Let’s face it, dating can be super stressful, especially if you’re just getting back into the game. But even with all those first date jitters, it’s important that you bring out your best self. Here are 6 ways to help you be the best version of yourself when on a first date.
You did it! You’ve met someone great on Plenty of Fish, had amazing conversation online and are ready to meet in person, awesome. Unfortunately, sometimes the difficult parts about dating aren’t even in finding a person, but finding how to actually connect with another person. Witty banter, charm, and a relaxed flow of conversation are not things that can be faked IRL. Often times – even when you know you would hit it off with your date – your nerves inhibit you from carrying on a thriving conversation.
Between work, hobbies, family and friends, it can be hard to find time to date. But when you finally get some free time, you can meet people anywhere these days. There is no doubt that asking someone out can feel gut wrenching, but once they’ve said yes, the rest is a no-brainer. The most important thing to remember while dating is to keep an open mind. Bad dates might happen, and probably will happen, but they’ll only help you figure out what you want and don’t want in a partner. Throughout the process you’re going to have some questions, and thankfully, others have been in your place and have advice to help build your confidence and success in the dating world.
If you are someone that needs a little more than a subtle hint about how someone feels about you, then listen up. Body language is one of the simplest and most telling signs of someone’s true feelings. People will subconsciously reveal their reactions and emotions to a person or situation without even meaning to through body language. As the saying goes, “listen to their words but watch their actions”. Here are a few common body language movements decoded:
Crossed legs or arms
If any part of their body is crossed, it means they are guarded and not feeling completely relaxed around you. If a woman’s legs are crossed (as most women do this for modesty and comfort measures) look at where her legs are pointing, are the crossed away of towards you . Folded arms over the chest also indicate that your present company still needs to be convinced.
Playing with hair or ear
When someone plays with their own or someone else’s hair, this is usually a flirting technique. It means they feel comfortable and attracted to you and want to be able to get closer to you. However, ear grabbing usually means that the person doesn’t like what they are hearing and feel uncomfortable and a little nervous as well.
Touching of the neck and décolletage
This can be taken in two different ways. Someone who is stressed can rub their neck or loosen their collar, or even place a hand up around their own neck. These signs will also go with probably a straighter back and maybe even crossed arms. On the flip side if someone is grazing their fingers playfully around this area it can also mean they are flirting and are attracted to you.
Eye contact vs. no eye contact
The eyes will really tell you a lot about someone. If you are yet to be able to master reading the small movements of the eye, then just stick to understanding the importance of eye contact. When someone feels comfortable and attracted to you they will make eye contact. Anyone who is bored, nervous or uncomfortable will not be able to hold your gaze. They will keep looking away, or down and will answer your questions without looking at your directly.
Smiling with teeth vs smiling with no teeth
A big open smile with lots of teeth, shows that the person you are with feels relaxed, happy and comfortable. It’s also a clear way of flirting. A more demure and coy smile with no teeth but smiley eyes will also indicate a playful and flirty nature. A smile that has no teeth and no “smiling eyes” indicates they are just being polite but are most likely not interested, lacking confidence or comfortable.
Remember just because their body language indicates one thing at the start of a date, doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t change throughout the course of the date.
If you’ve been online dating for any length of time, you know that first dates can be very hit or miss. Sometimes, you just don’t seem to hit it off at all. In these cases, you exchange an awkward hug at the end of the evening, and call it a night. Sometimes, however, you receive a call or text the next day asking to hang out again. Dumbfounded, you wonder if he or she was on the same date as you.
While we can all laugh about these awkward encounters, sometimes you simply hit it off with someone right away and your first date goes off without a hitch. During these times, however, you may be wondering, “am I the only one who feels this way?”
To avoid these misunderstandings, we wanted to look at tangible evidence that indicates a date is going well. We came up with this simple checklist you can use to analyze your outing; here are seven signs your first date is going great!
[ √ ] Genuine Face Time
I’m not talking about the FaceTime app on your iPhone, I mean face time as in eye contact, nodding, and smiling. If your date is too busy looking through his or her phone instead of at you, it’s a good sign they may not be interested. Pay attention to this, it’s definitely bad form to scroll through your phone and ignore your date.
On the other hand, you can tell if your date is really engaged in the conversation by his or her body language. Is he or she reacting to the conversation, leaning in, nodding, smiling or laughing?Smiling can also be a good indicator of mutual attraction.
[ √ ] The Conversation Flows, Easily
Are you and your date able to have a normal conversation, or are there a lot of awkward pauses? If you’re able to converse comfortably, it’s a good indication that you feel at ease around each other. It’s an even better sign if you’re able to crack jokes and share your sense of humor.
Of course, if the conversation doesn’t flow freely, don’t write your date off just yet. Remember, everyone can have first-date jitters, and it can be hard for some people to open up right away. You also don’t want your date to feel too much like an interview with pre-rehearsed questions.
If you’re enjoying yourself and having a normal conversation, rest assured things are going well. This is a good sign that you can at least communicate, and as you know, that’s a non-negotiable foundation piece for any successful relationship.
[ √ ] They Make You Laugh
Not every first date is going to be a comedy show, and it really shouldn’t be, but if you’re able to laugh with your date from the get go, you’re already ahead of the game. Plus, this means you’re probably pretty comfortable with him or her, which isn’t always the case when you meet someone new.
[ √ ] You Have Things in Common
While we all have heard “opposites attract,” it’s a lot easier to get to know someone when you have some common interests. Plus, this sparks ideas for future dates if you’re both into similar music or movies or enjoy the same types of activities.
[ √ ] You Get the Feeling They’re a Good Person
I once found myself on a date where the guy yelled at our waitress because his tacos were breaking. Newsflash, genius, hard-shell tacos crack when you bite into them. I knew right away I didn’t want to be on a date with someone who was that rude to other people.
First impressions are very important, and you can generally tell when someone has good intentions. Pay attention to the way your date talks to you, the wait staff, or anyone else you interact with. If they’re generally courteous to the people around you, they’re most likely a nice person, or at least on their best behavior for the date, as they should be.
[ √ ] No One Pulls the “Something-Suddenly-Came-Up” Move
We all know the classic get-out-jail-free or get-out-of-this-date-now lines; “I think I left my straightener on,” “my friend needs me to pick him up…”, etc. If your date suddenly bolts with a lame excuse, it’s a safe bet the evening is a wash. But if you met up for dinner and are going somewhere else for coffee or dessert or you’re still sitting and talking long after your plates have been cleared, it’s safe to say you’re both having a pretty good time.
Now, this doesn’t mean you want to have a marathon, all-night first date, but if no one is in a rush, go with the flow and enjoy getting to know your date.
[ √ ] The Long Kiss Goodnight
OK, don’t get too excited, some people don’t kiss on the first date, out of principle. When you part with your date, however, pay attention to if he or she leans in for a kiss or hug, or just awkwardly walks away. If there’s some sort of comfortable embrace, there may be a second date or at least an “I had a wonderful time” text.
Of course, if you don’t hug or kiss, don’t jump to the conclusion that all bets are off just yet. He or she just may need a little more time to get more comfortable with you.
Keep an eye out for these positive indications while you’re on your date. You generally know right away if you want to see the person again or not, but if you pay attention to the signs, you will have a better idea if your date is on the same page.
How can you tell your date is going well? Let us know in the comments below!