Lots of clients who see me for dating coaching struggle with the dating process. First, let me describe my ideas about the dating process.
People date because they want to meet someone for some kind of relationship, be it casual, long term, or permanent. I see dating as what people do after they first meet, because they want to get to know each other.
These days many people are introduced online, but many people also meet in other ways; at a party or a club, at school or at work, introductions by a mutual acquaintance, friend or someone’s family member, or even after eyeing one another in a supermarket check out line! That first meeting, if in person, will lead to exchanging contact information because one or both people are interested based upon physical appeal or possibly an intriguing conversation. When people meet online, they have the information from each other’s profiles, and they may have exchanged emails, texts, or phone calls.
So – when you meet someone for the first time for a date most people will put a lot of effort into appearing positively, because this is your first and best opportunity to make a great impression. If you’ve met online, I’ll assume you used a genuine and current picture of yourself because if you haven’t, you have other issues to contend with! And I’ll also assume that whatever information you have exchanged has been honest, because again, if you aren’t being honest there’s something else going on.
- Choose a place that is nice, that you can afford, and where you will feel comfortable, and can both see and hear your date. The purpose of dating is to get to know your date and let them get to know you. If you can’t see each other because it’s dark, or hear each other because the music is too loud, neither of you will end that date feeling you’ve made progress getting to know the person,
- Be curious about your date. If you need to think of a list of possible questions to ask, do it in advance! When they answer, ask another couple of questions about the answer.
- They should be similarly curious about you. If they only use your answers as a launching point to talk about themselves, consider; they may be nervous – or they may not be interested in you. Learn to tell the difference.
- Can you give them at least 3 compliments? Examples would be “I’ve been looking forward to meeting you. Your interest in ________________ made me want to know more”. “I like this place that you’ve chosen. It has great food”. “You’re a good listener”.
- Listen. Make eye contact. If you’re nervous, admit it! They are probably nervous too.
- When the date ends, pay attention to your instincts. If you want to see your date again, no problem. But if you don’t, or you aren’t sure – and here’s the hard part – rehearse a kind, honest, and polite way of saying that.
If you need more help or tips, email me!