I’ll be honest with this. If you’d have posed me this question in my late twenty’s I would have point blank said ‘no’. The reason being is that apart from being much younger, less cynical and a lot thinner I believed firmly that you had to have instant, physical attraction with someone if you were to date them. Fast forward another twenty years and whilst I am still somewhat cynical I’ve learned that whilst I would love my life to be like a Hollywood ‘romcom’ with love at first sight the truth is that love and spark can develop over time.
So is the instantaneous spark just a myth? Is it the thing that dreams are made of and if you don’t feel chemistry at your initial meet and greet, should you give your date a second chance?
Asking around my single / dating friends many of them were adamant that they would go on a second date with someone who they had no romantic chemistry with on a first date. One of my friends in the over 40’s dating category summed it up quite well, he said if both parties have invested their time to write a profile, go through the niceties, there is a firm chance they are looking for a long term relationship and are generally past the fishing stage of one night stands.
From my point of view I tend to agree with him. Whilst some would say that a spark has to be something physical, I would say that it can also be something deeper and be a level of understanding that you get from that person.
By already agreeing to meet your date you’ve jumped the first hurdle of the physical attraction (no surprise there). One study showed most people can accurately predict who they’d be interested in just by looking at a photo before they even met the person. Think about it if you didn’t like the photo you wouldn’t have sent them a message!
If you’re thinking about entering into a relationship with someone then it will take time to learn to get to know the person and really see if they are for you; after all, it could be weeks before those little annoying foibles come out the woodwork and sometimes first date nerves get in the way and send us all into a wobbling mess.
So don’t call it quits after the first date! If you enjoyed chatting to each other, there were no awkward silences and you both wanted to swap numbers at the end of the night then why wouldn’t you give date number two a go?
After a couple of dates you’ll begin to get a feeling for what each other likes / dislikes and you will begin to feel at ease with each other. At this point be honest with yourself. If you’re not feeling any sense of chemistry or attachment, don’t beat yourself up it’s OK to give up. If you want to keep trying, go for it, but make sure to be careful of your date’s feelings too.
When you head out to that first date you’ve been waiting for keep in mind that someone you don’t have that initial spark with could just sweep you off your feet in the future.
What are your rules? Do you need a spark on the first date to take it further? If not, how long will you give it?
Your first date with that delicious single you met on Plenty More Fish is here. You’ve been chatting to each other for a few weeks now and you are really excited to meet in person. Only now that she/he is standing in front of you, you feel a bit disappointed. Bummer.
But what happened?
It’s okay and nothing to worry about. You may suffer from a mild case of Imaginitis Idealicus. It’s not contagious, but it can cause unrealistic expectations of your date, which could lead to disappointment. You see, when we like someone our hopeful brains can take over and create idealistic images of Mr/Miss Right. So, how do you manage this condition?
Do like the cucumber and be cool. Give yourself permission to keep an open mind and look past those assumptions of yours. Give your date and yourself a chance to get to know each other. Enjoy your date and try to get to know the other person. But be warned! You could end up actually liking him/her. Terrible, right? ;o)
On a serious note, we don’t want you to throw your common sense overboard. If you are not sure about someone or if they quite obviously lied to you, we advise you to cut your date short. Listen to your gut and check out the ‘Meeting in Person’ section of our Online Dating Safety Tips. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
But coming back to your date….it’s okay if they don’t turn out to be that perfect catch. There’s always Plenty More Fish in the sea!
Tell us, have you ever met someone who was not what you expected? What did you do?
The time between arranging a first date and meeting your date in person is usually the most nerve racking. What if you do something stupid? What if you say something stupid? What to wear? What if there’s tons of awkward silences? The list goes on…
I think the first thing you you need to remember is that the other person will probably be going through exactly the same thoughts in their head. Still nervous? OK, well here are my top 10 ways to break the ice and avoid awkward silences on a first date.
- What’s your tipple? On a first date you’re highly likely to be going for a meal or drinks so this is a great one to start with. You could chat about your favourite food and/or drink. If you’re anything like me (absolute lover of anything edible), this will keep you nattering away your nerves.
- Avoid ex chat. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, leave your (and their) ex out of it. It’s adds negativity and awkwardness to the date. Being comforted (or comforting someone) over the past is not an ideal way to get to know each other and is definitely not the relaxed vibe you should be aiming for. It’s important to start on a clean slate. Not over your ex? Probably best to live the single life for a while.
