In Better Dates Part 1 we looked at the importance of knowing why you are dating. In Part 2 we will look at how to have better dates.
Have Proper Expectations
One sure way to not enjoy a date is to build up a bunch of unrealistic expectations. If you are expecting a guy to sweep you off your feet or a girl to swoon when you enter the room, you will end up disappointed. Don’t go into this expecting to find love at first sight or true love on a first date. It doesn’t usually work out that way.
Of course, the flip side of that is not having high enough expectations. There are certain things you should expect. You have every right to expect things such as patience, courtesy, respect, politeness, good manners, temperance, and punctuality. These are basic requirements which should always be expected in any circumstance.
Have Standards in Place
Decide beforehand what is acceptable and what is not. Don’t wait and decide while on a date what your standards are. How will you and your date conduct yourselves? What are your physical, monetary, alcohol, time, and distance limits? Never trust anyone who keeps trying to test your boundaries.
This ties into the last one. But let’s go a step further. Watch for red flags such as secretiveness, rudeness, impatience, or selfishness, among others. Have a plan in place in case something bad should happen. I go into these things in greater detail in my post Dating Danger, so I won’t get into it too much here. Just have safeguards in place, be vigilant, and be careful out there.
Get to Know Each Other
One of the main reasons for going on dates is to get to know someone. So for better dates, choose activities that encourage plenty of interaction. Going on a bike ride, for instance, would allow you more opportunity to interact than watching a movie. Or, a quiet coffee shop will be more conducive to conversation than a noisy nightclub or a sonorous sports bar.
To get to know someone, become a good listener. Don’t make everything all about you. Instead, seek to understand the other person. Good conversation needs a lot of “give and take”. For better dates, learn to be a good conversationalist.
Avoid Romantic Dates
At least at first, avoid romance. This ties into my last point. You don’t learn much about someone in romantic settings. You don’t learn much about someone while making out. In fact, that usually stifles communication, retards the process of getting to know someone, and leaves you oblivious to what would otherwise be obvious red flags.
If you find true love, you will have the rest of your lives to enjoy romance and physical affection. But first, get to know someone’s heart and their character. That takes focus and it takes time. Don’t rush it.
Be Open Minded
Be open to new experiences. Don’t rule things out just because you’ve never done them before or because you might be awkward at them at first. Thank God I went cycling with Anita, even though she insisted I wear a helmet and stretchy pants. At first, I felt pretty dorky dressing like that, but I got used to it and we really bonded while riding.
Also be open, as I mentioned in the previous post, to different types of people. You never know. Someone you are tempted to write off as not your type could turn out to be exactly your type once you spend a little time getting to know them.
Of course, there are limits. Don’t feel obliged to go on a date with someone lacking in personal hygiene, morals, or social skills. And certainly, don’t feel compelled to do anything immoral, illegal, or truly dangerous. But, do try to be open-minded about new experiences and new types of people.
Don’t be a jerk. Be open, personable, and engaging. Be aware of your body language. Use good communication skills. Basically, treat your date and everyone around you respectfully.
This does not mean lowering your standards or altering your boundaries. Being nice does not mean being a pushover. It simply means treating people well – all people – all the time. And, expect the same from your date.
Be Confident, Keep Practicing
Don’t be desperate, be confident. This isn’t life or death. One date will probably not determine the course of the rest of your life. Keep things in perspective. Have confidence that you are a likable person and that you can interact with another person successfully for a couple of hours and have a nice time.
You can do this. And, the more you do it, the better at it you will become. So, get out there and get in practice.
Remember, It’s a Date, Not a Marriage Proposal
Don’t be so serious. Don’t get all uptight and nervous. Just go have a little fun and get to know a nice person a little better. If you hit it off, you can go on another date. There is time to sort out whether or not a relationship might be a good idea later. For now, it’s just a date. Lighten up.
So, for better dates:
- Know why you want to date
- Have proper expectations
- Have standards
- Make it a learning experience
- Be safe
- Avoid romance (at least at first, there is time for that later)
- Be open minded
- Be nice
- Be confident
- Lighten up
Be Sure to Subscribe
Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you enjoyed this two-parter and that it helps you date better. If you missed part one, you can catch it here. To read more posts about dating click here. While you’re perusing these posts, be sure to scroll back up to the top and hit that subscribe button so you never miss out on what’s new.
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