Sunday, April 09, 2006

Dating Dos and Don'ts

By Leona Hamel

• Do take care of your appearance because first impressions last. So, take the time to trim that moustache; wash your hair; and brush your teeth. And do dress for the occasion. Don’t wear high-heeled pumps if you’re going to a ball game, and jeans if you’re going to a fancy restaurant.
• Don’t be late; otherwise, you may be seen as unreliable or disrespectful. Do give your date a quick call or leave a message at the place you are planning to meet if you know you’re going to be late.
• Do be realistic. After all, this is your first date and the two of you are getting to know each other. Don’t have any high expectations. Relax and enjoy yourself.
• Don’t go thinking about what happened at the office today, tomorrow’s appointment, or whether the children are putting up a fuss with the babysitter. Do be in the moment.
• Do turn your cell phone off or at least put it on vibrate alert. Don’t interrupt your date to take call after call unless you’re looking to “turn off” your date.
• Don’t monopolize the conversation. Do listen to your date and show interest in what your date is saying by asking some questions. This is an excellent opportunity for the two of you to learn if you share any similar interests, values, and goals.
• Do keep to the present. The past is in the past and, surprisingly, the future is unknown. Don’t go talking, whining or complaining about your previous relationships.
• Don’t be a lump on the log and take things so seriously. Do show a sense of humor and let your personality shine through.
• Do pay attention to your body language. Be positive and show confidence. Make eye contact. Don’t cross your arms. Don’t fidget. Don’t forget to smile. Take a deep breath and have fun. You both deserve it.
• Don’t waste your date’s time by pretending to be someone you are not. Do be yourself. After all, is this not what you would want from your date?
Do practice good manners. For men, this may mean offering to pay, opening doors, and pulling out a chair. We women can offer to pay too. Don’t forget your table manners as well.
• Don’t say you’ll call if you know you won’t. Do be honest, but have some compassion. A simple “I don’t find that we’re as compatible as I thought,” should be enough.” If on the other hand, you’re interested, do let your date know—even if it means risking rejection. And if the two of you really hit it off, do be sure to let the other know you had a good time and don’t hesitate to call or send a surprise e-mail a few days later to share your sentiments again.

Leona Hamel is a Romance Agent, speaker, coach and author of The ABC’s of Tease and Please - A Romance Handbook, as well as a contributing author to A First Serving of Milk and Cookies for Success. Passionate about human connection, Leona works with men and women who want to explore their romantic creativity and experience more passion, fun and success in their life. Visit http://www.romanceunlimited.com for new articles, tips and trivia each month. Don't forget to sign up for LouLou's Love Lesson!

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