6 Things You Should Not Do On A First Date
The plans are made: Your first date with that hottie is right around the corner! Energy and hopes are high. What steps can you take to assure a great first date?
The following list of mindsets and behaviors to avoid will put you on the path to a) have a perfect time and b) smooth the way for future dates with this special someone.
As we all know, blunders on first dates are not unusual. But getting it right is easy if you stick to the tried and true guidelines listed below. And these tips are for everyone regardless of gender. So what are you waiting for? Dig in and get yourself ready for your upcoming date!
Here are the guidelines:
#1. Don’t Have Unrealistic Expectations
Go in with an open mind. Men and women are secretly bothered by the fact that their date might be running through a checklist: does this person make enough money, are they attractive enough, do they know the right people, drive the right car, etc. Do your fair share and ditch the criteria. It’s all superficial anyway.
Yes, it’s good to have standards, but realize for yourself what matters in a potential mate – attitude, personality, ability to handle problems, etc. These qualities aren’t discernable on a first date, so don’t let the small aspects of looks and cash flow get in the way of getting to know a person. Go in with an open mind and if you have any expectation, expect to be pleasantly surprised. Look for it – you’ll find it.
1. Don’t Boast
Everyone wants to showcase his or her strengths. This is normal. But there’s a fine line between pumping up your assets and downright bragging. Your date is well aware that you want to set yourself apart from the rest. The key here is to be understated while conveying your core attributes. Here’s how to do it: talk about your interests and make sure to share the stage.
For instance, let them know how you and your friends enjoy playing music together, but leave off the part about how lucky they are to have you as the lead singer. If dating works out with this person, they will have the opportunity to see your talents shine down the road. Showing is better than telling; so don’t blow the surprise on the first date. Give them time to discover who you are.
2. Don’t Treat The Date Like A Job Interview
Yes, you are interested in finding the right fit, but no, this is not a 9-5 gig. Leave off the questions about work, schooling, pedigree, etc. To stand out in your date’s mind ask interesting and thought-provoking questions – and be ready to answer some of those yourself! For example: ask them about their passions OUTSIDE of work, ask where they’d want to visit if money were no object. On the date, you want to provoke good feelings, not the anxiety we all feel when meeting our potential boss. Asking warm and energy inspiring questions lets the creative juices flow and the happiness blossom.
2. Don’t Be Judgmental
Leave the gavel at the door. Nature dictates that human beings are prone to focus on the negative because we’re designed to respond quickly to threats and danger. Tuck that little cave dweller in bed before you head out the door and be open to the experience.
Unless they let it slip that they’re an ax-murderer, it’s O.K. to give your date the benefit of the doubt. Remember, they’re nervous too and some of what they do and say they’ll regret later. Look for the positive and be aware that you’re not the only one second-guessing themselves.
3. Don’t Talk About Past Relationships
Seriously, don’t do that. Now is not the time or place. If the topic comes up, focus on the positives for YOU. What did you learn, how have you grown as a person, what do you now realize is important in relationships. Alongside this, if your date starts talking about their past relationships, let them know that you’d rather talk about the future and not the past.
Related to this is generic talk about the opposite sex. Refrain from saying things like, “Well, you know how men (or women) are.” A key aspect of a first date is that you are two individuals getting to know each other a little better, so leave the rest of the world out of it and enjoy getting to know the personal nuances each brings to the table.
4. Don’t Talk About Your Problems
UNLESS it is a short segue into something of value you experience now. For example, maybe you got fired from a job. Yikes! Moaning and groaning about the inequity of the situation is like hammering a nail in the coffin (and isn’t pleasant dinner conversation). Instead, talk about how it brought about an opportunity for you to try something you always wanted to do. Everyone loves a survival story, especially when you can infuse it with the positive takeaways you’ve experienced. Focus on the win and not the loss.
5. Don’t Get Too Intimate Too Fast
Since you’re on a date, make sure it doesn’t have the sterile feel of a business meeting, but keep it balanced. Warmth is good – a hug, a squeeze of the hand, or a gentle rub of your arm against theirs while walking together sends signals that you’re feeling close. At the very least, it’s good to let the other person know you’ve enjoyed their company and feel some sort of connection. You can do that with gestures such as these that are neither threatening nor send the wrong signals.
If you do end up getting more intimate beyond a passionate first kiss, show some restraint and let them know you want to see them again. Think about how much more intense your physical connection can be if you let the desire linger. Just like the other points presented here, giving away too much too soon reduces the opportunity for attraction to grow and for interest to savor.
6. I Know, I Know
This is supposed to be a list of 5, but this last piece of advice is a special gift for you. If you are reading this article for the first time after the date, or if you diligently did your homework and got to this before heading out, there’s a chance either way that you messed up. It’s possible that you missed the point of panic took over and you reverted to previous bad habits.
Here it is, your special gift: Be gentle with yourself, or if we stick to our “Don’t” approach; don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re human, and you’re learning with every experience. Think about all the athletes, programmers, entertainers, doctors, teachers, etc. in this world who have had to practice to get good at what they do.
Dating is no different. Chances are the glaring errors you see are merely idiosyncratic to your date (because let’s face it – they’re overanalyzing their date performance right now too). Focus on the good – focus on what went well. In doing so, you boost your confidence for the next time. Good luck to you in that crazy dating jungle – it’s wild, but you can make it wonderful.