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Connecting Stage 1: Getting the Bla Bla Bla Out of The Way

This is a necessary stage, but one that, hopefully, won’t take more than a meeting or two.  Of course, at first, you will want to tell each other where you grew up, how many siblings you each have, what your college major was, etc. But make sure you do it!  This is one of the reasons meetings that allow for talking (as opposed to, say, going to a movie) are crucial—especially at the beginning.

At the risk of sounding too clinical, you are kind of on an interview. Just accept that and ask yourself the right questions (and know that he’s probably wondering, too):

1.     Do I like how he looks?

Remember that, in turn, he is checking out your appearance. It’s the first thing he’s doing. We can’t help it. This is what we do. So look your best!

2. Do I like his personality and feel as comfortable as can be expected on a first or second date?

He wants to feel comfortable, too. Everyone does. So be yourself. Otherwise, you’ll act nervous and make him nervous. Just be your warm, inviting, sweet self. Yes, he is a relative stranger, so you don’t want to divulge your deepest secrets or let the conversation get too heavy, but you also don’t want to start conversations that don’t interest you or come naturally to you. Just talk about what you feel like talking about. Ask questions. Listen carefully. It’s important to pay attention to what he says, not just out of courtesy, but because how else are you going to decide if he’s the guy for you?

Lastly, don’t show off! I remember once setting up a really smart girl with a really smart guy. Afterwards, the guy called me and said, “Yeah, she’s beautiful. She’s smart. She’s everything I thought I wanted. But does she have to analyze every little thing? I felt like I was in school. Way too intense!” When I spoke to the girl later, she admitted that she had recognized his intelligence and tried to impress him.

“You would have impressed him!” I said, exasperated. “Next time, just be yourself. You’re smart and cool and interesting. You don’t need to show off.”

The girl the smart guy wound up marrying was just as smart as the first girl, but she was considerate about also focusing on the guy, enjoying his company, recognizing that there was a time for thinking and analyzing and a time for just being together without working too hard at it.

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