Considering that there are more than 110 million single people in the United States, you’d think every cool date spot from Maine to Cali would be packed with twosomes meeting for the first time. Shockingly, not so. In fact, only 44 percent of unattached people went on an official first date last year, according to Match’s Eighth Annual Singles in America Survey.
That raises the question: When did the first date begin to die off? In the past several years, as it started to take on a more serious meaning, says Helen Fisher, PhD, a biological anthropologist. “The first date is now seen as an expenditure of time, money, and energy,” she explains.
“Instead, couples are starting out as friends or friends with benefits and getting to know each other or having sex before going out to dinner.”
Keeping things so low-key (“hey, you should come to this party...”) doesn’t take much commitment, which, for many, seems ideal in an app-heavy and flaky dating culture.
But here’s the truth: If you’re looking for a love that will last long-term, going on a real first date —as in, meeting one-on-one in a public place at a certain time with an actual agenda— is still one of the best ways to find it. Allow the experts to explain why.
Only 44 percent of unattached people went on an official first date last year.
There Are No Mixed Messages
Unlike an agreement to chill (which can be seen as a friend- zoning or hookup move), making an official plan with someone screams, This is a date! “It sets expectations that you’re both looking for something more than a fling,” says Justin Garcia, PhD, a sex researcher at the Kinsey Institute. And research shows that couples who make intentional decisions about romantic transitions early on end up having more successful marriages than those who take a more vague approach. So if you’re unsure if an invite to get tacos is an ask-out, respond, “Is this a date?” to establish that it, indeed, is.
The Anticipation Is Exciting
The buildup to that first big rendezvous—when you pick out an outfit and make your way to the agreed-upon spot — is like foreplay, says Keren Eldad, a certified life coach and creator of the Date With Enthusiasm program. Let this solo time be filled with a ton of hope and optimism. “People who approach dating positively come off as fun and excited, and that’s freaking attractive,” says Eldad. Try listening to upbeat music or meditating to get into a happy mindset.
You Can Confirm Your Attraction
By showing up, you and your date are insinuating that you want to pursue your initial interest and see if there’s a romantic spark, says relationship expert Andrea Syrtash, author of He’s Just Not Your Type (and That’s a Good Thing). Obvi, meeting IRL doesn’t always mean you’ll vibe, but it’s more promising than staying in texting purgatory.
You Get to Know Your Turn-Ons
When chatting with a potential boo, you may realize some new things about yourself. You’re good at making people laugh, or you can pull off a sexy wink. But you’ll also notice what about a first impression makes you swoon. Maybe it’s an intellectual convo or steady eye contact. Knowing this sets you up to date smarter. And if you discover a turn-off, at least you’ll have a funny story.
There’s Still Very Little Pressure
Per another Match survey, about 50 percent of singles admit that they imagine what a long-term future might look like with a first date while on the date. And sure, dream meetings might lead to something totally magical. But let’s be honest: Many don’t end that way. When you approach a date realistically and are able to appreciate it as just an hour or two spent getting to know someone, you realize there’s really no need to stress about the outcome. In letting yourself enjoy the moment, “you start to see dating for what it is: a process,” says Eldad. If you’re not feeling the person, you straight-up don’t have to see them again. But if you do like them and there is good chemistry, then the fun may just be getting started.
Want more? Pick up the July 2018 issue of Cosmopolitan, on newsstands now, or subscribe to the digital version here!
Source : https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a21347079/first-dates-extinct/