When it comes to dating, it can be a challenge sometimes to know whether that first date is good or not.
Are there signs you are missing, or reading incorrectly? After all, you’re a little nervy and there are a variety of issues.
But a recent look at this from dating coach Julie Spira indicated that a good first date isn’t necessarily one that leads to a second. It can actually be okay for a ‘good’ first date to be one that doesn’t lead to a second date.
“It reminds you that it’s fine to go out and have fun with someone interesting, rather than staying home staring at your phone, wondering why someone hasn’t texted you back,” Julie Spira told Bustle.
They can’t all lead to love, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be good, fun, and memorable experiences that add value to your life. “It’s very important to go on fun dates, even if they don’t develop into a full-on relationship,” Spira says. “More often than not, a date with the same person doesn’t go past one or two dates, so it’s time to manage your expectations and cast a wide net.”
So what were Julie Spira’s tips on that first date? We report from Bustle.
1 Have Realistic Expectations
You want a first date to go well, of course, but don’t go expecting it to lead to a relationship. It’s unrealistic so early.
“It’s important to manage your expectations of what going on a first date means,” Spira says. “[Instead of] wondering if you’re auditioning to be [partner] material, you should just go and have fun and bring the best and happiest version of you to the table”
2 Don’t Take Things Too Personally
If your date turns out to be a dud, it can put a real damper on your mood. But you shouldn’t let one bad date sour your whole attitude towards dating.
Don’t be hard on yourself for bad behaviour. It’s something that should reflect on others rather than yourself.
Comments that can be hurtful or unfeeling are a reflection on the person making them, rather than on you. Don’t take them to heart.
3 Try To Avoid Interview-Like Dates
If you have a hard time having fun on first dates, it might be because you’re limiting your dates to things that resemble interviews: asking each other question after question over dinner or drinks, instead of doing something more personal and unique.
Don’t go into a date making it like a job interview. You won’t get a real sense of the other person by doing so and it’s not a healthy way to move to that second date.
4 Go On Dates That Get You Moving
Have a hard time getting conversation flowing on first dates? Try planning dates that are active or interactive in some way, like going to an arcade or walking around a museum.
A good date is interactive. You need something other than yourselves to focus upon so you can have built-in conversation points rather than having awkward conversations or ‘dead spots’.
5 Set A Simple, Personal Goal For Each First Date
If nothing else, you can have more fun on first dates by thinking of each one as a chance for you to practice your dating skills, and challenge yourself to get out of your dating comfort zone.
“Think about something that is hard for you and make up a personal challenge around it,” Christine Carpenter, PsyD, dating and relationship consultant at Evolve Dating. “If you worry that you talk too much on dates, practice periods of silence. If you have a hard time making decisions, take responsibility for planning the date. But stick to one challenge per date. It will keep you from getting overwhelmed and you will really be able to hone in on that one goal.”
6 Use First Dates To Explore New Things
Even if things don’t work out in the long-term, you can still make fun, lasting memories on first dates — especially if you use them as an excuse to do something new that you might not otherwise try out.
Use the opportunity to explore something that you might not otherwise have done. Do something outside your comfort zone. Regardless of what happens on the date, you will still have a fun time and have checked something else off your bucket list.
7 Recognize That It’s OK To Feel Uncomfortable
Because dating feels so personal, it’s bound to be a little weird sometimes. It’s totally normal to feel awkward or uncomfortable on a first date sometimes.
“Take comfort in the idea that If you are uncomfortable, you are growing,” Carpenter says. “The more you grow, the better a dater you will be. The better a dater you are, the better the fit will be when you do land the relationship.”
As long as you have realistic expectations and don’t take first dates too seriously, you can still find meaning and fun in every one — or at least learn valuable lessons about yourself along the way.