Think about what makes someone come home from a date night and tell their friends, "Wow, that was a great date! I had an awesome time and can’t wait to see them again.” While it might have been the wine or great music, it was most likely something more to it. Things that make a first date truly memorable are often found greater in the mental rather than the physical connections.
Whether it’s with a long time partner or a new date, make it unforgettable with these 5 tips.
Date Night Advice: Pay attention
Nothing says “I’m interested” like paying attention to someone you are on a date with. Especially when you are getting to know someone, it’s important to be a great listener. The more you focus on asking the other person open-ended questions and truly listen, the more your date will feel like you are interested in what he or she has to say. Sometimes we can get nervous before a special date or have that work project from earlier still on your mind, but try hard to put those worries aside and be present and engaged with your date. We all like feeling like the person we are talking to is interested and cares about what we have to say and if you let your date truly open up, chances are more likely that they will do the same.
Date Night Advice: Don’t keep conversation too light and breezy
While we used to hear that we should keep early-date conversations light and breezy, new studies show that people who engage in more substantial conversations early in getting to know someone bond quicker. This doesn’t mean that you need to discuss your worst breakup ever or tough childhood experiences right off the bad, but try talking about things that are a little more meaningful than the weather. Casual might be cool but it won’t get you anywhere romantic and too much talk about weather will put your date to sleep!
Date Night Advice: Be open and optimistic
Be optimistic. Come to the date with a positive mindset and without too many negative assumptions. Try and think positively when out on a first date or special date with your partner. Try not to focus on the fact that you prefer to date men that are over 5’10 and this guys is only 5’8 ½ or that that girl has brown hair when you typically like blondes. A person’s height shouldn’t determine his level of intelligence or sense of humor. Try not to be to set on these things and give your date a fair chance. They could turn out to be one of the nicest people you’ve met in a while and someone you could really fall for.
Date Night Advice: Do something novel or unique
In the past, we have talked about creative innovative date night ideas and novelty can be a great way to add fulfillment to an existing relationship or add excitement to a first date. Not only will this give you and your date something interesting to talk about, but novelty and excitement actually produce more bonding hormones together too. This does not necessarily mean doing something wild and crazy that you or your date are not comfortable with, yet adding a going to an interesting like going to an interesting new museum or playing some Frisbee golf will make the date more memorable than just going to dinner or the latest movie. Get out and do something fun! Active dates will always be more memorable.
Date Night Advice: Be Yourself
This is probably the more important part to making a great date. If you aren’t being yourself on a date, it’s a disappointment to yourself and your date. Feeling confident in your own skin is very attractive and will make you stand out. Your date agreed to go out with you because he or she saw something they liked, so let them get to know the real you. If you love being silly and watching stand-up comedy, don’t hide that from your date. Be yourself and let your true energy shine through. If your date isn’t interested in that side of you, then you’ll know it’s time to move on.
Despite these date night advice strategies, dating can still be a challenge for many people. If you are struggling because you repeatedly go on first date after first date and none are leading to more, or are having a tough time getting dates it can feel pretty rough and lonely. Talking to a friend or counselor for support can be very important during these times to keep us from feeling discouraged and think about giving up. Try asking someone who you feel very safe with to give you some constructive feedback on what might be going wrong, or it may also be helpful to seek individual counseling to better understanding of yourself. Trying to find out what might be some blocks keeping you from finding a partner can make a big difference. Give me a call for more support on this topic and more, and remember to enjoy yourself more than anything and have Fun!
Article by Alicia Roth, MFT #90046
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653