I know dating. Not like “I know dating. I’m so awesome.” No, more like, I know dating like it’s a really annoying friend of a friend who is always around but you just can’t stand. If you spend any time going on dates, a pattern emerges. After just a few dates, it becomes very obvious there is a sort of a recipe to making a good first date.
As traditional dating goes by the wayside, the perfect mix is harder and harder to find. Dates rarely come from personal interaction. Instead, we rely more on scrolling through matches that meet particular criteria that we believe is important. After exchanging a few messages, text messages, a phone call if you are lucky, you get in the car to go meet someone you barely know. Meeting someone this way does not mean you cannot have a good date, just means that more attention is needed on the details.
Ingredient 1 – The phone call.
I believe you have to talk on the phone first. I mean do you want to spend 3 hours with someone whose voice makes your skin crawl? What if they are incapable of carrying a basic conversation. If they can’t ask and answer questions or talk properly and respectfully then don’t waste time going out with them.
That being said, be forgiving of awkward silences and don’t get overly excited about a good conversation. While it’s a good indicator of things, I’ve sadly learned it does not guarantee a good date. \
Ingredient 2 – The Ask.
But more importantly, the topic of meeting should be brought up on the phone. Me being a bit of a traditionalist, I think it’s the man’s job to do so. I understand men really put themselves out there when dating, and that it is hard. But when we start being honest with ourselves, we can see we are setting a bad precedent for a relationship. The effort of dialing a phone and asking a girl out is minimal. It’s something that as women we deserve. Set the standards high at the beginning and you’ll be setting yourself up better for the future.
Note to guys – when you ask a girl out, have a day, time, and location in mind. A girl doesn’t not want to plan the first date. If you start out treating her like a lady worthy of attention, she’ll treat you like a gentleman worthy of her time.
Ingredient 3 – The Conversation
Some of the best dates I have ever been on were nothing more than us sitting in a bar having a drink while having the amazing conversation. You are an interesting person with a fantastic life…tell your date all about it. Have a couple go-to stories to share that show off your personality and outlook on life. Ask questions about your date. Nothing makes people feel better and more at ease that talking about themselves. Be engaging and most importantly be yourself.
Note to everyone – Hide your phone. Ladies put it in your purse. Guys don’t even pull it out of your pocket. Nothing is more disrespectful than sitting one-on-one with someone and they continue to check their phone.
Ingredient 4 – The Date
Yes, some of my best dates were because of simple conversation, but then there are the dates you’ll never forget. It might not work out with your date, but activity and location made it near perfect. This is where that phone call prior to the date (and even asking for the date) come in handy. You have a chance to talk to someone and get to know what makes them tick – use that to your advantage!
Example – during my first year in Dallas (now 10 years ago…yes I remember this date from 10 years ago!!) I went on a date with someone that was from Dallas. In talking with me, he knew I was new and didn’t know the city very well. He invited me to a small restaurant in Bishop Arts, an area I had not explored. Afterwards he told me we were going somewhere special but that he wasn’t going to tell me where if I didn’t mind the surprise. We drove into downtown and parked near Union Station. We then walked into a building, took the elevator down and started walking through an underground tunnel. At this point, I saw pictures of Reunion Tower, so I figured out we were going to end up at the Hyatt at Reunion Tower. I started to get excited because I had heard there was a good restaurant there (maybe a cocktail & dessert?) and the observation deck of the tower (a stunning view). We stopped at the observation deck and we spent a while looking around. He pointed out landmarks and explained different areas of the city to me. I thought it was so sweet that he used the date to teach me about my new home.
Nothing will be a substitute for good chemistry between two people, but you can always find a way to stack the deck in your favor if you really want – and usually just by listening.
What do you think makes a good date?