Your answer to any of the following questions should be “Hell Yeah!” or “YAS!” Anything lower on energy is a telltale sign that this date isn’t right for you.
Maybe it’s not the right time; maybe it’s not the right person. Anyway, you would better save yourself the pain and disappointment. And invest the saved energy into changing this maybe answer to an excited yes.
By the way, most of the questions, if not all, assume you’re looking for something serious, a long-term relationship. If you’re looking for a fling, then the strategies are completely different.
#1 Do I look good?
It’s not only about self-confidence, which is good to have.
It’s about making an effort, trying to look good for your date.
I know it sounds shallow, and on some level, I hate to see how much importance I give to people’s looks the first time I meet with them. On the other hand, if a person isn’t ready to make an effort to please the first time we meet on a date, what is it going to be like a year from now?!
It’s also backed up by science. We are more likely to forgive a mishap after a few positive interactions than the first time. As the author of the study said, “if you get off on the wrong foot, the relationship may never be completely right again.”
In a business environment, it’s only problematic. Other opportunities to interact with a new colleague will show up.
In the dating case, the consequences of a negative first impression are worse because you’ll be “less likely to give these people second opportunities to interact with in the first place.”
#2 Would I date myself?
That’s the best way to check if you’re in the right mindset for dating. Imagine the answer is not a strong yes. Imagine for a second.
In theory, you should be the most compassionate person when it comes to judging yourself. You should be the easiest person to ask you out on a date.
Maybe after your mother. She might be more sympathetic to your cause. But you don’t want to date your mother nor your father. Oedipus tried, and it didn’t do much good to any of them.
So, if the answer is not a “YAS I want to date myself!”, try to change this thing that made you hesitant. Reflect on it. Because if you don’t want to date yourself, chances are nobody will enjoy dating you.
(I would even add that someone willing to date people who don’t love themselves isn’t looking for a partnership.)
#3 If the first date is successful, am I ready to go on a second date?
In other words, are you ready to invest yourself in a relationship? It’s similar to the previous question. Except for the previous one was about self-love, and this one is more about timing.
First dates are rather easy. With few exceptions, people are trying to be at their best and paying attention to the other. Even if you don’t have much in common, there’s always something to say during the first date, if only our life story. And it’s nice to go out sometimes.
But are you ready for it? What’s the point of going on a romantic date if you aren’t ready to be romantically involved with someone?
Classically, this question needs to be answered after a break-up. I’ve seen (too) many friends installing (back) a dating application too soon.
They were not ready for it. Lots of them realized it after matching with someone. They didn’t feel like talking. But some went as far as to living through an unsuccessful first date. As soon as they were seated, they realized they weren’t willing to be with someone yet.
#4 Would I go on a second date with this person?
It’s the same question as before, but with a twist. This time it’s not about your readiness, it’s about the other. It’s not about asking if they’re wedding material; not yet! It’s about wondering if they’re second date material. And that’s a question you should ask yourself even before the first one.
You’re browsing Tinder or any other app and see a good-looking individual. That’s nice! But, the person doesn’t have any profile description, and all the pictures are about themselves.
I can hear some of you saying that, of course, the pictures are about them. That’s the point of a dating profile, after all.
I argue that the choice of pictures is significant. For example, people with 10 pictures, all of which face close-ups, are very likely to be self-centered. They love themselves so much that they thought the application was unfair to the other users. 10 pictures are too small an amount for such a beautiful person as themselves…
Conversely, pictures in different settings mean other things than a mirror are attractive to your potential date. They likely asked someone to take a picture of them in such spots, because they liked the surroundings in the first place. And it’s a dating app, so they sort of have to be on the picture.
In the first case, even if the person looks super good (literally) on screen, they’re not second date material. Their self-centeredness will show sooner or later. You’d better avoid the first date altogether.
If you answered no to any of the questions, my advice is not to go on a date. At least, based on my experience, that’s the advice I would give my past self.
But if you answered yes four times, you can go on a date. You’ve got my blessing! Have fun!
This post was previously published on Medium.
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