So, you finally got her to agree to go out with you, and now it’s game time. No doubt, you may have some nerves (unless you’ve been MegaDating, in which case, you’ve learned to take every first date in stride!).
Either way, you want to make sure you have a successful first date, am I right? Well, believe it or not, you don’t have to leave it up to chance. There are a lot of things you can do to increase the odds that it goes well.
Basically, you want to pay attention to anything that could negatively influence your mental state or hers. When you adjust these variables, you can actually turn a mediocre first date into a great one. Here are eight examples.
1. Make Sure She’s Warm
This may not be something you’d really think about, but failing to control the temperature on your dates can lead to a woman feeling uncomfortable and maybe even not wanting to see you again. How is this possible?
Let’s start with science: In one 2014 study, researchers actually found that warm temperatures make people feel psychologically closer to others and more generous toward them, while cold temperatures make them feel more distant.
Also, think about how you normally feel when you’re too cold. Chances are, you’re probably annoyed, can’t really focus on anything but how uncomfortable you are, and generally want to get OUT of there, stat.
Needless to say, being too cold puts a person into a state of distress. And if you’re hoping for a successful first date, this is definitely not how you want her to feel.
So do her a favor and make sure she’s always warm. This means:
- Offer your jacket if you notice that she’s got goosebumps or is shivering.
- Take her to warm places (or make sure she knows to dress according to whatever you’ve planned).
- Turn on the heater in your home, and make sure it’s warm even in the bathroom and common areas.
To this last point: If you are hoping she’ll come back to your place to hang out, controlling the temperature is key. If you invite her over and then expect her to relax in a 52-degree living room, it ain’t happening. Being cold for any reason is always a sexual turn-off to a woman. Keeping your place warm is also a basic gesture of hospitality — and you don’t want to come off as an inconsiderate host. So fire up that heater to make sure she’s always feeling warm and cozy with you!
2. Time Your Date Strategically
It’s important to choose the right day and time for your dates to ensure that she’s in the right mental state for it.
When it comes to picking a day of the week, try to avoid Sundays and Mondays. Those are everyone’s worst mental state days, because that’s when they’re generally thinking about work and all the crap they have to do. Instead, schedule your dates for Saturday mornings if possible. Saturdays are the best mental state days for almost everyone, since it’s the beginning of the weekend.
As for the time of day, you want to be careful about mealtimes. In other words, if you set the time of your date around breakfast, lunch, or dinnertime, keep in mind that she’ll be hungry. Being hungry — or worse, hangry — will put her into a state of distress, like being too cold. She might even start to resent being on the date, if she’d rather be tearing into a burrito.
You might think the answer to all this is to just take her out to eat on your first date, but it isn’t. The best first date ideas are ones that are more fun and even a little unorthodox. Keep first dates in social environments and choose things that will give her an experience she hasn’t had before. Save your dinner plans for date #3.
I also recommend scheduling your date in between meals (for first and second dates). She’ll be less likely to insist on dinner, which will save your hard-earned cash!
3. Control Your Breathing
Controlling your own mental state is also important if you want to have a successful first date. If you’re feeling nervous or uncomfortable during the date, take notice of your breath.
Taking short and shallow breaths can put you in an anxious state. As Psychology Today recently reported, when we’re stressed, our breathing becomes shallow, which lowers the oxygen levels in the blood. The brain also perceives that as stress, making you breathe shallower and stress out even more. It’s one big vicious cycle.
So to combat this, focus on taking slow, deep breaths to calm your nerves and get out of your head so you can be present with her. That’s an instantaneous state change!
Plus, yoga and meditation are also great ways to naturally get better at controlling your breath in general. Hop on YouTube and do a search for things like “guided meditations for anxiety” or “yoga breathing techniques” to get a sense of how to breathe in a controlled manner, deeply from your belly. It sounds simple, but it really is a skill. Once it becomes habit, you can use it anytime to calm your nerves.
4. Dance With Her
Dancing can escalate sexual tension, because it often requires physical interaction. That being said, if you’re dancing on a first date, it’s probably safer to assume that the tension is simply sexual energy at this point, rather than sexual interest. This is especially true if you’re doing a form of partner dancing that already has a sexy aesthetic. But generally speaking, dancing can eventually make her feel sexually drawn to you … so start now!
