Dating is a daunting prospect, especially for those who've been off the circuit for a while. Here's a little dating advice to help you back on the dating wagon.
1.Remember this is a date for your partner also. They are also going to be nervous and worried whether they are doing/saying the "right thing". Be yourself, and encourage your date to do the same. Dates are all about finding out about the other person, if you are both on your "best" behavior, the real you wont be able to shine through. So relax and be yourself.
2.Find out in advance where you'll be going. Try and take a trip past there and see what people are wearing so that you know you'll be dressed right. One of the worst fears on getting prepared for a date is in knowing what to wear. Whilst your partner might not be too worried about whether you're dressed right, you wont relax if you feel you are over or under dressed for the evening. Doing a little investigation work beforehand takes the worry and guesswork out of choosing your clothes.
3.On a similar note to clothes, don't wear new shoes! You may think that all you'll be doing is walking from a car to a restaurant and back again, and so your brand new 3 inch stiletto heels with the tiny straps across the front will be perfect for a fancy restaurant ? but what if your date wants to dance? Or invites you for a moonlit stroll? The shoes might not turn out to be such a great idea! So think ahead, and give the new shoes a miss on this occasion!
4.Plan ahead on topics you can talk about. There are few things worse than a dinner date where no-one has anything to say and so you sit in an awkward silence, each waiting for the other to find something you can discuss. Make a list and commit it to memory. If the conversation starts to falter a little, choose one of the topics from your list and restart the dialogue. The more you talk to your date, the more you find out ? if you remember to stop talking once in a while and listen of course!
5.If you are dating with a hope of finding a permanent partner, then remember to use the date as a fact finding mission! Find out what your date likes, what he dislikes, what his views are on social issues etc. Don't get into any big religious or political debate! This isn't the time or the place. But just gently lead the conversation around to things that are non-negotiable issues for you and lightly brush over the surface to see what views he may hold. Once you have a feel for what he believes in, you can explore this further at another occasion ? unless what you uncover on the surface is enough for you to call it a day with this particular date and continue your search!
6.The end of a date is always a bit tricky. What to do? Is it ok to sleepover? Do you have to kiss your date? In this day and age, this should no longer be a question of convention. This is completely your decision. You should do what feels right for you. If you want him to stay overnight, then invite him! If you don't want him to kiss you, make the first move and make it clear that you don't want personal space invaded. Don't make your mind up before you even leave the house. Enjoy the evening and see where you'd like it to end. If you're having dinner, take a trip to the ladies room between the desert course and the coffee, have a few moments to yourself and decide how you want the rest of the evening to go if it's left in your hands. Your date may of course may not want to do anything more than put you in a cab, but if that's not the case, then you decide what you would like to happen and take it from there.
7.The last piece of advice I have for you, is to have fun! Dating shouldn't feel like a chore. Something you have to get through so you can move onto the good stuff! Dating should be a time of exploration, and of meeting new people. A time of learning about them, and perhaps discovering something of yourself along the way. Enjoy it!
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