Nothing invites bad advice like a first date — wear this, say that, and don’t under any circumstances say that — all with the aim of captivating a guy you’re not even sure you like … yet.
Not only are those so-called rules the opposite of fun (and isn’t having fun the point here?), but they also can end up backfiring. Who wants to seem stiff or eager to please because you’re following some lame set of guidelines rather than just being yourself? Which — trust us — is always more appealing than any script.
“The best strategy for a great first date is to go into it with the goal of simply enjoying yourself, instead of harboring an agenda to win him over,” says Lionel Tiger, PhD, a Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University and author of The Decline of Males. “That way, you’ll also come across as tenacious and carefree, which are intrinsically attractive qualities.”
Live in the Now
If you and this guy clicked when you met, it’s tempting to leap into the future mentally — could he be The One? Stop right there and rein in your expectations or you won’t have fun.
“If you place too much importance on the encounter, you’ll spend the whole evening evaluating how it’s going and stressing about whether you’ll see him again,” explains Sheenah Hankin, PhD, a psychotherapist in New York and author of Complete Confidence. “This prevents you from fully experiencing what’s happening in the present.” That also means you’re not as engaged — or engaging — as you could be.
Remind yourself that it’s only one evening, and then just relax and let go. “A first date is an experiment,” says Tiger. “Adopt the laissez-faire attitude that it might work out or it might not.” And, hey, even if the sparks ultimately aren’t there, the night’s not a wash. You’ll probably come away with new insight or an interesting story to add to your repertoire.
By Molly Triffin