I recently heard the radio cast of the Bobby Bones show arguing about what to do on a first date. It’s actually simpler than they were making it out to be. Gentlemen, here are a few tried-and-true strategies for endearing yourself on your first date:
1. Be chivalrous and courteous is always solid advice for just about any circumstance — professional OR romantic. Women, this means slowing down and taking your time a little so that your date has the opportunity to demonstrate chivalry and courteousness. Don’t race to the car door or restaurant door. Many couples find that it makes sense and goes more smoothly if the gentleman open doors for the lady when entering a car or building but not when exiting. This prevents the awkward, uncomfortable “Is he coming to get the door?” wait.
2. Men, we ladies like it when you lightly touch our backs while we’re walking – especially if we’re in front of you — but a first date is probably too soon for the hand-grab. Work your way into physical touching slowly but steadily and be sure to pay attention to her cues; she’ll let you know whether it’s welcome or not through her body language!
3. Try to make her laugh. As many comedians have noted, you can date several rungs above your station if you have a fantastic sense of humor! I had a boyfriend once who was handsome in a quirky sort of way but wow, could he lay me out with fits of laughter – and it was just plain sexy! You’ve seen this only slightly-believable formula played out in movies when an overweight or dorky-looking leading man gets a supermodel-looking girlfriend because of his great personality and amusing responses to disastrous situations.
4. Finally, pay your date a compliment. In fact, you should open and close with one. I coach my speech students to embed a compliment (or expression of gratitude) to their audience in every introduction and conclusion because it goes a long way toward building credibility and wins your audience over so they’ll want to listen. The same goes for the date. It’s quite easy if you follow this formula: at the beginning of the date, compliment her on how she looks. At the end of the date, compliment her on picking a great spot or on what a fun time you had. Expressing your enjoyment of her company and the evening’s activities IS a compliment. Of course, if you find a sincere reason to compliment her during the date as well, by all means, express yourself! Just don’t go overboard with constant (and meaningless) compliments. The flattery will start to seem fake and she won’t trust your intentions.
You need not get hung up on what to do and how to do it on a first date. Just incorporate these behaviors into your first date routine to make a good impression. Then try to relax, let your personality shine, and have a good time!