(quote) Michael-780154 said: So, with my new annulment in hand...I'm ready to boldly strike out on my first dating experiences in this new life. (A poor choice of words, had I not intended a bit of levity...)
Dinner dates have historically been a toughie for me. I like to think that I'm older/wiser now and also more in tune with local/national events, so will have plenty of fodder for discussion, but would love to know what women expect (and how other guys handle) Extended Periods of Sitting at a Table With Someone You Don't Know. My hunch is to keep the focus on HER...but sometimes dates can give so little to go on.
Is it expected that one should take a lady out for a meal for the first date? This seems so awkward to me, and I'd ordinarily never EVER consider a dinner date for a first meeting. Pursuing some sort of activity (a church function or hiking with a group, for example) followed by coffee would be so much more pleasant than being chained to a table where the focus is one each other and constant engagement is necessary to prevent awkward lapses in conversation. Activity dates seem more reasonable to me, as the focus can be briefly shifted to other things to fill such lulls.
What do ladies expect for first dates, and what do other guys find works best for getting that second date?
Michael -- You don't have to agonize over this. Even though you might feel like an awkward teenager again (I think almost all of us who were previously married have), you have experience from which to draw upon.
If you are communicating with a lady, you will be gathering information about her likes and dislikes. Be in tune with what she is telling you, and when it comes time for that first date, you will have narrowed down the choices.
A first date can be anything -- a lunch, coffee, latte, tea; or something that she enjoys doing (and hopefully you do, too). Examples are visits to a museum, art shows, Church or local organization/city festivals, a movie, band concerts, dancing.....the possibilities are endless. Her own profile should be helpful in this area along with what you learn during conversations.
BUT -- it's all about making sure this special lady coming into your life feels safe and comfortable, so it's best to be in a public place, and not out until the wee hours of the morning.
Focus upon your date, and most of your fears and anxiety will vanish. Relax and be yourself.
Conversation? Ask open ended questions that will elicit more than a "Yes" or "No" response. She might do the same with you to learn more about you. Conversation -- yes; interrogation -- NO. You might re-examine her profile shortly before your date so you can have some questions in mind. They should flow as naturally as possible and not seem as if you have been rehearsing or have a scripted interview in mind.
She is honoring you by her presence. With that in mind, you can be focusing on what's important.