A Reader Asks:
I go out on many first dates and often get turned down for another. I wish my dates would at least give me a second chance. Am I doing something wrong? I know first impressions are important, but are they the only thing that matters? What can I do to improve my overall chances of at least landing a second date?
Dating Coach Rachel Burnham Responds:
First impressions are not the only impression, yet without a decent first impression, we have no chance. You may not be doing anything wrong, but are you doing things right? Here are five tips to help make your first dates as successful as possible.
Tip #1: Know thyself. Take some time before a first date to review your mindset and goals. Are you truly ready for commitment? Are you clear about the kind of person that will make a proper life partner? It’s both dangerous and surprisingly common for people to attempt changing who they are or what their most important aspirations in life are to accommodate a date. You will live a happier life if you set the stage for dating with clarity.
Tip #2: Dress for success. Put effort into looking your best! Even if you are coming straight from work, you can bring fresh clothing, makeup, perfume, cologne, or simply a warm smile that says, “I’m looking forward to meeting you.” It sets the tone for the meeting in a way that communicates you WANT to be there. It also makes your date feel respected that you took time to prepare.
Tip #3: Attitude. Whether or not you are looking forward to this date is irrelevant. A vibe that you’d rather be somewhere else is a guaranteed date killer. Be positive, present, and open-minded, remembering that even if you never see this person again, they still deserve your undivided attention, respect, and interest on the date. If you are going through a difficult time in your life, consider taking a short break from dating so as not to misrepresent yourself with a poor mood or attitude. In your dating hours, leave the stresses of your life behind so that you can be present and enjoy. You may even surprise yourself and have a good time!
Tip #4: Show Interest. Even if you are sure that this person is not appropriate for you, you are still stuck for the next few hours — make the most of it! Every person is unique. Why not spend the time discovering what interests them? You never know — you may see a side of them you didn’t expect. Alternatively, having felt respected and understood, they’ll be much more likely to recommend you in the future or even set you up with a friend.
Tip #5: If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Whatever your level of observance, there is always room for prayer/tefillah. Pray/daven for clarity, peace of mind in the decision-making process, that the date go well, that the relationship should continue only if it is good for you, and that it should happen in the right time. If there are qualities you are seeking that you haven’t yet found, feel free to add those as well.
Dating is a process of self-discovery. We learn critical lessons in what we need, what we want, and what works through experience in the field. Even if a first date doesn’t work out, the perspective it offers can bring us one step closer to our spouse. No need to linger on disappointments. Pick yourself up, move on, and spend your precious time exploring other options for that route to your longest relationship.
For the final five tips on creating great first dates, including topics to avoid, choosing the right venue, and keeping it real, read the full D8gr8 blog article at d8gr8.com/firstdate.