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We all know that feeling before a first date. You’re both excited and nervous, and every decision — from what we choose to wear to the location we select for that first meetup — is carefully evaluated. First dates are so important, but we often go into them with the wrong mindset.
What do I mean by that? We either have the expectation that she will be The One, or we bemoan that she’s probably not The One. We often allow the possibility in front of us to be tainted by past experiences, which robs us of the sexy gift of being present. Heed the be here now advice.
As important as first dates are, I recommend viewing them as fun, easy, and casual. Choose to keep an open mind and be excited about simply meeting another lesbian who is having the same human experience of looking for love. The more you can set aside your expectations, the better you’ll clearly see who or what is in front of you.
I love this quote from Mandy Hale: “When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of how you think they should be.” Keep your mind and your heart open.
The potential for making a mistake (or two) on a first date is to be expected, but these three are so subtle they often go unnoticed:
Judging a book by its cover prevents you from seeing the richness inside the person. You may see someone with a hairstyle, makeup (or no makeup), or clothing that does not suit you, and you immediately think, “Nope, she’s not for me”.
Whatever it is externally that is a turnoff, ask yourself, “Is this a valid reason to rule her out?”
What if you could meet blindfolded? That would require you to use all your other senses. What is her voice like? Is it soft and melodic, or strong but friendly? What about her scent? Is it pleasant, and does it fit what you already know about her?
Touch her arm or hand and get a feel for what her life is like. Does she work outside or spend time in the sun? Is she a surfer or construction worker? Or does she primp and slather on lotion to keep her skin soft?
Are there other visible details that give you pause? What car (or truck!) does she drive? Any number of external factors can cause us to make quick judgements if we’re not careful.
Drawing conclusions before you know a person better can hasten you into asking someone to be your girlfriend too quickly. Anyone guilty of that? Some of us are so excited to meet an attractive woman that we overlook key signs that become big issues once we have become involved. Keep the U-Haul in the parking lot until you have had quality time to connect in a loving way and get to know who she is and what she is about.
I encourage my clients to go on two or three dates with someone they have already had several conversations with. Use this time to assess the possibility of a relationship. With the one-and-done approach, you can lose out on someone wonderful.
Let me be clear. I am not suggesting that every person you meet is right for you. In reality, there are some women who are wrong for us right from the start. Trust your intuition.
Bottom line: Relax into your first dates and be in the moment without being focused on the outcome. Look for what makes her an interesting person by simply asking questions that show you are truly interested in her.
If you’ve just come from work, you may be holding a certain type of energy on your first date that may be off-putting. You may have come from a stressful meeting and are still feeling it. That stress energy can be palpable to others.
Maybe you just dropped your child off at your ex’s and were helping her with homework and you are still in mom mode. You may start off talking about your child too much. While that can reveal your beautiful maternal love, it may also spark the frustrating energy of parenting, putting you in a different light.
So how does one go from all these energetic places to the date? My best tips are to rebalance your energy by releasing it through deep breathing or any kind of movement. Movement — even dance — is best to release and distribute energy.
While getting ready for a date, I often dance to what I call my date prep playlist that helps me get my sexy on. It also helps release other energy. It doesn’t matter what end of the stereotypical butch to femme scale you are on — music can get you into the right mood to meet a date.
The last thing you want to do is meet her while stressed or mentally preoccupied. You may be distracted by something that happened earlier. Before going into the date, take some cleansing breaths and get yourself grounded.
Another good reason to have your other energy cleared is to make room for your true energy to come out and be felt.
If you’ve had a tough day, you can acknowledge it, set it aside, and then tell her how happy you are to meet her. Life happens, so simply become aware and make the shift.
Bottom line: Using whatever method best works for you, ground yourself before meeting her and get into balanced positive energy.
I have heard from so many women that they often feel like they are being interviewed for a job when on a first date. Are you asking questions now that should be reserved for the second or third date? Do you have a list in your head (or worse, on paper) that you are driven to have answered?
The other person may feel interrogated. First dates should be easy, fun, and casual. You want to feel comfortable, rather than on trial.
Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “I want to know these answers now before I get too invested.” While I totally get it, that’s not the purpose of a first date.
Hopefully, you’ve had some time to get to know her on a few phone chats or FaceTime or Zoom calls. The first in-person date is to see whether there is chemistry between you and to give you a chance to deepen the connection in each other’s physical presence.
Let’s talk about some examples. Instead of asking questions about marriage, children, or her career, you could ask more casual open-ended questions like, “Tell me about some of your favorite vacations. What made it so special? How was that for you?”
Be interested rather than trying to be interesting. Her answers will speak more about her heart and values.
Bottom line: Make it relaxed and fun. Tell some silly stories about yourself and be playful. Your questions should be easy to answer and not off-putting.
If you are guilty of any of these mistakes, ask yourself:
If you are not clear, then you won’t recognize her when you meet her anyway. Having significant two-way conversation and connection will help you assess the possibility of moving forward with her.
The reality is you may not be each other’s type. Only one of you may be interested in pursuing the other. In either case, there is no reason to continue dating. Yet, you may develop a friendship or you may have a friend you think the other would like. How great is that? When reciprocated, this approach can expand your network and organic dating pool.
Hey, in dating, it takes a village. It’s actually a numbers game. You have to throw a lot of spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks.
If you avoid making these three mistakes, you will start off on the right foot. The goal is to find someone you share chemistry and compatibility. Do the groundwork on compatibility with a prospective mate during phone chats, and use the in-person dates to see how attracted you are to each other both inside and out.
Then you will have more fun even on first dates and be more likely to attract a lasting, loving, conscious relationship. Think of dating as a fun game… and play full out without attachment.