When you meet someone for the first time, it’s really important to take it slowly. The pull of excitement is strong, especially if you haven’t dated for a long time. Not to put too fine a point on it, the sexual and emotional charge in your body, could be really high and take you over the boundaries that your wiser self would not cross.
If this happens, it can mean that you become attached before you know who you are attached to. This is because the bonding hormone oxytocin comes into play and takes over.
To keep your equilibrium and discernment, it’s important to create a container of trust, honesty, respect, and warmth. You need to take time to establish a give-and-take of listening and talking, mutual respect and power-sharing.
Here’s a few pointers to consider for your first date:
- Before you meet, ask yourself if you are sure that this person meets your Vision and Dealmakers criteria for who you want? Just like you did when you created a vision for the relationship you want to create, now set an intention about what you want to get out of the date, including that commitment to yourself to go slowly and observe.
- Be as fully present to yourself as you can and listen to your body wisdom. Close out your mind chatter. Ask your inner commentary to be quiet so that you can be truly present and observe.
- Make a commitment to understand the essence of what the other person is communicating. Hold them with unconditional positive regard, keeping your eyes open and being curious, and interested in them.
- Read between the lines and see how you feel about what they are saying. Perhaps they are they expressing what they want, if so communicate that you want to understand more. Acknowledgement of their state of mind and emotions, releases the charge, and builds trust by creating connection. It doesn’t have to be profound or dramatic, just recognition.
- Observe their tone, the eye movement and body language. What does it all communicate to you?
- Initially hold back your opinions, suggestions, or agenda – that’s for later.
- Be truthful about what you’re looking for, your parameters and boundaries, even Dealbreakers are appropriate.
- Share interests, passions, values, life visions, challenges, excitement in bite-size pieces.
- Avoid too much of the painful stuff like divorces or past relationships. Keep things light and see if you feel you can trust them.
- Watch how they react to what you say. Does it matter to them? Ask them what their values are – what is important to them in life and relationships?
- Notice how quickly you want to attach. Are you feeling urgent about the date? Are you anxious to jump the boundaries? Watch out for this in the other person too. Are they pressurising you to become exclusive or sexual before you have built that container of trust?
Some people have a love avoidant attachment style, which means they may come on strong and then leave. In these instances, they will often say “I love you” before they really know you, perhaps go overboard with the gifts and want to take up all of your time, or have you exclusively to themselves. This can be attractive to you if you are in that urgent state but should be seen as a warning flag
It is likely you will need shared experiences and sharing of yourselves at both deep and shallow levels. Give yourself time to observe them, get to know them. It doesn’t have to happen in one date!
Most importantly, dating should be a pleasurable experience. An exciting time when you meet someone new, learn about them and them about you, enjoying each other’s company. This person might not become the love of your life, but you could still form an important friendship.