Tips for coming across relaxed and approachable so your date can get to know the real you.

Are you coming across as too intense on dates? Is your first impression scaring people off? Here are some tips for coming across as more relaxed and approachable so your date can get to know the real you.

1. Smile more often.

Try not to have your game face on. Yes, you’re dating for marriage and not casually, but it’s still important not to come across like a police officer interrogating a potential suspect. Relax, smile, and enjoy the conversation. Don’t feel that you need to know everything right away – let the conversation flow naturally and see where it goes without trying to force it to lead somewhere.

2. Laugh.

Everyone likes to laugh. Remember to have fun, tell a joke, laugh when the waiter gets your order wrong for the third time. Laughter decreases tension and tends to make people more comfortable, so make sure to laugh at your date’s jokes – or make some of your own.

3. Tell a story.

Maybe something you’re discussing will remind you about an interesting event that happened to you or someone that you know. This gives your date a chance to see the real you and get a glimpse into your life.

4. Don’t debate, find common ground

Maybe he likes the same author that you do. Maybe she’s also the middle child. Maybe you enjoy the same type of music. Maybe you both like to cook and try out new recipes. Whatever common interests or similarities you can find, discuss them further and start to develop a bond with your date. Creating a connection over your shared interest in politics is good. However, if your politics are different don’t entertain that subject to keep your intense side at bay.

5. Ask open ended questions.

If the answer to every question is “yes” or “no,” the conversation never gets started. Ask your date to tell you about what they’re studying and why, or what they enjoyed about their trip last summer, or why they chose their particular career. Anything that makes them think and consider their response creates an opening for further conversation and connection.

6. Remember what works.

Try remembering a time when you were with a friend and felt very comfortable speaking with them. Bring that memory into your present moment so you can relax. It’s not always easy to feel relaxed on a date. This is a complete stranger that you’re considering as a future life partner – not a very relaxing setting! However, it’s important to push those thoughts out of your mind and focus on learning more about the person in front of you. Keep it light and casual for the first date – like you are just hanging out with an old friend.

7. End it well.

People remember the beginnings and ends of things more than the middles. Don’t worry if there were a few times in the middle of the date when the conversation stalled or you asked a question that was too personal. Focus on ending the date on a positive note. That is what will stay with your date after the end of the evening.

Dates can be stressful. Start by keeping things light; you’ll not only show off a more approachable side of your personality – you’ll enjoy the dates more yourself.

May you find the right one soon and stay calm and relaxed throughout the process.

By Aleeza Ben Shalom

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