As an individual raised with little opportunity to develop social skills, I had a particularly difficult time with the dating scene. I am happily married now, but during my years of dating, I felt that it would never happen. With the many years using online dating services, I have learned many useful ways of establishing positive initial interaction. In this article I will share with you ideas that will give you a little more ease with dating and coping with the anxiety on the first date.
First, there are a few questions we must address and bring out into the open. How much should we get to know the potential date before meeting? What discussion or prefacing is required with your potential date prior to the meeting? How does this potential date feel about you, or does this person also share in this anxiety? After the rendezvous is established where will you meet to insure safety, enjoyment and relaxation?
Lets dive into the first question: How much should we get to know the potential date before meeting? This question begs of the actual legitimacy of the potential date. Is this, person really genuine? What is this persons background? These questions are not as easy to answer, but we can start with the following. The method of communication is incredibly important. Phone communication although a little nerve racking, can break the ice and establish an initial understanding of who this person is. Try to avoid creating a mental image of this person as this can really increase expectations and also give the other person an unfair disadvantage (i.e. relating the voice to a physical mental image). The phone conversation can also shed light on this person’s general character.
This leads to what discussions or prefacing is required. It is important to acknowledge that this place we live is very diverse and the person’s character is one of the most important attributes of desirability. Be softly direct when inquiring about his or her background without invoking the feeling that you are drilling the person which is a real “turn-off”. I have used this idea many times which turn’s out to be a really enjoyable exercise. Write down a few background questions to ask prior to calling the potential date and go from there. The conversation can take on with its own energy from there and it will be very easy to get a good feeling for the person. That is to say, if the person is not forthright, it will most likely come through in the conversation.
In most cases, the other person will exhibit the same anxiety as you. Keep this in mind, as it will help your nerves a little. Being confident, honest, direct and respectful will help you and the date feel an increased level of comfort whether your on the phone, or on the first date.
On this first date, make sure that you select, or mutually agree to a place that will help the date flourishes but keep the other person wanting more. Obviously, you should select a meeting place that is well lit and where there will be many eyes watching you for increased safety. However, the place that you will spend the most time should be softly lit so that most of the concentration can be focused on the content of the conversation and less on physical characteristics. More importantly, span the first date no more than that of a small snack. You can consider this a “weed-out” session. If there is chemistry during the date, he or she will leave waiting more. Conversely, if there is no chemistry, not much time was lost and not much money was spent.
Remember, these important ideas to engender ease and confidence during the initial contact through online dating services. Choose a method of communication prior to the meeting that will help you determine the persons forthrightness. Understand that the other person is probably feeling the same level of anxiety to which you can offer the comfort. Finally, choose a place that demonstrates safety and allows for a short but memorable experience.