Dating is one of the few things that almost every man and woman will have to do at some point in their adult lives. No matter your culture or whether or not you intend to get married, the concept of dating – spending time with someone with the intention of romantic pursuits – is an endeavor very few will get to avoid.
So if you haven’t signed up for priesthood or plan to join a monastery it’s good to know how to prepare for a first date and how to avoid the pit falls many people encounter when dating for the first time.
The Point of a First Date
Here is a quick quiz for you. What’s the point of a first date;
a.) to have fun
b.) to have get a second date
c.) all of the above
The point of a first date is to get a second date. The only thing that you should uncover on a first date is whether you can have a good time with this person. If you can’t have fun together because you don’t like the way they chew, they are incredibly pessimistic, or you hate the sound of their voice there is no point in measuring for compatibility. If you scored 100% on the compatibility scale would it change the fact that they insulted you or had no sense of humor? Nope.
When embarking on your first date ever you want to keep your eye on the prize which is date number two. You do this by focusing on whether or not you have fun together. You do this by keeping the engagement light and honest.
You don’t have to hold back and be “nice” but you also don’t have to interrogate your date by asking them how many kids they want, or how much money they make.
It’s natural to be nervous but keep in mind that you can’t control how another person feels about you. Relationships take a long time to develop and no matter how great the first date is, there is no guarantee that anything will come out of it. If you can’t have fun or feel comfortable on the first date then there is no reason to go on a second date.
Keep in mind that you are there ONLY to secure a second date and a second date only happens when the first one is really fun.
If You Aren’t Having Fun You’re Doing it Wrong
To hear most singles explain it, dating sounds like a new form of torture. Getting to know someone is uncomfortable for some. Unless you’re a naturally curious person you might run out of questions to ask, fall into awkward silences, or start to feel self conscious if they get too personal.
While dating it can feel uncomfortable depending on your personality, the point of dating is to have fun so you have to learn for yourself what that means for you. Keep in mind the following:
Your date isn’t judging you.
Everyone gets self-conscious at some point of another but you are not being judged by your date.
It might feel like you are in an interview or an FBI interrogation (depending on the person) but you’re not subject to judgement on the date so just relax. Your date might probe and ask questions but that’s just their way of getting to know you. You don’t have to feel like you’re being put under a microscope.
You can take control.
If you are a seasoned dater then it’s fine to put yourself in the passenger seat and enjoy the ride but if you are new to dating the best thing you can do is to take control.
- Set an intention before the date that you will have fun.
- Be clear about what you want to do and don’t just go along to get along.
- Playing passive on a date is a quick way to come across as boring. Don’t be afraid to make suggestions, speak your mind, and be direct.
You have a voice, use it.
Dates are meant to be fun. There is no point in playing passive or quiet because you don’t want to rock the boat. If something is happening that you don’t like, say so. If your date is very impressive say so. Don’t wait until the date is over to let your date know that you’re having fun, that you like them, and that you want to see them again.
Dating is a Process
Too many first time daters get caught up in being liked instead of finding someone that they like. Everyone can come across as a nice person and good partners for the most part making it easy to forget that you get the final say in if you like someone and want to see them again.
You don’t have to say ‘Yes’ to another date just because they ask. If you don’t feel excited about the person that you went on a date with, it’s okay to not see them again.
Being a good dater also means being good at handling rejection – regardless of what side of the rejection you’re on. Sometimes you will be rejected, ghosted, or led on and other times you will be the person doing the rejecting. Remember that there are millions of single people on this earth. You get to choose the person that is right for you. Don’t waste time holding on to one person that you have lukewarm feelings for.
Dating is an experience where you get to learn a little more about someone else and hopefully a little more about yourself. Dates are not meant to be stressful so don’t worry about what happens after the date. The most important part is that you have fun. If you feel uncomfortable, nervous, scared or are not enjoying yourself, end the date immediately.