There are many relationship experts who believe that the first date will make or break an opportunity to develop any type of long-term relationship.

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While that may be placing too much gravity on the initial dating encounter, the first date definitely sets the stage for how both individuals will view one another moving forward — meaning that it is imperative to get things off to a good start.

If you are like many people in the dating world, you probably have some simple questions as to the proper protocol for the first date. The truth is that there are certain basic guidelines that can significantly improve the first-date experience.

What You Should and Should Not Talk About

Unfortunately, far too many people do not set conversational boundaries on the first date. It is important to understand that communication is framed under the context of relationship, and when there is no relationship, it can be easy to misunderstand what is being communicated.

Obviously, age plays a role in establishing certain developed interest; therefore, age will dictate the content of the conversation. If you are over forty, you will find that you are transitioning into your mid-life experience, and your desires and interests will be reflective of that.

Additionally, certain hot topics should be avoided for the same reason. Religion and politics should never be discussed in depth on the first date. If you practice your faith devoutly, it may be a good idea to confirm your date’s position prior to the actual date. Talk about light subjects, such as hobbies and things you like to do. Save more in-depth personal information for another time.

If your date is in the same age range, this will not present a problem, just remember to keep the conversation light. Don’t treat this encounter as if it was the final interview. Drop soft and subtle hints about the things that are important to you, and then move on to discuss less imposing topics.

Choosing the Right Attire is Essential  

When choosing your attire for your first date with a person, the venue and activity that you will be participating in will play a significant role in determining what will be appropriate.[irp]One of the first considerations should always be the venue. If it is a venue that you are unfamiliar with, you should conduct some pre-date research to familiarize yourself with the venue. Many times, the venue’s site will provide information on any type of requirements as far as attire is concerned.

Another important consideration is comfort. In fact, there are many dating and relationship experts who believe that comfort should be the first priority. The last thing that you want is to be fidgeting with your outfit throughout the entire date.

If you are male and want to get essential first dating tips then you should watch this video from Michael Valmont.

According to Dr. Phil, there are a number of different do’s and don’ts that should be adhered to on a first date. One of the most important do’s is to make sure that you are being a good listener.

Avoid Topics and Situations that Evoke an Emotional Response in You

While it is considered healthy to emote and to be expressive, being overly dramatic and emotional on a first date can create an uncomfortable environment, which can substantially lessen the level of enjoyment.

Do Not Rush to Critical Assessments

Because of the belief that the first encounter is so important, people often rush to judgement, taking their initial encounter far too seriously.

While there are times in which a person will do something that is indicative of the fact that they are not a good match for you, it is more likely that they are nervous, and attempting to find a place of comfort, meaning that their behavior and conversation is a result of them being nervous. Take what is said and done with a grain of salt.

Allow for Balance and Be a Good Listener

According to Dr. Phil, there are a number of different do’s and don’ts that should be adhered to on a first date. One of the most important do’s is to make sure that you are being a good listener.

Some people love to talk, especially about themselves. They are good sharers; however, they struggle when comes time to listening. When it comes to your first date, balance is immensely important. Just as much as you would like to be heard, you also need to focus on listening to what the other person is saying.

While there is no first-date protocol that is set in stone, the points made here will go a long way in creating a first-date experience worth remembering. But, the first date should not be treated as an all-or-nothing encounter; that is simply too much pressure.