Friday, 28 February 2014

It's a Date! Where to Go?

You mustered up the courage to suggest a get-together and got a "Yes!" Congratulations!

Whether it is someone you met on the train, on a dating site or through a friend, figuring out the best place to go on a first date can be a bit daunting. You may be under the impression that you should plan something impressive or unique.

In my experience as a matchmaker, I can tell you that simple and casual is always better when you are meeting someone for the first time. Choose a place where you feel comfortable and familiar, so you don't waste time trying to figure out the lay of the land or the 14 page Japanese menu. It will allow you to relax and focus on your date.

The purpose of a first date is to get to know each other better, so it's important to find a venue that isn't too distracting or loud. You want somewhere where you can have a cozy chat without trying to outdo the sound system.

If it's a blind date or you're not sure how you feel about the person, keep it low-pressure and go for coffee, lunch or brunch. This will allow a small window for testing the waters with a clear ending for getting back to work, laundry or walking the dog.

This is another low-commitment, low-cost date that will allow you the option of continuing with dinner if things are going well. Or you can call it a night after one beverage, saying you have dinner plans elsewhere.

Going out for dinner is a popular option for a first date, but one I don't recommend if you don't know the person at all. Dinner puts you on the spot. If you don't click or connect, you are forced to sit and face each other while making polite chitchat while both of you would rather bolt for the door.

However, just in case you find yourself with a slight lag in conversation, here are some tips to get it flowing:

1) Keep up on current events so you can talk intelligently about major developments
2) When talking about yourself, accentuate the positive. Stick to your best attributes and the interests you're most passionate about. Notice something positive about the other person and ask about their passions
3) Ask open-ended questions that evoke a response beyond yes and no
4) Be sincere in your compliments. Don't just say something for the sake of it -- it will come off as transparent.

Good luck and happy dating!