While a fabulous partner is key to any romantic rendezvous, there’s another essential piece to the dating puzzle. Don’t forget to bring your authentic self.
There are few things more intimidating than meeting a potential romantic interest for the first time. We’ve been taught that first impressions are important, and it couldn’t be truer in the world of romance. Who knows, maybe this date could lead to something more serious? Could this be your future spouse? These are extreme thoughts, which, if obsessed over, could jinx the situation—but they’re very common.
But the dating scene isn’t the same as it used to be. Less people are following the traditional route of meeting people—meeting strangers in a bar, speed dating events, etc.—and turning to social media and dating sites like MeetMindful. These have made it easier for people to establish a connection without jumping through the usual hoops that occur with old-fashioned courting.
However, after those connections are made, there’s still the actual—and in many cases, dreaded—first date. Dating is the great equalizer, which human beings have struggled with from the dawn of romance. We’re all just as sweaty, nervous, and anxious as the next person; we’re all fumbling to say the right things at the right time. It doesn’t matter how charming you appear in your online profile, if you appear phony in person, your love interest may turn cold. For better or worse, you won’t be able to hide your true self. And you shouldn’t.
So what makes a successful first date? What are the best things to remember? Well, as hinted above, the only rule to remember in dating is: be yourself.
Although it sounds obvious (and maybe a little cliché), it is vital to show your true self from the onset of the first date.
Keep it front and center. In this virtual era, when we’re so reliant on virtual personas and online appearances, it’s tempting to pretend to be someone you aren’t, but this is a difficult ruse to keep up. These are not accurate representations of our actual personalities, and you will eventually be exposed as misleading, deceitful, and a liar. Authenticity is your best friend while dating.
When people think of authenticity in terms of misrepresenting themselves, they often jump to the most extreme opposite. That is: acquiring a new persona, or being a different person—which is fairly common in online communities. But misrepresentation can be subtler and more nuanced than creating an entirely different backstory for yourself. For instance, everyone wants to appear agreeable upon introduction, and we’ll often say things that we don’t necessarily believe to give the impression that we’re friendly. This could be something as seemingly innocuous as declaring a love of a sports team when you really don’t have any interest in sports. As minor as that seems, it’s not who you really are.
Additionally, trying to appease someone by trying to mirror their thoughts and opinions is both condescending and patronizing. It’s not in your best interest to start arguments on a first date, but sharing your own thoughts on a subject and having a unique, intelligent point of view on the subject is ultimately more attractive than appearing friendly.
But what if I’m just not interesting?
This is a common fear that just about everyone has when entering the dating scene—you are not alone. Our insecurities often motivate us to fabricate lies about ourselves. Overcoming these insecurities will make you appear more confident, and, therefore, more attractive.
Here are a few tips to help you remain comfortable in your own skin while on a date:
1. Be honest above all else.
The first date is kind of like a balancing act. You want to appear as genuine as possible, yet you don’t want over-share. The first date is not the type of situation where you should divulge information such as whether you’ve been engaged or married before (you probably shouldn’t talk about past relationships of any kind, for that matter).
Offering this information not only can be off-putting to a potential love interest, but it implies a presumptive level of intimacy that most people would prefer to ease into. However, if your date asks, it’s not a good idea to lie. Be mindful of your answers and refrain from being deceptive whenever possible. This also holds true for innocuous conversation—don’t lie just to appear agreeable.
2. Pick a comfortable location.
It’s tempting to try and impress someone with what we consider an ideal date, even if you’re not comfortable with the circumstances. For instance, you may make reservations to a fancy restaurant in an effort to show your date a night of luxury. Apart from the stress and anxiety that comes from spreading your wallet too thin, this setting may give you the distinct feeling of being a fish out of water.
If you’re a connoisseur of the finer things in life, well, go for it; but if you’re not used to extravagance, it might be better to go to one of your more tasteful haunts. A comfortable, familiar setting will put you at ease, and, in turn, put your date at ease.
3. Dress the part.
Remember every job interview you’ve ever had? The anxiety, the nervousness, the… necktie? Of course, there are many reasons why a job interview is stressful, but you can’t discount the discomfort from trying to appear formal under fire. When dating, don’t look like a slob, but also don’t dress in a way that will make you uncomfortable. Wear something that’s easy to move in, yet will make you feel confident and comfortable.
4. Mentally prepare.
Chances are, your date is just as nervous as you. Before the date, take a few moments to talk your nerves out. Remind yourself that it’s okay if there are awkward silences in the conversation, and that most awkwardness can be laughed off. You don’t always have to be “on”; your date will appreciate it better if you are your true self.
Finally, one of the easiest ways to be your own self is to take a step out of yourself and pay attention to your date. You will no longer feel the need to impress or come up with conversation topics, and your date will appreciate the attention.
[image: via shutterstock]
About the Author
The Love Coach Team: We are a Team of Love Coaches who specialize in helping people get back with their ex. In business since 2007, we have helped more than 10,000 men and women bring back their ex into their lives by changing people’s bad habits and negative behaviors. Alex and Adrian follow a unique approach and philosophy to love and relationships, one that has proven to be successful worldwide, and tailored to the specificities of each individual. For more information, visit their site, WithMyExAgain.com