And that’s where I think most single people go wrong in this ever-changing dating world: The Initial Conversation.
Sure, sure. On a first date, you want to present yourself in the best possible light. But don’t be afraid to turn on the spotlights. Really get in there.
That advice is probably not something you’d hear every day. But I mean it. Really get down to the good stuff. Don’t just talk about how good the food is or how attentive the server was. Of course, if they are, tip well. I’ve worked in that line before and good service shouldn’t go unrewarded or unappreciated.
But notice other things, too. How do they treat the server? Are they kind when asking for a refill or when they discover their steak is overcooked? Did they open your car door when they picked you up? These things may not seem important, but they are! You might be too nervous or too excited in their company to really put much thought into these little things, but pay attention. These little things really can tell a lot about the kind of person they are on the inside.
And here’s something else: Ask.
Yeah, ask them. Go for the hard hitters:
*Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
This may seem like a job interview question, but they need to be able to answer it to secure date number two with you. Nothing is for sure and plans change, but they sure better have a plan. If he answers, “Um, I don’t know. I’m sure I’ll have a job or something by then," you need to excuse yourself from the table right then and there, ladies. Date number two should not be happening.
*What happened with your last relationship?
I’ve heard people say that you should NEVER ask this question, especially on a first date. But as I always say, “Go big or go home.” What does it hurt to ask? Their answer could indicate why they are single and perhaps why they should stay that way. So don’t be afraid to ask. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
*Tell me about your mom.
This is a very important essay-ish question. It may seem a bit out-of-left-field, yes. But ask it. For you ladies out there- you can tell a lot about a guy by the way he treats his mother. And fellas- odds are she’s going to turn into her mom, so at least you’ll know what you’re in for.
Because that’s what people shield themselves from on those first few dates: the nitty gritty stuff. That true self that comes shining through that eventually causes both people to look at each other after dating for a time and say, “Where did all this stuff come from? Who is this person? And why didn’t I think to ask them more important questions than “Do you want to see a movie after dinner?”
Have some deal breakers. And have those conversations right from the get-go.
There’s nothing wrong with setting your standards high and weeding out the people that don’t rise to meet them. You’ll be happier in the long run and so will they. There’s nothing worse than hoping for compatibility because of a cute face or a bright smile and letting that cloud your judgment. Not all people work well together. If they did, there wouldn’t be as many single people out there. And just because you aren’t compatible doesn’t mean you’re bad people. It just means you’re smart enough to figure it out before you regret the time you put into a relationship trying to make it work.
Listen. I’m not claiming to have all the answers. But I’ve been through enough boyfriends, fiancés, first dates and last dates to know what NOT to do. And I surely know what DOESN’T work. Each experience adds a little expertise and at this rate, I’ve probably accumulated enough credit hours to earn my doctorate in Relationships: Do’s & Don’ts.
So on your next first date: Talk. Talk A Lot. And Ask. Ask A Lot of Questions.
And maybe, if it’s meant to be, you’ll fall in love at first conversation.
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