First dates are notorious for bringing out the worst in people. The nervousness builds, the anticipation builds, the expectations build and the fun goes out the window. It feels like a tense job interview not knowing whether or not you are getting the job.
Everyone wants to make a good impression -- but do we really stop to think whether or not it matters? I mean really if you're not into the person and they are not into you then why bother working yourself up for nothing? Makes logical sense but where matters of the heart are concerned, logic goes out the window. The best thing you can do is just think of a first date as a time and place to get to know the other person. That's all.
Rather than planning some outrageously elaborate date, keep it simple and do lunch. That way you know it's only going to last an hour at the most. You chat, grab a bite to eat or get a drink and get on out of there. Just enough time to determine whether or not this person interests you.
And forget about the whole end of the date ritual. That's too much pressure. Wondering whether or not a person is going to ask you out at the end of the date makes you monitor your words and actions instead of displaying that fine piece of work that you are.
Just aim to have fun. A nice time at that. And then just let it go. Whatever is going to come to pass will. It's not up to you to say and do the right things to get another date. Yes it's flattering to be asked out again but wouldn't you rather have someone want to be with you for you rather than for the person you think they would want you to be?
The goal is to keep on dating, keep on getting to know people until you really feel a connection with someone that's worthwhile to pursue. You are really the one in control...not the other way around. Just listen to what the person you are with is saying and then feel whether or not he or she sits well with you inside and then make a decision after the fact to whether you want to go out again when you get some space and clarity.
This getting to know each other process can be more tolerable when you look at things in a more detached manner rather than taking everything to heart. It's a numbers game and the more you date the more you gather experiential data to sift thru and use to figure out what you really want and what you can tolerate day after day.
Until that time just do lunch. Fuel up, have some fun and then do it again...with someone else!