What to do on your first dates

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Very few moments are as euphoric as the moment when you feel you have found the right person. Sometimes, we call this love at first sight. We find that we are drawn to this person, even as we do not know much about them. Our brain fills in the blanks, and gives us an idea of a wonderful, nearly perfect partner to have. 

Due to the fact that we are easily drawn to the people we believe meet our criteria for a long-lasting relationship, perhaps because they seem attractive, interesting, intelligent, caring, and give a positive vibe, we often try to impress them in order to get them interested in us. A first date, therefore, is believed to be an opportunity to show this other person what makes us valuable, wonderful, and worthy as a partner. This, however, is a wrong idea. 

One misconception so many people have is that a first date is supposed to be an opportunity to impress the other person. It’s true that you are attracted to the other person, and you are perhaps infatuated. You are probably having a lot of illusions in your mind. You want this relationship to work; you believe it can work. You will do anything to make this relationship to work. In other words, you believe you have the power to make the relationship to work. So you easily ignore what makes a first date to be truly essentially, and focus on trying to impress the other person. 

The essence of a first date is to give you and the other person the opportunity to get to know one another genuinely. You need to know what they like and what they don’t like, and they need to know what pleases you and what displeases you. You are there to learn about their values, culture, religion, motivations, life-goals, expectations, and general attitude to life. The real purpose of a first date is to look out for compatibility and decide whether or not to initiate a lasting and sustainable relationship. 

You may ask, ‘Why should we look out for compatibility in a relationship?’ There are several reasons so many relationships do not last. And one of the chief reasons is that the couples were not compatible. Getting into a relationship without proper understanding of one another’s personalities, short-comings, habits, interests, and preferences is like starting a large-scale business without carrying out a feasibility study. In the same way such a great business will come crumbling to the ground, so will that relationship you have refused to set on a strong foundation hit a road block.   

Couples who are not compatible have a lot of things they disagree upon. Too many disagreements lead to dissatisfaction and conflict. Such relationships never go far, and are therefore not sustainable. When we go out on a first date, and we focus on impressing the other person, we direct so much energy in giving off a false, fantastic impression about ourselves. Such energy is exhausting and unsustainable. The result is that when we finally get into that relationship, we stop putting in as much effort as we did on the first date, and our true personality begins to reveal itself. This true personality may not be endearing to the other person. You or they feel cheated/idiotic for getting into the relationship in the first place. 

Similar to investing so much resources in starting and sustaining a big business only for it to fail terribly, relationships can also fail terribly after having put in so much effort, time, money, and expectations. Those thousands or millions of dollars you have put into it end up seeming like bad business. Those valuable time you have given to them have cost you a lot as they could have been used up for far more important things. Your expectations and dreams are shattered. Depression may set in, and all these because you were too hopeful to look out for compatibility on your first date.