Can first dates be considered an interview of sorts? Although you want to be careful not to grill your date, you are trying to get a sense of him or her and he or she of you.
For better results, here are ten dating etiquette tips.
1. Dress consistently with how you want to be viewed. Messy attire sends the message that this meeting is not important. Put your best foot forward. You are marketing the most important product you have: YOU!
2. Be prompt, or even arrive a few minutes early. This exhibits respect for your date and can also alleviate your own stress. By timing your arrival, you can acclimate to the surroundings and compose yourself rather than rushing in at the last minute and taking the beginning of your time together feeling stressed and anxious.
3. Put your cell phone away. No texting, e-mailing, taking calls, or even sneaking a peek at your phone in the midst of conversation. Either leave your phone in the car or place it on silent mode and out of sight.
4. Be friendly and greet your date with a warm and welcoming smile. If you are naturally shy, think of it as putting on your 'game face.'
5. Be genuinely interested in what your date has to say. Use active listening skills and ask appropriate questions. Be neither an over-talker, where you jump in before your date even finishes his/her thought, nor a conversation monopolizer who doesn't allow a date to speak at all.
6. Focus on your date. No wandering eyes! This demonstrates respect and interest in the person and conversation.
7. Be aware of your body language. It sometimes speaks louder than your words. You may have a smile on your face, but your body language might be screaming: "I'm defensive." "I'm just waiting for you to say one wrong thing and I'm out of here." or "I'm angry."
8. Don't be argumentative. Consider different points of view as valid. At this juncture, it's just easier to agree to disagree.
9. Think before you speak. Don't blurt out any random thought you may have. This is a virtual stranger to whom you are speaking, and you don't know enough about him/her to be able to gauge a reaction on what may be a sensitive subject.
10. Don't allow the conversation to be all about ME-ME-ME! Although you want to be at your best and show a person who you are and of what you are made, you certainly don't want to hit your date in the head with this information. Consequently, no bragging about your long list of accomplishments and awards, your Architectural Digest perfect home, etc. Let your self-worth be evident in your respectful attitude towards your date, whether you like him/her or not!