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Sunday, February 17 , 2019, 5:08 pm | Partly Cloudy 55º


Lisa Amador: Yes, It’s a Date — And Here’s How You Can Tell

No wonder so many people are confused when it comes to dating. To begin with, we all have different ideas of what is a date!

I recently asked a number of people “What do you consider a first date?” and I was surprised to find such varying points of view. The answers ranged from:

» “When two people find themselves talking without others, it can be in the corner of a party where they are really connecting.”

» “I would say the first date is the first time the couple intentionally meet after planning to do so.”

» “The first time you meet is a ‘first date.’ A date is a meeting with someone with the goal of a romantic encounter, which may or may not involve sex.”

» “A date, in my opinion, is when two people make a plan to have ‘alone’ time for dinner, movie, drinks or activity together. An initial meet for coffee or a walk to meet each other is not a date (this is if the two people are on an online dating site and they decide to meet), it’s just a ‘meet and greet’ — same as when two people meet through friends, at a party, at a bar, out and about (in person versus online dating site; having just met someone is not what I consider a date).”

So which is it? Is it the first time you share that private connection? The first time you intentionally plan to meet alone with hopes of a romantic spark?

Or is it after you’ve first done a “meet and greet” and then determined you’d like to go on a first date?

To me, a first date is simple. It’s when one person asks out another, there’s an acceptance, a day, time and place are agreed upon, and the two meet to learn more about each other and see if they like each other.

This usually means both people hope they will feel that “spark” or chemistry that will lead to another date. After all, if you’re not seeking an intimate connection, you’re just going out as friends and that’s not a “real” date.

No matter what, if you do agree to a date, there are definitely some things you can do for more chance of success:

» Show up on time. This shows you’re respectful and alleviates the stress that comes with being late.

» Welcome your date warmly with a big smile, say, “It’s so nice to see you” and give a warm hug. These show you’re confident and affectionate.

» Dress appropriately and make sure to groom yourself. Just because you’re going on a beach walk, messy dress and appearance can translate to a messy life or lack of caring. Neither scores big points.

» Be interesting and interested. Practice some funny jokes or brush up on current events and listen to what your date has to say.

» Put the cell phone away!

» Be present, relax and have fun. All you need to decide is if you like your date and if you’d be excited to go out on a second date.

Now that you know what a date is, here’s an opportunity to meet somebody to get one. At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, there’s a Western Hoedown for singles at the Carriage and Western Art Museum of Santa Barbara, 129 Castillo St. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Food, drink, dancing, contests and a chance to win prizes are included. Click here for more information.

Need help dating? Become a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL member of Santa Barbara Matchmaking. Click here to register.

Lisa Amador is a certified matchmaker, coach, relationship expert, speaker, best-selling co-author and founder of Santa Barbara Matchmaking LLC, a discreet, upscale boutique matchmaking company for successful, commitment-minded singles. Contact her at [email protected]. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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