Being a woman in her late 20s in 2020, I feel like I have gone on a date with every “type” there is. I know what I like and what I don’t like, and I know what works for me when it comes to choosing partners. What I have realized, and what I want to share with you, is that all of my “great” first dates have a few key things in common.
So what do I consider a “great” first date? For me, a great first date is first, and most importantly, a date where I was able to determine whether or not I am going to get what I am looking for out of this relationship. By the end of the first date, you should be more or less able to determine if this person is someone you want to invest more time into, or if this road is better left untouched to save everyone’s time and feelings. Secondly, a great first date is one wherein I leave feeling confident and excited about where this relationship is going. Whether or not it’s a relationship you want to pursue, you should never walk away from a first date feeling defeated or rejected; a good first date will leave you feeling like an absolute prize with a lot to offer the world. Finally, and most obviously, a great first date is one where the other person is interested in seeing me again. While these factors may not entirely be controllable, there are certainly a few things that you can do to steer the date in the right direction.
Firstly, the sexiest thing you can wear on a first date is a smile. No matter what you decide to wear, showing up excited about the prospect of finding love and being genuinely interested in getting to know the other person is SO important. Right off the bat make eye contact, let your eyes twinkle, and laugh as much as you like – people want to be around positive, happy people, and your attitude will be contagious.
The most important element of the date, from the first impression to the very last moment, is approaching everything with confidence. You have to believe that the person you are with is lucky to be getting a shot with you – remember that you have a ton to offer, and you are the one deciding if they would work into your life. The sooner you take an “interviewer” as opposed to an “interviewee” standpoint, the more confident and comfortable you will feel on dates. Show that you are passionate and excited about your life – whether it’s your career, hobby, or anything else that means a lot to you – a positive and passionate energy is incredibly sexy. Talk about the things that light up your world and, more importantly, invite them to do the same. This lends itself to one of the biggest truths in human psychology: People LOVE to talk about themselves. This leads me to my next tip, which is to show a real interest in the other person, and let them tell you why they deserve a shot with you.
There are many ways that you can show someone that you are interested in them, and to trick them into thinking you are the fascinating one when all they did was talk about themselves. Conversation leadings statements like “you strike me as the type of person who would be good at…” or “I don’t know anything about X, tell me more…” are incredibly powerful. I cannot tell you how many second dates I have gotten when I feel like all I have done is repeated the phrase “tell me more” a hundred times. This doesn’t mean I didn’t speak or answer questions myself, I have just learned the importance of being a good listener. And when I say good listener, I don’t just mean being someone who allows the other person to talk about themselves solely to please the ego, I mean truly listening to what that person is saying and deciding if their answers lend themselves to the kind of person you want to date. It is an interview, after all, and you need to be honest about what it is you’re looking for.
That leads me to my final tip for slaying the first date: being up front and clear about what it is you want from this relationship. Now, I understand that things can change – things that were meant to be “just for fun” often turn into serious relationships, and sometimes one night of good company is all you really need. But is there anything more attractive than someone who knows exactly what they want, and who isn’t afraid to say it? Here are some of my favorite phrases to use at the end of the date or as a follow-up text, to check in with my partner and keep the power in my court:
- “I had a really nice time with you tonight. I’d love to keep getting to know you better and see where this goes. I have Tuesday free if you’re available and interested in seeing me again”
- “I really enjoyed meeting you and getting to know you tonight. Unfortunately I am looking for something more serious than what I think you can offer, but I wish you all the best regardless.”
- “It was really nice meeting you and I had a lot of fun with you. Unfortunately I don’t think I am in a place where I can move forward with you; I think you are really lovely, but at the moment I’m looking for X. Either way it was a pleasure getting to know you and I wish you all the best.”
Speak your truth, wish them all the best, and move on. Thats all you can do, and no matter what the outcome they will be left remembering you as a kind, respectful woman. Even if they are not interested in continuing a relationship with you, they won’t forget the maturity you showed, and will likely second-guess their decision when they realize what kind of woman they’ve missed out on!