WRITTEN BY Raeeka Yaghmai | Guest Writer | Mar 29 2018
First dates can be a source of questioning and nervousness. So often, the unknowns can lead to wondering about the future, such as whether or not like guy will like you, or whether he might be “the one”...
And if you’re a high-achieving woman, you want to make this successful. That might even lead you to make yourself into someone you’re really not, just to be what you think he wants and to get approval and first date victory!
But you get to choose how you define success, and that means you can decide to focus instead on things that will empower you.
You want to be the C.E.O. - the Chief Experience Officer - of your dating life! When you choose what you want to experience and learn from a first date, you put the power of success into your own hands. So you get to decide who you want to be on this date and how you show up. You get to decide if this is a time where you will get judged and look for approval, or if it’s a chance to learn about another person and to learn about yourself.
Whether he is a match or not does not determine if the date is good or bad - a successful date means you have shown up as your most authentic self and you have made a good attempt to get to know a guy for who he is, rather than focusing on who he thinks you are.
So here are some tips on how to create a successful first date, regardless of whether he’s a match:
1- Check your expectations at the door
It’s so easy to fantasize about what we want someone to be or hope he will be - and to be honest, that’s not really fair. Turn the tables - would you want a guy to decide exactly what he thinks you should be before he even gets a chance to know you?
While you may have talked to a guy online already and feel like you have an idea of what he’s like, let’s face it - he’s still a stranger, and you’ll only get to know if he’s a true match for you over time. Creating a fantasy of what he’s like can also get you in trouble by coloring your picture of him. So let go of any ideas about what you imagine and tune in to finding out who he truly is.
2- Be on time and put your phone away
Being on time shows that you are taking the date seriously - that’s important if you’re actually looking for a person to spend your life with. You want to show him that you value his time, just like you’d like your time to be valued as well.
And if you want to give him a fair chance at getting to know you and for you to get to know him, then once you’ve shown up, give him your full attention. Jumping on your phone at the first sign of discomfort or of him not being what you expected is just rude. You should truly make an effort to get to know him, even if he doesn’t turn out to be a match for you.
If you want respect, you have to give respect in return. Set the example for how you wish to be treated.
3- Let go of your past
Your past relationships and any limiting beliefs about men and dating you might have are not going to help you to create a successful first date. And if you think he won’t notice, you’re wrong.
He can tell if you’ve decided already that there are no good men, or that dating never works out, or that you’re looking to see if he’s anything like your ex. And sadly, that also means that he doesn’t get a chance to truly see who you are.
This guy doesn’t know you, and he doesn’t have anything to do with your past. So why not give him the opportunity to show you who he is? You can’t fully see that or appreciate it if you’re hung up on your past. Instead of looking for ways to judge him, try to be curious and attentive to what you see and hear.
4- Mind the conversation quality
If you want to know if a guy has the potential to be a match and is relationship-ready, you’ve got to focus on learning about who he is. If you’re attracted to him, it’s great, but that’s not going to tell you anything else about him.
It’s important that you listen and hear how he speaks and what he speaks about. Your date is not about interrogating him about his past or getting through a list of things you want to know. Allowing the conversation to evolve naturally about your interests and sharing the things you each think are important will help you to know whether you’d like to continue learning more past the first date.
When it comes to what you share, sometimes less is more. You don’t need to tell him your life history in a couple of hours - give him a chance to get to know you better over time! Remember, the date is about learning what is important to the other person and what the other person enjoys, so share these things rather than dwelling on your past, your dislikes, or spending a lot of time on any one subject that doesn’t involve him, like work.
If he asks you about your past relationships, choose your words carefully. Oftentimes an interviewer will ask someone why they left their previous job - and they’re looking to see how the person speaks about their former situation. Angry, spiteful, dramatic responses don’t give a good impression, and the same goes for talking about past relationships with a new date! Instead of talking about what didn’t work or what he did, talk instead about what you’ve decided you want in a relationship that wasn’t present in the previous one. This gives your date information about your values.
5- Don’t have sex!
If you really want a chance at creating a future with a guy, you’ve got to get to know him better and see if he truly is a match with your values. And you can’t do that in a few hours!
It may be tempting if he’s doing all the right things and the chemistry is amazing, but if you’re looking for more than a hookup, you need to make that clear by drawing a boundary on intimacy for now.
Sex can make things more complicated than they should be at the beginning of a relationship, and it can affect your ability to make decisions without such an emotional attachment.
Besides, if a guy disappears when you don’t give in to sex right away, then you know he wasn’t looking for something more. Action speaks louder than words. The last thing you need is to enter into a relationship with someone who has no interest in actually committing to you.
6- Get grounded before you go
In my opinion, this is the most important thing you can do - if you want to create a dynamic, incredible love life with a relationship-ready man who will commit to you, you’ve got to focus on who you are and what you stand for. Before you go on the date, really think about what your values are, what qualities you have and would bring to a relationship, and the fact that you are an amazing woman!
People are attracted to self-confidence, so being grounded in who you are will give you the best chance of showing up in an authentic way and allowing a guy to really tune in to that. If you’re focusing on things such as making sure he doesn’t hurt you like your ex did, or hiding who you really are so that you don’t feel vulnerable, then you’re missing an opportunity to allow someone to connect with you. And that connection is the point!
Remember, a successful date isn’t one that leads to a second date necessarily - it’s one that allows you to learn a little more about yourself and what you want and how you create that. You can’t control what a guy will feel or how he will behave or react, but you can control your own way of seeing things and taking action, in all aspects of your life. Dating is really about being true to yourself and genuinely learning about another person, so if that’s what you’re doing on a first date, there’s no question - it will be a success!