First dates may be stressful or fun, depending on your confidence and experience. Although dating has transformed with the advance of social media, the same old people skills are still necessary. Just like our grandparents, who met in the offline era, we have to see our potential soulmate in person and follow the same etiquette rules.
Today, it is easy to arrange a first date using an app or an adult dating website. However, you will eventually shift from chatting to face-to-face contact, and the following rules may be crucial for ensuring success.
Be ready for dialogue.
Never indulge in self-absorption. If your ego clearly outweighs your interest in the partner, they will run for the hills. Of course, lengthy monologues may be caused by anxiety and stress, but this is easily misconstrued. Correcting poor social skills takes practice. Hence, if you are prone to nervousness, allow yourself time to prepare. Study your date’s online profile and think of possible questions beforehand. Draw up a list if you need to. Ask them about their passions and hobbies, your mutual interests and the things they enjoy. When asked about yourself, keep the information reasonably detailed and positive. Show genuine curiosity and do not elaborate too much.
Focus on the here and now
Do not give a litany of ways in which your ex has wronged you. This will only make you sound bitter and unprepared for another romance. Do not get hung up on the past. After all, you are both here to enjoy the evening and possibly start a relationship. So think about the future and savor the moment. Besides, nobody wants to imagine the people you used to sleep with. Of course, you may be asked such questions, but stick to some general facts. Take the opportunity to learn about your potential partner. Focus on the human in front of you and do not dwell on the past.
Avoid overly personal subjects
Basic rules for small talk apply, so be discreet and choose your topics wisely. A date must never feel like a psychoanalysis session, so do not force the partner to open up about their family drama. Naturally, their background is important, but the conversation will be safe with non-threatening questions like “What is your family like?”. This way, your date will say what they are truly willing to tell you. Remember to show appreciation of their honesty if they happen to delve into personal matters, but never push them there.
Although social norms are changing and people are more open about sex, it remains a first-date taboo subject. Your partner knows that you might be imagining having sex with them, but discussions of sexual positions are hardly appealing. Unless you are both consciously looking for a fling, it will only intimidate the other person. Hence, talking about sex and suggesting meeting at your place are recipes for disaster. You may feel drawn to each other physically, but keep your lips sealed.
Watch your manners
Never disregard the importance of social etiquette. First impressions are critical, so be considerate and punctual. Do not make your date wait for you or change your arrangements at short notice. Rudeness to waiters and other service staff is perceived as a red flag. Thus, remember to be a true gentleman if you are a man, and be a true lady if you are a woman. An insightful person will deduce a lot from your behavior and body language. Do not forget to treat others with the same respect as you treat your partner. People who make insulting remarks to waiters have a mean streak and crave control over others. Often, these individuals have no power in their lives but desperately wish they had.
Most importantly, keep calm. A first date is your first face-to-face interaction with your potential soulmate. Indeed, many things can go wrong, but preparation is key. Being relaxed and psychologically ready will prevent most common problems. It is always better to learn from the blunders of others, so bear in mind these simple tips for a fun and enjoyable evening.