It makes people nervous, gives them sleepless nights, it makes girls – and boys, admit it! -spend hours in front of the mirror and puts boys to the test. Yet, nearly everyone wants to have ‘em: Dates! But how do you turn your next date into a success story? Let’s start by solving one problem you might experience: How to get a date in the first place?
1. Don’t call it a date
Okay, this seems to contradict the title of this story but makes sense. Just don’t go on dates, go out and have fun instead! Once you approach a girl or guy with an invitation for “a date”, he or she immediately understands you have certain hopes that need to be met. While you’ve already figured you really like the other person, he or she might not know you well enough to judge if you’re even nice to hang out with. The pressure to meet the expectation you so obviously have, will not contribute to the likeliness that date is going to happen.
Instead, try to find common interests and anticipate on that: “I heard you like singer XYZ. You want to join me to the concert next weekend?” Going somewhere for some sort of ‘good’ reason feels more natural than meeting so that in the end of the evening, you go home with someone and live happily ever after. Inviting someone for a date out of the blue, without having built some sort of contact before, is unlikely to succeed. Even dating sites, where such contact is only built virtually, is more likely to succeed than what I call cold dating.
2. Keep using your common sense
Once you have that date secured, keep using your common sense. Ask yourself what he or she would enjoy doing – a Facebook profile probably gives some good clues – or even ask the person you’re going on a date with. This immediately gives you a good reason to show some genuine interest. Make some effort! Everyone likes someone to make an effort for him or her!
3. Be yourself
Assuming that you have sincere ambitions, it’s crucial to be yourself. This sounds a bit lame, but you need to understand that eventually, the person you really are will come across as most natural and sincere. Also, it’s likely that you are not going to be able to keep up the play for a very long time. Yes, you might succeed once or twice, but eventually, the real you is going to surface. No one likes to be fooled, so in the end, you will just disappoint the other person and thereby yourself.
That doesn’t mean you cannot make some extra effort to look nice. Dress up, put up a good perfume (not too much!) and take the other person to a great place you normally might not go. It will certainly contribute to your self-confidence. Being yourself also doesn’t mean you immediately throw your life story on the table. Everyone likes a little mystery. Throw a hint, make the other person curious and you have a conversation – not unimportant when you have a date!
4. Understand the rules of physical contact
First of all, you need to know how the personal space generally works. Within half a meter, you are in someone’s intimate zone. Don’t enter your date’s personal space right away, but stay in the area around it; the personal zone. This is between half a meter and 1.20m away. Outside of that is the social zone, which can be perceived a little distant at a date.
Once your date is comfortable with your presence at approximately half a meter, you can see what happens when you give him or her a gentle tap on the upper arm. If there is some sort of positive respons, you can do that same with his or her hand. Ideally, you’d be sitting across each other at a table so you’re at a natural distance. When the response to that is positive, you can softly put your hand towards your date’s hand.
Again, this is a lot about common sense and your ability to notice your date’s behavior. More about that later in this post.
5. Clearly visualize your goals
You have to be crystal clear about your goals. Try to play the date in your mind as a small movie. What’s likely to happen? What do you want to happen? How can you achieve that? What do you want to experience yourself and how do you want the other person to feel? When is the date a success for you? Do you just want to have a good time, end it with a kiss or go home with your date? Whatever you do, make sure your actions meet your words. Pretending that you have feelings because your date seems to have them, so that you can get what you want, is for losers.
Yes, I know these tips include some risk-taking. But don’t forget: No guts, no glory. No date will turn into a smashing success without taking some risk.
These tips – and yes, there are many more! – suggest that you have to be extremely aware of your behavior. To a certain extent that is true. You need to understand how you function. In case you are constantly worried about what you look like, how you sound, if your story is interesting, and so on, remember this: The other person is most likely doing the same, giving you a bit of breathing space to sit back, enjoy your time and focus on the other person. Because if that’s the love of your life sitting across the table, you better notice. And if he or she is not, you better notice too!