Getting To Know Someone On A First Date
Dating is challenging for many. Here are some tips to turn a first date into a learning adventure.
Sometimes, dating can be discouraging, or it can be a learning experience. One of the things I encourage my dating clients to do is to use their experience to hone their intuitive skills – starting from the first text, email or phone call. Too often, you might pick up something subtle that doesn’t feel good – or right – in your gut, but you ignore it, and then later on it proves accurate – after you have been hurt. So, don’t ignore your subtle gut feelings!
One way of honing your intuitive skills is to write down your first feelings and reactions, and then go back to what you wrote after your first date, or even later if you continue to date the person. Were your gut feelings accurate? There is powerful learning in discovering that you can trust your gut feelings.
If you are willing to do this, then, rather than feeling ‘first-date blues’ when a first date doesn’t turn out well, you can feel the excitement of learning to trust yourself! It’s actually far more important to learn to trust yourself than to have a great first date. Your first dates will get better and better as you learn to trust the subtle messages of your gut reactions.
Some of the things you might want to pay attention to right away are:
- Is the person coming on fast and strong? Not a good sign. In fact, this can be a sign of narcissism: come on fast and leave fast. Beware if sex is offered or pursued very early on.
- Is the person super-charming, seeming to say just the things that you long to hear? Watch out! Narcissistic people have an uncanny way of being brilliant and charming, and knowing exactly what to say to you that you want to hear. Does the person tell you early on that they have never met anyone like you – that they have never felt as connected with anyone as they do with you?
- Does the person talk a lot about themselves, and keep bringing the conversation back to themselves when you are talking?
- Does the person blame a past partner or partners for a relationship not working out?
- Do you have a hard time feeling connected with the person because he or she is in their head rather than their heart? Do you find you connect intellectually but not emotionally?
- Do you sense a feeling of emptiness or neediness in the person? Is the person a people-pleaser, pulling on you for approval?
- Does the person show up late, seem resistant to making plans, come without any means to pay for a meal or coffee, or in other ways appear irresponsible or resistant? Do you get the sense that this person fears responsibility or engulfment?
Of course, if YOU fit these descriptions, then you have some inner work to do to get ready for a healthy, loving and committed relationship.
Your Dating Mindset
What is your mindset when you go on a date?
- Are you primarily concerned about what your date will think of you?
- Are you primarily concerned about what you will think of your date?
I encourage you to approach dating with the latter mindset. If you are focused on whether or not your date likes you, you might miss some important red flags. It’s important for you to learn to not take your date’s behavior personally. When you get stuck thinking that you are doing something wrong or that there is something wrong with you when your date is distracted, distant, or uninterested in you, you will miss the messages your gut is telling you about the person.
It’s important to accept that you will not connect with everyone and everyone will not connect with you – and this has nothing to do with there being anything wrong with you. It’s just that most of us have a relatively limited number of people with whom we have a deep heart connection. When you accept this, then it’s much easier to not take rejection personally – or to not even see it as rejection. That’s when the “dating blues” goes away and the excitement of learning takes its place.
[Margaret Paul Relationship Toolbox]