There’s a lot of advice on the internet about first dates and most of it sucks.
The problem is that most advice doesn’t address the underlying reasons why people have bad first dates. I’m hoping to change that with this article.
I was like you. I used to have a terrible time with first dates.
Before the date, I would get nervous. I’d worry about every little detail: what should I wear, what if we don’t have fun, what are we going to talk about, what if I run out of things to say, etc.
If you couldn’t already guess, this mental ‘preparation’ led to some pretty awful first dates. The whole process became stressful and was anything but fun.
So I went online and tried to find out what I was doing wrong. Some of the stellar advice I found included tips like: dress casual, be confident, and turn off your phone.
Wow, my life was forever changed. All along my phone was sabotaging me. Thank God for the infinite wisdom of the internet.
Obviously, none of this advice helped.
I continued to try my luck, but once you’ve had a few bad first dates, the problem only gets worse. I became even more nervous, had even worse dates, until eventually, I had enough.
I gave up dating. I was through wasting time and money, only to be left feeling miserable.
It wasn’t until I gave up dating that I realized the secret behind why some people consistently had successful dating experiences, and I couldn’t have a good date to save my life.
It Was My Fault All Along
I’m sure you are dying to know the secret.
The reason I was having such a hard time connecting on the first date was because I wasn’t ready to date. I was looking to fill a void in my own life by finding someone to date.
I was so nervous before each date because I didn’t actually believe I was worthy of someone else’s affection or even someone else’s time.
I lacked the fundamental feeling of self worth and inner confidence that you need to be successful in a relationship. Like so many people, I had become co-dependent and derived my worth not from within myself, but from the admiration and opinions of others.
No wonder I felt like crap. Here I was, trying my hardest to get girls to like me and every time it didn’t work out, I blamed myself. I let the opinions of others change the way I felt about myself.
If you can relate to what I’m saying, hear me out.
The secret to connecting on a first date happens well before you ever think about the date. It starts by believing that you are a person who deserves to be loved. When you start truly believing this, the first date is no longer a stage performance where you are being evaluated and someone is deciding whether or not you are worthy.
Once you’ve decided that you’re worthy, you’re dating problems will all but disappear. The dynamic of the first date is turned upside down. Instead of trying to win the admiration of someone else, you are simply meeting someone new and finding out if they are worthy of your time.
The big question on your mind is probably: how can I do that?
3 Mindsets To Change Before You Date
1. Fall in Love With Who You Are
Are you generally happy with your life? Do you enjoy what you do? Do you have hobbies or interests that you are passionate about? Would you date yourself?
If you are answering no to these questions, you probably need to work on yourself before you worry about dating. You see, if you don’t enjoy being a part of your own life, how can you expect someone else to enjoy being a part of it? Yes, the right person might change how you feel temporarily, but even if that works it will only be temporary and will establish an unhealthy relationship based on co-dependence.
Before you consider bringing someone else into your life, you need to enjoy being in it. If you don’t like who you are, you can’t expect someone else to like you. The problem with the dating scene is that a large percentage of people are looking for someone to fill a void in their life. This is a recipe for co-dependence and disaster. The best thing you can do for yourself before you date is spend some time without the responsibility of a relationship and figure out what you enjoy doing. Once you’ve worked that out, it will be a lot easier to connect with someone and build a healthy relationship.
2. Become Interested in People
Meeting new people is really exciting if you think about it. Every person you meet has an entire lifetime of experiences that you can’t begin to imagine. There’s so much to learn from people you don’t know you that it’s mind-boggling. Instead of being concerned about what you will talk about during a date, enter the date with a genuine interest in getting to know the other person.
Get excited about the idea of meeting someone new and learning about their life. This does two things. First, it takes the pressure off of you because your job is now to learn about somebody, not to impress somebody. Second, people love to talk about themselves. If you are paying attention to what the other person has to say, it’s easy to ask good questions and keep them talking for most of the date.
3. Let Yourself Be Vulnerable
Most dating advice tells you to hold back the controversial topics like politics and spirituality. But what if that’s where your passion lies? The problem with this is advice is that it encourages you not to be yourself. It encourages you to hide aspects of your life and censor yourself. This is the last thing you want to do.
When you are censor yourself, you become boring. It’s your unique opinions and interests that make you an interesting person. First dates are often boring because each person is wasting their energy trying to be nice and avoid being offensive. I’m not saying you should be rude or pushy, but don’t censor yourself. Share your ideas and be open-minded when the other person shares their ideas. Talk about what you are passionate about because that’s what makes for interesting conversation. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable will also help build rapport with the other person because they will see that you are being real, not fake.
I hope this helps. Good luck on your dating adventures!