First date do’s and don’ts – for the two of you

After looking at the first date do’s and don’ts specific to each of the sexes, we will conclude this mini-series with a few hints and tips applicable to the two of you, the first time you take your online dating offline. This is general good advice and is applicable to any liaison when you’re first getting to know someone.

There are times, when you go on a first date, that you can leave and not remember an awful lot about the person you have spent the evening with. Did they hang on your every word or were you talking that much they didn’t even get a word in edgeways? Were they smitten and can’t wait for you to get in touch or are they not calling because you bored them rigid?

It is key that you pay attention to what your date is saying; to do that, you have to give them the chance. Here are a few tips to not only ensure you get the best from your first date, but also give you the best chance of securing that even more critical second encounter. Like buying a house, your first viewing is to test the water, the second is where you really get to know whether you could incorporate it in your lifestyle. Sadly, too few prospects get the second viewing.

The brief is to be brief
When you do talk, do not ramble. Even if you’re relating a chapter of your life (why, on a first date, is the real question), pause for breath. Droning on about yourself is poor form; even when writing, you will lose your audience (in this instance, a very selective one) if you do not interject something they can relate to. If you see a yawn, take the hint.

Be interested
Some people are generally submissive and lack confidence. Take the time to put them at ease, ask relevant questions about what they’ve said. Look them in the eye, engendering trust, building their confidence. Do not put them on a pedastal, however, to bring them crashing down by boasting that you’ve done what they’re proud of with a yak on your back.

Just no-no’s
Don’t invite them to appraise you. Not only may you not like the answer, but it unveils either egotistic undertones or insecurity; neither are positive. Past relationships are best left there whilst you’re trying to build the foundations of a new one. An ex is not a good cornerstone for your new relationship.

Leave a little in the tank
Don’t unburden everything on your new partner first time out – you’ll stand a better chance of keeping the lid on your life if you limit yourself to only a couple of drinks. You want to leave something to talk about next time out, not reveal a warts and all picture of your life to date.

If your date has been an unmitigating failure, say so there and then. You don’t need to go into details, but try and give them something positive to take away, from the night and to bolster their courage for their next attempt – just because they’re not your cup of tea, doesn’t mean they can’t make someone else happy. Conversely, if you’ve had a wonderful time, don’t automatically invite your partner home or ask for a second date. Allow suitable time to get in touch, 36 hours is the new en vogue waiting time from first date to follow up, and even longer for an after-date coffee, no matter how great the temptation.

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