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Column: Dreading that date? Here are some secret tips to help it go smoothly

Some simple rules from Avril Mulcahy for singles and daters to follow that can help make meet-ups a little more fun.

Avril Mulcahy

WHETHER YOU’RE CELEBRATING a Happy Valentine’s Day or a Happy Independence Day this Friday, there are some simple rules for singles and daters to follow that can help make it the most romantic and fun one yet.

I’ve successfully coached loads of single guys and gals in these dating secrets. While they might all appear obvious at first glance, you’d be surprised how many daters make things extra hard on themselves by not following these few simple rules.

By taking a bit of extra care, you can enjoy a much more fun Valentine’s night and increase your chances of meeting that special someone.

Common mistakes people make include being overly self-conscious, not making the most of themselves and drinking too much. The best rule of thumb is to relax, go at your own pace and have fun.

So, my Top 10 Dating Secrets for Success for this Valentines are:

DON’T be too self-conscious: stop worrying about your hair or what to say or concentrating on how nervous you are. Remember, the date is not all about you. Realise that your date may be nervous too so think of ways to make sure they feel comfortable. Be warm, friendly and happy; it’s contagious, and it makes it much more likely you’ll get the same reaction coming back to you.

DO clean up and make hygiene and looks a priority: first impressions are down to looks – everyone is a little shallow. Face this fact and dress in date attire.

DON’T make alcohol the centrepiece of your date: a drink can be tempting on a first date, however never feel that you need it or allow it to overhaul the experience. Ripping into the booze on the first date, will cause false chemistry, beer goggles, oversharing, crying, slurring words, vomiting or waking up with someone repulsive. Don’t let drink override common sense.

DO give your date attention and make eye contact: ask questions, listen to their stories, and show that you are interested.

DON’T come on too strong! Avoid being too forward, over-enthusiastic or even needy. Remember, people often want what they can’t have. If you give too much at the start, it may scare your date off and seem undesirable.

DO pay attention to what you drink or pick a non-drink related date: always remember to pace your drinking and remember to drink water throughout the evening. You are there to get to know your date and try to impress them – and face it, being drunk and slurring your words just isn’t attractive. The biggest benefit of not drinking on a first date is that you see everything clearly, so you can more honestly assess whether you’re having fun and enjoying the person you’re with.

DON’T use your phone: you live a busy life and might have the need to check in on Facebook, however, texting, calling or playing with your phone during your date is seen as inconsiderate, self-centred and just plain rude.

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DO respect the natural progression of flirting and intimacy: there are different levels of flirting and you must gradually flow from social friendly flirting to more private intimate flirting.

DON’T get lost talking about heartaches: yes, we all have bad days but nobody wants to go on a date with a misery guts. Avoid all negative conversations about exes, work or family issues – instead try to keep the conversation light-hearted, funny and intriguing.

Avril Mulcahy is Ireland’s modern matchmaker, providing a bespoke matchmaking and dating advice service throughout Ireland. For more information see www.avrilmulcahy.com

Drinkaware.ie is the responsible-drinking programme developed by MEAS (Mature Enjoyment of Alcohol in Society) Ltd. The aim of the drinkaware.ie programme is to promote responsibility when drinking and to challenge anti-social behaviour related to excessive drinking. For more information see www.drinkaware.ie

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About the author:

Avril Mulcahy

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