How Dating Has Changed And Tips For The First Date

I recently took an afternoon off work to take my niece out for lunch and have a catch up. She’s 17 so has just finished the first year of her A-Levels and we had some great chats – everything from what we’re watching on Netflix to life on Tiktok and dating woes. I won’t lie, its been a looong time since I was dating, not since my last year of Uni which is over 20 years ago now and it’s really interesting to hear from a younger generation what’s changed and whether there are any similarities between now and then. It definitely left me grateful that I’ve been long-term married now as I would not want to be out there but I was also reassured to hear how much she values herself. Here’s some thoughts if you’re out on the dating scene (and actually, just life in general!)

Ask Questions

When you get on well with someone, conversation should be free-flowing and alternating between you both. Let your date get to know you by sharing information about yourself, your life and your hobbies and interests but don’t forget to ask them questions too. Try to do this naturally throughout the date so that the other person doesn’t feel like they’re under investigation. Asking about the type of things they enjoy doing in their spare time or passions they have will hopefully lead to some shared interests between you both.

Always Be Yourself

My niece was saying that after a few not so successful dates, she now definitely wants to focus on meeting someone who likes her for who she is. Everyone wants to create a good first impression on a date and of course, you want the other person to be impressed. We can all be the best versions of ourselves whilst also staying true to who we are because anything else isn’t only misleading but trying to maintain the façade is pretty exhausting too.

Location, location, location

Trying to find common ground for a date location is ideal. Perhaps a walk and picnic if you’re both outdoor, country lovers and the weather will be good. Or maybe a daytime coffee shop or evening bar (without the crazy loud music). The early stages of getting to know someone be it a new friend or potential romantic partner may mean you both need to compromise a little on what you really enjoy doing to take the time to get to know the other person. My niece was saying how most of the early interactions with dating now tend to happen online as that’s where so many young people connect so hopefully it won’t be too hard to find the perfect location when you do meet up in person as you’ll have had time to get to know each other a little bit already and be familiar with likes and dislikes.

Wear Whatever Makes You Feel Comfortable

So much of our confidence and our personalities is conveyed by what we wear, in any life situation. For dates, we always want to look our best but there’s no point in wearing something uncomfortable. Maybe you want to start from the inside out and feel super confident to wear sexy lingerie beneath your date outfit – there’s a school of thought that this really can make a woman feel powerful whether for a date, work, anything! Never underestimate how much more self-assured we can feel through how we dress.

Be Aware of Body Language

What you say on your first date will help the other person form a first impression of you but your body language will also play a significant role too. It’s easy to tell when someone isn’t really listening or is bored or unimpressed so make sure you are engaged and interested. A warm smile, maintaining eye contact and trying not to fidget are all good approaches to take.

Honesty Is The Best Policy

Not every date will work out brilliantly and I think we can all tell quite early on if there’s a spark or not. If there’s no connection, it’s always best to be honest with the other person rather than lie and say it was great. Communication is always key but it seems to be a trend to just never respond to people rather than be upfront. Don’t resort to ghosting, just be truthful and let them know that you didn’t feel those butterflies.

Dating can absolutely be fun and before some of my friends settled down I used to live vicariously through their sometimes hilarious tales of romance mishaps. If you’re in the dating game, bonne chance to you and hope you find a keeper!

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