September 20, 2013

3 Mindful Tips to Make the First Date Meaningful (& Get a Second).

I entered back into the world of singledom two years ago and during this time I’ve been on my fair share of bad dates.

The very first one I went on after the break-up was with a very very tall guy (like 6’4”) who worked in education and was growing the hair on his upper lip out for Movember—the charity where men grow moustaches to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

It was going fine until he started baby-talking—and let me tell you, a grown man with a moustache who works in education and talks like a baby is not attractive.

Then there was the guy who showed up to brunch 30 minutes late; complained about his hangover the entire time, only to text me later and ask if I wanted to come over and watch porn/bang him. (Shock, shock, I declined on that titillating offer.)

First dates can be rough. So what does it take to make it authentic? How can we create connection and desire, yet keep it entertaining?

Here are three ways to turn a typical ho-hum event into a night to remember.

1. Stand as Long as You Can

The typical first date usually involves a lot of sitting—either across from each other at dinner or over coffee etc., this kind of atmosphere creates unnecessary tension and anxiety. There is a need for immediate if not constant eye contact that might come off too intense for a first date.

Lighten it up.

If coffee is in the plans, bring your to-go cups and walk around a near-by park instead.

Try to make that time spent together actually reveal more of who you are than say the macro-plate at City O’ City would.

Have a love for animals? Go walk dogs together at the Humane Society. Into organic food? Take a cooking class. An art lover? Observe a new show at a museum or DIY at a Canvas and Cocktails event.

The point is to be interactive so it becomes memorable and the memory will contain meaning about who you by showing instead of just telling. Plus, when both sides have a good time both people will be excited to do something together again.

2. Talk Big

No, I don’t mean to pretend that you’re an astronaut who makes a million dollars a year. I mean to move away from the mundane that comes into play with first date conversations. Only talk about work or where you’re “originally from” if that is a stepping stone to bigger overall ideas.

I’m suggesting, getting philosophical fast.

For example, the other night I was working at a coffee shop and I accidently overheard these two people who were obviously on a first date. She mistakenly asked him what he did for work. And he mistakenly talked for at least 30 minutes about insurance. She was on a snoozefest; he was on a snoozefest. Nobody won.

Instead, the conversation should have shifted into what he found inspiring, what moved him, maybe even why he has chosen to stay alive after working in insurance for so long.

Moving into the abstract—thoughts on love, happiness, our inner connectivity, beauty, etc. will get to the deeper person inside than say, discussing the latest sports and weather happenings that we could all easily pick up on the news. Sure it might be frightening but we’re talking about creating a connection, finding the right person to spend time with, stimulating our intellectual selves, finding those who share bigger commonalities that are actually more important in the long run.

So, dive in deep.

3. Touch

We all need it and it’s an easy way to send and receive emotional signals that create a closer bond. The touch doesn’t have to be dramatic, a light hand on the shoulder or leg will reveal that there is a desire to get more intimate. It also brings out a sense of security, attachment and connectivity in the relationship that is forming.

So, say your date tells a joke and it’s actually funny, while laughing reach out and momentarily place your hand on top of your dates. Ta-da! It says, “I like you,” in a way that is subtle yet packed with meaning.

Obviously in the end it will come down to mutual attraction and personality compatibility, but these three tips can help get there faster, easier, and make the dating experience much more fun for everyone.


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

{photo: Basil Gloo}

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