Your objectives on a date are to have fun, to connect with another person, and to discover whether that person has what it takes to be a reliable and decent friend.
Good food, dancing, and music cover the first objective. Revealing little glimpses of your personality and character assure the second. But the third objective is the least accomplished and least known.
To clarify: There’s no point in dating someone you don’t admire. It’s not OK to see someone you couldn’t see yourself growing with. And it’s impossible to know those things if you haven’t been friends long enough to tell.
So, keep the friendship perspective in mind on your first five (and 50) dates, asking yourself questions like these:
Is this person reliable? Are they honest? Are the driven to succeed? Are they disciplined? Are they lifelong learners? Do they actively listen and take time to formulate their response, or do they only wait to talk? Do they talk over you? Are they sensible? Are they children at heart? Are they curious? Are they humble? Are they vulnerable?
Those questions reveal the making of a true friend: The only kind of person worth dating. So keep that third objective front of mind on your first five dates. If they lack the qualities that make a trustworthy friend, let them go before you find yourself stuck in a toxic romance.
Every date you go on, starting now, can be the best of your life if you focus on your self-worth, embrace silence, breathe, aim to make a friend, and stay present. You’ll have more fun. You’ll become bolder. And you’ll dramatically increase the chance of finding a great person to spend your life with.