How to Master the First Date

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Dating can be stressful. First there is the initial search for someone who you think you may be compatible with, then you panic, hope, and pray that they might be interested in going out with you. You take time getting the courage to approach them to ask, stocking up on sad movies and ice-cream at home in case they say no. But what about when they say yes? How do you make the most out of your first date?  

While you can find the perfect location, pick out the most flattering outfit, even make the best background music mix, you cannot plan what your date will do or how it will go. Luckily, there is research that can help you maximize how to make your best first impression and increase your likelihood of getting that sought after second date.  Below are the four ways to make sure your first dates are successful.

  1. Smile.
    Researchers have found time and again that smiling is the best way to improve your face value. When individuals have been asked to choose between unsmiling faces and smiling ones for long term relationships, smiling faces almost always win. People who smile are perceived as having more positive personality traits such as sincerity, sociability, competence, trustworthiness, and as being better in marriage and parenting. Smiling can also help you feel more relaxed and less anxious, so don’t allow any insecurities you may have to stop you from smiling. It will help.
  1. Self-Disclose.
    Selfdisclosure is sharing personal information with someone which helps them better understand you. While you may not want to retell your entire life story on the first date, measured self-disclosure indicates to your date that you like and trust them, which leads to deeper feelings of closeness. Self-disclosure has also been positively associated with relationship satisfaction, love, and commitment between couples, and is reciprocal in nature; when you disclose to someone else, they are more likely to disclose to you in return.   
  1. Take Turns.
    Think of your best and most satisfying conversations, maybe with a close friend or family member. How does the conversation go? It flows, right? Sometimes early couples fall into the trap of storytelling, where one person will talk and the other listens until eventually they trade, but conversations that have a balanced back and forth are much more effective for increasing closeness and likeability. Taking turns in conversations has been linked to higher responsiveness, mutual enjoyment, and a better perception of being liked, even when meeting someone new for the first time.
  1. If you’re a guy: Skip the Pick-Up Lines.
    A 2006 study found that pickup lines, empty compliments and sexually loaded remarks were unsuccessful for engaging women. This could be due to the way each is perceived to be something used when someone is looking for a short-term relationship. While it may seem helpful to plan a script before heading out on a date, this is more likely to have you come off as ingenuine and unpersonable. Try to be yourself, and leave the pickup lines at home.  


Now you are armed and ready! Go get ‘em, tiger.


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Written by: Melece


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