Smarter First Dates

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After many years of dating, I have found there to be several important fundamental rules to help make dating a more productive and positive experience for you and your date. While we all have different styles / modes when going on dates and there are lots of variables to consider, I believe that the following rules should be applied on every first date:

  1. First Date Rule of Thumb: Always choose a place to meet that is as stress-free as possible, which means that you should ONLY meet for a drink or cup of coffee. Always avoid a longer, drawn-out meal for the first date. A drink or coffee meeting is simple, easy and stress-free for both parties. While sipping your coffee or drink, you can comfortably chat and get to know one another. If it feels right, you can always plan a dinner (meal) date for your second date, or if it’s early enough, go for a meal after the coffee or drink (spontaneous option). If, on the other hand, the date is not a good match, you can simply part ways without having invested too much time, energy or money. The coffee / drink date is even more important when meeting lots of new people (lots of first dates) particularly via online dating.
  2. Be Prepared and Ask lots of questions: First of all, arrive at the date with some knowledge of that person in mind. Whether it’s simple data from their online profile, or something else that you about that person (from previous conversations, etc.), always know something about that person and use it to provoke relevant questions and conversations. And be careful not to confuse data about this particular date from others that just happened or are pending. You will also hopefully find some shared experiences, background or other data point that suggests you have common interests or experiences – critical for deciding whether to continue dating this person or not. Be as inquisitive as possible, talk less about yourself and find out more about your date. This process stokes conversation, helps you get a lot of information about the other person and quickly establishes whether you have good chemistry. Conversation that starts with questions and quickly flows into tangents and lively dialogue is very positive. Talk about yourself only when asked and be sure you listen attentively. Woman like men who are good listeners.
  3. Other important rules:
    1. Meet the girl at the date venue for the first date – it’s less stressful to the girl, less formal and makes it easy to part ways after the date if it’s not going well.
    2. Dress respectfully – you don’t need to be fancy, but dress in a way that suggests you actually care.
    3. Wait to order – if you arrive early, wait for your date to arrive before you order. And, let you date order first.
    4. Keep eye contact – regardless of other distractions on the bar or coffee shop, pay attention to your date. And, especially, do not look at other girls while on your date. Your date notices a lot more than you might think.
    5. Pay – always pick up the tab. Remember what your parents taught you and be a gentleman! Regardless of whether you plan to go on a second date, you should always pick up the tab. If you continue dating, there’s plenty of time for the girl to offer to pay, but you should always pay in the early dates.
    6. After the date: If you don’t plan on calling the girl again, don’t falsely suggest that you will. NEVER try and kiss the girl after the first date. At most, hug at the end of the date and be a gentleman. There’s plenty of time to kiss and be affectionate if the dating progresses.

Good luck dating! Regardless if you’re dating or already married, if you agree or disagree with the above, please share your comments.

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