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

Via Krystal Baugher
on Sep 19, 2013
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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}


About Krystal Baugher

Krystal Baugher lives in Denver. She earned her MA in Writing and Publishing and her MA in Women and Gender Studies from DePaul University/Chicago. She is the creator of Mile High Mating, a website dedicated to helping people "do it" in Denver and beyond. You can find her on facebook and twitter (as long as you aren’t a stalker).


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

  1. dating fails says:

    Hi Krystal, touch is really a big means of showing affection and it creates a bond between two persons as you have said, but I think on first date touching is not a great idea. On first date touching should be very limited (just a hand shake). On first date we have to share our hobbies and our likings, we should give time to know each other very well.

  2. Should? Says who? I invite you to ask yourself these questions regarding what you said:
    Is it true?
    Can I absolutely know it's true?
    Is there a stress-free reason to keep this thought?
    Who would I be without this thought? How would I feel?

    Then turn around this thought. What if the opposite is true? Then give yourself three instances when the opposite could be true. It's really an invitation to find your own personal truth.

  3. Olivia says:

    Touch is fine on a first date, if your comfortable with it. My boyfriend and I held hands, kissed, gave back rubs and more. It helped create a closer connection and worked fine for us

    Thank you for this article. I did all three of these things when I started dating again recently, and it seems to be working out for the first time in my life. Good tips!

  4. dsaxena says:

    Touch is a challenging one as there are two very opposing views on this that I've personally been trying to reconcile: First is as the article states that light touch should be part of the first date. The second is that touch should not happen without explicit consent (i.e., I should no even put my hands on your shoulder without asking you first) and there is a lot of messaging in our culture that asking for permission kills the "magic" of connecting with someone. :/

  5. Hunter says:

    Good advice on not doing something that involves too much sitting! I have made that mistake recently. The touch suggestion too is important. Don’t give awkward hugs or handshakes even. I have also made that mistake. Dive in. And I have fell into buzzkill discussions in almost a self defeating way. I will remember these tips.

  6. Yogini says:

    this line is so funny: maybe even why he has chosen to stay alive after working in insurance for so long.