Success is determined by how we define it, and every woman has the choice to define success in a way that will empower her.
When it comes to dating, just like other situations in life like being interviewed or having our work reviewed, the tendency is always to be hard on ourselves. We put ourselves in a disempowered position and then bend ourselves into a pretzel to please the guy we’re dating, as if him liking us is the end-all-be-all stamp of approval and victory – even on a first date.
But ladies, I want to gently remind you that YOU are in a position to choose your first-date mindset. You can choose future-approval questions, like:
“Will he like me?”
“Will he be the one?”
“Will this go somewhere?”
(mind you all these questions are about what he would do and nothing about what YOU would do — but more on that in a second), OR you can empower yourself with self-focused questions, such as:
“Who will I be?”
“How will I want to show up?”
“What kind of information do I want to get?”
“How can I show up being curious as opposed to worried, nervous, or ‘interviewing’ him?”
“What will I learn about myself from this date?”
You see, the second way is putting you in the immediate position of being the C.E.O. of your love life: the Chief Experience Officer! You get to choose what you want to experience and take away from this date, as opposed to putting all the power in the hands of a man whom you don’t even know yet. You have no power over how he behaves and reacts, nor what he thinks, so why would that determine whether or not the date is successful?
Bottom line is you only have control over how you show up and what you will do on the first date. So if that’s the only thing you have control over, then it would make sense that a successful first date looks like a date where you show up at your best and know you did everything you could to be your most authentic, empowered and awesome self.
Ok – so here are some tips on how to have a successful first date (or any date) no matter the outcome.
1- Ground yourself before going on the date (MOST IMPORTANT STEP)
It’s so understandable to be nervous about dating because creating your love life and having an amazing life with a man who is committed to you, loves you, and cares about you is important. However, letting nerves get the best of you is just going to sabotage your chances at a successful first date! So before you go, tune in to your values – what you stand for (love, honesty, beauty in the world, peace, commitment, etc.). Think about what your top values are and ask yourself: what does it mean for you to show up with those values on a date? What will you bringing to the conversation? Remind yourself of how amazing you are (in a genuine way) and what attributes you bring to a relationship. Then go on the date and share those things. If you’re a nervous basket case or focusing on making sure he is not another jerk like your ex, you’re not showing him who you really are even if you think you are faking it perfectly — which brings me to tip number 2:
2- Go Baggage Free
Listen, he’s not your ex… In fact, he has nothing to do with your ex. So if you’re going on dates, be sure you’ve worked out your hang ups about dating and men, and release any limiting beliefs and negative stories you have about dating, men and relationships. Going on a first date with past relationship baggage is like literally shooting yourself in the foot and thinking no one will notice. While you think you are smart enough to fake it, I am here to tell you no one is smart enough to fake their way through their beliefs. You end up leaking energy and you’re not even aware you’re doing it, and guess what…the man across the table is picking it up. Don’t start a potential relationship by looking for signs that compare him to your ex and stop yourself from seeking out common faults. That only builds up a wall around you, and this new man doesn’t get a chance to learn who you really are. Don’t judge, just observe and see what’s a match with your values and what’s not.
3- Manage your expectations
Let’s be realistic: you don’t know this man, so going on a date wondering if he is “the one” without even knowing much about him is a waste of energy. Though it’s true that you want to find the love of your life, only time will tell if the man you’re dating will turn out to be your soulmate. Be curious to learn about him, but don’t go in the date by building a fantasy around him. Check in with any limiting beliefs surrounding a lack of good available men or thinking all the good men are taken – that’s normally what drives a woman to make hasty decisions and fall into a dating trap.
4- Be on time
Well this is a given… Being on time means you are making an effort, and it means you value his time and effort for going on a date as well. It means you are serious about creating your love life and that you’re intentional about it. It shows this is important to you, and just plain and simple it shows class and respect.
5- Listen with curiosity and collect information
The whole point of dating is to learn about a new man and then see if he is a match or not. I am not saying to let him be the only one to lead all of the conversation; you want to keep the conversation flowing of course, but be mindful of being in listening mode. Pay attention to his words so you can learn about him the way he is telling you about himself. This will help you make decisions based on the information he is giving you (and it will save you big time from fantasizing and getting into the most common dating trap).
That being said, it’s not an interview – don’t go from one question to the next trying to figure out everything about him and his previous relationships on the first date. If you don’t like what you learn about him, no need to spend time learning about his past girlfriends!
6- Don’t overshare
Let him earn your trust in time to know more about you. This doesn’t mean he shouldn’t know anything about you or that you should be quiet and let him lead the whole night. It means you can share things like what your interests are, where in the world you have traveled, what you love about your work (no details – be general without boring him), what types of food and activities you like, where you dream of visiting, and stuff that is fun.
If he steers the conversation in a deeper direction by asking something like, “Why are you single?” don’t go into what a jerk your ex was and how heartbroken you were and how messed up it made you. Choose your words rather than reacting from emotion. You could answer such a question with something like, “After my last relationship I wanted to take some time to focus on self growth, and now I’m ready to find my right match.”
7- No cell phone zone
Like being on time, this one is really a no brainer. You are a sophisticated, smart lady. You get it. Nothing is more rude than not being present and constantly checking your phone. You’re on the date to give all your attention to getting to know this new person. This is common courtesy, and just like you deserve his attention, he deserves yours as well.
8- No sex
No matter how hot the date is, how much you connect, how high up he ranks on the chemistry chart, or how much he paid for dinner/lunch/coffee/breakfast, NO sex. I’m all for having sex if you want to just have sex and have a good time, but if your intention is to find your life partner, then you want to wait until you collect enough information to make sure your values and life goals match. Sex can emotionally complicate things. And the emotional connection created by having sex can cause you to jump into a relationship without having all the information you need this time around to know if he’s Mr. Right.
If you’re truly intentional about finding love that lasts, you’ll focus on finding out if your date aligns with your values. If you do that and you stay true to yourself, then no matter whether the relationship goes any further or not, you can call that date a success! Because you can ONLY control your own way of showing up – not just in your love life, but in your whole life.
As always, I wanna hear from you. I wanna know the biggest insight you’re taking away from this blog. Leave a comment below. And if you enjoyed this blog, join Dating with Confidence’s FREE and PRIVATE Facebook group, “Dating Tips For Savvy Single Ladies,” where you can have more personal interaction with me and get support around your love life. And share this blog with your friends.
To your dating success!
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