I was recently talking with a client looking for dating advice who expressed great frustration with the amount of stress she was experiencing whilst looking for her Mr. Right. I know it can be a real challenge but I like my dating advice clients to keep the whole thing very simple. In fact, I think even talking about dating is a major mistake as it implies something far heavier than what you are actually doing initially. I’ve got some dating advice for you that others have used to great effect when it comes to meeting up with someone for the first time and how to make it more fun for you. As always this is useful for everyone that ever has to meet anyone. If you want to know how to enjoy meeting strangers then please read on.
Let’s Not Do Dinner Sometime
The first point I’d like to make is that if you’re meeting someone for the first time then the biggest mistake you can make is agree to dinner. I don’t know about you but my time is extraordinarily valuable and the last thing I would do is risk sitting down for dinner with someone who’s practically a stranger. If it’s a drag for starters imagine how big a drag it will be by dessert. My dating advice revolves around a massive dating campaign. You’re looking for at least 3 meetings a week if you’re really firing on all cylinders and clearly dinner is too much commitment. Stop wasting time on people you’re not already sold on.
You Want A Man By Your Side
The dating advice clients that talk about the process being fun tend to only agree to much less intense meetings. Sitting opposite a stranger is stressful for most of us so pick things you actively enjoy. In my experience, even meeting for coffee is too intense. One thing worth keeping in mind is that most men are uncomfortable sat opposite a stranger, it’s just the way we are wired. The smartest thing you can do, as a man or woman is to figure out something you can do side by side. This would include things like walking in parks, by the river, or even around a museum or gallery. Having these kinds of meetings works in your favor in several ways:
You’re doing something you might even do on your own so it’s fun. This means you don’t get stuck in regret about wasted time.
You’re getting some exercise. Calories burned rather than ingested. Given you’re dating this is a good thing.
You may end up doing something totally new and fun. Enriching your experience of life. In-store Ice Climbing anyone?
If this is your first meeting then the dating advice I offer is just accept that in some way it’s going to be a little stressful. It’s also worth keeping in mind that regardless of how it looks the other person is likely to be just as stressed as you. If you’re not careful then you end up infecting each other and starting out very edgy. This is not an excuse to start heading for the bar.
Get A Firm Grip
The quickest way of dealing with this is to get a grip. Now there’s something I didn’t get to say enough as a therapist. Your life would be easier if you can focus on the reality of the situation you are in. You’re meeting up with a stranger who is also meeting up with a stranger. If you cut them a little slack then you’ll probably find they do the same for you.
The first meeting is just about figuring out whether you can be friends with this person or not. And then hopefully get a sense of whether you actually fancy them enough to pursue the relationship any further. The funny thing is that most of that becomes clear in the first five minutes and it’s not got too much to do with what you say and is a lot more about who you are. You can have all the fanciest lines and cleverest dating advice tactics but in my experience, people will see through them and get a sense of who you are and what you stand for. The fact that this happens so quickly is actually very good news. Sometimes you just don’t click, no chemistry, no fault of your own, it’s just time to move on. If you’re halfway through your starter when the penny drops you’ve got no polite escape options so do you still want to sit through dinner?
Do you have any great first date ideas? It would be great to hear them if you’re willing to share. Also if you’ve any problems with the tips below let me know in the comments box.
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I’m very big on the idea of meeting in the daytime as it seems to allow everyone to feel much more comfortable. It’s totally acceptable to arrange a very short meeting if you’re not sure and then magically be able to stay longer if you really like the person you’ve just met. Just try not to over-do it, “always leave ‘em wanting more”.
Guys, on no account, take strangers to dinner. If you do you absolutely must pay for that first dinner or she’s going to think you cheap. Seriously you can’t win on this one. The bizarre upside is that if you didn’t buy her dinner, and she doesn’t want a relationship with you, you’ve got more chance of a fling. If you’ve no idea why that’s true then you’re still in nappies in my world. If you were a bit brighter I think you’d be paying me for coaching as I could change your life forever. Women, please try to avoid being offended by this tip, you’re more complex than you know.
If you’re not filtering from large amounts of interest then your level of exposure is too low. There are so many reasons that this needs to be a mass dating campaign. Not least of which is the fact that you probably still need the practice when it comes to making first impressions or you’d have been snapped up already.