by Adrienne Laursen
For some, dating is exciting and represents a future full of hope and promise. But for most of us, dating is scary, confusing and something we would prefer to avoid at all cost. Adrienne Laursen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of The Engagement Coach, shares tips for starting dating out on the right foot and rocking that first date.
Less is more
Both time spent together on the first date, as well as information provided.
Don't dump and don't reveal your whole life story!
Stay away from topics like your ex, your family issues, your weird habits, etc. You want to leave some information and stories for the second and third dates, and you want to leave him/her wanting to learn more about you. What you don't want is to leave him/her feeling like you should have booked an appt. with your therapist.
Listen more than you speak
Compliment, ask questions and show genuine interest in your date's responses. Don't make the whole date about you! Just be cautious not to turn the date into an interview.
Choose a fun activity
Ice skating, rock climbing… avoid alcohol. Everyone does dinner and drinks, choosing an activity gives you more insight into how your date handles life, teaches you, accepts feedback, shows you their capacity for fun, etc.
It also gives you something to do so there's less chance for awkward silences.
It gives you an opportunity for a little physical touch, which is good for forming an instant connections and determining whether or not there's an attraction or chemistry between the two of you.
Practice & Prepare
Until you get comfortable engaging in first dates, practice at home before you go. Practice in the mirror… your smile, your responses to questions, positive affirmations, self-complimenting, etc.
Plan ahead for where you'll meet, what you'll wear, how much you may need to spend.
Google some first-date questions so you feel comfortable filling the space should there be any awkward silences.
Also practice first-dating by going on multiple dates. Dating is a skill that most people need to sharpen.
For more information on Adrienne's counseling services and free relationship tips, please visit her website at www.TheEngagementCoach.com