The first date – about me and you, not me and me

The whole purpose of a first date is to get to know the person you envisage may be your next partner. Whether you’ve met on your dating site or been introduced matters little; the rules for dating offline remain the same.

If you turn up to your date and all you do is talk all night (it can only really be about yourself as you know very little about your dating partner, only what you’ve been privvy to in private messages or from within the confines of the online dating platform upon which you’ve met), you will learn nothing about your partner. If you know nothing about them, how can you judge in retrospect whether you want to see them again?

To be honest, that decision may no longer be in your hands. If all you’ve done is relate tales of your own life, however fascinating it is to you, the chances are your partner zoned out at some point and you won’t be hearing from them again, anyway.

If you know you beforehand that you are the sort of person who rambles when they get nervous and you’ve had the jitters all day long, the first thing you need to do when you meet up with your date is tell them. Be honest from the off – think of a keyword that you can tell them to use when you do start to go off on one and explain why. If you mention to your date that you’ve been anxious about hooking up all day, it may serve to settle their nerves, too.

But don’t leave it all to them – if you notice you are talking about yourself too much, try to reign in your focus and concentrate on your date, the purpose of your mission!

However, it is important to get the balance right. Don’t clam up on purpose – if you have something to say, say it, but give your potential partner the opportunity to respond and listen to what they have to say. Otherwise, the whole affair will have been a pointless exercise. You may even come across as being arrogant, if you show that you’re choosing not to respond to something they’ve interjected.

You do not want your date leaving with the impression that you only commented on topics that you started or worse, that you seemed to have no interest in what they seemed passionate about, whatsoever.  Whether you are or not, you risk coming across as extremely self-centred.

This is also a danger if you you go on and on about your life and express no interest in theirs. It can be tricky as it is, finding things to say, but trying to temper your responses can take a few attempts to get the right balance for a cordial evening and getting the opportunity for that second date.

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