My face was on fire and “what ifs” bombarded my head – what if it’s a miserable two hours?  What if this turns into a relationship and he’s the man of my dreams?  What if I really like him and I’m not who he’s looking for? Did I put my deodorant on after my shower?  I must have forgotten.  Why didn’t I bring it with just in case I needed it –like I do right now.

“Did you know that there are 54 million single people in the U.S” according to online dating statistics from http://www.statisticbrain.com/online-dating-statistics reported in Reuters and The Washington Post on June 18, 2013.

Counting down to that very moment of meeting that person on your first date can be equated to an interview for that job you truly want. Well, I hope you don’t think this way. They are so different especially if you want your first date to be somewhat a success. The love of your life in which you’re visualizing shouldn’t be a job!

What makes two people click?  There’s the initial attraction that makes you say, wow I want to get to know that person better.  There’s no denying that there has to be a special kind of chemistry to draw you to that person from the start and this is more than a visual attraction.

You can’t get a true sense of attraction until you are face to face, in person with the other being.  It’s the physical, surface attraction that first pulls you to another human being.  It’s the common interests and mutual respect that holds the relationship together….the superglue of the relationship, if you will.  You want the whole package: The spark in the eye, butterflies in your stomach, the chemistry, the attraction, the deep intimacy that nothing in the world can compare to, counting down the seconds until you get to be with this person again.

Personality, smile and looks, sense of humor, career and education were listed as the top qualities in a recent study), respondents look for on a first date. What would your list consist of? If you don’t mind I invite you to list them under comments, when you click like at the end of this article!

My Five Tips for You, for a Successful Date:

  1. Attentiveness. My date is really paying attention to me. My date wants to know more about me and watches my body language to pick up on my feelings and emotions. If you’re looking down at your watch as if you need to be or desire to be somewhere else, get out of there in a very polite way! Otherwise, let me see some eye contact ,let that other person know that they are there, as in, in not an embarrassing way, I like your, or what a great laugh you have.

2. Honesty. My date appears to be very sincere.  In my gut I feel like my date is giving me honest feedback and information.  It is important that I can trust this person.  If on the first date I already have doubts as to whether this person is truthful and honest with everything my date is saying that throws a red flag up for me. 

3.  Common/Overlapping Interests.  We seem to have a lot to talk about because we seem to like the same things and think in a similar manner.   I think this is self-explanatory.  It is hard to enjoy life with someone if there are no overlapping interests. You are not going to have the same interest or likes, this is so ok. You both will know what truly important here.

4. Respect. My date has manners. Wow! ….if I already see a lack of consideration coming from this person I AM NOT GOING TO MAKE A SECOND DATE. There’s no place for criticism here. Evaluate later after your date if there’s something that you need to know or just can’t accept.

5. Enthusiasm. Ha!  I am having fun.  I am able to stay in the moment and truly enjoy this moment without any effort at all.  This is smooth sailing and I could get used to hanging out with this person! I feel myself smiling on the outside AND the inside. For some you, I’m being to textbook and philosophical here.  Engaging and laughing and bumping into each other sort of accidentally, this is a good thing, lots of eye contact when making a point, honest compliments.

It was my 39th year, long after a previous marriage, when I finally nailed down for me, what makes a successful first date.  I found my soulmate and best friend.  My first date with my husband Robby was unlike any first date I had ever had.  I’m not going to tell you everything but I will tell you we had incredible conversation, one that I know I didn’t want to end.  We laughed and smiled a lot! His smile melted me to the core. I knew right away, a chemistry. If I may say, it was a first date I will never forget.

Ok! I got a little carried away for a moment. I’m back!  I’m sure you get the picture.

Whether you are new at dating or you are starting over, you should know what your standards are but keep an open mind.  I don’t want you thinking that all first dates are a disaster and that they are all finite, ok.

Make yourself a personal checklist.  Even if you are no longer in school, you still have to do your homework.  Like with all things in life you need to have a plan. If you’re still getting over that last love, you may not want to think of dating because your emotions, I promise you, will show. Try setting an appointment with a Life or relationship coach if you find yourself (http://www.adapting2change.com) lacking in confidence or if you find dating a challenge.

There’s preparation involved in order to have successful first date (whatever that standard is for you).  Visualize what your successful date will look like.  This should help to set the stage.  This will give you a step up. ”You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (a little reference to one of my favorite bands, the Rolling Stones) but knowing your expectations can get you closer.

Dating is tough in today’s off/online world.  A successful first date can have many different results depending on who you are, what you expect, and whether you truly feel a readiness to meet someone.

Prepare, plan, and think positive, and most important, have some fun!  This is not an interview, get it!

(http://www.statisticbrain.com/online-dating-statistics/).

Tara Henderson, Guest Writer, is a speaker, writer, and communications strategist. She holds a Masters in English and is presently attending a Masters in Public Health at the University of Missouri. Tara is an advocate and spokesperson for Dating Abuse and Domestic Violence, providing workshops on college campuses in surrounding communities in Columbia, Missouri.