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Man who went on over 100 first dates reveals what makes them go well

Posted April 26
Updated April 27

We stress SO much over the first date, but the truth is, a few little things can turn an awful date into a magical evening. (Deseret Photo)

After going on more than 100 dates, one reddit user has generously revealed to the world what makes a first date go well (and what makes it flop).

Here are some of his tips on how to have a killer first date for men and women

1. Don’t lock yourself in

A first date is a wild card. You really don’t know how it’s going to go, especially if this is the very first time you’ve met. Pick an activity that doesn’t lock you into a set time limit. That way you can extend if you want, but you can leave if sparks aren't flying.

“I made the mistake once of having a first date at a board game bar … As it turned out, I had an incredibly hard time making conversation with the girl, and I realized by the time I had played my first Scrabble letter that it was going to be a very long date. Aside from being challenging to talk to, the girl spent at least 5 minutes staring at her tiles each turn, deciding what to play. It was hard for me to come up with good words when I could only think A-G-O-N-Y and E-X-C-R-U-C-I-A-T-I-N-G.”

2. Make it simple but cozy

Remember, it’s a first date. Don’t plan anything too complicated and make it a unique place that you can pull into the conversation.

“Bring her to a local spot you know really well. If you have a park, a bar or burger joint that you love and are proud of (the kind you take your friends when they come from out of town), it can be great to take her there. If you're excited about showing her the spot, it will shine through when you talk, and she'll respond to your enthusiasm. It will also make her feel closer to you to see a part of your world.”

If you’re picking the spot, it works to your advantage for it to be unique. That way you can talk about it in conversation if you need. If he picked the spot, ask him about it and acknowledge that it’s a cool place.

3. Give a welcome hug

Even if it’s a first time meeting, this will help break the touch barrier and make you both a little more comfortable. Go for the hug confidently so you’re not in that awkward situation of a hugshake — a hug and handshake both gone wrong.

4. Acknowledge the awkward

It’s probably going to be awkward, because people are awkward by nature. Joking about it will help you both relax and release the tension a lot faster.

5. Keep your questions open ended

Conversations are stunted by yes or no questions. There’s not much room for discussion or discovery when something can be answered simply. So, learn to ask open ended questions. This takes practice, but try “What do you like about your job?” instead of, “Do you like your job?”

6. Be wary of “why” questions

Our reddit mage recommends not asking ‘why’ questions because they can come across as accusatory.

“Instead of ‘why don't you eat meat?’ ask ‘what was it that caused to you become a vegetarian?’ It is a small thing, but it makes conversations flow better and will make the girl feel more comfortable.”

7. Don’t fold your arms

Your body language tends to speak louder than what you’re actually saying. Covering your body with your arms is natural when you feel vulnerable, but it also portrays that you aren’t open. Fight the instinct to close up your body language. Open body language shows confidence (which is very attractive), and will help you get to know the other person better.

8. Make it your mission to discover who they are

“During the date, think of yourself as a sociologist who is trying to learn about this particular human being. Explore her world, figure out what she likes, what she hates, how she got to this point in life. Let her talk.”

If you want the date to go well, let them talk about themselves. If it’s going to work out between you, they’ll likely want to find out about you too, so open up and talk about yourself. Just make sure you’re not completely dominating the conversation.

Even if sparks don’t fly, make it an hour both of you at least can enjoy learning about another interesting human being.

9. Offer to pay

This isn’t a set-in-stone rule, but if you’re the man, expect to pay (and let her know that’s your plan). If you’re a woman, even if he says he’s paying, offer to pay for yourself. Most men and women don’t expect for the other to pay, but the offer is always nice. And ladies, if he pushes to pay, let him.

10. Hold off on kissing unless you’re certain the other person wants it

“On the first date, don't kiss her unless you're sure that you should. On the second date, kiss her unless you're sure you shouldn't.”

11. Don’t make them guess if you enjoyed it

You’re not going to sound desperate by letting them know you had a good time. You’re not in second grade anymore, so pretending you don’t like someone if you do isn’t going to get you anywhere. Let them know you’d like to see them again if you’re interested.

Overall, be yourself. If they aren't interested in you, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you – it means they are not the right one for you. You deserve the best, and when it's right, they will love you for you.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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