A Guide To Creating a Perfect First Evening at Your Place
First Things First
Sometimes having him over to your place for the first time can be a little nerve-racking, but it needn't be if you are prepared and if you have the right attitude. The last thing you want to do is entertain false expectations in your mind about what constitutes "a romantic evening." Forget about that. You'll only make yourself anxious for no good reason.
Your only goal, at this juncture, is to create a comfortable environment in your home where you linger over your meal, your wine, and your conversation. As an aside, please refrain from inviting a man over to your place early in the relationship. In other words, be selective about who you date and take your time about important decisions.
But back to the matter at hand. You've invited him over. Now what? How do you make the night special? First, get rid of the notion that you're supposed to burn candlesticks all over the place and have rose petals strewn on your bed. Please do not ever do the rose petal thing! Rather, your objective is to make your home welcoming and your meal appetizing. This isn't a honeymoon; it's a date. Dates are for enjoying one another's company....an opportunity to learn more about places he's been, what makes him tick and what interests you both have in common. If the chemistry is there, romance will follow.
This article explores the finer steps of creating a memorable, natural evening that isn't forced in any way. You really can have a stress-free evening as relaxing as a soft deep breath. All you must do is follow six simple guidelines.
Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.— — Carolyn Gold Heilbrun
Step 1: Prepare a Light, Scrumptious Dinner
If you don't know anything about food, know this. Having a delicious meal is an intimate experience in itself. So even if you're not the greatest cook in the world, you need to understand that a homemade meal represents love. Luckily for you, there is no way to go wrong with my fail-safe Crock-Pot Lemon Chicken. It takes approximately 17 minutes of kitchen prep work: You chop some veggies, sprinkle some seasoning, plug the cord in the outlet and set the cooker on low. The men in my life really savor this dish, so don't feel guilty about using such an easy recipe.
On the other hand, if you know how to whip up a delicious meal in no time, then please do so. Just refrain from preparing anything too elaborate; it's best to keep things light. Besides, you'll need extra time to paint your toe nails and clean your house for the special night.
Now that you've made your house shine and your toenails pretty, it's time to think about the vegetables. I recommend a fresh spinach salad, tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pinon nuts, pepper, sauteed red or yellow pepper strips and feta cheese. Prepare the salad 15 minutes before dinner is served. As for the main course vegetable, that's where the carrots come in. You might also want to whip up a small amount of Basmati rice, with a dollop of butter, as a bed for your chicken breasts. A rice cooker can help you with that.
Yves Famous Crock-Pot Lemon Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts
- juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 3 T. butter
- 2 T. fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Rinse chicken well, pat dry.
- Cut 3" cuts in each chicken breast; place in Crock Pot.
- Squeeze lemon over chicken. Put remaining ingredients into the Crock-Pot.
- Cover. Cook 4 hours on low setting.
- After two hours, taste broth and add seasoning or broth as needed. Replace lid and cook for another 2 hours.
- Pair your meal with a red Spanish Rioja or a Chianti. (White wine contains too much citrus which competes with the lemon chicken, causing the dish to fall flat)
- Serve meal with a French baguette, spinach salad and 1/2 cup of cooked Basmati rice. Spoon 4 Tbs. broth from crock-pot over each plated serving.
Step Two: Create a Sensual, Interesting & Unique Music Playlist
Here comes the part where we discuss the finer points of making your home feel, well...sensual, as well as inviting. First of all, you must own good speakers. If you do not have quality speakers and if you're on a budget, it'll cost you about $100.00 to purchase a Bose II Mini Speaker. It's worth every penny. As for the music itself, you'll want to choose tracks that allow you to focus on the conversation. The music should be subtly sensual, interesting and unique.
The following are a few of my selections to get your creative juices flowing. The first selection is chill, but sensual; my 2nd pick is interesting with sensual overtones, while the 3rd selection is quite unique.
More About Music
In short, select music that is a bit "outside the box" and which can easily flow into the evening, beyond dinner and conversation. If it so happens that your date is a strict country fan, just be sure not to include "Low Friends in High Places" in your playlist. In no way can anyone seriously engage in sensual lovemaking with a song like that playing in the background. (Just saying.)
In any event, music is very personal, and it's best to listen to what we like. The point of Step Two is to put some imagination into which music selections have the capacity to encourage thoughtful, intriguing conversation, as well as delicious lovemaking later on. (By the way, if you're not familiar with Pandora or Spotify, I highly recommend you find out more about their service which easily and intuitively chooses music that speaks to the individual.)
Also keep in mind that instrumental music selections, interspersed with a few tracks containing lyrics, tend to work best when planning for a late evening. As we all know, music is song for the soul. Choose accordingly. And please, never play "sappy" music unless you want your date to run for the hills!
