I've got two coming up. I need to plan in my head what to expect so I'm turning to YOU, friends of SI!
"Diamonds aren't a girl's best friend, freedom is."
It's kind of like interviewing for a partner. You ask them questions to get an idea of whether they would be a suitable candidate. I wouldn't ask them directly if they were lazy but instead would ask what they did last weekend to see if they were active or sat around all weekend. When I asked about their job and what they liked and disliked I paid attention to the answers. If they complained about their boss or coworker more than they talked about their likes I would take that as a pink flag. And I paid attention to whether they were giving off an optimistic or pessimistic vibe.
If the topic of past relationships came up (I always let them bring it up) I would give a quick answer not going into too much detail and then turn the same question over to them to get a sense of whether they were bitter or ready for a relationship.
I have bad anxiety problems so I was pretty nervous going into the first date but having a few questions already prepared helped a lot. If there were any awkward silences I was able to ask one of my questions. I also tried to keep the conversation around 50/50. If it seemed like I was doing all the talking I would ask them a question.
The best way to go into the first date is to look at it as getting to know the other person and decide if they warrant a second date. Don't fret about whether they like you and if you will get a second date, just be yourself. If they don't like that then they aren't right for you.
One of my favorite questions to ask is "How did you end up in XXnameofcityXX?" That always opens up travel/where they used to live/college/work/family and a great starting ground for multiple subjects.
Usually I am excited to actually MEET them, so the first few minutes is filled with tons of chatting. I've always done lunch/dinner dates...so focusing on the menu is a great ice breaker.
Then I would try to remember that all I was doing was meeting someone new for the first time and remind myself of how many people I've met over the years in various situations and that I am actually rather good at it.
I found that if I asked a bunch of questions--you know, the standard ones like work, kids, school, family, what they do in their free time, how did you get to this point in your life, etc. the time really flew by. I was lucky to never meet anyone who wasn't a great talker so I didn't have to worry about what I would say. And there really was something interesting and worthwhile about everyone I met.
I found that if I kept my expectations for anything but meeting a new friend very low and told myself that at least I was out and about instead of being at home sitting in front of the TV or cleaning the bathroom I was much more positive about the whole experience.
Just try to relax and have fun, be yourself and enjoy it!
The second gal was and continues to amaze me! Our emails and phone calls prior to meeting were like we knew each other all of our lives, so when we met for dinner I was absolutely calm, not nervous, and totally relaxed and comfortable. The time flew by, was so exciting, and truly was fantastic in all ways.
I agree, try to relax, don't stress any blunders (actually laugh about them!), don't be afraid and second guess too much. I found myself holding her hand much of the time during dinner, and everything felt just right.
If you are ready, dating is so great to get back out there and feel "normal", even desirable again after the shit we have been through.
Best of luck, and please report back!
The path to salvation is narrow, and as difficult to walk as the razor's edge
I have another planned for this weekend though I'm a little nervous, even though we've had great phone conversation so far.
So I think it's natural to feel a little apprehensive and enjoy meeting someone new, no matter how it works out.
Above all, be the heroine, not the victim. - Nora Ephron
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling
Second: Low expectations and an easy out. Not much more than a drink and a quick guage, then I could be on my way. My time is precious! Just enough to say yay or nay on a second date.
Third: Using my senses to stay in the present. What are the colors in the restaurant like, what is the texture of the furniture like against my skin, the tone of his voice, how my stomach feels. This helps me notice whether or not I can enjoy myself in his company and it gets me out of my head, out of self-doubt. And yes I can converse and still be in touch with my senses.
And 90% of the guys I've met have liked to talk about themselves so the conversation keeps flowing with just a couple of questions from me. I'm quite impressed if my date takes a break from his monologue and asks me a question or two. I don't see this as a character flaw...just what some people do when they are anxious..talk about themselves.
I agree with reviewing his profile and your emails before the date and ask about things you've already talked about...ask about his job, his hobbies, his family etc. I learn so much from listening...
Remember your date is probably nervous too!!
On my cheat-sheet cards (he never knows I have them ), I also include possible funny stories to share.
I figured if he is really quiet....I don't want to sit there spatting of an entire list of questions and make him feel like I am conducting a quiz so I trickle in some other stuff.
So far I have been very lucky, even the guy who SAID he was extremely shy, quiet and nervous could carry on his part of the conversation. We ended up at dinner for 4 hours.
As it turns out, both dates are on Saturday, one for lunch and one for dinner. Talk about weird timing! At least they will both be over in one day and I can recover on Sunday.
Did I mention they both have the same name?? ONLY ME I say, ONLY ME, lol. Two dates, same day, guys with same name.
As an example, here is an email from our first date a few weeks ago, and she continues to amaze me:
Best of luck NMK!
He was probably being cheap. I hate when people ask you out and they try to be cheap about it. Like, they dont want to 'commit' to dinner, ya know? At this stage in the game, I have no problem stating that I'd like to eat and then order something, even if it's just an app.
Sounds like a rude dude. If you're meeting me at 6:30pm, after work, I would expect some kind of dining to take place.