What if I meet my internet or blind date for the first time and we have absolutely nothing to talk about?
Well, go in prepared! Yes, I know it can be the ultimate worst thing in the world when you’ve exhausted the weather, what’s going on at work and compliments before you’ve even reached the bar for your aperitif, but you have to try a little harder if you know you’re not the most eloquent when it comes to small talk. Avoid blank mind syndrome by glancing over the headlines before you go out, maybe prepare a brief synopsis about the latest book you read or movie you saw (without spoilers!) and above all, loads of open-ended questions about your date. Everyone can talk about themselves if someone else is showing an interest. After a while, the conversation will start to flow naturally and you can relax and enjoy it.
I am so nervous about my date later today that I can’t concentrate on anything else, my hands are shaking and I feel physically sick. Help!
Okay, well that’s not good! You should be excited, not nauseous. Ask yourself why you are putting so much pressure on this one date that you’re treating it like an exam you never revised for? First off, you have to accept that it’s going to be fine – it’s a first date, not a meeting with a gun squad. The worst that can happen is that you don’t get on in the slightest and sit in silence for twenty minutes before they do a runner out of the bathroom window – and really, that means not only are you better off without them in your life, but you have an awesome anecdote to tell at parties. So, chill out, calm down, be prepared – that means outfit ready, cash taken out/spare card, a plan of how you are going to get there and back and a knowledge of where ‘there’ is. Let someone know where you’re off too and then sit back and enjoy the ride.
I have a second date coming up. I’m excited, but also apprehensive – the first date was good, but we had to try. If there is no spark at this second date, I think I should give up and look for someone else.
You know, sparks can be overrated. Sparks go out pretty fast – unless they catch on something. You know what can work though? (Taking the fire metaphor on a bit…) Remember how in Scout / Guides camp you spent ages rubbing two sticks together? Eventually, they set off a spark, which caught and started a hot, slow burning fire. See where I’m going with this? Sometimes you just need to give it time to find out what makes you and your date click. It’s not the movies, you don’t generally find out that yes, you both love Bon Jovi to the point of obsession as well as adore fresh sushi from that one little restaurant down town, in one go. You have to ask questions, get the ball rolling, spend a little time finding out about one another. Let me tell you, if you’re having a good time, don’t over think how it ‘should’ be. Instead enjoy it how it is.