First dates can be daunting. What do you wear? How do you greet your date? Who pays for the bill? Do you split the bill? So many questions!  Bari Lyman has a few expert tips to help you feel confident and at ease on your next first date.

When entering the courtship period, couples will experience the all-important “first date.” Some people will climb mountains to make the counterpart feel comfortable during this time and others don’t put in enough effort. Either direction isn’t necessary, so here are some top tips to keep in mind when going on the first date: 

TIP 1: First dates should always be coffee dates.

Inspired dating is about meeting many new people until you find your one.  Coffee dates allow for people to meet and talk without the pressure of having to spend hours and hours together. It gives both people a chance to see if there’s something there (i.e. attraction, if it flows and if some important things line up for both parties)—and if they do, you can always meet again.  First dates should focus on sharing “who you are” and “who the other person is” in a casual setting conducive to great conversation not dark movie theatres or long dinner dates.

TIP 2: Chivalry is great and being real is even greater.  

When on a date, you never want to show off or try to impress your date by trying to be someone you’re not so they’ll like you. The right person will like you just the way you are so allow the real you to shine. Remember, you can’t say the wrong thing to the right person.

TIP 3: Be fully present to your date by being a really good listener.  

Put your cell phone away and clear any distractions or concerns.  In your time together, share about who you are (what you’re about, your vision and values) and ask your date about them and really hear them. Listening to another person can create a whole world for that person and they’ll feel cared for and heard. Even if your date isn’t the one for you, he/she may have a friend to introduce you!  Also keep in mind that each wrong person leads you closer to the one!

TIP 4: There are no rules when it comes to who pays the check.

I believe in following principles and what feels right and good.  It’s respectful and shows caring for both people to reach for the bill and offer to pay—don’t assume anything.  And, if the man really wants to take care of it, ladies, allow him to pay—it’s a warm, caring gesture.  And if it’s one of those dates where things don’t click or flow, it’s totally fine to split the bill (another reason to for a first date to be a coffee date).

When going on a first date, be yourself, your best real self! The sexiest, most attractive way to be, is yourself—your best self without airs, walls or phoniness.  Whether or not a first date turns in to a second date, going on dates will help you to connect with many new people until one day—everything lines up and you find your one—your life partner. Do you sometimes feel like you are not being your authentic self on a first date? Stay tuned for next week’s blog regarding how we may be hiding behind a “mask.”