We’ve all had the “date from you-know-where” and heard the horror stories, right?

BUT what happens when you finally meet that special someone who makes your heart pound and your knees weak? What can you do to increase your chances of finding love and happiness and ensure he or she feels the same?

Over the years, I’ve literally seen it all. I’ve counseled people as a professional matchmaker for over 17 years, so let me tell you what works…and what doesn’t! Ready?


The majority of dates today start with a matchmaker, a friend, or the internet. So, no need to be embarrassed about how you met. But, you’re essentially meeting someone you don’t know. While this may freak you out or cause you to go into full panic mode, just STOP! Meeting new people is a part of the thrill of dating, and at Misty River Introductions, we can make it that much easier on you. So, just breathe!


It all starts with a phone call. You’ll chat for a little bit, but here’s my second tip. Check the clock when you answer the phone, and make sure you keep the conversation under 15 minutes.

Why you ask?

Short and sweet takes the cake – especially with men! I can’t tell you how often I’ve had clients call in the office to tell me they think they’re “in love” after speaking with their “new love” for over three hours the night before. Unfortunately, this usually means they’ve just blown any chance of creating a lasting relationship with this person.

An aura of mystery and excitement is good! By droning on and on for three hours, you’ve made two huge mistakes. First off, you’ve indicated to your match that you have nothing better to do than spend three hours on the phone with a virtual stranger! Yikes! And second, people have to earn your trust and your time. Chances are that after three hours you’ve given away way too much information… way too soon!

Mystery is an important part of the dating journey! So, don’t lose it on the first night. After your three hour gab-fest, there’s literally NO incentive at all to meet in person or get to know you any better.

And… people are almost always better in person – so take advantage of that! You can’t read facial expressions and body language over the phone. Let him or her discover more about you over lunch or dinner, and you’ll have a much better chance of making a long-term connection.


Everyone likes to laugh. So, to get from a phone conversation to that elusive first date, you need to keep it light and fun. And how do you do this?

  • Be funny and kind.

  • Talk about the things you love to do.

  • Ask him or her what they love to do.

  • LISTEN! Really, really listen. – No one wants to hear an entire monologue about your life.

  • Leave your baggage at home. DON’T talk about ex’s, medications, crazy family members, prison sentences, etc.

  • Don’t be afraid of awkward silences…embrace them! Quietness allows the other person a chance to facilitate conversation. You’ll learn much more by waiting and letting the other person fill in the blanks than you will by drilling them for information.

  • Take your turn in the conversation, but know when to sit back, and let them steer the conversation. Being interested and listening attentively is extremely attractive!


If you’re interested, you have to lay the groundwork early. If the conversation allows after fifteen minutes, simply mention you have an appointment to get to or that there is somewhere you’ve got to run to. Then casually drop something in like “You seem very intriguing, and I think we may have things in common,” and then wait. Remember what I said about silence being beneficial? NOW is one of those times. Hopefully, he or she will then suggest to meet up.

If he or she suggests coffee, feel free to say you don’t drink coffee and that evenings are better time for you. Coffee shops are often cold, noisy, and not the greatest environment to grow a budding romance. Wouldn’t you hate to ruin a possible connection by starting it in the wrong setting? Have a few places to suggest for a “drink and a bite to eat” on the tip of your tongue. Choose somewhere cozy and quiet – where you can hear each other. It doesn’t have to be wildly expensive – and it’s always good to ask for food preferences. A meal gives you a chance to relax, so you can both loosen up and be yourselves.

From phone calls to first dates, you can stay masterfully in control of yourself and the situation if you simply relax and moderate your time and the conversation. Go slow. Relax. Be yourself. Make him or her work for your time. And in the end, remember, mystery is always attractive, so never underestimate the power of leaving him or her yearning for more!