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Online Dating – 5 Steps to a Great First Date

Here are 5 common sense steps to making your first date together a great one.

In order to maximize your chances of success, you will want to take some basic precautions to ensure your safety. Meet in a public place, but make sure it is not too noisy. You want to be in a position to get to know your intriguing new person of interest. This is best done in a safe environment that allows you both to relax and communicate in a distraction free environment.

Dress for success. Unless you are planning to hold you first date at a sporting event or fitness outing, save the casual clothes for kicking around on a Saturday. Of course, do not over do it. A suit and tie for the men or evening dress for women may be overkill for certain dates, especially if they take place in the afternoon. The idea is to look good and well-groomed to show respect and interest.

Not surprisingly, research shows that initial attraction is based largely on appearance. But you will likely move past that stage once you get to know more about each other. Be aware though, it is hard to overcome a bad first impression. Lead with your strong points.

Meeting during the day can be a good idea for first dates. You can see the person better and there are more people around so you can create an exit strategy if the date is not going well. There are dozens of low-key activities you can enjoy. Nighttime dates seem to suggest something more serious, at least initially.

You don’t want to over-think your date, but do spend some time considering what you will be doing. Depending on your chemistry, you can discuss it with your date and decide what things are mutually enjoyable. Ideally, you have established your common interests before. That gives both parties the best chance of being relaxed in a typically somewhat tense situation. Your best bet is to have a few options on hand. Then, if one thing does not work out, you have a back-up.

You do not want to over-think what you plan to say, but you should have some idea. Spontaneity is great, but it leaves everything to chance and you may go off on a tangent. Having a few questions prepared, or one or two interesting stories to tell, can help put you in the comfort zone.

By using open-end questions and avoiding closed-end questions, you can grease the wheels of conversation and learn more about your date. A closed-end question is basically a yes or no question. Whereas, open- ended questions give the other person a lead to show you who they are. You might start by selecting something based on a topic you discussed in email correspondence or a phone conversation. And make sure you keep your facts straight. You certainly do not want them to think you were not paying attention to what they had to say.

Remember, on a date there are some things you can control and some things you cannot. Chemistry is that mysterious magical element that is often out of your hands. However, what you can control is good communication. Women want to be listened, and men want to know that what they say is of interest. Just being honest, polite, and enjoying friendly conversation with give and take is the first step.