Simplify your expectations.
date is not about determining if this person is your “true love”
or life partner. That usually requires a little longer than one meeting!
So take the pressure off yourself and your date.
client of mine recently shared this realization with me, “The
purpose of a first date is simply to discover if you are interested
enough to have a second date.” That’s it!
wasn’t built in a day and neither is a relationship. Keep your
expectations simple on a first date and there will be much more of
“you” available to relate.
Plan some conversation-starters.
you are “first date” shy and you worry about those yawning,
awkward silences. If so, prepare some conversation-starters in advance.
Think of some questions that you can ask a date that will help you
get to know them.
always start with some general topics, that aren’t TOO personal,
Movies: “Are you a movie buff?” “Seen any good movies
lately?” “What’s one of your all-time favorite movies?”
• Books: “Do you like to read?” “What kinds
of reading do you enjoy?” “What’s the best book
you’ve read in the past year?”
• Travel: “Do you enjoy travel?” “Where have
you gone?” “What place(s) did you find the most interesting
conversation progresses, you may want to ask more personal questions,
to see what interests the two of you may share:
Work: “What do you do work-wise?” “What do you love
most about your work?” “What’s the most rewarding/challenging
aspect of your work?”
Activities/Interests: “What do you love to do outside of work?”
“How do you like to spend your free time?” “What
are some of your favorite activities?”
• Background: “Where are you from originally?” “What
brought you here?” “Is your family here or elsewhere?”
“Are you from a big or small family?”
brainstorm more questions in areas that particularly interest you.
Having a few questions on the tip of your tongue can help quell those
fears of shyness or awkward pauses.
Put your attention on putting your date at ease, and take it off your
date is likely experiencing a similar anxiety. For instance:
Are you afraid of saying or doing the “wrong” thing?
• Are you worried about being judged as deficient in some way?
• Are you anxious that you might be rejected?
date is probably worried about all the same things. For many singles,
a first date is anything but fun. It is akin to jumping off a diving
board, without knowing what critters may lurk in the waters below.
It takes courage – no matter how many times you’ve done
it. (Or BECAUSE of how many times you’ve done it!)
that your date is equally at risk – even if they cover it up
with bravado or excessive chatter, as opposed to shyness and silence.
Focus on making it easier for her/him, and you’ll reduce your
own anxiety in the process. Compassion is an important dating ingredient
– for you AND for the other person.
Rehearse some exit lines.
hear about two big worries on a first date. The first worry is “What
do I say if I like him/her and I want to see him/her again?”
The second worry is “What do I say if I DON’T want to
see him/her again?”
the key is to have some options in mind, so you know what you can
say in either of these situations. (The following suggestions are
examples only. Use wording and language that is authentic for you.
scenario (when you WANT to see them again) is often the easiest. Some
“I’ve really enjoyed our time together and I’d enjoy
getting together again. Here’s my card.”
• “I’d love to see you again and I wonder if you’d
like to go to a movie/have lunch/go out for dinner, etc?”
scenario (when you DON’T WANT to see the person again) may require
a little more preparation. You can simply refrain from showing any
interest in another meeting. This may be sufficient, if your date
doesn’t directly express an interest either.
if he or she asks to get together again, you will need to respond
clearly. Perhaps you can say something sincerely positive, while still
making it clear that you don’t wish to meet again. Some options
Thank-you for spending this time with me today, however I’d
rather not get together again.
• I enjoyed your sense of humour/stories about your travels;
however I don’t think we’re a good fit.
in your communication. And remember: You are not responsible for your
know this person isn’t a match for you, it’s better (and
easier) to say “no” in the early stages of dating, before
expectations and bonds are formed.
are many kinds of people in the world and you won’t to be attracted
to them all, nor will they all be attracted to you. You don’t
have to explain or justify your preferences – and neither do
they. Your responsibility is to be clear.