8 dating skills for a really successful love life

Oct 09, 2018

Dating social skills are as important as social skills for a job interview. If you don’t make a good first impression, neither a potential employer or a potential partner will call you back!
As with any other kind of skill, it’s fine if you don’t already know everything there is to know. The important part is to learn and practice. 

Even so, dating can seem like a minefield sometimes. Here are eight essential dating skills you will need to have to be successful in your dating and romantic life. 

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1. Meeting new people

In order to make a great first impression on a date, you first have to have one! There are some amazing dating sites and apps to get you out there and meeting people. 
When it comes to social skills dating can really make you feel like you’re under the microscope. The most important things to remember are the classics: relax, and be yourself. 

2. Conversation

Dating communication skills are all important when it comes to making first impressions. But what should you and your date talk about?
If you already know you have a common interest, then great - there’s your opener. Otherwise, ask about your date’s interests and find out if you have any common ground.
One of the best ways to brush up on your dating communication skills is to practice! Find out what works and what doesn’t, and use your newfound dating skills going forward.


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a couple in the article about dating skills

Conversational topics

Try to stay away from contentious or controversial topics, at least on the first date. Keep it light to begin with. 
If the common ground between you is a heavy subject like politics, however, then go for it! Be wary of steering into other territories in which you might not agree though. 

Ask questions

Don’t just ask what someone does for a living - ask them how they like it, what are the good and bad things about working there. Asking open ended questions is a great way to find out more about a person. 
Pay attention to the answers, too. This means you can ask related questions, which shows you are listening and interested.

3. Body language

Dating communication skills include your body language. Your body usually gives away your feelings much more than your words do. 
Most people have an intuitive basic grasp of body language, but it can help to think consciously about it too. Being nervous on a date can make your body language come across as aloof. 
Ideally you should be relaxed on a date, and that will come across all by itself. But you can still fake-it-till-you-make it by consciously changing your body language. 


Body language is one of the key dating skills, and your body language should come across as open and friendly. Smile, lean forward a little during conversation, don’t cross your arms, make eye contact. 
Facing someone head on can sometimes feel like a bit too much. If things seem to be awkward, try sitting or standing at about a 45 degree angle to your date instead. 

dating communication skills for couples


Dating communication skills also mean being able to interpret your date’s body language. Pay attention to what they are telling you without words. 
If the other person is smiling, making eye contact, leaning forward, and their arms are open, then congratulations - your date is going well! If you want to see them again, ask for another date at the end. 
If they are leaning or looking away from you, not smiling, or crossing their arms, maybe change the subject or ask them something about themselves. It might be as simple as a topic they don’t want to discuss.

4. Personal hygiene

It shouldn’t need to be said, but you should always be clean and well groomed on a date. Personal hygiene is one of the most important social skills dating relies on for success, and one that is sadly sometimes overlooked. 
Putting your best foot forward is more than just a great outfit and doing your hair. If you look great but smell terrible, you’ve neglected one of the most crucial dating skills. 

5. Be polite

This doesn’t just mean ignoring your phone for the duration of the date! Dating skills like turning up on time and listening without interrupting are just as important. 
On that note, being polite involves accepting that no means no: if someone turns you down, don’t keep on asking. There really are plenty more fish in the sea, and it’s much more fun to date someone who wants to be there.

Going Dutch

Who pays for what can be a social skills dating nightmare. It’s perfectly acceptable these days to ask to split the cheque, however. 
Whatever you do, don’t assume that the other person is paying! 

Politeness versus chivalry

It’s the 21st century, and good dating skills don’t necessarily mean opening car doors or pulling out chairs any more. In fact, too much of this behaviour can come across as creepy!
If you’re the old-fashioned type, then open a door for your date by all means. Just be responsive, and if it doesn’t seem to be going over well, let them seat themselves.

6. Be honest

Don’t make things up to make yourself seem more interesting. If you end up dating this person long term, they will inevitably find out that you’ve been fibbing! 
Being honest doesn’t mean that you have to answer every question your date asks, though. If they ask something that makes you feel uncomfortable, change the subject or say that you’d rather not discuss it. 

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social skills for dating couples in South Africa

7. Ask for feedback

When it comes to social skills dating can be a real eye-opener. If the date didn’t go well, ask the other person what they think you could do better next time. 
Don’t be offended by the answers or take it personally either! Use your failures as a chance to learn and improve your dating skills. 
A side note to this - if the other person doesn’t ask you for your feedback, do not offer it. Imagine how you’d feel if they did that! 

8. Be yourself

The most important thing to remember is to be yourself. A date is an opportunity to showcase your best side, so take advantage of it. Good luck!