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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 August 20, 2018

    35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

    35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

    Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

    But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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    The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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    While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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    While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

    If You’re Staying In

    1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
    2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
    3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
    4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
      • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
      • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
      • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
      • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
        • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
        • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
        • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
          • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

          If You Want to Get Away

          1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
          2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
          3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
            • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
            • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
            • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
            • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
            • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
            • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
              • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
              • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

              New & Exciting Experiences

              1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
              2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
                experience.
                • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
                • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
                • Experience white water rafting.
                • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
                • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                  • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                  • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                    • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                    • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                    • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                    Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                    Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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