It’s crazy when you reflect on it, but every relationship begins somewhere. Think back to when you met your best friend, or your current significant other or even a sibling. There were beginnings to all of those relationships. A first hangout, an initial conversation, or maybe a shared experience brought you closer to that person. Beginnings are especially important in dating and can help set the tone for your time with someone. Consider these tips to help you start a new relationship off in a healthy way right from the start.
Be an active listener
Sometimes when we’re interacting, we’re not listening as well as we should. Especially on a first date, you may be planning your next clever joke instead of really trying to understand what your partner is saying. Remember that hearing is not listening. Put some active listening moves into play and really spend time trying to learn about your date.
Show respect right away
There are so many simple ways to show the person you’re with that you respect them. Little things like being prompt or turning off your cell phone can communicate that you value your date’s time. This applies to the physical stuff too. If your date isn’t a hand holder or doesn’t kiss on the first date, don’t push it. Let them be them and respect their decisions.
Leave the games to the Olympians
Don’t play mind games with your date. Don’t claim you look fat to fish for a compliment or casually mention an ex to see if your date reacts. Don’t act bored and disinterested to make the other person try harder, or talk about how attractive you find a mutual friend to be. A first date is no place for crazy. Keep it honest and straightforward. Just express how you feel and enjoy yourself. Open communication makes for a healthy relationship.
Don’t change yourself for your date
Being open-minded and trying new things is great, but changing who you are, what you believe in or how you feel just to please a date is not a good thing. Engaging in risky behavior to impress someone will not make you feel good about yourself later, especially if it brings bad consequences. If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you have every right to get out of that situation. You deserve to be with someone who respects your decisions too, and who wants you to be happy.
What are your favorite healthy first date tips?