by Steve Furlong

So you made a great first impression. And that led to scoring a phone number or e-mail address, which led to your first date. Sure, you are attracted to the guy and had some great conversation, but the first date- where it is just you and him- has you a little bit nervous. Here are some tips on what to do- and what not to do- as you take the first step in what could end up turning into a relationship.

What to Bring Checklist:

Cash – In a day of debit cards, we sometimes forget that green exists – but you will need this for tips, meters and more.

Credit/Debit Card- you never know when a good night will turn great and you’ll need extra dough! Positive Attitude- If you can’t find one to bring, you may as well cancel!

Sense of Humor – This will make you relax- and show your funny side. Most everyone likes keen wit- but everyone has a different sense of humor, so filter yours accordingly. There is another reason to bring this along. Everybody has quirks, so bringing along your sense of humor will allow you to make it through any situation that you are not comfortable with.

Cell Phone/Calling Card – Just incase you need to call for a cab, or an emergency happens. (Note: Keep your cell phone off! You are not bringing it to talk on throughout your date!)

What to Talk About:

Be armed with conversation pieces. “What’s your favorite color?” and “What’s your favorite movie” is a little grade school-esque. You are both grown men. Make sure your ammunition is full of fond memories of both childhood and adulthood. What cool things have you done in your life that would generate interest in your date? What things would make him want to learn more? Did you ever skydive or do community work? The goal here is not to try to impress (okay- maybe a little) or gloat, but to make things interesting. This could build respect and admiration.

What Not to Talk About:

Yourself. Okay, of course you are going to talk about yourself, but stop! Let him ask questions about it. Leave out details to make him ask more- this will generate a great round of back-and-forth. Make sure you ask his opinions, and about his experiences in life. Make the table conversation even, so you both feel like you can go home knowing a lot about the other. And of course, you pals are going to ask about the date. Do you really want to answer like this: “You know, I really don’t know what he’s like or what he’s done- I never thought to ask…” Of course you don’t.

What to Watch For:

In a sociology class, I once learned why when applying for “good jobs” after the interview phase, employees and colleagues will take the applicant out to dinner. This is to get to know the person, and their habits a little better. On the surface, they may be likeable and have credentials, but dinner can say a lot about someone. Casual conversation could bring up a viewpoint that the company does not agree with. The same can go for dating. A personal ad is like a resume- and e-mail or phone conversation is like the interview. Or, if meeting someone in person, that is like the initial interview. Then the first date is the “second interview” my professor spoke of. You can look for things such as etiquette. Perhaps this is not important to you, and you go to a wing place where manners do not matter. But, if that is of importance to you, watch for clues. Watch how they eat, how they tip, etc.

The first date is important. It can make or break a relationship. But, please remember- if things do not go totally perfect, your date may be worthy of a second chance. Sometimes nerves- on your side or his- can cause excessive talking. (Silence can be good- it means you are comfortable with each other!) The day’s events- whether is be a rough day at work or a family matter- could have cause you or your date to act totally normal.

If you have a first date soon, I wish you many more.

How to be the One

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