Congratulations, you finally got that date! Although you’re probably happy with the news, you may also be a little anxious. Because let’s be honest, going on a first date can be quite stressful. If you’re asking yourself a ton of questions, it’s normal: Where shall we meet? Should I pay? What shall we talk about? To help you to have a successful co-parenting first date, here are a few tips that will improve your odds of finding the perfect co-parent.
Choose a comfortable place you like
The first thing to do is to set a time to meet. Once it’s done, your next step is to choose a place. Opt for somewhere welcoming, where you will both feel comfortable to chat. It could be a nice park, a family restaurant, a cozy coffee shop…Ask your date if she has any preferences but keep in mind that taking the decision will show that you can take responsibility, which is always a plus point!
Read her profile carefully
There is nothing worse than confusing her profile with someone else’s. When you meet someone for the first time it’s normal for you to not know much about them, even if you’ve talked online a few times. Nevertheless, it’s better that, before meeting her, you read her online co-parent profile to know what she is looking for, what her hobbies are…etc.
First impressions are important
It’s necessary to show your true self to find out whether you could be a match and raise a child together. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to make any efforts when it comes to dressing up. First impressions matter, don’t forget that! Your favourite geeky tee-shirt could make them smile, but adding your sweaty joggers in to the mix could be a bit too much. You’ll risk them thinking that you’re neglecting yourself, or worse, that you don’t really care about the date. As for the shoes, opt for an elegant pair and forget about those colourful trainers. Don’t wear a full tuxedo either, as that is definitely too much. It’s best to wear something that comes somewhere between elegant and casual, for example, jeans with a smart jacket.
Take time to prepare before going on your first date: have a shower, shave, spray a little aftershave, check that your nails and teeth are clean, iron your shirt… It will reassure her that you can look after yourself and that you are a responsible man, two essential values you expect to see in your co-parent.
Turn off your phone
Show her that there is nothing more important than this conversation. Turn off your phone or at least put it on vibrate or silent so as not to be annoyed by any calls or texts. Otherwise she will think that you are not fully into the conversation and that you don’t really care.
Here again, you should show that you are the man of the situation. It’s okay to be a bit shy and nervous for this co-parent first date, but it’s important that you show self-confidence. She has to feel that she can count on you and that you could be the right co-parent. If it reassures you, prepare a list of topics to talk about before the big day arrives.
Let her talk
It’s great that you talk about yourself and what you do in life. However, don’t forget why you are here: to know if you match as co-parents. Ask her questions about her life and pay attention to what she says. Listening to her will show her that you care about what she has to say and, if you finally decide to become co-parents, she will know that she can communicate with you easily.
Ask the right questions
Both of you are looking for a parenting partner, thus you need to know if you are on the same page. During this date, it’s important to ask her the right questions, such as how she sees this adventure, if you two share the same values, what she thinks about family and being a mum, what’s her financial situation… Of course, if you think that you could match, you will see each other again. So don’t worry, it’s all right if you forget to ask some questions.
Offer to pay
Here again, show that you can handle the situation and that you would be a co-parent that she could rely on. Offering to pay the bill will show that you are able to take responsibilities. If she refuses or prefers to split the bill, you can always offer to pay next time.
You enjoyed this date and you would like to meet her again to see if she could be a great co-parent? You can ask for a second opinion from a friend before taking any decision. If, unfortunately, you think things won’t work out, don’t wait too long to tell her. Be polite and gentle, but direct. Finding a co-parent takes time and dragging things out doesn’t help anyone.