March Dating Madness

marchmadness

The ‘Elite 8′ tips to a great first date.

Does the thought of dating (especially a first date) put a knot in your stomach and get your heart racing? If so, you’re not alone. Dating today is more complex and challenging than it was a decade ago. People are more sophisticated, have higher expectations from a mate, and sex is easier to get. Additionally, online dating has exploded: more than 30 million singles are reported to be dating online, and it’s easier than ever to get a first date. The bottom line from this seismic change? We tend to screen people out much faster than we screen them in – because there are lots of other choices in our inboxes.

Because things have changed so substantially, it’s more important than ever to date well. Rest assured, though, dating well is a skill that can be easily acquired. You can turn the first date into the second date, and then the third – and get ‘screened in.’ First, remember an important fact: Most men are simple…they are looking for warm, happy, kind, and thoughtful women–as they say, a ‘soft place to land’ after work! They are not looking for female versions of themselves.

With this in mind, here are eight great tips to putting your best foot forward for a first date:

1. Step Up Your Feminine Look. Dress beautifully in a dress or pretty colored blouse and skirt. Take some time to get ready – when you feel pretty, you take that ‘I’m a catch!’ energy into your date – which is sexy!

2. Smile a lot. Just like Mama told you. Happy, confident people attract the most people. To truly smile on the outside, you need to get to your ‘happy place’ mentally before the date! Think about the excitement of meeting someone who might be ‘it!’

3. Like your date. The best way to get someone to like you is to like them first. Sincerely. It’s a complete mindset shift. Think, “I want to make this person feel really good about himself.” Be an active listener, and asking good questions about something he likes/is interested in. Don’t ask questions as if you’re interrogating him, though.

4. Break the force field. For those of our professional women who have had to survive and thrive in a man’s world, it’s hard to get back to ‘date’ mode. You must remind yourself that this is a date, not a business meeting! Give your date a hug when you meet – and a gentle appropriate touch on the arm or back during the evening will jolt him into paying closer attention to you!

5. Be very prepared to chat. Think of fun and interesting stories about yourself that cast you in a good light. They could be about the great things you cook, your beautiful drawings, places you’ve traveled, fun childhood stories, and unique interests. Think of this as you would a first job interview, and pick good stories, and think about why you love your job, family, friends, etc. Leave all baggage at home!

6. Leave your “Inner CEO” at home. This one always gets the raised eyebrow. Arguing to win, talking too much about work minutiae, or wearing your masculine shoulder padded pantsuit can work against you with many guys. They are more interested in us as whole person – rather than just a compilation of business successes. Being in work mode during your date may leave him with this impression, “I’d rather hire her than date her!”

7. Be lavish with appreciation. We all love to hear nice things – and men are no different. Telling him “I had such a nice time this evening, thank you!!” will make him feel good – and hopefully, want to take you out again!

8. Give him the benefit of the doubt. Don’t rule out a guy unless he demonstrates truly inexcusable behavior on the first date. Chemistry is very unpredictable, and usually takes several dates to develop. This is important – the frog on date one can turn into Prince Charming by date four!

Practice makes perfect – screen more people in than out, and you’ll be well on your way to dating success.

Happy Dating!

Bela_Gandhi

About Bela Gandhi

Bela Gandhi is the founder of Smart Dating Academy, a full dating coaching service that provides busy, successful professionals with one-on-one coaching, image consulting, personal shopping, professional photography and online dating consulting. She has been featured as a dating and relationship expert for the Chicago Tribune, WGN-TV, Tribune University, CL-TV, WGN Radio, RedEye and The Mash, and has been called "The Fairy Godmother of Dating" by the Huffington Post. Ms. Gandhi also has extensive personal career coaching experience through her affiliation and board membership with The Cara Program.