You’ve heard it before; a first impression lasts a lifetime. For every person you will ever meet, you only have one chance to make the best first impression possible. A first date can be especially tricky to show yourself in a good light because everything is so new. Most people get anxious when they experience new things and this is particularly true when it comes to meeting new people for a date. Mistakes will happen when you’re anxious and that’s fine. Maybe you knock over a wine glass or bump into a door; you can recover and still have a great first date! However, some mistakes can be a little more fatal. Following is a top 10 list of what not to do on a first date (that may make it your last).
1. Neglect Your Manners
Everyone is different and our perceptions of what is appropriate may differ even more so it is better to play it on the safe side initially. It is important for your date to feel as though you actually care enough to respect them. Having and showing manners is especially important if your first date includes going out to dinner. No one wants to go on a dinner date with someone only to find out that they eat like a pig, shoveling food into their mouth from their plate, and your plate too! Take it slow, show respect for your date and you won’t risk scaring them away.
2. Refer To Your Ex
Referring to your ex is one of the worst mistakes you can make on a date. It will give your date the impression that you are not over your ex yet regardless of the context. If you are referring to how bad of a person they were or the similarities between your ex and your date, it will almost never end well. In the minds of most people, if you’re still talking about your ex, you’re not over him/her. While this may or may not be true, the fact remains: this is a big mistake to make on a date, especially a first one.
3. Be Pompous
The purpose of going on a date is to learn about each other. This doesn’t mean the conversation has to revolve around you and your achievements. Much of what will be going through your head is “Do I want to go on a second date with this person?” Therefore, it is very important that you don’t spend the date exclusively talking about yourself, but instead taking time to get to know about your date and what makes him/her tick. Having to sit through a date where someone tries to brag about themselves repeatedly gets old, really quickly.
4. Interrogate Your Date
While it is good to try to get to know your date on some level, keep in mind that this is a first date! It can seem intrusive to people if you become a little too nosy and try to learn more than they are comfortable sharing. Along with this, stay away from what can seem like a line of questioning but instead let there be an open dialogue back and forth.
If someone is complaining on the first date about small things, what does that tell you about what could be the future of the relationship? It can be frustrating to sit through listening how the food is too expensive or maybe even general complaining about work and family. The first date should be a time for you to have fun in getting to know each other, not a time for you to vent.
6. Rush Things
Guys, this one is especially for you. On a first date, the question is almost always there: do you kiss or do you not? Instead of forcing the issue and coming off as as aggressive, take your time and a cue from your date. You should be able to read how they are feeling and if you can’t, then take that as a negative for the time being. If you can see that they want to kiss but you’re not feeling the same, don’t feel the need to do anything you’re not comfortable with.
7. Drink Too Much
This is a mistake made quite often. You’re feeling anxious so you have a drink to calm the nerves and that’s okay. It’s when one drink turns into two drinks and two into four when you have a problem. You don’t want to be on a first date with someone slurring their words or stumbling and you can rest assured that your date feels the same way!
8. Look Too Far Into The Future
At all costs, stay away from talk that should be in the future. Talk of babies, marriage and the like can scare off your date very easily. Some people date for fun, some people date for serious relationships, but everyone likes to let things unfold and happen in due time instead of forcing the issue. Take time to sit back and enjoy the beginnings of a fresh relationship.
9. Expect Your Date To Pay
This one is for the ladies. Chivalry tells us that the male on the date should pay for it. However, paying your part isn’t a matter of chivalry, but instead it shows that you are an equal. Besides, imagine the awkwardness of not bringing any money and having your date expect to split the bill.
At the very least, you can offer to pay your part, but if your date insists then don’t step on their toes.
10. Dress Inappropriately
Guys, you should try to dress up a bit for the night. Leave those scuffed up sneakers and that offensive shirt back at home. The last thing you want to do is embarrass your date with what you’re wearing. Girls, don’t try to dress up TOO much and keep it modest! The typical rule of thumb is to wear something that you would wear for work on a business casual day; something nice, but not super revealing.
Before you go out on that first date… Relax! Even though some mistakes are harder to overcome than others, don’t feel defeated if you make one. Sometimes it feels as though you may be trying to not mess up, which is much harder than just trusting yourself and letting everything (hopefully!) flow smoothly.