Everyone has to start somewhere. Anyone already in a relationship will have gone through the anxiety of arranging a ‘first date’. From choosing what to wear to selecting a suitable venue and time, there are lot of things to think about.
Thankfully, with just a little bit of planning, you can increase your chances of dating success. These top dating tips for men should help reduce the nerves and make your date flow smoothly.
First impressions matter
Try to think about the first time you met a work colleague or new family member. What was your first impression of them? Did that impression stay with you? Did you like what you saw? Would you like to be that person?
Many of the signals your body sends out are subliminal and very powerful. From the way you greet your date to the way you chew your food, everything sends out signals about the person you really are. Make an effort to be a better version of yourself.
It goes without saying that you should always be hygienically clean. Trim those nails and tidy up any hair. Start taking pride in your appearance, but don’t get too obsessive about it.
There is tendency for men to rush out before a date to buy new clothes. There is nothing more stressful than flicking through the clothes rails an hour or two before you are supposed to meet.
You might find some new clothes – but is that who you really are? There is no point pretending to look like someone else when your usual image is something completely different.
Be comfortable with who you are – because over time, your normal self will re-appear. Better to just go with whatever makes you comfortable. If your date doesn’t like your image, then perhaps they were not the one for you. If your image suits their tastes and yours… result!
Just be yourself.
Make date plans for somewhere safe and comfortable
Choosing the location of your first date can be a daunting task. You will be eager to impress, but sometimes it’s best to go to a place that is familiar to you (and you like the food!). If this is a blind date, you may want to pick a place that is busy and public. This should help calm any nerves and suggest to your date that you are aware of their concerns.
I always arrange to meet someone for the first time at a nice coffee shop. The smell of fresh ground coffee and soft ambient lighting really help set the tone for any conversation. The music is often light and low enough to allow two people to hold a conversation without shouting or being overheard.
Extra Tip: It’s best not to pick a really noisy venue to have a conversation in. You want to get to know each other – and that begins by talking. Also, try not to choose a venue that is filled with your mates. They will just get in the way and you may end up giving them more attention than you give to your date.
Confidence is one the biggest concerns for anyone seeking a new relationship. We fill our heads with so much doubt and worry. What if this happens? What if he/she doesn’t like me? What if they don’t like my teeth?
But it needn’t be that way. People can be very perceptive to anxiety in others and you need to find strategies to deal with your worries. Maybe have a chat with a close friend or family member before you go on your date. Talk through any issues you may have so they don’t pop up and surprise you later.
Remember… you might not be the only one feeling nervous. Your date might be feeling it too. Take a deep breath before you start to talk and keep the conversation focused on them. Once you start to chat about the things you have in common, your confidence will start to grow.
Don’t be afraid to tell them that you are nervous. It’s all part of the dating experience. Even the most confident ‘looking’ person is shaking somewhere deep inside. Sometimes knowing that you are both feeling the same way can be an excellent ice-breaker.
Don’t do all the talking
Have you ever came away from a meeting and realised that you were the only one doing all the talking? Can you imagine sitting across the dinner table hearing someone talk non-stop about themselves? After a while you would stop hearing what they are saying as your mind wandered off to other things.
Conversation is extremely important – but it is essential that you give each other some space to talk and allow time for each other to process information. Slow your talking down and be guided by the reactions of your date. If their eyes begin to glaze over, you are probably talking too much! Turn the attention back to them. Ask them some questions. Listen to the answers. Ask questions based on those answers. Be interested and show it.
Keep the conversation light and open-hearted
On your first date you are kind of playing a game. Your role in the game is to find out interesting things about the person facing you. People like to talk about themselves and their experiences, but will back off or clam up if they feel they are being interrogated.
Probably best to avoid highly controversial topics on this first date as differences of opinion could lead to friction between you. I find it best to leave out my feelings on politics and religion (unless of course it is something my partner want to discuss). Just keep it light and fun.
There are plenty of subjects to talk about that don’t involve heated debate.
Avoid taking about your EX
Some subjects are taboo – and talking about your previous conquests is a definite no no. It’s just too much of a minefield and sure to bring complications to the chance of any future relationship.
The past is best left in the past. Anything you do say may be mentally recorded and used against you at a future time. Best to just politely say no comment to that subject if it pops up.
Turn off your phone!
If I am on a date with someone who spends our time together staring at their phone, they are not the one for me. Aside from being rude, it implies that I am not their priority.
Next time you are in a restaurant, take a look around and see how many people are sitting staring at their phones – instead of enjoying the surroundings and engaging in conversation with their friends and loved ones. It’s a shocking, but growing trend. Stay focused on your date.
If you waiting on some important news (or maybe you are on call), let your date know at the start and ask if it’s OK for you to keep your phone handy. They will appreciate you asking. Switch off the ringer and set it to vibrate.
Share the bill
I always split the bill 50/50 with my date. It’s fair and it’s the right thing to do. Imagine you went on 50 first dates, and paid the full bill every time? Not only would you be out of pocket, but you would feel a bit foolish.
People expect to split the bill these days.
Don’t make it an issue. Just share it.
Arrange the next date
If you get the feeling that the date went well, ask to arrange another one. Choose a place and time and book it in. Arranging the next date is the confident thing to do. It implies you enjoyed the meeting and would like to find out more about them.
Do not say. ‘I will call you…’ – you know you wont – and so does your date. Just be polite. If they say no to another date, then just thank them for their time and leave it at that. Do not plead for a second date!
Learn from your first date
The object here is to see how (or if) you could improve…you!
Do NOT over analyse every second of the date. Think about how you felt during your time together. Were there subjects brought up that made you feel uncomfortable? Did you allow them time to speak? Would you ‘really’ like to meet them again?
We live and learn…
Every time we go on a date, or meet someone new, we learn a little bit more about ourselves. Sometimes we discover things about our personality or habits that we don’t like. With some time and effort, these can be fixed. Often we realise that there IS more to us than we thought. All of us carry a lifetime of experiences and memories – these are the things that make us – and attract other like souls to us.
Dating should be an enjoyable experience. We hope you enjoyed these top dating tips for men. We would love to hear about your own dating adventures 🙂 Leave a comment below.