Making a connection with someone, especially on the first date, can be daunting because you don’t yet have any common ground. However, the want to get to know someone is a connection in and of itself. Here are a few things you can do to further that connection with someone on the first date.
Ask Lots of Questions and Be Attentive
Being inquisitive and genuinely attentive is a great way to let someone know you are into them and want to know more about them. Ask questions, and really listen to their answers. Have conversations that take you in-depth with their interests and hobbies. And don’t be afraid to bail if they don’t reciprocate your interest by learning more about you too.
Maintain Eye Contact, Actively Listen, and Show Interest
Active listening is HUGELY different from simply listening or paying attention. When you active listen, you get involved in the conversation by asking questions and having an actual conversation. You make eye contact, show interest in what they say, and add value to whatever you two are talking about.
Be Honest with Your Replies and Show Who You Are
Don’t lie about who you are. This is a huge no-no when you go on a date with anyone. Instead, be upfront about your own interests, hobbies, passions, dislikes, and life experiences. Do you love to travel? Are you an avid collector of Jim Shore figurines? Have you had a passion for horror movies since you were a kid? Great—discuss it! If someone likes you, then it will be for who you are, not what kind of story you can make up.
Smile Often to Make a Friend First
Be generous with your smiles, but not psychotic. Don’t bare your teeth and grimace, but let your smiles come easily. Allow yourself to be amused and genuinely pulled into having a good time with this person. Smiles make friends first, which makes it easier for you to transition to something more serious later on.
Be Flirtatious but Avoid Perversion
When you really want to connect with someone, leave the crudeness and perversion for another time. Unless the date is specifically only a hook-up, you can get to know someone more intimately through fun flirtation with genuine conversation. However, if you are going for straightforward sexual, feel free to let your freak flag fly in tandem with theirs.
First dates can leave you feeling anxious beforehand, but your aim is the satisfaction of having a good time during and afterwards. With the aforementioned first date advice, you can ensure that you get to know someone on a personal level, while possibly gaining a second date out of it.