Categories Dating Tips, Modern Dating Academy

Dating Decoded: Navigating First Dates

We’re so proud that we’ve been bringing people together for over two years via MFC events. We’ve seen many a single professional eating, drinking, thinking and moving and we know all too well how that those offline connections can often result in further meetings of the romantic kind.

Picking interesting events over profiles can often authentically lead to attendees wanting to get to know each other better over dates and so we thought we’d get together with our experts and figure out how to navigate a first date.

We often hear of first date rules or the plethora of dating rule books out there but we think that it’s time to scrape back all the rules and keep it really simple, so we’ve turned to our down to earth dating experts Sarah Louise Ryan & Glenn Oscko for first date top tips. Here’s what they had to say

Sarah Louise Ryan advises: 

Work on your expectations around connection. Arrive with the idea that you might make amazing new friends, learn something new or feel a new sense of connection. If things naturally develop then that’s great and something more substantial might unfold and send your new found friendship in another direction to something more romantic. However, if you head over to a date with the idea that this person could be the last person you date or that he or she ticks all the boxes in your mind then you might not only be putting too much pressure on yourself but also on the person in front of you who just wants to get to know you better.

Check-in with how you’re feeling. If you’re thinking more about if they like you, if you’re saying the right things in the right places or if they think you’re attractive then you might be passing over the power of good decision making. When it comes to first dates we need to keep checking in on how we feel; if this person in front of us makes us feel good, seen, listened to, heard, connected. We need to know very clearly how we feel about being in the presence of this person and if it radiates our energy rather than draining of our good vibes. 

Be comfortable inside and out. On a first date, we should always dress in a way that makes us the most comfortable and most confident so we can rest assured that we are putting our most authentic self forward. If we’re feeling like we’ve dressed out of our comfort zone or gone a step too far with a certain ‘look’ that doesn’t feel entirely right for us then chances are we’re focusing too much what we’re wearing rather than what we’re saying and what our dates are saying. 

Glenn Oscko says: 

First dates are curious things, filled with anxiety, worry and nerves for many of us. So much pressure is put on us – usually by ourselves – that it’s easy to feel that you’re not putting your best self forward and making that crucial first impression a positive one.

That needn’t be the case, however, if you keep these few tips in mind.

Breathe. It sounds obvious, but so many nerves disappear if you stop and take a deep breath for two seconds, hold it for four and then slowly breath out for seven. It will help settle you and centre you, and remind you that this date is not the be-all and end-all of your life. Take the moment to remember that there are no bad dates, merely good stories.

Think of it more as a first meeting than as a first date. It’s an opportunity for you to work out whether you like them enough to actually start to get to know them more and see if there’s the potential for a relationship (be it for a night or for life). No matter how long it lasts, you will not learn everything about them in one go, and everything you do learn will likely be filtered in some way, shape or form. You also don’t need to tell them chapter and verse about yourself – only reveal as much about yourself and your life as you are comfortable telling a stranger.

A first date isn’t always a first date – more often than not, it’s an only date and you’ll likely never see them again. If it goes wrong, don’t feel bad and rue a missed opportunity; use it as a chance to have an evening out and learn something about yourself or a stranger.

Last but not least, remember that dating is meant to be fun! There is little more attractive than someone who is enjoying themselves and wants to help others have fun too – be that person! Even if you know within seconds of seeing them walk up the stairs that you’ll never be choosing a puppy together, commit to making the most of the evening and leaving both of you smiling about the time you spent together as you head your separate ways home.

Read more top tips and date night ideas over on Charlie Chatter