Make Your First Date into a Momentum Builder

Make Your First Date into a Momentum Builder

Build first date momentum by keeping it short, sweet and simple

As I was developing my personal philosophy about all things dating, emails landed in my inbox with subject lines that read, “I just had the most amazing first date!”  I was excited to hear about my current and former coaching clients having dating success.  So I replied, “Great!  Tell me about it.  What made it so amazing?

Then I would get delighted responses like, “You won’t believe it, Jeremy, but we chatted for 3 hours!

My first thought was, “I’m thrilled for my client.”  My second thought was, “Uh oh, I have to change my first date philosophy.

GREAT FIRST DATES BUILD MOMENTUM

You might be asking yourself, “How can Jeremy see a problem with his clients going on 3+ hour first dates?

Great question!

Besides enjoying yourself, the next goal of a first date is building momentum.

Think about a great first date this way:

  • The two of you start as strangers…no momentum
  • You find a common interest…the momentum begins
  • You find another common interest…a bit more momentum
  • You show interest in your potential partner’s hobby…more momentum
  • Your potential partner shows interest in your hobby…even more momentum

Now the two of you are really enjoying each other’s company!  As you continue talking, you forget that the outside world exists.  You can’t wait to share more about yourself and you can’t wait to hear more about your potential partner.  You have momentum on your side.

Now be careful.  You’re in the danger zone.

KEEP YOUR FIRST DATE SHORT AND SWEET

You may be asking yourself, “If building momentum is a key goal of a first date, how can I endanger the date by keeping it going?

Another great question!

You want to end your date on a positive note and with a ton of momentum.  The longer the date goes, the greater the chance that your momentum will peak and then decline.  

So, the my first suggestion is:  Keep the first date short.  But that’s the easy part.  My second suggestion almost seems counter-intuitive:  End your date at the peak of your momentum.

There is another reason to end your date at the peak of momentum:  You both will look forward to the second date because the first date ended on such a high note.

So, how short should a first date be?  I can’t tell you exactly but I can give you guidelines.

  • Anything over two hours is too long
  • Anything under an hour gives the impression that you’re not interested 

I’d suggest keeping your first dates in the 60 to 90 minute range.

(I know that I’m going to take flack for this philosophy.  There are millions of people who have had ridiculously long first dates and are now married to their partners.  I’m glad it worked for them.  You know what though?  Just because they got married after a long first date, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have been an equally successful pair after a short one.)

KEEP YOUR DATE SIMPLE YET ENJOYABLE

Now that you know roughly how long — actually, short — a first date should be, let’s talk about what to do on that first date.

Dinner at a restaurant?  Too long and too pricey.

Drinks at the bar?  Too ordinary, too loud, and too smelly.  I also meet many neurodiverse people who avoid alcohol for a variety of reasons.

Movie?  Too dark and too impersonal.

What’s left?  The best first dates incorporate one or two simple activities you and your potential partner have in common.

Just so you know, when I was single, my favorite first date was Central Park.  Sometimes my date and I would grab a cup of coffee and walk through the park.  Other times I’d plan a picnic lunch.  Nothing fancy, nothing expensive.  Just an hour of relaxation and good conversation.

HAVE A BACKUP PLAN

Sometimes the world gets in the way of all the amazing plans you made.  Rain comes to mind.  But there are other reasons why Plan A may fail — the coffeehouse may be undergoing renovation, the zoo may be closed, the subway may be diverted.  Have a Plan B, then use Plan A for your second date.

FOLLOWING THROUGH ON YOUR END

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QUICK REVIEW

  • Long first dates can lose momentum
  • The best first dates build momentum
  • Keep your first date short
  • End your first date at the peak of momentum
  • Plan a simple and enjoyable first date around a mutual interest
Jeremy Hamburgh
Jeremy Hamburgh
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