First dates: excitement, nerves, terrified, short breath, sweaty palms, loss for words, brain numb, clumsy arms…. Romance.

First dates have a certain charm to them. Because you usually don’t know each other terribly well, you are forced to be on-the-ball and somewhat spontaneous. You cannot plan your every word before hand, and you will have no idea if you will be able to keep the conversation going…. Which can be stressful.

Luckily for you, I have complied a short list of 5 key elements to apply in order to guarantee a successful (well, at least ‘smooth’ and ‘pleasant’) first date…. Which will hopefully lead to a second date.

First thing, to get the conversation going, is to:

1) Ask questions.
Shift your focus from yourself and onto the other person. This will 1) keep you from overanalyzing yourself, thus 2) cause you to relax so that you can enjoy yourself, and 3) keep the conversation going.
In addition, you will learn more about the other person – Which is the whole point of the date, isn’t it??

2) Listen.
Everyone wants someone who can listen to them. It shows interest. You will learn more about the other person, and you will naturally know which questions to ask and stories to tell to keep the conversation going by doing this one simple thing: listening.

3) Find common ground.
Statistically, everyone has at least one thing in common. It’s your job to find it, but it is not your job to agree with everything they say. You are entitled (and it is recommended) to be yourself and have your own opinions, likes and dislikes. Ask questions and stick to ‘safe’ topics about their family, interests, favourite foods and things to do, where he or she has travelled to or would like to go, what kind of job they have or what they are studying, etc.
Topics to avoid are generally anything too deep or personal, politics, religion, or something that may cause discomfort or cause an argument (unless of course, those are your common-ground topics).
Right now, you’re still testing the waters. So don’t dive in too deep yet or you might end up hurting yourself. There is a time to go deep, and you will know when that is. But usually that time is not on the first date.

4) Be true to yourself.
It is not your job to agree with everything the other person says. It is, however, your job to convey a correct picture of yourself.
You are the only representative of yourself, so instead of trying to portray a certain ‘image’, just relax and be yourself. People can sense a phony, and people don’t like phonies.
People feel most comfortable around and are most attracted to people who can be themselves. Plus, when you are true to yourself then you will attract the perfect person for you – and not the person attracted to the ‘image’ you’ve created and will have to keep up.
Don’t say something you don’t believe. Don’t lie. Don’t exaggerate too much – if at all.
Don’t compromise yourself, your beliefs, your morals or your values. You will only beat yourself up about it later.
Save yourself the trouble of cleaning up messes later, and just be true to yourself – starting from the very first date.

5) Be positive
People are attracted to positive people. If you spend the evening complaining or nit-picking every little thing, you can pretty much kiss your date goodbye right there – because they most probably won’t call you back.
Don’t complain about your life. Don’t play victim. And absolutely do not put yourself down.
There is no need for false humility (denying your strength, playing yourself down, putting yourself down). That is not honouring to yourself or your date.
Rather, be honest. If you’re good at something, you can admit it without being arrogant about it. Arrogance is ‘confidence’ without being vulnerable enough to let people see who you really are.
Be confident in who you are.
Silence the lie that says “if people really knew me, they wouldn’t like me.” Studies in psychology have proven the opposite. People like genuine and real people. Therefore, the more you let people get to know you – the real you – the more they will probably like you.

So in short, these are the 5 keys to ace your first date:

1) Ask questions

2) Listen

3) Find common ground

4) Be true to yourself

5) Be positive

Happy dating!!!!

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