The Secret to Great First Dates: Every New Dating Experience Can Be a Success With These Tips

You don’t have to be an expert at dating to be a great first date. The key ingredients are having fun, being fun and sharing great conversation.

Consider: What exactly is a date? A pre-arranged opportunity for two people to spend some time together, explore a shared interest (even if it’s just burgers and a beer), hopefully getting to know each other enough to present the potential for a second date, third – maybe even a lasting romance.

It doesn’t mean spending two hours telling your life story at record-breaking speed. Nor does it mean you must crack one joke after the other in order to be considered a “fun” date.

Dressing for Date Success

Prepare by making sure you don’t mislead your date into thinking the evening will involve more than just some comfortable social interaction and casual conversation.

Dress appropriately, which means avoid plunging necklines and too-short-skirts, ladies. Guys, save the double entendre T-shirts and revealing Speedos for another time.

Remember: this is someone who doesn’t know you well. He or she may not even know you at all. What you wear is going to be your official calling card during that first date. The clothes you choose for that date are going to say a lot about you, so don’t overdo it. Concentrate on making a good impression by dressing appropriate to the event with class and style.

Speaking of saying a lot about yourself, the Cardinal Rule for a successful first date (one that will hopefully lead to many more) is don’t – don’t talk about yourself unless your date has asked you a specific question about your work, your background, how you feel about the last NASCAR race, etc. You want to focus instead on sincerely getting to know him or her.

Show Interest, Pay Attention

One of the most important rules in the Dale Carnegie course concerns how to win friends and influence people centers on making the other person feel important.

Therefore, show genuine interest in their thoughts and ideas. Literally make your date feel he/she is interesting, possibly downright fascinating – at the very least, genuinely worthy of your undivided attention as you participate in conversation designed to help you get to know him or her. And he/she should, likewise, do the same.

If, however, he sits sipping his double latte and seems content to respond to your questions, not showing much interest in finding out more about you, there are clever ways around that obstacle.

Take his or her responses and tag them with little personal tidbits about yourself.

For example, saying:

“You’re into wind surfing? Me too! I tried it on my first trip to Mexico back in ’98 and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

You’ve successfully let him know that:

  • You like something he does
  • You’ve been to Mexico more than once
  • He’s got a good chance getting a second date by inviting you to do a little windsurfing next Saturday afternoon.

Or: “You went to a psychic arts fair yesterday? I just love those things. As a matter of fact, I learned to read cards five years ago. I’d love to give you a reading sometime.”

Not only have you communicated a shared interest with your date partner – something you enjoy – you’ve also given her a perfect opening for setting up a second date with you.

The approach is to ask questions, invite conversation and attach commentary about yourself. You might call this the AIA approach: Ask, Invite, Attach. By doing so, you’ll put yourself in a perfect position for that second date – with potential for much more.