Dating can be scary, fun, exciting and sickening all at the same time. Follow some simple rules and you're on your way to a fabulous new relationship, don’t and you could be on the road to despair. We show you some simple do’s and don’ts of dating
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1. Don’t be late
Trying to be all laid back and not too bothered won’t go down well. If you are genuinely held up make an effort to call and let your date know. Just turning up late and making a feeble excuse will mean game over for most people.
2. Make an effort with your appearance but don’t over do it
You don’t need to try and look like a movie star to impress your date. Be well groomed, smell nice but not over powering. In the case of men wear nice clean shoes as they do get noticed, dress smartly and look like you have made some effort. Ladies, it's best to dress appropriately, what you wear will almost certainly send some kind of signal to the man, be sexy and stylish in a subtle way and you will be off to a great start! Don’t over do it though. If you look like you have just arrived from a photo shoot means you are either really vain or trying too hard to impress. (If you are a model meeting your date straight from work you are of course excused)
3. Don’t Talk About Yourself All Night
We’ve all met the ‘me, myself and I person’. The conversation is totally one sided and you are forced to listen to hours of anecdotes about that person, I did this, then I did that, you won’t believe what I did etc etc. Make a real effort to listen to the other person, try to get to know your him or her, that’s the point of the date. It’s Ok to talk about yourself, just don’t over do it or be annoying. Good rule of thumb, listen more than you talk.
4. Excess Baggage
As we get older we naturally acquire emotional baggage from previous relationships. People in their early 20's don’t usually have this problem. They will probably be less confident due to a lack of relationship and life experience but generally won’t have problems with emotional baggage unless of course they began serious dating at the age of ten! ‘Older’ people will almost certainly be carrying some emotional baggage and tend to be more sensitive. The problem is knowing what they are sensitive to. It’s almost impossible to determine and can seem very irrational. You may say something innocently and suddenly evoke a violent rage and wonder where that came from. Just remember that the older you are the more careful you should be in the early days of dating. Tread carefully and respectfully and all will be well.
5. Take it easy on the booze
Ok, first dates are nerve racking for most people. Alcohol is a great social lubricant when it isn’t abused. Take it easy with the drinks, you don’t want to come across as an alcoholic on your first date plus it’s hard to be on your best behavior when you are drunk. Sip your drinks and make sure you don’t drink too much.
6. Keep Your Eyes on Your Date
It’s quite normal to check out other people around you. We all do it as part of our people watching. When you are on a date and especially a first date make a point of maintaining eye contact. Show a real interest, make him or her feel special. On the first date we are in super analysis mode, every word spoken, every gesture, body language etc is carefully assessed and scrutinised. You will make a much nicer first impression if you show a real interest in your date and seem oblivious to whatever is going on around you. If you are the 'Don Juan'' type...just tone it down as much as you can!
7. Don’t get Too Personal
As it’s your first date it is safer not to get too deep and personal in your conversations. It’s a lot safer to skim the top layer of conversations like movies, politics, religion etc and see how the other person reacts. Getting heavy on your first date might put the other person off especially if it’s a subject they feel strongly about. Save those deep and provocative conversations for later on in your relationship. If you ‘strike a chord’ with your date on some conversation subject it means you’ve found something in common and you should go for it!
8. Avoid going on about your ex’s
This is a common one. People can go on and on about their ex partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives etc. It’s normally either stories about how great life was, we did this, we did that, we went there, you know what I mean or it’s how much the ex annoyed them with this, that and the other. It’s fine to mention an ex in a conversation, ideally within some context and then leave it. If you are asked a direct question about your ex don’t be afraid to answer, just stick to the point, answer the question and move on.
9. Conversation is key
It isn’t always easy having a conversation with a stranger let alone on a date when there’s pressure not to say the wrong things, trying to impress but not seem cocky or self obsessed. Generally speaking there are various levels of conversation. There are some people we don’t like or don’t have much in common with but have to have a conversation out of politeness. There are other cases where we meet people who are like minded and the hours seem to disappear just like that. If you find you can't seem to like the other person you are probably on the wrong track unless it’s a case of opposites attract and the repulsion becomes attractive. It’s been known to happen! Assuming you find you have things in common gently probe to see where there is interest from your date. If you find you have something in common with a subject of conversation nurture it, if you don’t get a bite politely move the subject elsewhere rather than bore your date to death.
10. Switch Your Mobile Phone Off or at least Silent Mode
There is nothing more annoying than listening to somebody elses conversation for ages while you are sat there trying to look like it's ok. It is a best to either switch your mobile phone off or leave it in silent mode in case you are genuinely expecting an important call. Likewise fiddling with your phone when you should be paying attention to your date is a no no.
11. Be Quietly Confident
This is probably one of the most common issues on the dating scene. You want to come across as a confident person but don't want to come across as arrogant or cocky. Most people are attracted to people that are confident in themselves. The line between confident and arrogant is very very thin. I think the ideal is to come across as quietly self confident yet understated. You know who you are and don’t need to prove a thing. That cool, James Dean kind of vibe can be fantastic if you can pull it off.
We hope you have found these tips helpful and entertaining. Dating can be fun as long as you follow some simple rules. Nobody can predict the outcome but you can certainly stack the cards in your favour!
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