Why You Need To Manage Your Expectations Before A First Date

Your palms are sweaty, knees weak, your arms are heavy and you’re about to blow from moms spaghetti. You only have one shot to make a good first impression. Much like my man Marshall Mathers, or Eminem as he’s more commonly known – there’s a lot riding on the first time you meet someone.

I’ve likened going on a first date with a job interview. There will be a lot of first dates that you think went well, but to your surprise, you get ghosted and never hear back again. It’s frustrating – you put in all of this effort into looking good and did your best to put your best foot forward and then you have to start over again.

Unlike job interviews, there’s a good chance that you spent significant time talking to someone on the dating app before meeting them in person. The hours of witty and clever banter you thoughtfully craft and the anxious and never ending feeling of wanting someone to text back will all pay off on that date. At least that’s the hope, right?

I’ve been on more first dates than I can count, and I have no shame in admitting it. First dates are your chance to try out new material, refine parts of yourself that may need work, and take a shot at impressing someone.

Much like riding a bicycle, first dates should come at ease the more often you do it.

The first date after you’ve gotten out of a long-term relationship is often the most stressful. You’re having to start all over again from scratch with a stranger. You are unfamiliar with their dining habits and proclivities for exotic cuisine. Do you know if they’re a table or booth person? Are they a six-course meal type of date or a casual bite person? There are so many unknowns on a first date.

Before your first date with someone new, you should be prepared. All those hours of texting your potential new love interest are for you to pick up on their quirks. Find out what makes them tick. Your goal is to make sure your first date goes smoothly, and that requires you to be nothing but upstanding.

Personally, I go into all my first dates with very low expectations. If I go in with a set of expectations and they’re not met, then I’m disappointed and my time is wasted. In order to have a successful first date, you should  focus on the present situation as it occurs. Essentially, treat your first date like a business meeting that you’re hoping will lead to a contract down the line.

It’s important to note that when it comes to first dates, the less you talk about said date the better it will go.

For example, I went on a first date with someone a while back. For the three days leading up to it, she kept texting about how amazing it was going to be. She told me she couldn’t wait, which should have a been a red flag to me. Then when the actual date came, I realized in that moment that I was not in fact interested in that date or her at all.

By putting pressure and unrealistic impressions on a date before it happens sets one up for failure. But, you need to get knocked down to get up and try again.

The mindset going into a first date is all about expectation management and playing it cool. You don’t want to show all your cards right up front, and you certainly don’t want to catch feelings for someone if they’re not reciprocated. My advice to you before your next first date is to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask yourself what you truly want. Internalize it, and make it happen.

Featured image via Wiktor Karkocha on Unsplash


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