Dating Do's and Dont's
By Dr. Pepper Schwartz
On the surface, dating may seem easy enough to most. However, there're plenty of ways to doom your chances if you don't know some of the essential do's and don'ts. In these stressful times, I know everyone has a short attention span, as do I! So, here's a list of what you need to know to succeed - and just as important - to avoid total, dismal failure. My top 10 in each category, in no particular order:
1. Do know enough about your date to tailor the conversation to his/her background. Generic conversations are usually boring. Really study their profile to see what interests them.
2. Do keep at least some of the conversation light-hearted, funny and intriguing. If you haven't laughed at all during a date, things are going terribly wrong.
3. Do listen. Sounds easy? It doesn't seem to be. So many people complain the other person never noticed what they said.
4. Do ask questions. The easiest way to show you're listening is to ask pertinent questions. Your date will be pleased, possibly even stunned. And almost always impressed.
5. Do clean up. Make hygiene a priority. Wear a fresh shirt or outfit you haven't slept in or found in a corner of your closet. If you're meeting after work, take a toothbrush with you when you leave your place in the morning and brush before you meet your date.
6. Do have ideas about what to do. Put some thought into this before you go out.
7. Do be on time. If you're always late, start out earlier than you think you need to. You never get a second chance to make a first impression…and this will be the first impression.
8. Do make eye contact, but don't be weird about it. Talking to your date while you're looking around the room or playing with your silverware is really annoying.
9. Do call the day of the date to confirm time and location. Call or e-mail the day after to thank them for a nice time. Whether the date was great or just an experience, there's no substitute for manners. It's the right way to treat people.
10. Do be warm, friendly and happy. It's all contagious, and it makes it much more likely you'll get the same reaction coming back to you.
1. Don't leave your blackberry or cell phone on. This interruption could work against you in a big way.
2. Don't talk about an ex. This conversation will probably come up much later when your relationship has blossomed. If you're angry about an ex, or are still pining for them, it'll show.
3. Don't splash on too much cologne or perfume. Some people are allergic, while others just may find it too much.
4. Don't gossip about anyone. Trashing anyone alerts your date immediately you have a mean or shallow streak.
5. Don't talk too long on the phone initially. It could be fun, but it could also wear out your welcome. This is a really easy way to be misunderstood. Count this double when e-mailing.
6. Don't bring presents until you're engaged. Some people will feel too much pressure and move on. Others will stay for the wrong reasons.
7. Don't go to downer movies in the beginning. The show might have great acting and a stirring message. But, if it depresses either or both of you, it can be contagious. It can not only make the evening hopeless, but the relationship, too.
8. Don't tell dirty, political or religious jokes until way later in the relationship. In fact, unless you are a professional comic, jokes might really be something to forget about until real love has consumed you both. It's too easy to offend someone you don't know well.
9. Don't ever pressure anyone for sex, not even a kiss. Carefully watch the other person's body language and if it isn't saying receptive, then stifle yourself.
10. Don't wait too long before you call for a second date. Likewise, don't refuse a date just to play being hard to get. No one wants to feel manipulated or unimportant.
Bottom line: Treat everyone how you'd like to be treated. Real love demands your best effort at all times!
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