“We humans are a musical species no less than a linguistic one... And to this largely unconscious structural appreciation of music is added an often intense and profound emotional reaction to music.”— Oliver Sacks, Author of Musicophilia
Step 3: Choose Your Outfit in Advance
Choosing the right outfit is easier than you think, but never wait until the last minute to decide what to wear! If you wait too long, everything will go haywire. You'll feel harried; you'll second guess yourself; you'll get sweaty and red in the face. What you wear is important, so please choose your outfit at least a day in advance. Okay. Thank goodness we got that straight! (Phew) Now back to the matter at hand...
Your goal is to wear something comfortable, but pretty. For your first evening together, choosing to wear a dress with a "touchable" fabric is a smart move. Men honestly relish a woman's femininity, and a dress allows you to show your femininity perfectly. Another excellent choice for the night is a stretchy skirt with a short-sleeve or no-sleeve top. (It doesn't hurt if the top tends to fall off the shoulders on occasion...if you catch my drift.) The idea, frankly, is to wear something you'll be able to easily slip out of later.
Yes, your tight jeans and pretty V-neck blouse are awfully cute, but who wants to struggle out of tight pants after a cozy dinner and conversation should you later decide to invite him into your bed? Nobody I know. So, keep your outfit simple. Wear delicate flat sandals. Keep your hair loose. And by the way, don't forget to wear sexy underwear. Beautiful undies make a man's heart sing, and a happy man makes for a thoughtful lover. Above all, you want a considerate lover.
Long story short, always choose clothing that is both classy and subtly sexy. Sexiness combined with class is a lethal combination, in a good way.
I dress to kill, but tastefully.— Freddie Mercury
Step 4: Own Interesting Books and Be a Good Conversationalist
The books you own tell a story about your life and your interests. If you happen to own a plethora of romantic paperbacks, you might want to pack them in a box, put them in your closet, and begin reading some classics, instructional how-to books, and a few biographies. Only then can you "display" your reading material. If you haven't read a book you choose to display in your bookcase or coffee table and he asks you about it, you're going to feel awfully foolish when you have nothing to say. In short, never own books for show. Read the books you buy. Let him see what interests you have (besides romance). He will enjoy learning more about the fascinating parts of your personality he didn't know about before.
Besides, a well-read person is a good conversationalist; a good conversationalist is an interesting person to be around. However, knowing "a lot of stuff" doesn't mean you can monopolize the conversation and get away with it. Instead, decide to be a good listener who has the ability to ask thought-provoking questions. In so doing, you can then more intelligently inject the conversation with follow-up, as well as letting him know more about "things you've learned" from books you've read and the life you've lived.
Here's a tip: Buy and leaf through "The Dangerous Book for Boys" by Hal and Conn Iggulden. Place the book on your coffee table. Hal and Conn's book contains a plethora of wonderful content such as Famous Battles, Juggling, Sampling Shakespeare, Skipping Stones, and so much more. Your date will enjoy leafing through the book while you fuss with your salad before dinner.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.— Ben Franklin
Step 5: Select Neutral Scents For Your Bedroom
It should go without saying, but please do not ever buy sweet candles for your first date night, or any other date night for that matter. (Men hate them.) Therefore, you would be wise to avoid vanilla candles like the plague.
What kind of scents do you want for your bedroom? Think neutral. Avoid anything too "out-there." For example, candles that smell like food, such as spice cake or cherry cobbler, are highly inappropriate for a romantic evening. Just don't go there, girlfriend. On the other spectrum are scents like patchouli---still too overwhelming. Yet surprisingly, natural peppermint or eucalyptus is acceptable to men; those two scents can safely be used in the guest and main bathrooms.
For your bedroom, however, think neutral with a hint of "masculine." The next time you go to a Home store, check out the candles; you'll have fun picking out exactly the right scents for your special date-night. One of my favorite candles is Tobacco Saffron, pictured below.
...science says that the human circadian rhythm (the one that maintains our day/night cycle) is very sensitive to changes in light. Low light tells our bodies it’s time to relax, making us more at ease and reducing stress'''— meltco.com
Step 6: Take a Deep Breath, Relax, Have Faith
Your date will be arriving soon. Now is the time to brush away any remaining anxiety that might possibly be lingering around you. The fact is, you've prepared well, having done everything you can to create a relaxed, beautiful evening. All that is left to do is trust that everything will work out just fine.
Most men really do appreciate your having put effort into the evening....and they just love, love, love a home-cooked meal. Your date will feel special and validated because you've put some real thought into making him feel comfortable. He will love that you listen; he will find your music stimulating; he will appreciate your charm. Your home will tell a story, one that will intrigue him enough to know more about you. So, take a deep breath and get ready to relish good food, fragrant wine, plenty of laughter and a night of romance. You deserve it.
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