The online dating world is truly a boggle. You may sign up to the mainstream sites like Tinder, Plenty of Fish, a more specialist site like Afroromance or several sites at once. After careful consideration, you secure yourself a date. But first dates can be a source of woe and wonder. There is that mixture of tension and anticipation on how to break the barrier between strangers. There is that need to connect, to communicate and hopefully catch the attention of the other party. Yet for some, the experience becomes a source of panic that they end up  tongue-tied and even less responsive to dates. The first date is the big opportunity to make a great impression and to hopefully mark the beginning of something special.  Instead of dreading the first date, try these practical  tips to  help break the ice:

1.    Make a great first impression

Appearances count. You want to project the same appearance in person as in your online profile. Keep it simple. Although you want to make an impression, you don’t want to seem disingenuous. Feel more confident and enhance your natural beauty by honing a personalized skincare routine, play around with hairstyles to find something that’s you and comfortable, plan your outfit in advance and try it on both sitting and standing and from different angles to make sure you’ll be happy on the day and not distracted. As for your makeup, don’t veer far from your usual style but go with what makes you feel comfortable and at ease.

2. Pay attention to your partner

Be there in the moment and try to be genuinely engaged. Try to think about what she/he is saying and focus, respond with questions to show your interest and gestures for appropriate responses to what they’re saying. Communication is the foundation of a relationship and with the first date a prime opportunity to get to know each other, attention to each other is particularly important.

3. Do your homework

To avoid saying inappropriate things and to make the date easier, do your homework first.  Be sure to pay particular attention to the details outlined in their profile as they’ve highlighted key attributes purposely; you can use the information here as conversational pieces. Avoid too much research such as in-depth reviews of social profiles though, information they’ve not willingly shared at this stage may seem out of place if brought up and may give the wrong impression.

4. Be interesting

Show to your date that you are worth giving attention to. Be that smart and charming person that you are. Just don’t overdo it. Outline beforehand the things about yourself that you would want to highlight to your date. Try to recall funny and quirky activities and anecdotes that were involved in. It is guaranteed to keep the conversation flowing.


5. Don’t push it too hard

We want to come across as funny and intelligent but a combination of both could be misconstrued as sarcasm. Using sarcasm on a first date is a big no, no. Simple conversation is enough. Try to be engaging and interested and you are assured that this conversation will be sustained.

6. Don’t expect too much

This is not an interview where you need to move through a list of prescribed questions with an expectation for answers. You may not get a life story from your date in the first instance but  that gives way to an opportunity of a second date! Take it easy and allow things to flow smoothly. What you need to do is to be authentic – be that real deal person and enjoy the moment.

7.  Get yourself ready to talk.

A date is not a mere observation of what the other person looks like. Prepare yourself to talk and don’t be scared to ask. You cannot break the ice  by just staring at your date.  Make a connection by talking about all manner of things from what you do for entertainment to what school you went to and what you studied. Try where you can to just be in the moment and  let things take its course. If you tend to be tongue-tied, remember some good conversation openers which you could even practice in the mirror prior to the date or with a friend.

8. Don’t overshare

Super personal things about yourself should be better left for succeeding dates (if there are). Do not readily share very personal matters, even if you feel an instant connection. Keep some guard present so if there isn’t a second date, then you have no fear of oversharing and feeling vulnerable. First dates should be kept to lighter topics of conversation.

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