After months of crushing on the man or woman of your dreams, you finally score a date. You’re excited and thinking of where this could lead. Before you start planning your future, you’ll need to master a few basics.
“Every successful date requires at least some pre-date planning and preparation. Getting things right in the days leading up to the main event will ensure you don’t get dumped before the date even happens,” says Kristi Allain in Nailed It!
First impressions matter. Avoid these mistakes so your crush will actually pick up the phone when you call for a second date.
1. Be late
Whatever you do, don’t be late. Punctuality is always important, especially on the first date. If you show up late, it will send the message that you just don’t care. Reduce your chances of a late arrival by departing earlier than usual.
“Unfortunately, I’ve seen lots of bad advice about turning up late on dates to show how much in demand you are. All that this will communicate is how inconsiderate you are and that you’re unable to manage your time properly. What else are you unable to manage properly if you can’t be in a certain place at a certain time?” says Charlie Valentino in First Date Tips For Men.
2. Talk about your ex
The first date is not an appropriate time to talk incessantly about past loves. Keep a lid on it unless it is relevant to the conversation. And even then, don’t stay on the topic longer than necessary. It’s best to steer clear of a discussion about your exes until the time is right. If you just can’t help yourself, and your ex is still all you talk about, you’re clearly not over the relationship. You may need a break from dating so you can deal with your issues. Don’t date on the rebound, as these relationships rarely turn out well. Heal your heart first, and then jump back into the dating pool when you’re ready.
3. Demonstrate poor listening skills
If there were ever a time to focus, it’s now. The first date is when you’ll learn a lot of new things about your potential partner. Take the time to really listen to what he or she is saying. The first couple of dates will help you decide whether to continue with the relationship or move on to someone more compatible. Your date shouldn’t have to repeat his or herself several times.
“Actually listen. I’ve been guilty of half-listening to my girlfriend. And that means you give half-assed responses. That is not good. Put down what you’re doing — or at least tell your significant other to give you a second if you are in the middle of something dangerous — then give your full attention,” says Ella Ceron in How to Date Better.
4. Look sloppy
Pay attention to your appearance. If you show up looking a mess, it shows that you don’t take pride in how you look and don’t really care about the outcome of your meeting. If you really couldn’t care less, just cancel the date and stay home. Don’t ask someone out just to pass the time or because you’re lonely.
5. Tell your whole life story
Keep the conversation fun and light. If you reveal your entire life story from childhood until now, you’ll not only bore your date to death but also make yourself less of a challenge. And you’ll also appear a little unbalanced (OK, a lot unbalanced). In addition, your date will think that if you’re ready to share everything upfront you do that with everyone you meet.
6. Spill the beans
Don’t get into explicit detail about what you like in bed and how you want the job done. Leave something to the imagination. There will be plenty of time for that later.
7. Forget your manners
When you’re spending time with a new special someone, it’s important to demonstrate good manners. You don’t have to be uptight and concerned about every little move, but you should watch your behavior just a little closer on a first date. That means practicing the basics like not chewing with your mouth open, keeping elbows off the table, and resisting the urge to slurp your soup.
8. Be argumentative
It’s OK to express your opinion on an issue, but it’s not OK to try to push your date to agree with everything you say. You’re not even an official couple yet, so you shouldn’t be arguing at all. You’ll be better off by sticking with some lighter topics. If you make it past the first couple of dates and start seeing each other regularly, there will be plenty of time for arguing, if that’s your thing. Be polite and respect your date’s opinion.
9. Push for intimacy
Your first date is a time when you and your potential love are getting to know each other. It will be difficult to learn anything new if you’re only focused on getting some action. Keep touching to a minimum (depending on the person’s boundaries, you might not want to touch at all at this stage) and don’t try to pressure your date to have sex too soon. Listen to what he or she is saying and try your best to focus on what is taking place during your date.
10. Invite your friends
This should go without saying, but don’t bring guests to your date. This is one-on-one time, and that doesn’t involve two or three additional people. Save the group outings for later on in your relationship. Besides, if you invite other people, it’s not really a date, now is it?
Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo.