5 ways to be fully present on a date


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The more you can participate in the current experience of your appointment, the more fun you will have. The more you enjoy yourself, the more pleasant it is to be around you. And if you both are having fun, that is a “successful” date in my book.

When it comes to dating, we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves and the other person: to perform, to impress, to pick up every subtlety of every joke, to be effortlessly charming.

For someone who really wants a love affair, it’s understandable that the particular mix of anticipation, nerves, sincere hope, and fear of disappointment before the date creates a high-stakes cocktail.

But those high stakes are in your head.

As a dating and relationship coach, I work with clients in all phases of the love journey, from building a social network to getting the first data, developing relationships to a variety of challenges and growth opportunities that create a partnership with the gifts.

At any point in time, whether for the first time or the fifth time, having the same argument after years of dating, there is one simple outlook that will serve as an effective pressure relief valve for my clients and motivate them in the present moment: Curiosity.

The truth is that a first date doesn’t have to be more than just an opportunity to spend time together and assess whether there is enough mutual intrigue to see each other again.

That’s it.

You don’t have to share all about yourself or learn all about the other person. You don’t need an agenda or a pre-planned idea of ​​when you are going to kiss. You don’t have to predict how long the relationship will last.

It’s really just about being present together and seeing how it feels.

The more you can participate in the current experience of your appointment, the more fun you will have. The more you enjoy yourself, the more pleasant it is to be around you. And if you both are having fun, that is a “successful” date in my book.

There’s a lot of rhetoric about the bubbly quality of “presence,” but what exactly is it and how do you experience more of it on a date?

Simply put, Presence is fully where you are and accepts what is happening around you.

Here are five best practices for adding more presence on a date.

Take the time to prepare for the date


Working out the space and time to prepare sets the tone for a great date. Even if it’s only twenty minutes, taking a break to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically can make a huge difference in how you present yourself.

On a physical level, thinking and trying to look good will build your confidence and let you and your date know that this is a special event. And what we think is special, we enjoy.

On an emotional level, a pre-date ritual to bolster your mojo will reveal whether it is hearing “Sharp Dressed Man” repeatedly while you dance in the kitchen, do a hundred jumping jacks, or sit quietly for a few minutes as you show up to a date that will make you feel good and grounded.

On a mental level, having a transition period between your day and date will help you leave problems or distractions at home so you can relax and have a sense of humor on your date.

When planning an appointment, avoid planning successive commitments in advance and instead try to incorporate the intended lead time into the equation. Taking the time to recharge your energy will help you give more to others.

Put your phone on airplane mode


Nothing breaks the connection like a cell phone. Research has shown that just removing the phone for a moment affects the quality of the connection between people.

A date is an invitation to spend time together. So if you want a high quality connection, put your phone on airplane mode and leave it in your pocket or pocket.

If you use your phone on a date and look up John Wayne on Wikipedia for a moment because it is relevant to your conversation, you get into the vortex of the outside world from the moment.

Whipping your phone is not only distracting and detrimental to a burgeoning connection, but it’s also disrespectful to your date, who has to sit there when you click your device.

Challenge yourself to stay away from your phone for the duration of the date. When your date goes to the bathroom, stay present and check in with yourself or just enjoy your sweet potato fries instead of texting your friend saying it’s going great or checking the game score.

If you really need to get your phone out because of an emergency, or your child is sick, or you need to find their way to the nearest venue, confirm that you need a moment and make it short.

By fragmenting your date presence by being on your phone, you are escaping the magic of the moment and making yourself appear less invested and less available. When we see that someone is not invested in us, we invest less in them.

Disconnect from your phone and reconnect to your date.

Keep exes and dates with other people out of the conversation
While you might think that looking up exes or other dates on a date will only make you be honest or tell about yourself and your story, it only serves to make your date feel less special and spoil your mood.

When you include the phantoms of other love interests in the conversation, you no longer need to be together. Whether you’re talking about a previous relationship, asking how much dates your date has, or remembering a funny date story, the end result is the same: you dim the romantic spark between you.

If you set off previous flames on a first date with someone, your date may be assumed to be attached to someone else and not fully available to come up with something new with. Or they feel friends. Or therapist zone, a term I just came up with.

If you find fault with other dates that you have participated in, your date will be reviewed and you will be asked whether you will be sharing stories from that date on other dates in the future.

For established couples on the night of the date, I also recommend excluding previous partners from the conversation in order to maintain the quality of this special time you created for being together. There is a time to share your respective romantic stories, but dates are not that time. Process your love life with your friends, your coach or therapist, not the people who haunt you or who you are in a relationship with. There is no need for the ghost of past girlfriends to take a seat at the table.

Instead, focus on getting to know the person across from you, exploring ideas together, or sharing stories and undated experiences. To feel excited about you, your date needs to feel like you can get excited about them too, rather than like you’re looking for a captive audience to help you process your last breakup.

Ask more questions


We are all aware that a conversation is based on asking questions, answering questions and exchanging information, ideas and experiences. On a date, having a conversation is not so much about covering a large area and gathering as much information as possible, but rather about understanding what makes the other person tick.

You’ll learn a hell of a lot more about a person and take the conversation into much more compelling waters if you ask more follow-up questions about your date’s answers that will find out the “why” behind what they’re sharing.

If someone has a Ph.D. In marine biology, but working as a personal trainer, ask additional questions that reveal the “why” behind your professional history. What made you switch industries? What have you learned as a scientist that helps you with your current clients? Was it a challenging and scary transition?

Rapport is based on a dance of combining content and disposition. Unless you relate to the content or the “what” someone is sharing, you can likely connect at some level to the disposition or the “why” of what is compelling them to be on the topic.

By asking follow-up questions that will cause your date to share more “what” and “why”, you can get an overview of that person’s experience rather than just a cursory account of the chronology of their life. In this way, you begin to understand a person’s value system – what drives them, how they make decisions, what inspires them.

Stay present to your curiosity. Ask follow-up questions to follow-up questions and let the magic of the date unfold.

Hold the tension


There are many areas of life and social dynamics where we strive to relieve potential tension. In a professional meeting, we may look for common ground before it gets hot. At a family dinner, we can divert the conversation from certain topics so as not to upset Aunt Peggy. In friendships we can agree not to agree and leave it at that.

In most of the scenarios we have learned to reject tension. However, to be fully present in the dating experience, it is to your advantage to lean into tension, discomfort, and a few giggle-worthy moments of awkwardness.

We call it sexual tension for a reason.

Whether through surprisingly honest directness, good-natured differences of opinion, humor, unexpected expressions of interest or any kind of brave move, flirting is a game in which tension is playfully created and maintained.

It is this tension and excitement that differentiates a date between two only two people who have dinner together. Lean in Enjoy it. Create it. Let it be awkward.

Presence on a date is the state of fascination. And we choose to keep seeing someone if we continue to feel intrigued.