First dates can really suck...
Hey, I'm just being truthful about it. I bet you were thinking the same thing, right?
You know that the first date is a place where things can go one of three ways:
1) Things go unbelievable... the start of a true romance that will last.
2) Things go okay... you'll risk another date with him.
3) Shoot me now... this is like having a root canal without any anesthesia.
In reality, the chances of #1 happening are kinda slim. Rare, really.
Not because it can't happen, but because it's what I call "Too soon to tell."
Your first 3 or 4 dates with a guy are really too soon for you to get any feeling about this guy that's reliable. And I'm talking about positive feelings here.
If you get any negative feelings about him, that's something you should pay attention to right away. Any red flag warnings you sense should be noted right away.
If they turn out to be legit - drop this guy faster than 1st Period French.
Seriously - it's not going to be good if you get any bad vibes too early on.
However, a bad match can sometimes show up much later, after the incompatibilities show up. So you have to stay frosty and alert for the "probation period."
I recommend you keep your probation period active with any relationship for the first 60-90 days.
This gives you time to watch for problems, and it also keeps you at a safe distance so that you don't get lured into a relationship too soon.
I'll also advise you to keep one of my rules on the front of your mind:
No one is a YES right away. Only a MAYBE - or a NO.
What this means is that you can't afford to jump in the deep end based on a gut decision that might not be accurate.
So many things can happen to cloud your judgement that you have to take a more defensive posture when you first start dating him.
So he's never a "YES! I want this guy as my husband!"
He's only a "Maybe... I'll date him again and see where this goes."
OR he's a "No way. Throw him back in the water and keep looking."
Because you know my super big huge uber number one rule, right?
Carlos Says: "You're always better off alone than in a bad relationship."
What changes our perception of that situation is our craving for connection and love on one side, and our fear of being alone on the other. This pushes us into rationalizing our situation as being "not that bad."
So now, let's dig into this first date situation little further...
If you want that first date to go well, you gotta get yourself ready to feel him out and look for the signs that he's a quality guy you can keep dating.
And really, all those dates you'll have later on shouldn't be that much different, if you think about it.
Let's start with:
First Date Tip #1: Beware the expensive date...
One of the problems for women going on a date is a sense of obligation that comes from a man paying for the date. But it's not just a problem for you; it's also a problem for him.
Let me explain...
In today's culture, the question of who pays is a tricky subject. If you pay for your share of the meal, you feel as if this avoids any feelings of sexual obligation on your part.
After all, some women feel as if there's a built in reciprocity - that now you "owe" him something.
And, after all, you've been told that you can pay for your own way - and you're independent and don't "need" men for anything.
But when you do pay for your share, it will send a message to him as well. A man wants to give to a woman as a way to express his manhood and capability.
When that's refused, it emasculates him. He feels like he's reduced to an inconsequential "ride to the restaurant."
Men don't provide to set you up for obligatory sex later. We do it for the joy of simply doing it.
The men that make that an obligation are immature and you should get clear of them as quickly as possible. But there're also a lot fewer of these guys than most women assume.
The "rule" is, the one who asks pays. But don't let that fool you.
When the dance of who pays what comes, he wants to feel like he provided for you. Don't deny him that, or you might find him walking away with no intention of a second date.
How to handle that first date - Tip #2: Relax
Guys don't want to date someone that is too wound up in making the date a "perfect event." Hey, it's tempting, especially if you really like the guy and want to make a great impression.
But the danger here is to get into a belief that the more "perfect" you make yourself to him, the more desirable you will be - and therefore the more attracted he will be to you.
What it really ends up doing is setting up an expectation on his part that this is the "normal" you. And it winds up being an act you can't maintain.
Take the time to relax with him. Mostly because the relaxed version of you will be more attractive to him, but also because of something even more important...
When you're relaxed, you'll be less focused on yourself, and more focused on picking up signals from him.
You need to keep your eyes open for his behavior and any signals he may give off that tell you about him as a man. After all, you're always on your best behavior on that first date, and that means you need to be able to "smell what he's cooking..."
If you know what I mean.
What to wear on that first date - Tip #3: Go semi-casual
This is related directly to tip #2 - which is part of relaxing on a date. You shouldn't spend a ridiculous amount of time getting ready for a first date.
Just let go of that need to put on the "perfect" image of yourself for him.
By dressing semi-casual, and relaxing your need to overdo or overwork your appearance, you will make the first date much more likely to succeed for several reasons:
- When you put a lot of effort into a date, you set up a certain expectation on yourself. This expectation is that - since you put all this work into looking good, you're investing in him before you even really know anything about him. And if you make that investment, you'll find it more likely that you'll want to make it work out - even if he's not a quality candidate for your heart.
- A man will not reject you because you only spent a half hour getting ready versus 3 hours. Yes, I'm being dead serious about this.
In fact, if he isn't attracted to the 30 minute girl as opposed to the 3 hour girl, there's something deeply wrong there. And ultimately, he'd have to deal with the 30 minute girl anyway, right?
Remember: The man who is your Mr. Right will always be attracted to the REAL you. Not just the "best possible version" of you.
Keys To A Great First Date - Tip #4: Turn off your phone...
If there's one thing that gets under my skin these days, it's just how distracted we all are. If there's one minute of waiting, or a lull in the conversation, everyone *has* to get their cell phone out and start texting...
... or Facebook-ing....
... or playing Angry Birds...
What did we do before we had phones to keep us endlessly entertained?
In this age of distraction we live in, the one thing a man wants from his experience with you is to simply experience YOU.
So make sure you keep your phone silent, and resist the urge to check in with your girlfriends' texts to you asking how it's going. No one will die because you didn't post a picture of your meal on your Facebook wall.
Just give yourself a chance to sink into the moment with him so you can never wonder if you might have missed out on your Soulmate.
Show him the respect he deserves on that first date by not being distracted - or interrupted by your smart phone...
And the Final Tip For A Fantastic First Date With Him - Tip #5: Be Vulnerable - but in control...
Hey, going out on a date with a guy is stressful, no doubt about it. It's nerve-wracking for men, too.
Sometimes the best thing we can do to relax on the date so we can get real and form a real connection is to just be vulnerable.
If something gets awkward, don't be afraid to deal with it. Like some comment you wish you could take back.
(By the way, my favorite way of handling this is to say something like: "Wow that sure sounded better in my head..." Gets a laugh, and the other person will understand.)
Or if your mind went blank and you forgot what your dad's name is, just roll your eyes, keep calm - and carry on.
But at the same time, don't lose control of your boundaries on the date.
For instance, you want to make sure you keep your alcohol consumption down to the bare minimum - if you drink at all. It's very tempting to let the alcohol do the talking and lower those inhibitions, but it's too easy to lose control.
And speaking of boundaries - you want to watch out for "over share." That's when you might be tempted to give up a little too much detail about your personal life to him.
No matter how great a connection you might feel you have, you don't want to go too far.
Another important boundary to consider is your physical boundary with him.
Always have a clear picture of what is and isn't acceptable on the first date as far as physical touch and sexual connection. For example, hand touch and holding, perhaps a hug and a kiss is acceptable.
But sex on the first date should be avoided at all costs. No matter what you may have heard about women being able to "date like men" - it's not really true.
Keep the focus of your first date on friendly talk and fun, and let go of any "approval anxiety" so that you can see not only the red flags, but any of the good signals that tell you he's the kind of guy you want to get with for date number two...
And if you'd like to know more about the signals men give off, so you can read him like a book - whether it's your first date or your thirtieth - then I urge you to go take a look at this special offer for the program that can make all the difference to your relationship with him.
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