You're excited, nervous, doubtful, hopeful, ambivalent, hesitant, happy...
These are just a few of the thoughts and emotions most people experience when preparing for a first date.
Dating should be fun! Whether you are just starting out, dating again for the first time after many years or somewhere in-between, there are universal concerns that many share.
If you're looking for advice and suggestions on what you should or shouldn't do read no further. You won't find them here.
Prefer to craft your own opinions rather than taking those of well meaning friends, family and article writers? Identify your needs and desires ahead of time. Remove stress and empower yourself. Take control ... read on!
No one can predict how a first date will turn out. There are simply too many variables. I'd like to make one suggestion for your consideration. Be your authentic self! Don't create a false first date persona that you will have to maintain if all goes well.
Here are some questions to ponder before your first encounter. Thinking ahead goes a long way towards reducing dating anxiety.
- What if anything do I owe a first date?
- Will I have to break the ice by starting the conversation? If so, what will I say?
- How do I respond if he starts with a question I'm uncomfortable answering?
- What amount of information should I share ... tell him I've been married before, have children, am widowed...?
- Should I talk about my ex? Discuss my children showing pictures I really love?
- What should I absolutely, positively not reveal?
- Am I comfortable discussing political or religious views?
- What questions can I ask that will reveal her real personality and disposition?
- What signs will show me this guy is a real jerk?
- What about questions of views on sex ... am I OK talking about them?
- Suppose I'm only physically attracted ... do I consider a second date?
- What if he's 20 years older than his Internet picture or she's 25 pounds heavier?
- What if he seems nice with good values but a bit dull ... not exactly my type but a decent guy ... do I give him another chance and see what develops?
- How can I politely show I'm not interested?
- If she really turns me on do I tell her?
- How can I make sure I'm not showing too much interest so I don't scare him off?
- What if I suspect he's being a little bit phony ... how important is that ... am I being my real self?
- If she offers to split the bill or pay how do I handle it?
- What do I say if I don't want to see her again ... do I take her number?
- What criteria will I use to determine if I want to see him/her again?
- How do I communicate that I really like him and want to ensure a second date?
- What if I'm totally ambivalent and not sure if I want to see him again?
- Will I consider dating someone I'm not romantically interested in simply to share some companionship?
Remove the stress associated with a fist date!
Before you agree to meeting give thought to the questions above and any others that come to mind.
Take the time to examine but not obsess about what you are looking for in a first date. It will remove a tremendous amount of worry and anxiety which often doom an initial meeting from the get go.
Give some thought to your expectations beforehand then realize it's simply one date. It might be fantastic, mediocre or a disaster. Whatever the outcome ... you'll survive!
Sometimes things just happen and begin to take on a life of their own. That's fate. Go with the flow!
Think, hope, be yourself and visualize a positive outcome ... but make sure you have a good escape plan ready just in case you need it!
Dave Kanegis is a Certified Professional Coach with MA degrees in Education and Psychology. He founded Marketing Network Inc. and has over 20 years experience working with private and corporate clients.
Dave's written over 60 articles on a wide variety of topics. If you enjoyed this one follow him on HP and receive an e-mail when new articles are published.
Originally published on The Good Men Project