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Our dating past can be a real pest and recently mine seems to be haunting all my favourite hangouts.
On a recent girls’ night out at one of these said places, I walked up to the bar and right into plain sight of an old flame. The relationship itself was short-lived, but the breakup was explosive.
Luckily, civility prevailed at our chance encounter. We each gritted our teeth, muttered hello and then turned our attention back to our respective friends. It was as painless, I suppose, as one of these awkward encounters can be. Yet still I couldn’t help but feel slightly territorial over the place. I had introduced him to it and for no rational reason except that I thought I had more claim to it.
This is, I realized, one of the perils of dating. The more people we date, the more likely we are to introduce them to the city gems we’ve discovered for ourselves. After all, we try to put our best finely pedicured foot forward by taking our dates to places we feel comfortable, like a favourite restaurant. The familiar environment can help to ease those pre-first (or even second or third) date jitters and let us focus our attention on the person sitting across the table. Knowing where all the exits to the establishment are on a first date is just an added bonus.
But dating coach Patti Feinstein recommends forgoing the refuge of a familiar place for date No. 1 in hopes that you can keep it for yourself if the date doesn’t work out.
“You don’t want to do favourite places too soon,” she says. “You want to create chemistry first. You want to test their personality — find out if they are respectful, polite, nice and social.”
This can be done in between a few strokes of mini-putt. “If your ball goes flying, see if your date offers to go get it,” she says, adding this shows off his chivalrous nature. “You’ll learn 10 times more about the person (playing mini-golf) than you will going for dinner.”
The idea, says Feinstein, is to do something different that will help you learn about the other person, and leave the preferred hot spots for when you know you really like the person.
Dating coach Patti Feinstein recommends trying something out of the ordinary on the first few dates with someone new.