Dating for the first time can be a little intimidating, regardless of who you are. There is nothing wrong with preparing yourself before an important date. On the contrary, it is perfectly normal.
The internet is not short on dating advice, and this probably isn’t the first article you have read. As such, we will try to condense it all down to seven key dating tips. It is quite easy to memorize this list and to internalize its lessons.
DATING TIPS FOR THE FIRST TIME: TIPS FOR YOU
1. USE HUMOR TO MASK YOUR NERVOUSNESS
You don’t have to be super cool and confident every minute in order to be successful in the world of dating.
A dating study published by the American Sociological Society measured the various factors that made a person more likable. Among these traits, humor was consistently cited as a helpful factor. After all, everyone likes a person who can make them laugh.
Humor and laughter are your two best weapons against the crippling anxiety that often destroys a person’s first attempt at courtship. Just don’t go too far and start acting like an idiot just because it makes your date laugh! Remember, you want them to laugh, but you also want them to respect you.
Anxiety about relationships is a major factor in attraction or the lack thereof. Some research estimates that as much as 50% of the human population has serious trouble attracting a date or functioning in an intimate relationship (2).
2. COMMUNICATE WELL AND REGULARLY
The following dating study might be enlightening. It came from the University of California and was intended to measure trends among couples regarding communication.
The study shows that quick response time was a key factor in determining a person’s overall likability. From the results, we see that even a slight delay in answering a person’s text message (for instance) can be devastating to your chances of success, simply because your significant other might think that you are ignoring them. Remember, nothing is worse than ignoring them!
Even if you have some flaws that your significant other doesn’t entirely like, it is safe to assume that you must have some qualities that they do like. Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t be meeting you in the first place.
You can make up for your natural flaws (which we all have) by being completely open and honest and sharing yourself with your significant other. It is a lot harder to forgive someone for their flaws, however, if they prove to be dishonest.
3. DON’T OVERDO IT WHEN TRYING TO IMPRESS
We all have a natural inclination to impress members of the opposite sex. This could take the form of a man washing and waxing his car before a big date, or a woman who puts on her nicest clothing and grooms herself meticulously.
While it is a good idea to put your best foot forward, there is a point at which the average person will look at you and think “this person is trying way too hard to impress me.”
Either way, don’t overdo it. There are many examples we could give, but let’s just consider this imaginary scenario for a moment. You are meeting someone at a restaurant, and it’s not a particularly fancy one.
Your date arrives wearing a gold-trimmed tuxedo and wielding a diamond-studded cane. Wouldn’t you feel a little silly? Sure that kind of thing might be impressive, but it makes them look:
- As if they might be overcompensating for something
4. DON’T SEEM LIKE YOU’RE HIDING ANYTHING
It’s a good idea to stick with the “70:30” rule (1). This means that your online profile should include 70% information about you, with the other 30% focusing on what you want from a partner. There are several good reasons to adhere to this rule.
First, it shows people that you are not bossy or controlling. A person with a lot of complex requirements will often be seen as too picky and thus not worth the effort. People like that are easy to push away over the smallest of disagreements.
Research also indicates that people with strict requirements are far less likely to succeed in attracting the kind of mate that they really want. This is kind of obvious when you think about it. Higher standards will normally fewer suitable partners.
Does this mean that you should just lower your standards to a really low level? Certainly not. That is a good way to attract “weirdos”, freaks, and other people that you probably don’t want or need in your life. You need that filter, so don’t discard it entirely.
Second, this method makes it clear that you are not hiding anything about yourself. Especially for a woman, a date can be a scary experience that feels risky. Meeting people online, in particular, can be risky.
Think about it from the perspective of a small and attractive female
Serial killers and other predators will sometimes use these apps to lure victims.
Being completely open and honest will help to convince her that you aren’t the next Charles Manson. Just remember, this person doesn’t know you, so don’t expect total trust at first.
5. MAKE THE OTHER PERSON THE FOCUS OF YOUR ATTENTION
Attention is key when you are trying to form a strong bond with another person. You have to make sure that your attention remains more or less fixed upon them. This is one of those dating tips that can save you many embarrassing arguments.
A partner who appears to be distracted and doesn’t pay a lot of attention to their date is likely to find themselves on the “rejected” list. Any way you slice it, being boring will be a death sentence. You need to be somewhere in between boring and insane, which really shouldn’t be hard for most people.
You should make the other person feel special. They should feel that they are the most important person in the world to you, at least at that moment. Even if your world doesn’t revolve around them, make them feel as if it does.
For instance, if you are chatting with your date and an old friend comes over to say hello, you should not ignore them. However, you should make sure to keep the majority of your attention on your date. Balancing your attention can be hard, but it is necessary.
Remember, this is a time that you have set aside to be together. Therefore, anything that interferes with that bonding time will inhibit the bonding process. Anything that puts the brakes on that natural bonding process is a date-killer for sure.
6. FIND A MIDDLE GROUND ON CONFIDENCE
While everyone knows that confidence is essential, not everyone understands the importance of moderation. You should be confident, but over-confidence usually just comes off as insecurity and overcompensation.
In addition, an over-confident approach to dating tends to intimidate people. Although that might cause some people to show respect to you, it tends to push people away over the long haul.
A lot of this just comes down to being secure with yourself as a person. Some research indicated that self-assuredness is a bigger factor in mate selection than most would have guessed (3). Remember, real confidence requires no advertisement.
That being said, this same study also says that insecure individuals can sometimes be successful by using a variety of tactics to compensate for the macho qualities that they don’t have.
7. FIND YOUR COMMON INTERESTS
This is a very important step indeed. When you are dating, you need things to talk about. You need things to discuss and consider and ridicule.
In most cases, the bonding of two creatures to one another will happen as a result of a shared experience. In the absence of this, it is important to find something that you have in common. It could be anything, no matter how minor. This is one of the best dating tips we can offer.
Research shows that people tend to gravitate towards people that they feel are more like themselves. These common interests can be a great way to avoid the dead silence that marks a bad date.
This might seem a little difficult since men and women usually tend to have different interests that do not always converge. That being said, there are also many interests, hobbies, and subjects that tend to interest both genders equally.
You might start with something like music or movies. Find out what they like, and start a conversation about it. Politics and religion are hot-button issues, but if you find that you agree on these things, it can be a great source of bonding.
While there is no way to guarantee success in the complicated process of courtship, these seven lessons will serve you well if you learn them well. If you need a general principle to tie everything together, just remember that it’s all about bridging the gap that is created by anxiety.
When we use this metaphor, we are not just speaking of your anxiety, but that of the other person as well. Only by bridging this divide can you move your relationship forward, so don’t hesitate to be outgoing and honest.
With the right attitude, and a determination to find the right person, virtually anyone can achieve their goals. As a final thought, just remember that all this courtship stuff isn’t that hard. If you look at it as an easy thing, it is more likely that it will be an easy thing. We wish you all the best of luck.