We all know that stomach-churning feeling before going on a first date. Whether it be a blind date, an online match through a dating site, or just returning to the scene after a long relationship or growing tired of spending those cloudy days without someone to cuddle. The good news is that most of our troubles when dating is self-inflicted and comes as a result of our attitude towards dating in general.
The important thing is to not get caught up in something as logical as a scoreboard of successes and failures. Dating should be a journey and not something that you measure on a chart. Armed with that attitude, you will already have overcome two of the biggest obstacles when it comes to dating: over thinking and anxiety.
Here are some other tips that everyone should know, not just to ensure a second date, but make the process that much less painful.
1. Listen to your friends, but be careful of group relationships
They say that your friends are the family you get to choose. As friends, you have each other's best interests at heart. You also know each other’s likes and dislikes, deal breakers, and must-haves when it comes to finding a dating partner. At the very least, someone suggested by your friends will not be a total trainwreck.
Just be careful if your friend and the person you are dating are close too. Any strain in the relationship will inevitably bleed over to your friends as well. On the other hand, it can lead to some great double dates!
2. Do not be scared of online dating
Love it or hate it, online dating is here to stay. When used responsibly and with clear goals in mind it can be a great tool to get you dating once again. It’s not easy to approach someone in real life, and we all have experienced the butterflies, sweaty palms, and anxiety that comes with it.
In most countries, 40% of the population are already making use of online dating apps or sites. They can’t all be wrong. Of course, the great thing about online dating is that you can pick and choose from a wide collection of people and instantly know some basic information about them. The bad news, they can make it all up, so be careful and just a little skeptical.
3. But… be open to real-life encounters
We know. It’s terrifying. It could be at the bar, club, supermarket, or just on the street but we all have had that moment that you see someone attractive to you and have the urge to go make conversation. More often than not, we chicken out or convince ourselves that we will build up the courage later.
However, you would be surprised how compassionate many people are to being approached in real life. Just stay classy and be flexible with your intentions. What do you have to lose?
4. Don’t play it too cool
We all want to protect ourselves in those early first stages of getting to know someone. After all, it might seem better to stay quiet than to make a fool of yourself. Two huge factors when it comes to dating is plain old fun and openness. If you hold back too much to protect your ego, both of those are probably suffering.
You might tell yourself that if they like you enough, they will push through and earn your trust. This is also true, but they also need to know the exact you to make that commitment.
5. Learn to read body language
No, this isn’t cheating. Learning to look for positive and negative signs is one of the best ways to not only protect yourself but know what the other is feeling and treat them accordingly. Science People have a great resource on exactly this topic.
Some well-known and reliable telltales include whether their feet are facing towards you or not, for women specifically when they tend to hold their bags in front of them as if keeping it between you, and of course, eye contact.
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6. Read between the lines
There are often very subtle queues you can look for to know exactly what you’re dealing with. A particular study found that men change their vocal pitch when talking with someone they find attractive. Even certain words such as “quite” or “tons” can indicate long-term commitment.
7. Trust in yourself and your judgment first
This has been found to be a problem, especially for women. If your friends or family meet your date early on in the process and were less than impressed by what they saw, their opinions can have a lasting impact on your impressions. Studies have found that it is very hard for someone to recover from negative reviews by friends in the early stages.
While your friend’s opinions are important, yours is even more so. There are also many reasons, such as nervousness, that someone didn’t come across well when introduced. So be mindful of this.
8. Know when to call it quits
Every relationship should be judged on its own merits. After a few dates you should start to get an idea of whether this is marriage material, long-term at least, or just a short-term bit of fun. Just make sure your other partner is on the same page. This will make it easier to explain and accept when the sun is setting on the relationship.
9. Be open to new experiences
Don’t be too stringent on what is considered a good first date. Remember that the other person also wants to show them who they are through your dating activities and see whether you fit their style. Worst case scenario is that you would have experienced something new, whether it is something you would do again or not.
10. Equality of the sexes
Studies show that guys put all the more emphasis on girls that should help to pay the bills. Girls that refuse to contribute in any way, or at least don’t offer, are viewed as old-fashioned and high-maintenance. Come on girls; they deserve a tip for opening the doors, driving you around, and giving you a jacket when it’s cold.
11. Throw out the rulebook!
Rules like you shouldn’t call before the end of 3 days and that you should sleep together on the 3rd date have no basis in fact and can severely hamstring the natural progress of any relationship. As we have mentioned, each relationship is different and should be handled in its own way, at its own pace. This doesn’t mean you should toss out your non-negotiables or compromise on your standards. But in your gut, you know when something “feels right.”
13. Don’t give up
Some days it will just seem too easy to throw in the towel, whether it’s spurred on by a run of bad dates, bad partners, or just your lack of self-confidence. All that we can say here is: don’t give up.
Everyone has that one person that will think they are the best thing since sliced bread; you just have to find your admirer. If you keep an open mind and believe in yourself, the battle is already half won.
So, that’s it. As you can see, these are all straightforward suggestions but they can have a huge impact on your dating success and most importantly, your demeanor when dating. What are you waiting for? There is much fish in the sea! For more, visit Roses Only.