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How to wow your Tinder date
You resolved on New Year's to commit to being a more active and successful dater this year. You are weary of being single, really want to meet just one great guy or woman who would be a good match--but have all but given up in the past due to serial dating that only leaves you feeling worse about your odds for success. You feel as though you have really given it your all in the past and it's hard to start all over again, believing that you will only get the same results. So what can you do? Something different of course.
By different I don't mean you should try new dating sites and apps, though that is always an option. What I mean is what you communicate and how you present yourself after you have both swiped right and agreed to meet in person. The following tips can help you to grab their attention, make a fast, positive impression, and leave them wanting to know more.
Leave any negativity at the door
Negativity is communicated through what you say and what you DO. If you are rushing to get there on time, don't really feel up to doing this but said you would so you will, and/or have low expectations because of past experiences--leave all these outside the door. Walk into the room with your head held high, your shoulders back, your arms hanging down and moving easily, and a smile on your face. When you see your "date" make immediate eye contact and offer a warm smile. Shake his or her hand and when you sit down, face them directly, and lean in slightly towards them. All of these communicate confidence, a positive attitude, and interest. Negativity comes close to almost everyone's top date turn-offs, so don't be a downer.
Listen more, speak less
You may feel a bit anxious and may even be a chatty-Cathy by nature--so you will need to make an effort not to monopolize the conversation or be a bore, droning on about things the other person has already lost interest in, if they had any to begin with. Based on what little you know about the person you are meeting, think about a few topics and/or question you could ask. Don't be afraid to get creative or even appropriately edgy here.
Ask them about their passions, about where they grew up, about what they were like in high school, or how many siblings they have, if any. They will be expecting more questions about where they work or went to school, so this will be different and more interesting. You could ask them what they thought when they first saw your profile or if they were hesitant or anxious about meeting. All of these will help you get into deeper conversation--one element of chemistry is that of being able to connect intellectually and keep each other's interest.
If they ask you questions in return, definitely share back, but keep it short, tight, and interesting. This helps to get their attention and leave them wanting to hear more.
Use your body to communicate
This begins the moment you walk into the room or they enter and you stand up/move closer to greet them. Your whole body confidence and interest will make an immediate positive impression--then you follow this with many small signals throughout your interaction. These will be sent through eye contact, how you use your hands, leaning in as you converse, keeping your legs and feet pointed in their direction, mirroring their movements and matching their voice tone and tempo. You want to show interest, be upbeat, put them at ease, and help them feel like they are the only person in the room with you at that moment.
Don't try too hard
I hear too many stories from clients about first dates where the other person was trying too hard, and it was painfully obvious. When this happens what the other sees is awkwardness and insecurity--and the air quickly fills with tension. Could you connect with someone who felt like a paper cut-out of a real person?
Instead be discreetly sincere, open and candid. Use humor but don't overdo. Self-deprecation is OK if you can keep it truly funny and to a minimum. By being your best true self, you maximize your chances of meeting and connecting with like-minded and compatible people.
Use something you have in common to make/leave an impression
If someone shares an interest or passion that resonates with you, highlight it, but not too much. Remember, don't try too hard. If you can pick up on something that is important to them and share a story or experience that demonstrates a commonality around it, you will help them to feel an emotional connection to you. Great chemistry involves friendship, and sharing a passion is one way that two people bond as friends (and more?)
You may be the first, second or third Tinder date that person has scheduled in one day. So make sure you are the one that leaves the right and lasting impression that will lead to a second date and time you don't have to share with others.
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
© Copyright 2008 Antoinette Coleman. All rights reserved.
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