It happens to us all: You find yourself out with someone and you just can’t relax. You’re thinking about how you’re coming across, and you’re trying to learn as much about him as you can to determine if you might be right for each other. It’s a lot of pressure, and it certainly can kill the fun, let alone the chance for a real connection.
And sometimes, the nerves are his! That can make things even more complicated.
In there any way to ensure that you both have a wonderful time, even if you never see each other again? Yes, and all it takes is a little shift in behavior.
This is a three step process, and you’ll be happy to know the first step is surprisingly simple. Ready?
Step One: Set the stage with your greeting!
Don’t make a man walk the long green mile across a restaurant, bar or coffee shop on a first date. Instead, stand up and walk toward him! Greet him warmly, and reach out for a light, friendly hug. No handshakes! This is a date, after all, you’re not meeting your new CFO.
The second step is a little more challenging, because it takes a little practice, but it’s a skill that’s worth having in all areas of your life, including love.
Step Two: Stop focusing on yourself.
That’s it. Don’t worry about how you’re coming across, in fact, don’t think about yourself at all. Instead, think about him. How is he feeling? Is he nervous? Confident? Shy? Use your powers of observation to pay attention to the way he is breathing and moving. You’ll be able to see if he’s nervous.
Your job at this moment (if you really want to get to know him) is to stop any mindless chatter, endless questions and small talk and verbally put your flag in the ground.
How do you do this? Be honest.
Simply call out whatever situation is in front of you. You might say, “First dates are always so nerve wracking. It’s nice to meet you and I’m so glad you’re here,” or “You’re just as good looking as I thought you’d be. I’m glad Susan suggested we meet.”
Think that’s outside of your comfort zone? I’ve found it’s the number one reason men feel so comfortable in my presence when I meet them. I literally take care of them by understanding they might be nervous to meet me. It’s the same on your dates. Be compassionate and kind and you’ll quickly see the nerves simply float away.
If, on the other hand, you’re the one feeling nervous, mention it. State whatever is the most authentic feeling you’re having at the moment. I guarantee if you say, “I’m feeling so nervous right now! That’s really not like me,” he’ll find it charming and will either identify with you, or go out of his way to help you relax. This will allow you to regroup and turn your focus outward for the rest of the evening, so that you don’t feel so self-conscious and can enjoy your time together.
Step Three: Focus on Understanding What Matters to Him
Asking twenty questions to help you determine whether he’s your dream guy just puts someone on the defense. Instead, try asking him questions about what’s important to him. After all, a date is not an interview. It’s about getting to know an individual, as you share an experience together.
And someone who’s really good at this knows how to help people shine naturally. It’s worth it to develop this skill.
Help a man feel incredible in your presence by highlighting his strengths, rather than putting him in precarious, awkward moments where he’s forced to talk about the things that are trivial to him, or outside of his range of interests. You may want to know about his knowledge of wine, art and music, but those might not be areas of expertise to him.
What does he genuinely care about? It’s okay to ask “What matters to you?”
Open your heart and be receptive and interested in the answer. Then ask a few follow up questions. Don’t interrogate, just let yourself let go and enjoy genuinely learning about him. This is a moment you are sharing with another human being, whether you see each other again or not.
Helping Someone Feel Incredible Creates a Lasting Impression
If you know anything about human relationships, we tend to want to be near the people who make us feel incredible. If you can get him focused on an emotional level, you’ll get away from having to prove yourselves to each other. It’s a win win situation for both of you.
Enjoy the moments, the pregnant pauses, the mishaps, mistakes, the laughter and frustration ― these are all the things that come with dating. It’s part of the experience. Enjoy the adventure!