It can be embarassing to turn to a friend or a family member for much needed dating advice. Most of us have a hard time asking our loved ones for advice on simple things — problems at work, financial questions, etc — and getting dating advice is a much more intimate and potentially embarassing topic.
Here is some basic dating advice to get you started on the road to dating success.
Preparing for a Date
Preparing for your first date is not a simple matter of hygiene — though this is important too.
Catch up on current events. Watch new channels — CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc — and read current events blogs. You don’t have to study as though it were an exam at school, just browse through the latest goings-on. This will keep you out of those awkward silences that can kill a first date. If all else fails, you can bring up a current event, and share opinions — usually these kinds of discussions lead to other topics, and your date will be right back on track. You can also tailor the news you catch up on to you or your date’s interests. For instance, if you know your date is a sports fan, check out sports pages. Or maybe you know very little about politics but want to impress your date with a little knowledge; there are thousands of political blogs and webpages to help you catch up on the political world.
The night before your date, get plenty of sleep — and if your date is after a day’s work, you can squeeze in a power nap. These 30-45 minute naps give our brain a bit of rest, allow us to collect our thoughts, and can make us look healthy and relaxed. If you know you’ll be having a few drinks on your date, it might be a good idea to start stocking up on your body’s supply of water to avoid the dreaded hangover. Being properly hydrated isn’t just good for avoiding a drinker’s headache — your skin will look better and you will have a healthy glow.
Showering and being clean before a date is a must. Looking and smelling clean is a high priority for most people when seeking a partner.
These may seem like simple bits of dating advice, but before a first date you should be concentrating on what you’re going to wear, what you’re going to say, and getting yourself physically ready — consider this dating advice a kind of checklist to keep you on track. Now that you’re prepared for your date, here’s some advice on flirting.
Flirting is all about attitude: A good flirtation is based on confidence, and a person who is not afraid to take risks makes for an excellent flirt. A simple way to flirt is to start a conversation. The best opening line is saying a simple hello. From there, the conversation will lead itself.
Remember to have fun when flirting. Be playful and spontaneous. Use any props or things sitting around — if you’re in a restaurant, there are all sorts of props to use for jokes, like napkins, silverware, dinner glasses, etc. These kinds of gags are are natural conversation starters. Learn to fold your dinner napkin into a puppet and have a silly conversation with it. This may seem weird, but if you’re reaching for an easy flirt, using a prop might be just the thing to get your date laughing.
Listening is a major aspect of flirting. My grandmother used to tell me “You have two ears and one mouth because you should listen twice as much as you speak.” Listening is a true art, and means more than just hearing the words the other person is saying. Your flirting partner will be drawn to you if they feel they are being listened to.
While you’re listening and trying to really take in what your date is saying, the opportunity is perfect for eye contact. Make eye contact, but make it a gentle moment and not tedious. More than about 5 seconds of eye contact is considered annoying to some people — and at some point you’re simply staring. Most people consider the eyes to be the sexiest parts of the body, so catching your date’s eyes can be the first step towards a kiss.
Lastly — don’t forget to smile. Smiling is contagious. A good smile, a real one and not a forced grin, will make you seem approachable, confident, and happy. A smile lights up your face and draws people to you.
Good First Dates
So where are you going to take your new date for your first time out together? A first date is a delicate thing — you don’t want to book a fancy dinner for fear of coming on too strong, but you also don’t want to seem like a cheapskate. Here’s a few good first date ideas — most of them are time tested and I’ve had success with many of them myself.
Go to a fortune teller. Suggest to your date in a light hearted way that having your fortunes read may be a fun way to get to know one another. You don’t want your date to think you take this too seriously. As a bonus, most fortune tellers can tell when you’re on a date with someone, and will throw in a few nice comments about how the two of you will work well together, or that you have a bright future. This is also a great ice breaker, as the two of you can laugh about the “fortunes” later.
Have drinks or coffee. Avoid the old “dinner and a movie” routine — some people are embarassed eating in front of a first date, or are too nervous to have an entire meal. Suggest instead that you go out for a couple of drinks (and limit your drinking — it would be a shame to be drunk on your first date) or find a nice little coffee shop. These settings are intimate enough for private conversation and flirting while still being public enough to seem casual and fun. Added bonus? You won’t spend too much.
Play miniature golf. Regardless of your athletic ability, a date to a mini golf course is a ton of fun. You and your date will have the opportunity to chat, to flirt, and the added touch of competition can really amp up the connection between the two of you. There’s also always the chance that your date may need a “lesson” — an opportunity for you to wrap your arms around your date and “show” them how to putt.
Go to a friend’s dinner party — or throw one yourself. Avoid the high cost of a restaurant by going to a small dinner party with a few other couples, or throw one yourself. The food can be made according to each person’s individual tastes, and you can eat as little or as much as you want. Also — being surrounded by casual friends can take the heat off an otherwise uncomfortable situation, and if the date goes bad, you won’t be left awkwardly staring at one another . . . there’s always other people around.
Now that you’re armed with plenty of good dating advice, the rest is up to you. Go back over the advice above, check yourself out in the mirror a few times, and get pumped up to meet someone new. A date doesn’t have to be scary, and utilizing the dating advice you’ve just read is like arming yourself for battle. And remember — a smile goes a long way.