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Ten Tips for Tremendous First Dates

Ten Tips for Tremendous First Dates
First Dates
    Photo credit: jrodmanjr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

    For many people, the prospect of a first date inspires more anxiety than eager anticipation. Where to go? What to wear? What to say? Will they be hot?  What if they’re not?

    With so much unknown, it makes sense to be smart about the things you can control.  So here are some tips to give you a head start.

    1. Location, location, location

    The first rule of real estate is just as applicable to first dates. If you are lucky enough (– or unlucky enough – depending on your perspective) to be choosing where to go, avoid the temptation to come up with a “unique” idea and instead choose a familiar place or environment in which you are comfortable.

    It makes sense to entertain in your natural habitat; you’ll feel at your best and will exude confidence which can be a great aphrodisiac.

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    2. Packaging

    Sometimes the date will dictate the dress code, but other dates — like coffee on a weekend morning — offer a lot more room for interpretation. I’m personally in favor of erring on the side of over-dressing – but not to the extent that you put on something you would never normally wear. Whatever you’re wearing, it goes without saying that it needs to be clean. As do you.

    If it’s an after work date and you won’t be able to go home, bring a change of clothes with you. If you have access to a suitable bathroom at work,  freshen up there. If you are a member of a gym, perhaps you could take a shower there first. As an absolute minimum, always brush your teeth.

    3. Review the research

    On the day before the date, take a few minutes to review what you know about this person to date. If you found them online, print out their profile and review any emails or phone conversations you have had. If you get very nervous about what you will talk about, you might want to go so far as to think of some subject areas or even specific questions to bring up on the date.

    4. Timing

    Never be late to a first date. Aim to get there 20 minutes before you actually want to arrive, it’s better to have some time to kill before you make a leisurely entrance than to be rushing and stressing.

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    If it’s a blind date or you are worried about recognizing the person, arrive extra early, that way you can get comfortable with a drink and let them find you.

    5. Smile

    Smile! Science shows that consciously smiling will make you feel happier.   So start by smiling rather than waiting for something to make you smile and you will get things off to a good start.

    6. Be Curious

    Make sure that you ask as many questions as you answer. Don’t fall in to the trap of talking about yourself all night. Even if your date is skillfully interviewing or strategically interrogating you, step in and turn the tables, they may just be waiting to see how long it will take you to seize the reins.

    7. Be Authentic

    Whilst it can be tempting to play the role of the person you would like to be on a first date, have a little faith that the real you is loveable and be authentic.

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    8. Stay in the present

    That means no talking about past relationships and no getting ahead of yourself into the fantasy future with this date. Your goal should be to have an enjoyable couple of hours getting to know someone new.

    9. Be honest

    Be honest with yourself as well as your date. If you know that something about your date is an absolute deal breaker for you, you may as well find out about it now and save everyone some time.

    Hopefully, your date will be able to read your signals, but in the worst case scenario where they are saying they are so happy to have found you at last and you are thinking, “check please!”, resist the urge to skirt the issue and gently let them know that you’re not feeling a connection.

    10 .Have Fun

    Make your sofa miss you – have a blast! As to whether to kiss (or sleep together, or anywhere in between) on a first date – that’s really up to you. But as a general rule, on a first date, I suggest you should always aim to leave them wanting something more.

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    If all else fails, as you crash and burn, take comfort that the worst dates make the most entertaining stories for your friends and if you have really bad luck with first dates, you may end up with enough material to try a new career in stand up comedy.

    Above all try to relax and enjoy yourself. After all, this is supposed to be fun! One of the best ways to take the pressure off the date is to consider that what you are doing is going out to meet someone who may turn out to be friends with the perfect person for you.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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