Taking the Plunge – Meeting Your Online Match (Part 2)
In the first part of this article we looked at choosing the right circumstances for your perfect date, now lets take a look at the most important part of the equation – you! Thinking about making the best possible impression on your date, here are a few dos and don’ts:
Do – Shower, brush your teeth and wear clean clothes! Ok, ok, so that sounds like the most obvious thing in the world, right? Wrong! Good personal hygiene is really essential to successful dating, and many people make this basic blunder when meeting their match.
Don’t – Dress like you’re going to a job interview. Maybe if you’re going to the opera, or a posh restaurant a suit or a gown is appropriate; likewise if you dress smartly all the time anyway and you feel comfortable that way then go right ahead. However, if your usual attire is baggy slacks and a t shirt, you might want to consider tarting yourself up a little to show that you care, but digging out that old wedding suit and slathering a pound of Brylcreem over your hair is not going to make you seem appealing; dress like yourself – wear what you feel most comfortable and confident in.
Do – Try to relax and be confident (but not cocky!). If you’re typically nervous on dates, try some breathing exercises – breathe steadily in through your mouth and out for your nose, counting slowly to seven in your head for each breath. Controlling your breathing in this way also lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, making it easier for you to relax into the situation. Some people find that a small drink before a date helps to calm their nerves; this is not a bad solution BUT…
Don’t – Get stinking drunk before or during your date because you’re nervous. Many people find they drink more quickly or heavily in pressure situations, not only because the alcohol helps us feel relaxed but because it gives us something to do with our hands and mouths. Keep an eye on the level in your glass, try not to drink too quickly, especially if your date is not doing so and, if you do find yourself drinking particularly quickly, try making every other drink a soft one.
Do – Make good quality conversation with your date. This means having plenty to talk about but also allowing your date space to talk – try not to dominate the conversation. If you’re worried about drying up in conversation try looking back through the messages you have previously exchanged; what do you already know about your date? Think of questions you can ask that will give your date plenty to talk about without being too probing.
Don’t – talk about your ex all night! This is one of the worst faux pas you can make on a date. It’s ok to make a passing mention or respond to a question (briefly!), but in the main your date is not going to want to hear about your previous failed romances. You should also avoid talking about your health problems, asking inappropriate or overly prying questions or making poorly chosen comments about your date’s appearances; “I like your hair/earrings/tie” is probably a safer bet in most circumstances than “What a great bum you have”!
Above all, do remember that a good date should be fun for both parties. If you’re relaxed, having a good time and being yourself then you’ve immediately improved your chances of a successful dating experience.