THE BLOG

7 Ways to Make a Good Impression on the First Date

05/05/2014 09:57 am ET | Updated Jul 05, 2014
Robert Daly via Getty Images

Ready for a committed relationship? Here are seven quick tips to getting a great start on finding a committed partner. Some of these guidelines are just basic common sense, while others might surprise you. These "dos" are suggestions for making dating better and more purposeful -- and make sure you are not the one weeded out on someone else's search for love.

1. Plan the first date to include an event, such as a movie, museum, concert or walk, along with talk time.
You don't want to just sit and bare souls all evening and if you don't particularly like his or her soul, at least you have something else to focus on. Also, determining sexual interest doesn't take up much time and chemistry is the juice of life. But you're shopping for a relationship, so you need to invest time to give yourself the chance not to dismiss a keeper too soon and to make sure the two of you have more going for you than desire.

2. Do acquire a multitude of subjects you're able to talk about.
Women who talk about their work all the time are no more interesting than men who talk about their work all the time. Have many interests -- including and particularly your date. Fifty percent of the airtime is yours, so stay above 30 percent and below 70 percent. No relationship or date is an exact 50/50, but balance needs to be established for harmony to begin.

3. Remember that your date is your date -- not your spiritual adviser or therapist.
Save your real or perceived problems and flaws until you know she or he is deeply interested in you or at least interested. The goal of a first date is to have a good time and to contribute at least 50 percent of the effort toward achieving that goal.

4. Shop with your brain as well as heart and heat.
Do realize the sexiest, most attractive person is not necessarily the best choice for you. So don't get carried away by your hormones until you fill out the Spouse Shopping List below to assess your personal requirements.

Take out a sheet of paper and make a table with four columns and eight rows. Starting in the first column at row two going through eight (top to bottom) write out the following:

Chemistry
Values
Status/Money
Appearance
Communication Style
Taste/Life Style
Activity Level & Type

Next, in column two through four (left to right) write out the following:

Requirement
Unacceptable
Negotiable

For example, a requirement for appearance could be 6' tall and beautiful, dark hair. An unacceptable trait could be poor hygiene or too many moles. Negotiable could be 5'10 and healthy hair.

Use this as a safety net to move you past the biggest love block of all: wasting time. If your date isn't eligible by your standards, move on.

5. Develop your communication abilities.
If you need to be a better listener, practice listening. If you need to be more self-revealing, practice expressing yourself more.

You can't feel loved if you don't feel understood and you can't feel understood if you are unable to communicate who you are. And vice versa; a partner can't feel loved unless you can listen without interrupting.

6. Do be prepared for rejection -- it happens.
So get really good at handling it. If you suffer a major loss, grieving is necessary. But not getting a second or third date isn't major loss. It is the opportunity to move on and find the person who does want to be with you.

You may have already experienced pain and sadness after being left and lived to see the day you were thinking, Thank you for dumping me. When abandonment waves have passed, you sometimes realize that being left was a lucky break. He or she simply knew before you did that you two were wrong for each other.

7. Be assertive in signaling you would like to go out or go out again.
This could mean calling to say you had a wonderful time or enjoyed meeting or sending a note, text or email. Be genuine. Express enthusiasm and close the sale. Don't walk around with wondering in your head. Find out if you are mutually interested in being together again.

Remember: The main point is to be your self and work toward and believe in a positive outcome. When you do, dating will be pleasurable and the outcome that follows will be healthier and more productive.