Dating advice -1st Date;)

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Relax! It's just a date.

You finally met someone who seems great. You may have had a few conversations on the phone and now you are both ready to spend time together. The good news is that your first date will help determine how much of a connection you really have. The bad news is that there is typically a lot of anxiety around this first meeting.

It doesn’t have to be bad at all. Daters build up their expectations and put so much pressure themselves that the date can be doomed before they even get out of the house. Before this happens, you have to remember the objective of why you are meeting in the first place.

You are meeting this person to learn more about them. You like this person and you are going to get to do the one thing that you want -– spend time with them! You are going to do something fun with this person to really see if they are as great as you thought they were. You are getting the chance to learn some key things about your date while they are learning more about you too. You can do all of this while having a good time doing something fun.

No need to fear

You got this far in the process because this person is interested in you. Your date is already attracted to you in some way so you don’t have to be perfect to get to know them more. Be yourself. More than likely, all of the things you find so quirky about yourself, the other person may find unique and special. This is not the time to change it up. Just show up and expect to have fun.

Setting up for success

Before you meet, you can plan to have a good experience. Pay attention to the conversations that you have before your date. What are his/her interests? What kinds of activities does he/she consider fun? What really makes him/her feel comfortable and let their hair down? Your date has a great chance of being successful if you take these factors into account.

Jointly decide on the activity. Pick something that you will both enjoy. For example, if you both like music, but have varying tastes, pick an outdoor concert that has a variety of artists.

Select a first date that allows you to have the opportunity to chat and interact. Even if you decide to go to a movie, plan to get coffee or a snack afterwards. This will give you an opportunity to share opinions but also to learn more about one another.

Something to talk about

Now that you are together, what should you talk about? There are number of things to chat about that will help determine if you have things in common. Here are some items that you may want to discuss:

*Favorite hobbies
*Favorite movies/TV shows
*Places you enjoy going
*Things you like to do in your spare time
*Places of interest you have traveled to

Avoid discussing:

*Your ex
*Your baby’s momma/daddy
*Bad relationship tales
*Your mother
*Emotional issues you are trying to overcome

As you get to know your date, you of course want to know where they stand on certain issues. However, the goal on your first date is to keep it light. The key is touch on safe topics that allow your date to get to know you more without going into the deep, nitty-gritty. Also, stay away from explosive topics which usually come from politics, religion and sex. You don’t want to get into a heated a debate over appetizers.

Enjoy the experience

When you are on the date, your focus should be on enjoying it. Feel good about doing something fun with someone who wants to get to know you better. Too often, daters are so caught up in their presentation -- what the other person is thinking of them, whether or not their date finds them irritable -- that they forget to have fun. Be interesting and interested. Dates are better when both parties are engaged and into one another. Every first date is not going to end up with a fairy tale wedding, so enjoying the moment counts. Immediate chemistry may or may not happen and sometimes relationships grow out of friendships too. Enjoying the date leaves the door open for friendship, love interest or a new acquaintance who can lead you to someone else!

Wrapping it up

The end of a date can cause just as much anxiety as the beginning. The age old question forms: should there be a good night kiss at the end of the date? The true answer is it just depends. If you had good chemistry and felt a connection, a good night kiss may be the way to go. If the date was pleasant but you are not ready to take it to the next level, a good night hug may be in order. The level of touching really depends on how close or distant you feel and how you perceive the other person to feel. Keeping it friendly takes the pressure off: a quick embrace saying you had a nice time might be just enough.

What’s next?

More than likely, your date is looking for clues to determine whether or not there will be another meeting. If you are interested, it is ok to say you had a great time and would like to see them again. If that feels like too much pressure, make it clear that you enjoyed his/her company and you would like to keep in touch as you can call them later. If you position the conversation to show your interest, your follow-up should be easier. It also makes it easy for your date to express his/her feelings too.

First dates should be fun and memorable. Take these tips into account to take the pressure off of your next first encounter.
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