That being said, what if you’re not a great dancer? Then learn. Check out your local dance studio for classes in hip hop or a style of partner dancing that you think would be cool.
Even if you’re not good yet, your enthusiasm to do it anyway will charm her and make her feel more connected to you. Why? First, it shows you’re not pretentious and are open to having fun. Second, it sends the message that you are confident enough to show her your weaknesses. Being willing to dance (even awkwardly!) is a way of opening up, which can make her feel more comfortable opening up to you, too.
5. Don’t Sit Too Long
When you’re stationary on a date, the energy can drop. If this happens, and you’re with someone you’ve met before or know fairly well, you can likely handle this without feeling uncomfortable. But if you’re on a first date, it can be terribly awkward. The conversation can start to feel forced, leaving you both feeling lackluster about one another.
So instead, keep it moving. Find ways to walk around rather than sitting and staring at each other, which will boost her mental state as well as your own.
For instance, you might grab a coffee and walk around town with it, before having a seat on a park bench. Then, you could challenge her to a cartwheel or handstand competition once you’ve finished your coffee. Or, you might go on a tasting crawl, hitting up local establishments to get free samples of ice cream, craft beer, or appetizers.
No matter what you choose, the constant movement will help to keep things fun and playful. It’ll also take the focus off of having to continuously think of new things to say, or new questions to ask. Ironically, this casual vibe will the date feel more original, and make you seem more interesting!
6. Be Playful
Playfulness can be a great way to shift a woman’s mental state on a date. This is especially true if she brings up a negative or awkward topic that’s bringing down the feel-good vibes.
If this happens, try using a game to shift the conversation and boost both of your mental states. The game doesn’t have to be anything big. You could engage her in a game of Truth or Dare, for example. Or, if you guys both answered survey questions on OkCupid or another dating app, you could talk about the ones you remember and why you answered the way you did. The Book of Questions is also a great source of fun (and deep!) hypothetical questions that can get conversation going. Anything works, really — and she probably won’t even notice that you’ve shifted the conversation away from the negative topic.
7. Include Puppies or Babies
Need I say more? Puppies and babies are instant mental state shifters. Include either of these, and you’ve definitely increased your chances of a successful first date.
If you both have dogs for example, try planning a dog-park date where you meet up with your pooches. You’ll be able to chat as you let the dogs run around, but it’ll still feel light and playful. Plus, your dogs will make new friends!
Along the same lines, you could get a group together for a casual day at the park, and invite both your date and a few of your new-parent friends. Not only will you get to know each other in a positively charged environment, but your new-parent friends will thank you for the extra help with their little ones.
8. Attend a Comedy Show, Film Festival, or Musical Performance
Another way to shift your mental state for a successful first date is by attending a performance or show. Try it if you’re feeling nervous about the conversation going flat. The extra background noise will take some of the pressure off of conversation and cover up any awkward silences.
So with that in mind, see if you can find a live music event, film festival at a local playhouse, open mic night for new comics, or any other kind of show that sounds fun. Just remember that since it’s your first date, you do want to be able to get to know her — so don’t pick a show that’s so loud that it keeps you from talking at all.
That said, I also recommend that you spend no more than $10 to $15. While you do want to pay for the date, there’s no reason to overspend at first. This might sound challenging, but it’s really not! Community playhouses, farmer’s markets, or other outdoor shopping/walkstreet areas often have events that are either free or inexpensive, so take a look at their schedules.
Getting a “yes” to a first date is exciting, but it’s no guarantee that things will go well. If you really want to have a successful first date, you need to stay mindful of when things are going off track. Being able to influence her mental state (and yours) in those moments can go a long way in making her feel good about you, and vice versa.
Having a successful first date also depends on the individual person and situation. If you’re interested in more ideas about how to manage your dates better, feel free to book a New Client 1-on-1 Skype Session with me, so we can talk about your best (and worst!) dating experiences in detail. We’ll use that information to design a dating strategy just for you, as well as identify what you can improve, so you not only get first dates with the women you want … but second, third, and fourth ones as well!