While a first date will be an exciting experience, many people fret about creating a favourable impression. One of the most common ways to arrange a date is online dating. One of the biggest misconceptions Millennials often have about seniors is that they tend to be much less ‘tech-savvy.’ But statistics paint a different picture. The over-40s, over-50s, and beyond, represent one of the largest demographics of online dating site membership. Entering the virtual arena gives instant access to boundless opportunities.

If you’re an older single, the best way to go about this would be to sign up to a site for mature dating. Registering on Wantmatures.com or similar platform will provide instant access to a cross-section of like-minded individuals. If you’re shy, the online environment is perfect for encouraging easy conversation. You also have time to prepare topics well in advance. With that in mind, another way of developing a rapport before arranging a get-together would be reading books about dating. Here are our hot recommendations.

1. ‘Mating in Captivity,’ by Esther Perel

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Let’s be honest. You might admit you’re looking forward to your first date because you’re going to be getting to know a new partner. But part of you will be secretly hoping it goes so well you might end up getting intimate at the end of the night.

This book is all about what makes us tick erotically. It pulls no punches in highlighting the paradox between two people uniting in domestic harmony, and the darker undercurrents of sexual desire that can inject an element of lust but can sometimes create friction.

2. ‘Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,’ by Steve Harvey

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A key to making the most out of a relationship, from the female perspective, is gaining some insight into what motivates men. How do they deal with commitment or even deeper emotional issues like love itself? Popular and respected US TV presenter Steve Harvey paints an entertaining picture that makes this title a must-read before a first date – for women and men alike.

3. ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy,’ by Robert A Glover

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Would you describe yourself as a nice guy? Are you the type of man who tries to avoid awkward situations, like conflict and confrontation? Do you go out of your way to smooth over any disagreements? Robert A Glover explains this is because of childhood conditioning and can lead to conflicting interests. There’s a reason so many women are drawn to the so-called ‘bad boy’ stereotype – this is because they find overt masculinity a far more attractive male trait. Glover takes this further, explaining that when men try to appease everyone, this can go against the grain of their true feelings, leading to low self-esteem and self-loathing. If you’re a guy, it would still be recommended that you do some nice things, like hold the door open for your date!

4. ‘Why Men Marry Bitches: expanded new edition – A Guide for Women who are Too Nice,’ by Sherry Argov

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After reading the previous title, it would be only fair to tip redress the balance by checking out this book by French-born American author, Sherry Argov. A sequel to the equally bestselling ‘Why Men Love Bitches,’ this easy-to-read follow-on considers why men are attracted to women who go against the stereotypical perception of being the fairer/weaker sex. With an abundance of steamy details and highly amusing anecdotes, the emphasis may be strictly on fun, but underneath the entertaining narrative, she invites readers to confront some compelling truths about how males and females interact romantically.

5. ‘Getting the Love You Want,’ by Harville Hendrix

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This book will make you ask more profound questions about your impending date than wondering which shoes to wear. Written by a leading psychologist, this was described as groundbreaking when it was first published in 1988, and it delves into the fundamental questions of what makes love and the need for singles to become part of a couple such a driving factor in our pursuit of contentment and happiness? Hendrix’s wife Helen LaKelly Hunt also contributes, allowing the picture to be balanced across the genders.

6. ‘The Book You Wish Your Parents Has Read,’ by Philippa Perry

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Ok, perhaps a title focusing on child-rearing isn’t too appropriate for your first date! But your this get-together should be all about exploring the possibilities of what might lie ahead. The more you bond, the greater the likelihood of you considering the longer-term prospects. Although this book is easily digestible, it doesn’t go in for any quick fix answers about parenting. But it does introduce pragmatic solutions to the age-old issues surrounding bringing up kids, providing ample scope for an amiable chat.

7. ‘5 Love Languages,’ by Dr. Gary Chapman

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Most people are likely to be familiar with the ‘language of love,’ but fewer will be aware amorous communication can be sub-divided into five components. To the uninitiated, these are – words of affirmation, giving and receiving gifts, acts of service, quality time, and touch. You might already be intending to put these into practice as your first date unfolds, perhaps presenting your prospective partner with a charming bouquet or a box of chocolate? (On the other hand, another consideration before this liaison is not wishing to come over as too forward, or ‘needy.’)

The good news is that this book by veteran US author, talk show host, and Baptist pastor Dr. Gary Chapman is that reading this book will place you in a much better position to decide when it would be appropriate to express your feelings by any of these five languages. Focusing on the fact most of us are already ‘fluent’ in at least one of the aforementioned quintet, Dr. Chapman invites readers to create a profile of themselves to ascertain exactly where they fit into his romantic equation. This will allow you to see which areas might require more attention – useful background information to take on board as you anticipate the potential for your initial date progressing towards a series of encounters.