It’s bizarre. Why are first dates so tricky? It’s because there’s a vicious loop hidden deep within it. Here’s what it looks like:
- The more you try to impress your date, the more awkward it gets.
- The more awkward it gets, the more it makes you nervous.
- And the more nervous you get, the more unimpressive you become.
That is especially true for first-timers or those getting into the dating market after a long time.
So how to break the loop?
First, you need to get something straight.
Not everyone is looking for the same thing, not everyone comes from the same place, and not everyone finds the same things attractive. So there are no one-size-fit-for-all dating tips that will make you irresistible to everyone.
However, deep down, most of us share the same pain points. If you get some basics right, you can identify and work them to your advantage.
So, no, you don’t need to memorize 100 little rules like straightening your shoulder, keeping firm eye contact, chewing without moving a muscle, or taking your waiter to the movies along with your date.
Instead, get these few things right, and you will be able to act in the moment and problem-solve your way into a higher league.
Be Yourself but Be Relatable As Well
It’s far simpler than it looks. We fear rejection.
And at the same time, we think we deserve nothing but rejection. So before anyone else does, we reject ourselves. And then, we pretend to be someone else, a cooler, more exciting version of ourselves.
Of course, the first impression is everything, isn’t it?
Yes. It is, but so is being genuine.
I mean, even if you score a second date by pretending to be what you perceive to be more palatable, the other person will never know who you really are. And that would be a disservice to both of you.
But will anyone like the real you? Probably not. You still have to put in some effort.
The only difference is instead of trying to hide who you are: you are focusing more on how to make it more relatable to your date.
Here’s how to do it.
Invest Heavily in Confidence and Not in Your Arrogance
When you are arrogant, you turn people off with your self-obsession. When you are confident, you pull people in with your passion.
Storytelling is magic.
If you can hit the right cords with the other person, you can get a chess player interested in your fishing adventures.
They feel the same satisfaction after beating an opponent beyond their league as you do after catching the biggest fish among your pals.
Again. It’s all about passion. We all are passionate about something. That’s why when someone invites us into something they are passionate about — it strikes an instant connection.
But to pull it off, you need to be confident rather than just pretending. Here are a few easiest ways to be more confident:
- Read a lot.
- Don’t talk about the things you have no idea about.
- Be self-aware (leave your ago+embrace your imperfections).
- Challenge your boundaries.
By doing so, you present yourself as a competent yet humble individual. And when it comes to attraction, there’s hardly any deadlier combination than that.
Show Engagement if You Want To Be Engaging
A date isn’t a business meeting. You are not going to negotiate over the bills and tips. The whole purpose is to have a good time and get to know someone new.
So relax. Ask your new friend a few questions. Show interest in what they do and what they love doing. As Mark Manson rightly quotes in his book Models:
“Instead of thinking, “I wonder if she’ll like me,” think, “I wonder what she’s like?”
Don’t be a creep and make it all about their looks, be interested in the other person as a whole. As human beings, we like to be respected and given attention.
Speaking of which…
Don’t Interrupt When the Other Person Is Talking
Make no mistake. When you cut people off in the middle of their sentence, they don’t look at you and go: “Take me home!” No. On the contrary, this is the single unsexiest thing you can do on your first dates.
Imagine trying to build a house of cards while someone keeps blowing it down — not exactly a turn-on, is it? The same goes for people trying to interrupt you when you are trying to get some points across.
It’s a sign of disinterest, disrespect, and a total lack of consideration. Yet, most people can’t help it. What they don’t understand is listening can be very very powerful.
The more you listen, the more you understand the other person. It gives you a peek into their stories, personalities, and sometimes even their absurdities.
Not only does it help you decide whether you want to take it forward, but if you do, having a basic understanding of their being will make you a far better companion than those who rely on assumptions.
Be Okay To Walk Away or Being Walked Away From
“Rejection exists for a reason — it’s a means to keep people apart who are not good for each other.”― Mark Manson, Models: Attract Women Through Honesty
If (despite giving your best) the spark isn’t there, it’s okay to move on. Likewise, if the other person is looking for something different, be open to accepting rejections.
You can’t get married to everyone you date. Nor can you turn each date into a score. So it’s always better to proceed with realistic expectations. It takes a weight off your chest, allowing you to stay in the moment.
And when you aren’t afraid of rejection, you will be yourself and make a genuine connection with the other person. Which, in turn, makes you more appealing to the right people.
Dating is like a two-person dance routine. Both people have to bring their A-game and stay in step with each other. It’s not just one person’s responsibility to make the relationship work.
But if you really want to be the star of the show, try going the extra mile to make it easier for your partner. Trust me, they’ll appreciate the effort, and you’ll earn some serious brownie points.