First date rules

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If it has been a long time since you dated, you will find that things have changed quite a lot. While men and women are still fundamentally the same, the social conventions which govern how they interact are different, especially if you meet online.

Authenticity

When asked what they are looking for in a new partner, most people put ‘genuine’ and ‘honest’ high on their list of priorities. Because these are such important factors, it is vital to show that you have them on the first date.

Tell the truth about who you are and where you come from. As tempting as it may be to exaggerate or embellish stories to make yourself sound more interesting, try to avoid it – any discrepancies will only come out later if you eventuate into a relationship.

Punctuality

First dates are nerve-wracking enough without waiting around for a date who is running late. Double check that you know where and what time you are meeting, and allow longer than you think you will need to get there. It is better to be early and relaxed, rather than late and flustered.

If you are going to be unavoidably delayed, ring ahead and let your date know when to expect you so they don’t think you have stood them up.

Affordability

There is little point in arranging to meet in a high class restaurant to impress your date if you are going to be stressed and worried about the bill the whole time you are there. Go somewhere you can comfortably afford and don’t expect your date to foot the bill. Ensure you have enough cash to pay your way and to take a cab home afterwards.

Sociability

A date is the time to really let your social self shine through. Talk about yourself, and show an interest in your date by asking questions and listening attentively. Tell jokes and enjoy a bit of light-hearted banter – you are both there to enjoy yourselves after all.

If you are worried you will run out of things to talk about, read the papers or look for upcoming events that you might be interested in taking your date to.

Availability

We reveal as much about ourselves through our body language as we do through what we say. An open and relaxed posture, good eye contact and attentiveness to your date will let them know if you are really interested and available.

AVOID THESE FAUX PAS

Modern technology

A first date is no place for modern technology. This is about two people connecting in person, away from the screens which may have bought them together. Turn your mobile phone off or onto silent for the duration of the date and keep it out of sight.

It is really bad manners to update your social network status while you are on a date, and shows that you are not fully engaged.

Dwelling on the past

Whether it is talking about your ex or revealing every intimate aspect of your life, over-sharing is a common problem on a first date. Some people seem to use a kind face and an attentive ear as an excuse to offload all their emotional baggage. You may leave thinking you have made a real connection but your date may have other ideas. A date is about focusing on the future, not the past.

‘First date’ expectations

Remember that the first meeting with someone you have met online is a chance to see each other face-to-face, and decide if you want to arrange to have a proper date. If you think of it as a ‘pre-date’ you can keep it short and simple and keep your feet on the ground.

When people think of a ‘date’, they often attach all sorts of expectations to it and feel as though they are already making a commitment just by agreeing to meet. By taking this pressure off, you are likely to get yourself out there and meet many more matches


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