It is Valentines Day – love is in the air, flowers and chocolates are picked over and sold out at nearly every grocery store, and restaurants and hot date spots are packed with first dates and couples. If you want to rock a first date or improve a lovers night out here are a few dating do’s and don’ts from dating expert and author of Was It Something I Said, Jess Mccann.
Valentine’s Day (or any day!) Dating Tips
1. Use your SEE factor
“SEE stands for Smile, eye contact and energy,” said McCann. Too often on a first date people get nervous and a little self-conscious and forget to smile and look people in the eye. When you are on a date it is important to give off a positive energy, and that is impossible to do when you are constantly worried about the way you are coming off.
If you are scared and on edge you will give off a fearful and negative energy. So make sure to maintain that eye contact, smile, relax and let off your positive energy.
2. Dress to impress
In modern times (especially for females) it is common to dress to get attention. When you are getting ready to hit the town with your date, you need to dress for the part that you want to play in the relationship.
If your intentions are to become a girlfriend or boyfriend and get into a serious relationship then make sure you are dressing appropriately. For women that means wearing something that is flattering and feminine, and men should wear something sharp and clean.
Make sure not to dress the way you would if you were going out to casually meet with a friend. Chances are if you dress like a casual friend that is all you will end up being.
Related: 6 Health Benefits of Kissing
3. Use the mirror technique
If you are feeling nervous or are unsure about what to do with your body during a date you can use a method that Jess calls the “Mirror theory.” In other words mimic your date’s body language.
If they smile, smile too. Or if they lean back in their chair and relax then take after their lead; this will help you to avoid coming across as too hot or too cold.
4. Don’t milk the date
Even if you are hitting it off, having a fantastic time and connecting, McCann recommends never staying on a date for too long! Anywhere between 2 to 3 hours is long enough.
Make sure to end your day at the “height of impulse” or the moment you know your date is the most into you – this will guarantee that if you want to see them again, you will.
Also make sure to stick to one location; don’t head to his place after a nice dinner or to another bar to get drinks. For a first date one location is enough.
Related: 5 Steps to Attracting Your Perfect Partner
5. Don’t fiddle with your phone
With today’s booming technology and social media a phone has turned into a basic necessity. Make sure to turn it on silent or off during a date. There is nothing that shows lack of interest and disrespect more than whipping out your iPhone and checking your Facebook while you are trying to connect with someone.
6. Don’t be afraid to use an ice breaker
If you have a crush or a potential love interest, jump in with an icebreaker. Try not to confuse ice breakers with pick up lines. So how can you do it?
Put yourself in a place where you would see your crush and ask them a casual generic question like “do you have the time?” or “when does happy hour start?” Icebreakers are great conversation starters, and ladies…don’t be afraid to make the first move!
“Every guy that I’ve dated that wasn’t a total jerk I approached,” said McCann “ I actually met my husband at a restaurant because I asked him to borrow his menu.”
First dates can be a nerve-racking experience, but they don’t have to be. Rock your next first date by giving off great energy, dressing right, and leaving at the perfect time and a second date is sure to be right around the corner.
Featured photo by Joe St.Pierre // Joestpierrephoto.com
Originally published 2/14/13 and updated 2/12/14.