- Working to live or living to work? Asking them about their job and career goals can be a safe topic even though a lot of people may tell you to completely bypass this. We would like to disagree. Work takes up a large proportion of your life and generally speaking, people like to brag about. It’s great if the conversation is starting to dry up a little. Of course, you should quickly change the record if your date starts describing the mundane details of their job while glugging large quantities of alcohol. If nothing else, this topic will determine whether you’re dating a workaholic.
- Travelling and holidays. Mention holidays and it instantaneously creates a positive feeling…especially living in the rainy UK. This is our summer…SUMMER. Argh, anyway… Ask them if they’ve travelled anywhere cool or what their future travelling plans entail. This also provides you with some valuable information on each others backgrounds and openness to adventure.
- What are your friends like? Ask them about their friends. Most people will love to talk about their pals..how they met and where they go when they meet up. Could you see yourself fitting in with that bunch? I think it’s important to fit in with your dates friends and quite telling as to whether you and your date will actually get on as a couple in the long-run.
- Body language. Definitely pay attention to your dates body language as well as your own. You can tell a lot by this. Arms crossed? Leaning away? Limited eye contact? They are obviously uncomfortable about something. Whatever you are talking about.. STOP and move onto something else. Also, think about the kind of vibe you are giving with your body language.
- Keep it casual on a first date. By this I mean don’t get too “deep.” Just use this time to get to know each other better. Whatever you do, don’t use the “L” word. Before you think; “What preposterous thing to say!”, someone declared their love for my friend on a first date and what did she do? She ran a MILE and didn’t look back.
- Free time frolics. What do they like to do in their spare time? Do they like any sports? What kind of music do they like? All these kinds of questions show you are interested in your date and will also help you find whether a bond exists. It will also no doubt lead to further conversation.
- Their family. If they have brothers and/or sisters, ask about them. I would suggest the same goes if you both have children. It will trigger good feelings and show your caring side.
- The grand finale. To kiss or not to kiss? Always the most awkward part of the date. I would say don’t lean in unless you are sure that the other party will respond. Do a brief evaluation in your head…flirtatious body language, great connection? A kiss could be the perfect end. Not gone as well as you’d hoped? Probably safer to avoid kissing so as to not give false hope.
- Would you ever suddenly leave your partner without any explanation?
- Do your care much about personal hygiene?
- Will you be ridiculously dependent, or will we still be able to have our own lives?
- Is it okay if we wait a bit before getting intimate?
- Do you really have all these hobbies/ go to all these fantastic places in your spare time or are you just trying to impress?
- What qualifications do you have?
- How much money do you actually make?
- How far would you go on a first date?
- How many online dates have you been on?
- Are you seeing any other people? HOW many other people?
- Do you still talk to your ex and how often?
- When you go to the bathroom, will you remain to leave the door closed in months/years time?
- Do you have any plans to put on weight/lose a ton of weight/take up drugs/change your career/change your religion/change your country of residence, or in any other way drastically alter your life (and mine) in the next couple of years?
- How will we pay for things in the future? Will you always expect me to pay or will be start splitting the bill equally soon?
- Am I someone you could be serious about? How interested or attracted in me are you really?
- How well do you think this this date is actually going? Will you want to see me again?
- Is this an actual date?
You’ve got a date this weekend which your incredibly excited about. Well, excited but a little apprehensive…
Your main worry is to do with the possibility of awkward silences. What if the conversation is a drag and the date seems to last a lifetime?! We’ve all had those dates when trying to get a good conversation flowing is like trying to get blood out of a stone and at PlentyMoreFish we are here to help 🙂
First off; conversation topics that are best left alone on a first date include ex-boyfriends/ girlfriends, family & work…basically anything that’stoo personal. It could be a turn-off and leave your date feeling a little awkward.
A conversation should start with a few open questions; something that gives your date the opportunity to reply in at least a full sentence instead of a simple yes or no. Something like:
– “You look nice, where did you get (the item of clothing) from?”
– “What kind of music/books/movies are you into?”
– “Have you been travelling? Where have you been?” etc….
These conversation starters should help further conversation to flow and before you know it you’ll be feeling relaxed, confident and having a great time!