Getting a first date is easier than ever before. Dating apps only require you to swipe, and matchmakers just need you to sign up, but getting a second and third date is solely up to you. A first date doesn’t mean much, a second date may just be the other person giving you another chance, but a third date means you’ve been “selected”, cleared to pass go, and can have confidence that the person likes you. Sadly, it’s all too often that on a first or second date, you’ll do something that isn’t attractive, a deal breaker, or won’t make a lasting impression, and never make it to a third date. You might be a great catch but you weren’t perceived that way. The following tips are ways to make it past the first and second dates and give someone the gift of knowing you.
Looks aren’t everything, but cleaning up for your date implies a lot about your character. Ensure that your general hygiene is on point and that you’re dressed to match the environment you choose, which implies that you care about your health and that you’re socially astute. Also, if you have a similar style to your date, you are giving off the perception that you have similarities, creating a stronger immediate connection.
Take the lead
Making decisions is a sign of confidence. This is your date. Meaning, do what you want and what you think is best. Now, be aware, there is a difference between being controlling and making decisions. For example, choose where to sit but don’t order for your date unless she asks.
Don't over-invest yourself too fast
The first and second dates are the first few times you are meeting someone. You don’t know who they really are, and you haven’t spent much time together yet. This person is practically a stranger, and you shouldn’t be spending a lot of money, energy, or time on a stranger. On these first few dates, keep the costs low, don’t go too far out of your way or emotionally invest yourself. If you seem too eager, she may undervalue your worth.
Hold some information back
We’ve already established that over-investing too quickly creates the impression that you aren’t a catch, however, being too much of a catch can be just as bad. Hold some information back, be a little mysterious, and don’t overwhelm her. It may play on her insecurities, make her think you don’t have enough time, or that you aren’t really a match. In general, take the time to show her who you are and what you do instead of telling her.
Paint the right picture
First impressions last. You may want to tell a story, and it may contain scenes that are a little risqué, causing your date to get the wrong idea about who you are. It's better to save the story for later and focus on sharing things about yourself that send the right impression.
Listening makes you seem interested, caring, patient, and genuine, among many other positive characteristics. It’s rare that you get a person's full attention nowadays, which means getting off your phone, making eye contact, and paying attention. Listening without being distracted is a very attractive and intimate experience. Also, listening gives you all the information you need to continue a conversation.
Focus on fun
Too often dates are treated like a job interview. It’s important to get to know someone but you shouldn’t be screening each other for too many specifics before you know there’s potential for a relationship. Focus on your vibe. Which would give a better impression; joking around, telling stories, and discussing what’s going on around you, or, a detailed explanation of your family, where you grew up, and what you do for a living? Don’t let someone check off boxes, make them forget they have boxes.
The main difference between friends and lovers is that you aren’t sleeping with your friends. If you like the person, add some physicality to the mix, such as lightly touching her hand, guiding her from the small of her back, and whispering something in her ear.
Your date pays attention to everything, and that includes how you are treating other people. Interact with your environment, and show people respect, and she will consider it a sign of your character and how you might treat her in the future.
Set concrete plans
The “This was great, we should do it again sometime” doesn’t work. Go into the date with a plan for the next date, or come up with one based on your conversation. Too often opportunities are missed because you lose the moment or momentum.
Don't burn bridges
Even if you made an incredible impression, she may not want to see you again, for now. Don’t burn your bridge, or respond negatively if she “can’t” go on another date this week or even this month. Be understanding, and continue to follow up two or three times before you respectfully cancel her as an option.
A “third” date, even though still early, is an important step and signals the potential for a relationship. When you meet someone that you think has that potential, make sure to follow the previous steps to put your best foot forward.
Article by Benjamin Ritter
Facebook and Instagram: @ritterbenj
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