First Date 101 – How to Be Yourself on a First Date and Increase Your Chances of it Leading to a Second

First dates are daunting. Whether you’ve been actively dating for a while or you’re completely new to the scene, no one is exempt from the worry or anxiety that comes with meeting someone for the first time and hoping to make the best possible first impression.

A first date often means moving away from the comfort of online communication to a face-to-face meeting that offers the potential to create a real spark, connection, and foundation to develop things further.

These are my top first date tips to help you make the best possible first impression and you want to see them again for a second. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Disagree

In our quest to be likable, it’s common to take a diplomatic stance. Your date doesn’t like the film A Beautiful Mind, you absolutely love it and think it was totally deserving of it’s Oscar but instead you say ‘Yeah I don’t know, I thought it was okay’. It may seem intuitive to play down your opinion to be more diplomatic in the hope that it makes you seem more likable and compatible but that’s not the case.

Using noncommittal lexical choices such as ‘okay’, ‘maybe’ and ‘kinda’ can come across negatively by making you appear indecisive. In contrast, being decisive and assertive about your views and using language that correlates with them can be seen as attractive and endearing. Be honest about what you think and be willing to discuss it, there’s nothing more attractive than seeing someone’s eyes light up when they talk about something they’re really passionate about. Voicing an opinion that differs from your date not only allows you to demonstrate assertiveness it also creates a dynamic conversation. Disagreeing and agreeing creates conversational energy that is often exciting, allows for flirtation and in turn creates a connection.  

“YES, let’s”

Creating a relaxed environment with fun energy is one of the most important factors in someone wanting to see you again. Being open to experience is not only a hugely attractive trait, but demonstrating it will create a memorable and unique date.

Perhaps the restaurant has oysters as the special and you’ve both never tried them, now is a perfect time! If you love them it creates the closeness of shared experience, if you hate them it’s something to have a laugh about! It also creates fun energy that people instantly gravitate to and will want to be around again.  In contrast, playing it too safe or being redgid in your behaviour can create what feels like a more formal environment. This can be uncomfortable for everyone and often leads those dreaded awkward silences.

A first date isn’t an interview nor should it feel like a job. Enjoy yourself and enjoy the environment you’re in, this makes it far more likely your date will enjoy themselves also.   

Upgrade Your Greeting 

Initial greetings are tricky, handshake, “hug” or a kiss on the cheek? Any are acceptable and it’s best to go with what you’re most comfortable with, however, try and add an element of romantic warmth to your greeting to create an air of romance, intimacy, and interest from the start.  

If you choose to go for a handshake, why not try a gentle touch to their upper arm with your free hand as you lean in. Upgrade a kiss with a warm smile and great eye contact as you step away from kissing their cheek. Both say  ‘I like you and I’m interested in you’. These moves add an air of intimacy which instantly adds excitement for both parties, as well as breaking the ice to help you both feel more comfortable and relaxed to enjoy your time together. 

Epiphany Leone

Posted by Epiphany Leone

Epiphany Leone, BSc MBPS, is a life coach specialising in relationships and dating. She trained as a psychologist at London Metropolitan University before becoming a full time relationship and dating specialist. Epiphany has worked in psychiatric care, mental health and psychological research with her area of expertise being personality research. In 2015, Epiphany received critical acclaim for her revolutionary research in the area of construct personality traits at the World Personality Conference in Brazil. Epiphany’s approach to relationship and dating coaching is a unique combination of psychological methodology merged with goal and solution focused coaching methodology.

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