If you haven’t been on the dating field in a while, it can be daunting to get started again. Even for seasoned professionals, that first date can be so awkward and uncomfortable. The most common complaint that I hear is, “I don’t know what to say.”

If you get tongue-tied when faced with new situations, or opposite a date, here are some tips to help ease the way.

First of all, lose the expectation that this will be “the one” and the worry of “What if I don’t like him or her?” or worse, “What if they don’t like me?” It may be a great experience, or not. Most likely it will be somewhere in between. Relax and enjoy the gift of spending time with another human being. Remember, it is not about rejection or perfection; it is about finding the right match.

Ask open-ended questions that will elicit responses other than yes, or no. Example, rather than asking, “What do you do for work?” ask, “What do you most enjoy about your work?”

Here’s a list of questions that you can have ready:
• What are the three favorite places you have visited?
• If you go could anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?
• What are your favorite activities or how do you most enjoy spending your time?
• What are your top three movies of all time, and what is that makes them your favorite?
• Who are the most important people in your life?
• If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Remember to also have answers yourself so that you can share a bit about you. You don’t want to shoot off questions like a firing squad, go with the flow of the conversation. However, if you get stuck, it’s nice to have some backup ammunition to keep the conversation going.

If you’ve got your top 5 List for your perfect Mate, you can ask questions, or make comments to illicit responses to help you gage if those qualities are present. Now, if you are a die- hard republican and will not even entertain the possibility of a marrying a democrat, there are some tactful ways of finding out their views without flat out asking them, and ending the conversation then and there.

Being prepared with stories of your own that reflect who you are, your values, and what’s important to you, will ease your tension on those first dates. Learn to be comfortable with a little silence. Remember you can always SMILE at those times.

I also suggest keeping a first date to under an hour, and making that clear before you meet. If things go well, you will have a reason to meet again. If not, you know there is an easy end in sight.

Before your date, take several deep slow breaths, look in the mirror and smile at yourself, and express gratitude for the opportunity to practice the art of conversation and to experience another human being. Remind yourself to be present with your date. Affirm that you are a loving person who is comfortable on first dates. Even if it is not true you can train your brain and memory to believe this and ease your anxiety of the dreaded first date. Conjure up some excitement (not expectations) at the potential – you never know - there is the possibility that this could be the one!

After your date, evaluate how it went. Make note of the positives, and if something was not right, then ask yourself what would be more perfect next time. The more you focus on what you want, what is comfortable, the more you will attract and experience it.

Author's Bio: 

Cheri Valentine is your love connection expert. She specializes in guiding busy professional leaders and business owners to find long lasting love to enjoy as much happiness and success in their personal lives as they do in their career. Cheri’s philosophy inspired love by design combined with her strong, supportive nature is reflected in her signature coaching programs. She believes everyone deserves to love and be loved unconditionally, to experience life passionately and to forge happy and healthy relationships. Cheri’s own efforts to make sense of her ended marriages and relationships fueled her determination to get it right, be happy and find the right partner. She has succeeded and recently married her perfect mate. She wants to show you how she did it, and how you can, too, just like the many men and women she has helped to find love. Visit www.CheriValentine.com for your FREE 4 step kit to Attract Your Perfect Mate.