Unless you were very lucky and met the love of your life at primary school after a particularly tactical game of kiss chase, the chances are you’ll have been on a few dates at the very least. Some good, some bad but unless you are a character in a Disney cartoon, then your love life will probably have endured its ups and downs in the search for your fairy-tale relationship.
Delayed Dating and Big Knickers: Are we Becoming a Nation of Bridget Jones’?
With the average age of first time marriages being 30-plus and that of new mothers between 30-35, it would appear that an increasing amount of young people are choosing to wait that little bit longer to settle down. Is has been suggested that this could be down to a change in societal and familial expectations; a more career focussed generation that choose to put a hold on love or simply a sign of the times that less pressure and emphasis is put upon finding that lasting relationship in your 20’s. However, one thing is for sure, starting to look for ‘The One’ in your 30’s and 40’s is fast becoming the norm.
Taking the Fear Out of Finding ‘The One’
If you’ve been out of the game for a while though, dating can be daunting. Supposed dating ‘experts’ have long suggested that there are strict rules to abide by and tactics to employ. However, if dating were an exact science then surely we’d all be happy? Here are a few, slightly more down to earth, pointers on how to handle that first romantic encounter
To Drink or Not to Drink? That is the Question!
Many dating guides tell you to not to drink as no-one likes a drunk date! Let’s be realistic though, if you enjoy a glass of wine or a good old pint or two, it’s best that you behave naturally so that your potential partner knows that about you from the beginning. We’re not suggesting that you end up blind drunk, downing tequila shots and dancing on the table (unless you have it on very good authority that this is what your date is looking for in a life-partner!), perhaps just gage the evening as it happens. If things are going well and your date wants to stay out for a few more drinks, say yes if you want to. After all, they’re probably just looking for the excuse to spend more time with you!
Leave Your Baggage at the Door and Fly Fuss Free!
Your ex is an ex for a reason surely? Whether they left their socks on the floor, chewed their toenails in bed or slept with your best friend, they are part of your past, so leave them there! Talking about your emotional baggage can seem as if you’re not ready to move on. Instead, spend your time finding out more about your date. This will make them feel special and help you to weed out a toe chewer from your perfect match!
Boost Your Body Language
Although first dates can be nerve wracking, you don’t want to appear like a closed book. If you’re attracted to your date, you need to let them know. After all, they are probably just as nervous as you! This doesn’t mean you have to lunge at them before the starters arrive or start planning your honeymoon over the after-dinner mints, but a little subtle flirting will let them know you’re interested if they are looking for signs. Lean slightly forward in your seat, hold their gaze for that moment too long and even playfully touch their arm as you share a joke. Remember the old saying: nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Helen Bents shares her knowledge on great relationships