A little dose of chemistry can make a date go from OK to great. It has the magic ability to turn around an awkward evening, get conversation flowing, and send you both home wanting more. (Or, you know, off to someone’s apartment.) So, how can you increase your chemistry on a first date?
There are definitely a few tricks, but mostly it all boils down to being open and down for a good time. “Chemistry isn’t this wild sex appeal oozing off the table — it’s more about an energy that exists between two people,” Kali Rogers, founder of Blush Online Life Coaching, tells Bustle. If you are relaxed, and if you pay attention to each other, any weirdness will melt away and you’ll soon be two people simply enjoying each other’s company.
Of course, this doesn’t work 100 percent of the time. If the chemistry isn’t there, then it isn’t there. You can’t force it onto someone who isn’t willing, and you certainly can’t expect it to exist on every date. But if a spark does exist, it often doesn’t take much to effort to have yourself a great date. (And then hopefully many more.) Read on for some ways to feel comfy, connect with your date, and get that chemistry going.
- Wear Something Comfortable
Dressing up for a date can be fun, but try not to put on anything that feels too out of character. As online dating coach Eric Resnick says, ” … just focus on dressing like you.” If you want to wear something sexy or “date appropriate,” go for it. But showing up in your usual threads can put you at ease and make chemistry all the more likely.
- Go In With A Positive Mindset
If you arrive expecting the date to be boring and awkward, it likely will be. So, before you even meet up, try to be a bit more positive. “If we want to have a shot at good chemistry on a first date, we need to allow ourselves to think positive and feel excited,” says Rogers. Go glimpse their hot profile pic one more time, or think about how much fun you’re about to have. Then get out there and enjoy yourself.
- Have Open Body Language
In order to keep the positive vibes (and chemistry) flowing, pay attention to your body language. “Keep your arms and shoulders open and turn your body towards your date,” says life coach Heather Monahan, in an email to Bustle. This is much more friendly than crossing your arms or turning away awkwardly, which will likely shut down chemistry before it even has a chance to start.
Don’t Be Afraid To Touch
If you’re feelin’ it, and your date is OK with it, gently touch their hand as you talk or “accidentally” brush shoulders. “This will ensure your date knows you are interested,” Monahan says. And it’s obviously all kinds of flirty.
Toss Them A Compliment
Since so many dates start online, it’s likely you two have already chatted and know you at least like each other. So a first date may be more about checking for physical chemistry than anything else. As Elliot Smith, founder of the online dating app Todayte tells me, offering a compliment is a good way to test the waters. A quick “you look nice” can also put your date at ease, which often leads to more relaxed conversations.
Do As They Do
When chatting in social situations, people often do something known as mirroring, and it can really put people at ease. To try it, start (casually) mimicking your date. As spiritual empath Tracee Dunblazier tells me, you can subtly shift so you’re sitting like your date (leaning back, crossing your legs, etc.) or you could order the same drink. Little tricks like these will help you feel more connected in no time.
Admit To Feeling Nervous
If awkwardness is hanging heavy in the room, go ahead and call it out. “Being honest about how you feel and expressing it shows immediate trust and emotional vulnerability that can make your date feel at ease,” says Dunblazier. Get it out of the way, have a laugh, and move on.
Keep Chatting About Your Fav Things
Do you both have a thing for movies, or do you have the same hobby? Keep the convo on these topics — at least at first. “Talking about things you both enjoy will not only increase the chances of there being chemistry but will … make the date more fun and go by faster,” says Caitlin Bergstein, a matchmaking expert at Three Day Rule. Pretty smooth, if you ask me.
Ask Lots Of Questions
While you don’t want to turn your date into an interview, it is always nice when someone shows interest in you. “Showing interest in someone and letting them feel heard is very attracting,” relationship expert Naomi J Hardy, CLC, MSTC tells Bustle. So go ahead and be this person for your date, and see where it leads.
Go Ahead And Smile
If you catch yourself getting all “deer caught in headlights,” remind yourself to smile. “This often overlooked act can have a major impact on how much chemistry there is on a date,” says author and relationship expert Samantha Daniels. Of course it’s not your job to cheese through the entire night. But a quick grin, if you’re having fun, certainly won’t hurt.
Suggest Other Date Night Ideas
Are you having all sorts of fun? Then increase that chemistry by suggesting another date night. “Even though you may think it is obvious that you are interested, know that your date is unsure and you may need to make it clear,” Monahan says. They’ll appreciate you putting them at ease, which will definitely benefit you both.
Because trust me, first dates don’t have to be awkward. If you know some tricks, you two can hit it off with all sorts of chemistry.