal for the date, aim to have an enjoyable experience getting to know someone new.
Don’t forget to smile. This is a date not a root canal.
If you show up to a date prepared to have fun, ready for lively conversation and remember they have the same hope to be liked, you’ll have no problem. Dates don’t have to feel like job interview. Every date holds the potential to become a relationship, start a great new friendship or is simply an opportunity to spend time with someone new. Come with an open mind and leave with another valuable experience under your belt to get you that much closer to love…and don’t forget to smile.
Cija Black is a love expert, author, blogger, online educator and host of the “Love Bombs” podcast. For more information about Cija, the books, class or podcast, visit modernloveguide.com