First Date Tips

Ready for a committed relationship? Here are 7 quick tips to help you get a great start on finding a committed partner. Weeding out the poor matches is as important as keeping the good ones in the beginning, but make sure you are at your best… and less likely to be the one who is weeded out.

Some of the guidelines below are just basic common sense; others might surprise you. Regardless, all of these “must-do” suggestions will hopefully make your dating life better and more purposeful!


1. Make the First Date Count

Plan the first date to include an event: visit a museum, attend a concert, or just go for a walk. Be sure to include some time for talking and getting to know each other, but attending an event will give you something to focus on in case your conversation becomes dull or you just don’t have any chemistry.

Also, determining sexual interest doesn’t take long and chemistry is the juice of life. However, you’re shopping for a relationship, so give yourself plenty of time to get to know your date so that you don’t dismiss a keeper too soon – and to make sure the two of you have more going for you than just sexual interest.


2. Have a Few Talking Points

Do prepare a multitude of subjects you’re able to talk about. Women who talk about their work all the time are no more interesting than men who talk about their work all the time. Have many interests… one of which should be your date! Listen and engage! Fifty percent of the airtime is yours so stay above thirty percent and below seventy percent. No relationship or date is an exact 50/50, but balance needs to be established for harmony to begin.


3. Enjoy Yourself

Remember that a date is a date – not your spiritual advisor or therapist. Save your real or perceived problems and flaws until you know she or he is deeply interested in you, or at least interested. The goal of a first date is to have a good time and to contribute at least 50% of the effort toward achieving that goal.


4. Keep Your Head in the Game

Shop with your brain, as well as heart and heat. Do realize the sexiest, most attractive person is not necessarily the best choice for you. So don’t get carried away by your hormones until you fill out the “Spouse Shopping List” below. It’s a simple way to decide and track what’s important to you when it comes to finding “The One.” Use it as a safety net after you’ve gotten to know your date to ensure you move past the biggest love block of all: wasting time. If your date isn’t eligible by your standards, move on.

Your Personal Dating Shopping List



5. Practice Your Communication Skills

Develop your communication abilities. If you need to be a better listener, practice listening. If you need to be more self-revealing, practice expressing yourself more.

You can’t feel loved if you don’t feel understood, and you can’t feel understood if you are unable to communicate who you are. And vice versa: a partner can’t feel loved unless you can listen without interrupting.


6. Get Comfortable with Rejection

Do be prepared for rejection – it happens. So get really good at handling it. If you suffer a major loss, grieving is necessary. But not getting a second or third date isn’t major loss. It is the opportunity to move on and find the person who does want to be with you.

You may have already experienced pain and sadness after being left, and lived to see the day you were thinking, “Thank you for dumping me.” When abandonment waves have passed, you sometimes realize that being left was a lucky break. He or she simply knew before you did that you two were wrong for each other.


7. Take Action!

Be assertive! Let your date know if you would like to go out again. This could mean calling to say you had a wonderful time, or sending a note, text, or email. Just be genuine. Express enthusiasm and close the sale. Don’t sit around with your head in the sand, wondering what will happen next. Find out if you are mutually interested in being together again.

Remember: dating should be fun! The main point is to be yourself, and work toward (and believe in) a positive outcome. When you do, dating will be pleasurable and the outcome that follows will be healthier and more productive.

Click here for a complete list of all Dr. Janet Blair Page’s articles.
Janet Blair Page, PhD, author of Get Married This Year: 365 Days to “I Do”, is a psychotherapist with more than thirty years of experience in private practice in New York and Atlanta. She teaches at Emory University and has been in the New York Times, Glamour and on CNN, FOX, Good Morning America, and The Early Show. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
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