Dating dilemma: you don’t want to look so prepared, but you also don’t want to be unprepared. So, what should you do? You don’t want to appear like you’re going to a job interview, but you also don’t want to be too relaxed and mess up. To address this issue, here are the seven things to know before going out on a date:
1. Know how to bust your fears.
Especially for first timers, dating can be a little scary. Presenting yourself as a potential partner or looking for a potential partner isn’t always easy. So, to get yourself out there, you need to face your fears.
First, you might fear that there might not be a second date. Deal with that fear by having a proper mindset. Don’t devalue the first date just because there’s no second. Dating is always a learning experience, so you’ll never end up a loser. You’ll learn how to communicate better, and you’ll get to know more of what and who you like. Don’t forget that you’ll grow in terms of experience as well.
In addition, you may also fear that you might not be liked by your date. Bust that fear by thinking that it’s okay for people not to like you. There might be nothing wrong with you. You’re just not what your date is looking for. For example, your date might be in love with the great outdoors while you prefer staying at home and watching movies. Clearly, you just don’t match, but it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
Lastly, you might fear that you’ll break your date’s heart if you end up not liking him or her. Address that fear by being aware that your date knows the dating world. It’s not always a fairy tale. Saying yes to a date doesn’t mean you two will end up together. It means testing the waters getting to know the person more. The same is true to your date. He or she might also just asked you for a date to get to know you more. There’s no guarantee you’ll end up together.
2. Be clear with your deal breakers.
The traits that you’re looking for sometimes become negotiable. You might be swooned by good looks and smooth talkers, so you need to make your deal breakers clear. Who will you absolutely say no to? That can be a married person or a person who has a different religious background. When you are clear with your deal breakers, it’ll be easy for you to stir the wheel and control where the date is headed to.
3. Know who you are.
What are you willing to change to please your date and get in a relationship? What are you not willing to give up? Aside from knowing who you’re looking for, it’s equally important to know yourself, too. In this way, you’ll not lose yourself in the process.
4. Get to know your date before the actual date, but don’t sound like a stalker.
Dating means talking, so you need to be prepared with the possible topics that you can explore. Just be careful with showing how much you know your date because you might end up sounding creepy or just too much head-over-heels with your date. Instead of saying “I saw in one of your posts that you’ve visited Maldives”, it’s better if you’ll say “I haven’t gone out of the country for a couple of months now, but I heard Maldives is a great place. Have you been there?” By converting the fact to a question, you’ve opened a topic that you’re sure your date will talk about without sounding like a stalker.
5. Find a location that allows you to talk and escape at the same time.
So the main purpose of your date is to get to know the person more, and you might have a hard time doing that if you go somewhere like a bar. You don’t want to shout the whole time just to make sure your voice will win over the noise. What’s a better choice? Look for a place that’s quiet and cozy. In this way, you don’t have to shout just to make sure your date hears you.
Now, aside from choosing a place that’s conducive to talking, also choose a place that allows you to have an escape plan. So the two of you are already talking, but here comes a quick horror story – you ran out of things to talk about. That’s the reason why you need an escape plan – not to run away from your date, but to run away from the awkward silence. If you know your conversation will not last long, or you have already reached the dead end, ask your date to walk outside. The things you’ll see outside can act as your visual coach on what to discuss next. You saw an airplane? You can ask your date if he or she has tried riding one and where he or she went. You saw movie posters along the way? Talk about the movies, then. Shifting from one topic to another will not be weird because the visual coach will make things natural.
6. Know how to budget your time.
Yes, Google got your back in terms of this, but it’s still better to know the place before the date. Aside from being able to think of an escape plan that’s discussed in #5, you can also make sure you’ll arrive on time. There’s nothing cute in being late.
7. Know how much money you can spend.
You don’t want asking your date to a classy restaurant and ending up just asking for service water, do you? You also don’t want to go overspending and stay broke until the next payday. So know your budget and decide on the location accordingly.
So there! Congratulations on sealing your first date. Make sure it’ll be a worthwhile experience by preparing for it, and of course, enjoying it.
ALSO READ: The 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Dating