Much has been made of non-verbal communication. The truth is that while vital to enhancing our communication on a date, it's not 90% or 70% or even 50% of communication. It's important and should be taken seriously and we'll look at some of the aspects you should be aware of on a first date.
1. The trick to acing the first date is to quit thinking and start listening. Yes, what you say, what you wear, the environment you find yourself in--the smells and tastes; the facial expressions you have will impact your first date. But how you listen, and how you show you're listening is key.
2. Learning about your date can be the goal that unloosens the knot in your tongue and helps you lose your self consciousness. It can spark similar memories which you can share. Common experiences help to ease the tension on a first date and allow your personality be naturally revealed.
3. The situation where you have your date should encourage talking and listening without too much distraction. Everyone knows a movie is not the best place, but a museum or gallery may also make it hard to keep eye contact and to talk without disturbing others. A quiet dinner, or maybe an outdoor activity that allows for a leisurely pace and plenty of opportunity to look at one another is the goal.
4. First impressions count. It's unfair that what a person perceives in less than a second helps to form a lasting impression of us, but were hardwired to do it. To handle this fact, realize that highlighting your strong points helps to minimize errors in judgement that inevitably occur when those judgements are being made in a blink of an eye.
5. Avoid the dual anxiety traps of talking too much and saying nothing. Yes your date wants to talk about themselves, but if you don't show up in the conversation you leave them wondering with who they spent the evening. Conversely, if you deal with your nerves by talking, you may find that you have deflated the energy of the date and they are making increasingly frequent glances at their watch.
Keeping the rules you have about what to do and how to act on a first date to a few key points, helps you remember and not contribute the an already anxious, and exciting opportunity. What are your rules for a first date?