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Dating – How to Love Those Nerve-Wracking First Dates

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So you’ve got a first date with someone you just met, huh? Excited? Or panic-stricken? Learning to date isn’t exactly like riding a bike. But, with practice you can get comfortable enough that eventually you’ll look back on all your first-date jitters and think, Why was I so nervous?

What to Do Ahead of Time

* Don’t force yourself to ask out someone you’re not excited about.

* When you ARE excited, a lot of your other feelings – like nervousness and fear – are easier to push down.

* Spend time chatting casually – by email or phone — before you suggest getting together.

* Offer to meet in some comfortable interesting place like a bookstore café or cute little diner. A stimulating environment gives you a lot of things to see and talk about.

* Wear something you feel great in. If you don’t own any clothes you feel great in, go shopping with a friend whose style you admire. And listen to them.

* Try to always keep your expectations realistic. Don’t approach every date like This could be the one! Say to yourself instead, I’ve got a chance to get to know someone better who may become a romance or may be just a friend, but it’s cool either way.

When You’re on the Date

* Greet your date by giving a sincere compliment. It’s always nice to comment enthusiastically on your date’s outfit if you haven’t got anything else.

* Pay lots of attention to what your date is saying. There’s nothing more pleasing than someone who listens and appears to have a real interest.

* Use nice manners. If you’re a guy, remember most women like men who act like their knight in shining armor, holding doors and chairs, etc.

* Be yourself but watch your date and pay attention to signs that your humor, your tendency to tell grandiose stories or whatever may be having a negative effect.

* Some of the telltale signs that someone is not enjoying you are: tension in the face and body, little or no eye contact, nodding too much, impatience, looking around, checking a watch or cellphone, and avoiding putting hands or feet near you.

* If you’re NOT seeing these signs, you can assume things are going well. So go ahead and flirt, smile, wink, and express your enthusiasm. Test the waters by mentioning what you might do on your next date and watch for a response.

* And what if you’re not having a good time on the date? Be polite and civil. Spend an hour or so and then bring the date to a close by announcing that you need to get back.

Once You’re Back Home

* If you loved the date, send your partner an email the next day letting him/her know how much you enjoyed yourself.

* Even if you can’t actually go out again for several days, suggest now that you make plans for Date #2.

* If you don’t hear back for a few days, don’t assume you’ve gotten your answer – there are reasons this could happen. Call and find out for sure if you’re getting together again.

* If you hated the date, it’s still nice to also send an email thanking your partner for the date but also letting the person know you don’t think there’s any chemistry there.

Congratulations! You now know the basics to make all your first dates winners, whether they turn into love affairs or not.

By Jamie James

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