We’ve all felt the excitement and butterflies after being set up on a date, met that dating app connection or finally got asked out by a long-time crush. That emotional rush of anticipation is natural, you’re taking a courageous step to meet someone with the possibility that it could lead to love. It’s also nerve-wracking because it could also go terribly, awkwardly and heart-breakingly wrong.
“As professional matchmakers we have heard our share of dating horror stories,” admits Renee Richel, Founder and President of 1 True Match. “A series of bad dates is one the biggest reasons people seek out our services. But honestly, I have found most of those bad dates are because people write others off before they’ve truly given them a chance.” Richel coaches her clients that patience is a key factor in every relationship, whether it’s the first date or the tenth year of marriage. “If you go into a date or a relationship looking for reasons to rule a person out, you will definitely find them,” adds Richel.
See Every Date As A New Opportunity
Richel suggests looking at every first date as a new opportunity. She believes the person sitting across from you has the potential to add value to your life. They could become a new friend, a professional colleague, or if they aren’t the right fit for you, they might have a friend who would. She insists you’ll never know unless you go into the experience with an open mind and heart. Practice also makes perfect and every meet up is a chance to hone your relationship and communication skills for when you meet that person whose heart connects with yours.
“You never know why you’ve been given the opportunity to meet this person,” explains Richel. “I encourage clients to have the mindset that all you want to do is to get to know this person as if you were going for coffee after church.” Keeping the date casual and without expectations improves your chances of having a positive experience. You’re bound to have a bad time if you walk in with a checklist that this person who you barely know has to meet. It’s about going into it with the attitude that you are meeting an amazing person and you are going to give them your complete attention, use your best communication skills and show them the utmost respect in every way.
Set Your Date Up For Success
“You want to set yourself and the other person up for success by following the basic rules of kindness and compassion,” encourages Richel. “Having an open attitude opens the pathway for an enjoyable encounter whether you end up as soul mates or never see each other after the date. Richel recognizes that despite best efforts there are some people who just won’t click no matter what, so setting up some boundaries and structure can help avoid hurt feelings or bruised egos.
Most people genuinely don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, so it’s okay to set some boundaries when you agree to the date.
- Take your own transportation – that way you have your own way home when you feel it’s time to end the date
- Establish a start and end time – that way everyone is on the same page and there’s no pressure as to when it will wrap up
- Keep it casual – meet for coffee or a cocktail so there isn’t a huge investment of time or dollars
Now that you’ve set up the date, establish some rules for yourself so you can be confident that you’ve done your best to create a valuable connection with another person.
Create A Connection
- Create a welcoming space – open with a quick hug, or warm handshake if you’re not a hugger and always smile
- Be present – if you can be present for someone you don’t know well it’s good practice for being there for someone you care about
- Be patient and receiving – even if you don’t find their stories interesting or jokes funny, they may just need to be heard – give them that gift
At the end of the date there can be that moment of truth when someone might ask if there will be a second date. It’s okay if you would prefer a friendship or honestly aren’t sure if there is a romantic connection. Honesty is always the best policy and being respectful to that person’s feelings is how we would all like to be treated. Everyone has a purpose in life and if you consider it a blessing to learn even one or two things about or from someone else, you can put your head on your pillow at night feeling good about yourself. If you’d like us to help you make that next meaningful connection give us a call or fill out our complimentary dating profile.