I love the movie, 50 First Dates. In the movie Drew’s character has a brain injury so in order to woo her, her love interest (played by Adam Sandler) has to meet and win her every day. Sounds exhausting but it’s totally what people do in real life… just not with the same person, failing each time in finding someone to move forward with. And 50 first dates is nothing. I’ve met people that have done over 150 first dates before they joined us. 

So when Rebecca Campbell, author of “138 Dates” recently asked me about some dos and don’ts advice around first dates, particularly after coming out of COVID lockdown, for an article she was writing for Sydney Morning Herald, I was keen to help.

It prompted me to think about how lockdown may have left us a little out of practice when it comes to first dates and may be in need of some First Date Advice refreshers. While executives kept dating in Brisbane and Gold Coast, many of our Sydney & Melbourne clients at Elite Introductions  managed virtual dating during lockdown or even got creative and had “exercise dates” which ranged from a coastal walk at Bondi to Cogee in Sydney to kayaking together on Melbourne’s Yarra River. 

Others chose to stay undercover and have only come up for air in the past month or so. (November 2021) While my partner and I kept dating through COVID, even though it was mostly on the back deck by the pool often ordering delivery from local restaurants, most of our members came back on the scene feeling a little rusty in their dating skills and many felt they needed more than a haircut or an eyelash treatment to get back in the game.

So here’s 5 quick tips to help get you back in the dating game after lockdown.

  1. Use your friends to help you get back into socialising. Jumping straight into dating after such a long hiatus may seem a little daunting. No need to dive into the deep end of the pool when there’s steps down the other end. Reconnect with friends and get out for a drink, dinner or a boogie. Clear out the social cobwebs and regain your social confidence before putting yourself out there with the added stress of a first date.
  2. Take the pressure off with a short date. Be honest with your date. Let them know you feel a bit out of practice and you just want to meet for a quick drink, maybe an hour (and then stretch it if things are going unexpectedly well). Planning a short date with no strings makes it easier for both of you. All you want to do is connect, see each other in the flesh and leave you both curious for more. 
  3. Glam up for the date.  Whether you’re a man or woman, I strongly recommend you put some effort into your preparation. Looking smart or a little sexy will boost your confidence, communicate to your date that… “this is a date”, and put you in the mood for a little romance. If you’re feeling a little out of practice then a some effort in the preparation will help you fake it till you make it and help get you back on the horse. 
  4. Remember it’s a date not a relationship. One of the biggest mistakes people make on early dates is putting too much focus on some end result of happily ever after. Take a chill pill. It’s just a date. Stop looking for indicators of whether or not you can have children with this person. You don’t even know them. You don’t need to know why they broke up with their ex, when they want children, whether or not they’ll love your labradoodle or how committed they are to building a beachfront house in Avalon or Portsea. All you need to do is connect, and have a little fun. Your only… repeat… ONLY mission on a first date is to build a little rapport and have the other person walk away saying, “wow, that was fun, I had a great time, I’d like to see them again.” THAT’S IT! Leave all your presumptions, checklists and judgements at home. Just go out, connect with someone and have a good time.
  5. Bring a little sexy back. I often get feedback from clients’ dates where they said they got along well, enjoyed the conversation, found each other quite lovely but… “there was no chemistry.” Some common misconceptions about chemistry is that it’s mostly about looks… not true, looks are only one of several factors that influence chemistry. Another misconceptions is that chemistry is the result of some mysterious magical power that is bestowed on the lucky recipients by chance. Total fallacy… Is there an X-factor in chemistry? Of course. But you can definitely have a major influence in this area. There are several strategies to generate chemistry on a date. You should definitely check out my course on 5 Ways to Build Chemistry Guaranteed,  but the easiest is to put yourself out there a little and flirt. Smile, lock eyes for a couple seconds, tease each other and throw out a compliment or two. Most often, what people call “no chemistry” turns out to be simply not receiving a message from the other person that they’re interested. Once they pick up the spark they often let their guard down and things start rolling. 

When I read Rebekah’s book I was impressed with some of the great learnings she acquired along the way and hold a tremendous level of respect for such a tenacious and thought out approach to finding her life partner. But… there’s absolutely no reason why you’d have to go on so many dates to find your partner. Follow these 5 steps and you’ll be well on your way.

Read Rebekah’s article in The Sydney Morning Herald’s Sunday Life Section here

If you’re serious about learning how to find, attract and nurture your dream relationship. Check out my Ultimate Partner Program on TrudyGilbert.com