15:18 07 April 2005
Asking someone for a date and making a success of it all seems so easy when you see it on TV or in a film.
But for many people, asking someone out on a date can be a terrifying experience. And that's nothing compared to the anxiety a first date can cause.
There's no magic formula for success, but there are some rules you can follow to improve your chances of that first date becoming something more long-term:
1. Choose a good night
When asking someone out on a date, choose a Wednesday or Thursday night. Fridays and Saturdays put too much pressure on you both and it's not easy getting to know each other shouting across a packed bar.
2. What's your date going to be?
Have a specific day and activity in mind when you ask your prospective date. If you say:
"Would you like to go out sometime?"
You'll only have to ask again with something more specific. Save yourself the stress!
3. Ask face to face
It might be easier to send an email, text message or to call, but you should ask for your date face to face. This lets you read your potential partner's body language and enthusiasm. You can modify your behaviour accordingly.
4. Stay calm
Nerves will not help you or the conversation on your first date. If you're nervous beforehand, try deep-breathing to calm yourself down or repeat to yourself "I'm interesting and fun" or "I'm calm and not afraid of anything."
5. Don't be afraid to flirt
It's a date, not a job interview, so let yourself go a little! Use your whole body and lean forward, smile and relax your hands.
6. Make eye contact
Looking someone in the eye can be very alluring, they feel as if they've got your undivided attention.
An open smile (but not a smirk) is always a winner. There's no excuse not to smile if things are going well.
8. Enjoy yourself
Everyone looks better when they're happy. You should be enjoying yourself and the other person's company, why not show it?
9. Be realistic
There's no such thing as the perfect partner - are you expecting too much of your date(s)? You might not be all that perfect yourself!
10. If all else failsget a second opinion
If you keep getting turned down or your dates flop, you may not be the best judge of why that is.
Ask a friend to tell you honestly what's wrong with your approach. You may not like what you hear, but you could benefit from the advice.
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