The first date is extremely important. So important that it can set the precedent for the rest of your relationship. But that doesn’t mean it’s a job interview. It’s not about being picked as “winning.” You don’t know them enough to know if you even want them! The first date is about creating the foundation for a real relationship. It’s also about being truly you, voicing your needs, and laying the groundwork for an environment of safety and trust upon which you will both go a little deeper, get a little raw, and reveal a side of yourselves that not everyone gets to see. But don’t take all of that as pressure to “impress” or be “perfect.” Yes, be your best self, but more importantly be your true self.
First dates are not about “What can I do to make you want me?” Instead go in with the attitude of: “This is me. Who are you?”
Here’s what to do:
- GET RAW
On your first date, don’t stick with “safe” subjects like your career, your dog, and your favorite travel spots. Get raw! Open up. Share something about yourself. That’s the purpose of the first date right? To figure out if there is chemistry, if you’re a potential fit, if you share common ground… So why would you hide who you are, avoiding meaty topics that matter, and be careful not to fly potential red flags?
- THINK “SKYSCRAPPER”
Be open and real so that you can get to know each other in that stripped down state. Relationships that end up ending quickly are often built on superficial grounds: He’s so hot, I love his car, look at her body!, he’s hysterical, she’s so much fun. You fall in love with that, not them. If you want to build a love that lasts, think about a skyscraper. If you build a building and just goes from the ground up, without digging down and creating a foundation first, it is more likely to fall down. Same goes for relationships. Go down before you go up. Sure, he looks hot in a bathing suit, but that’s not enough of a reason to hook up. What else is there to him? Who is he really? Can you have a conversation of substance? Try to understand who they are as a human being. What are their core values? Do their core values align with your core values? When you expose and express your true self, when you open yourself up and you are vulnerable, often times the other person mirrors the same vulnerability back.
- I’LL SHOW YOU MINE. THEN YOU SHOW ME YOURS.
You are setting the standard, establishing the expectation, and creating a safe space for honesty. Often times women allow the guy to set the tone. We follow how he communicates with us. Why? You can set the tone and still be sweet. You can show how you want to communicate and still be soft and feminine and loving and make him feel like he is in the lead. Share something about yourself, how you feel about it, maybe something you’re not so proud of but you learned a lesson and you’re better and wiser now because of it. When you are vulnerable, they will be too. Your conversation will be more layered and interesting. If you go deep, they will go deep. They will tell you a story that is equally substantive. Then you are creating a connection that is deep, not superficial. And that’s how to create a stronger foundation.
- FLY YOUR RED FLAGS
If you say something on a first date like “I’m divorced. Twice actually. I was young and not ready–both times. 21 the first time and it only lasted for 6 months. I was trying to have what my parents have–who were married at 21 and are still happily together. My 2nd husband, we really didn’t take the time to get to know each other…” Do you think that’s appropriate? The answer is YES! Absolutely! Why? Because being divorced twice could be a red flag for someone. Don’t you want to know that now, before you invest in the relationship, before you open your heart and dedicate your days? If you are raw and honest and revealing, not just for the sake of dumping your baggage on the table, but instead to say… “and I have learned so much about love and what I am looking for…” and you fess up to having made mistakes–which shows vulnerability, but then you show the silver lining–the lessons you learned and how you are better because of it–which shows strength! That SAYS something. That’s real. And if they still say… “you know, the fact that you were married twice, that’s a red flag for me and I can’t date you.” Fine–there are, no joke, plenty of fish in the sea and you will find someone else who finds it attractive that you were open to taking a chance, to throwing caution to the wind, to jumping into love feet first… even if it unfortunately bit you on the butt.
If you want to find that deep guttural love, the love that lasts, that hooks your heart and implants itself in your soul, you’ve got to screw the façade, the protective layer, the walls, the hiding of the feelings, and the front. You have to be raw. Afterall, you’re not looking for a friend. You’re looking for love. If you want depth, you’ve got to dig deep and form your connection there.