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For those American singles heading on a first date with someone they’ve met on EliteSingles, the chances are you and your date have already hit it off online. After finding interest in each other’s profiles and exchanging messages to become more familiar with one another, it’s time for that all important first meeting. If you’re planning your evening and you’re finding nerves creeping in, here are some first date advice to ensure your date is spent talking the night away and is not just a painfully extended awkward silence.
Of course going on a first date with someone you’ve met on a dating site can be nerve racking and feel a little unnatural, especially for those new to online dating. However, it doesn’t need to be! If you’ve met someone online who’s giving you butterflies and you’re planning that all important first meeting, here are some dos and don’ts that will banish the nerves and make room for the conversation to flow. We have compiled the list with the help of EliteSingles psychologist Salama Marine, to make that first encounter run as smoothly as possible and unite like-minded American singles.
The transition from online messaging to an offline meeting is not as scary as it may seem, in fact it’s simply an opportunity to test your interpersonal chemistry. If you feel like you’ve clicked online, then most likely you’ll click in person too; but if not, you know that you gave it a chance and will have no regrets. Take a leap of faith in your online connection and allow the chance for something truly great to develop.
So who will you be spending that all important first date with? How does the matchmaking process work?
First date advice for your dating success
Do: Keep it Simple
Essentially, the first date with someone you’ve met online is all about discovering whether there is chemistry between you and therefore the location you pick needs to allow you the space to talk. Choosing a simple first date idea like a coffee or a walk in the park will keep the date feeling relaxed and casual and provide a more natural environment for the two of you to get to know each other.
Don’t: Change your personality for somebody else
Salama Marine explains, ‘Don’t change your personality for someone else. Sometimes when some people want to impress, they try to do everything in their power to look perfect, by saying yes to everything and never showing any disagreement. But maintaining your own personality is probably the most important thing to do during a first date. Don’t forget yourself and your opinions; this is actually the best way to seduce a new person.’ In order to find someone who you can potentially spend the rest of your life with, you need to be yourself. Let the person fall in love with the real you. Otherwise you have no chance of making it work in the future. Be comfortable with who you are and trust that the right person will recognize what you bring to a relationship.
This may sound straight forward but Salama stresses the importance of actually listening to your date. She maintains, ‘Nowadays people don’t know how to really listen to each other. Try to make the effort to understand what the words really mean. For example, if someone on a first date is telling you that he/she had bad experiences of trust in the past, it probably means they are seeing whether they can trust you.’ Forming a true connection with someone comes from really engaging in conversation – pick up on small details your date has mentioned and enquire further. This will enable you to become closer more quickly.
Afraid of awkward silences? Try our First Date Questions
Don’t: Focus on the past
Salama advises; ‘focus on the future, not the past: If you’re not ready to date someone, just don’t do it. It’s better to feel completely ready and confident enough to meet someone who can complete you. No one likes to hear about an ex on a first date right?’ Inevitably, the question of ex-partnersF will arise but it certainly shouldn’t be on your first date. Your first date is about you getting to know each other and a potential future together, steer clear of discussing much to do with the past. Some of the best first date advice is to keep the past in the past; don’t compare your new date to your previous partner. Start afresh and let yourself be open to something new.
Do: Let your body speak too
While it is important to establish a mental connection with your date through the art of conversation, body language is also a huge part of attraction, because it ‘reveals how available, attractive, enthusiastic or even how desperate we are,’ according to Psychologia.co. A good way of demonstrating your interest in your date is maintaining good eye contact to show you are engaging in what they’re saying. But you don’t want to overdo it and seem overly keen. Keep it simple – if you’re attracted to your date and you want to show them, adopt a more forward posture, leaning in to the conversation to express your interest. Using slightly animated speech will also enhance this effect. And of course, leave your phone in your bag – we all know constantly checking your social media apps is a first date no-no.
Ultimately, a successful first date comes from confidence and being open and engaging. There’s nothing more attractive than being around someone who is comfortable in their own skin and creates a relaxed environment for you to get to know each other. We have recommended this first date advice to help you create a positive environment, but try not to over think it. Allow yourself to get caught up in the moment and enjoy your date! Let your time together unfold naturally, relax and allow space for something great to happen.
About Salama Marine:
Salama Marine trained at the Paris College of Psychological Practitioners, and is now a registered Psychologist helping people with their interpersonal relationships in the realm of love, sex and marriage. She has worked extensively within the online dating industry, and provides consultation to those wishing to connect with like-minded partners online.