I am continually reminded that it is about the basics when it comes to dating. My clients tell me so much information and I soak it all up like a sponge. Here are my top 16 tidbits (I tried for 10 but there were too many good ones.)
1. If you are frazzled from a crazy work day, take 5 minutes before your date to do some deep breathing, reset yourself, and shake off the work stress. First impressions are everything. Try to do everything you can to enter the date with a fresh outlook, a kick in your step, confidence, and a vibrancy about you. If deep breathing doesn’t work for you, figure out what your quickest “reset button” is and learn to use it.
2. On your date try the simple act of listening more than you speak. Ask questions and show a keen, genuine interest in getting to know whom you are out with.
3. Even if you know that your date is not ultimately for you, always remember that the world is a small place. In other words, reputation is everything, so be kind, considerate, and respectful. Although you might have quickly made up your mind, spending an hour with your date won’t hurt you. In actually might pay large dividends in your personal life. You never know who your date is friends with. Keep it on the up and up and perhaps he/she will introduce you to one of their friends.
4. Don’t ever, ever stand anyone up. Your name goes in an infamous little coveted black book. See #3, above, if you are still considering standing someone up.
5. Stop trying so hard. Just be yourself. Let the proverbial hair down. Stop bragging or peacocking. Do you want to come across as self-absorbed? I didn’t think so.
6. Show some vulnerability, be human, be wise. Share something personal. Watch how your date reacts verbally and non-verbally. If anything, it will be telling and a good dating “data point.”
7. Remember that your date is in the same boat as you and probably has the same, if not more, nerves than you. He/she is human too. It’s ok to have butterflies – you’re not a robot are you?
8. Brush up on world affairs and current events. Try to be in the know and be prepared to engage in a wide range of interesting topics.
9. If you are dieting, don’t tell your date you need to drop 10. Order some sashimi and a salad, skip the booze, and a diet coke. No one wants to hear about how you struggle with weight. It just isn’t sexy.
10. If you talk about your ex for more than 10 minutes, then maybe you aren’t over your ex. Dating too soon after a break-up or divorce can be disastrous.
11. Watch your alcohol intake. 2 glasses is fine, 5 is not. Slurring isn’t attractive, neither is driving under the influence. Be responsible and take an uber if you’re going to drink. You know what happens when you lose judgment. You might do something you’ll later regret.
12. SLOW DOWN. Stop dating in such high volume that you lose focus on the end goal of finding true love. Think with an intelligent approach of quality over quantity.
13. Even if you are unsure as to how you feel about your date (but think he/she is worth continuing getting to know over the course of more date(s)), express yourself and communicate. Let your date know that you are having fun, enjoying the evening, and that it would be fun to do it again. Your date is not a mind reader. Furthermore your date might be wondering how you feel about him/her. Give your date a verbal roadmap.
14. FLIRT. What? Are we in a business meeting and about to fall asleep on a conference call? Do the dance and reveal the sassy, fun, flirty, side of you. Do you want to fall into the friendship zone?
15. If you’re a cerebral type, try to get out of your head and work on tapping into feeling. Over-analyzing everything on the date (and after) can be exhausting.
16. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Never been into the bohemian, coffee shop drinking guy who lives in a loft in the Mission? Or the preppy Cow Hollow girl? You just never know who will end up surprising you. Whoever figures out the secret sauce for what chemistry really is, will retire on a very large private island with a lifetime of mai tais and foot massages.