Going on a date, especially a first date, could well be considered the height of stressful situations. Here, Gareth Gomersall, founder of dating website One2Date, explains how to make it completely chilled …
Whichever way you look at it, preparing for a first date is enough to turn even the coolest of us grown men back into our geeky schoolboy selves asking the girl we’ve fancied all term to dance at the school disco … Scary stuff.
We all KNOW the rules of the dating game; the dos and don’ts, the mistakes we make in our feeble attempts to impress and captivate the mysterious female of the species. And yet the expectations of the first encounter and the enigma that is the first date continue to baffle me. How should I – as a modern man – behave around a modern woman? Is the gentleman approach too much? Should we ‘go Dutch’ or split the bill? I don’t want to offend or belittle the lady now, do I? So just what IS the secret to reaching that elusive date number two?
Well from my experience I can tell you that most importantly you should be yourself and treat your date well. No woman – no matter how independent she is – wants to be treated like ‘one of the boys’ on a first date. So DO hold the door open for her, DO wait for her to sit down before joining her and yes DO pay the bill (or offer at least). Chivalry most certainly is NOT dead. I don’t know any woman who doesn’t enjoy being made to feel special so be the gentleman you are and treat her like the lady she is.
For a little extra confidence however, here are my five tips from pre-launch feedback from One2Date …
1. Personal hygiene is key. Sounds obvious but no one wants their first encounter with a potential beau to be tainted by bad breath or a hint of stale sweat no matter how sweet the conversation or how attractive the man! Lay off the garlic or onions well in advance and have mints on hand during the date. A subtle aftershave will go a long way too but don’t go overboard, you don’t want to overpower her!
2. Arrive early. Another obvious tip, but getting to your date destination five to 10 minutes before you had agreed to meet will not only impress her (making your date wait around is not cool – it’ll just make you appear disinterested and thoughtless) it will also give YOU time to gather yourself, settle any lingering nerves and allow you time to check for any of the issues I mention in tip no 1.
3. Show her attention throughout the date. Make it clear from the start that it’s HER you’re interested in. That means less chat about yourself (unless she asks of course – a little mystery is sexy but you don’t want to appear aloof or emotionally unavailable) and more than anything LISTEN to what she’s saying. Communication is a two-way thing. Listening will show her that you’re genuinely interested and in turn will increase her confidence levels and help to break down any barriers. Before you know it the two of you will be chatting and laughing like old friends.
4. Go easy on the alcohol. Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with an alcoholic drink or two – we all need a bit of Dutch courage from time to time but there’s a fine line between a relaxing drink and looking like you’re getting ‘on it’ especially when you want to give your date the best possible impression of you. And as we all know alcohol tends to break down social barriers a little too well … Which leads me on nicely to tip number five …
5. A kiss at the end of the date will suffice … If the date has gone well and it’s clear there’s some serious chemistry then there’s no need to rush to the next step (you know what I’m saying here?!) 85% of ladies who took the survey tell me they’re more likely to see longevity in a relationship if it DOESN’T end with sex on the first date. Why rush a good thing? If the date has gone better than you were expecting you’ll have all the time in the world to get to know each other in the weeks, months (maybe years?) to come.
And so to all my fellow single guys out there about to dip your toes into the scarily yet wonderful world of online dating there you have it: five simple steps to a successful first date. No one ever claimed the dating game was easy, but following the above could really help to take the stress out of it.
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