A first date can be a nerve-racking experience, especially if you really like the girl or guy in question, and are keen for there to be a second date! You need to pick the right location, wear the right clothes, hoping that the conversation flows freely, and that there are no awkward silences.
Apparently, women will have decided within an hour whether a second date is on the cards, which means men have a limited window of opportunity to impress their other half. Interestingly, men are even keener on snap judgements, and will often decide after just 15 minutes whether they plan on calling their date again.
These days, more and more people are meeting via online dating sites like Match.com or the popular app Tinder, which means that lots of couples have already had several “conversations” before they even meet for the first time. Almost 50 million people in the US have tried online dating, and not without some success – 17% of marriages in 2016 were between couples who had met on the internet.
Even if you have chatted online for a few days or even weeks before meeting for the first time, don’t think that lets you off the hook. There are still lots of habits and behaviours that can put your date off seeing you for a second time. Check out the list below, and make sure you avoid these social faux pas next time you’re on a first date.
15. Don’t Be Late
Punctuality is important for lots of events – more so, on your first date. Whether you’re a man or a woman, you don’t want to leave your prospective date sitting alone at the dinner table or in the coffee shop, anxiously checking their watches, and worried that they’re going to be stood up. It’s just good manners to turn up on time, and a relaxed attitude to timekeeping is a sure-fire way to ensure that a second date doesn’t happen. If you really can’t make it on time, then the only polite thing to do is to let them know as soon as possible – otherwise your date would be well within their rights to storm out before you even arrive!
14. Don’t Keep Important Secrets
It’s important to remember that lots of people on the dating scene come with baggage- they may have been married before, and they may even have had children. The important thing to do when you meet for the first time is to tell your date just the right amount of important information, without over-sharing all the gory details. For example, if you are planning on seeing this person again or even considering a long-term relationship, then they are going to find out that you have children. There is very little point in hiding this fact from them, as the truth will come out in the end – and then won’t you look stupid!
13. Don’t Give Too Much Information
On the flip side, the last thing you want to do is share too much information about your happy – or not-so-happy – home life on a first date. While being honest about having kids is the best thing to do, talking about those kids non-stop is a definite turn off. For a start, your date is there to get to meet you, and even if your children are an important part of your life, they are not the only interesting thing about you. By all means introduce the fact that you have kids, perhaps show a photo, and then move on to a new and more interesting topic of conversation.
12. Don’t Be Trashy In Your Appearance
First dates are all about first impressions; and as the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make one. Even if you have been chatting online, it is different the first time you actually meet someone, and you should always behave – and dress – accordingly. Never turn up wearing dirty or even messy, wrinkled clothes, and always dress appropriately for your date of choice. That means don’t wear jeans and a t-shirt if you’re going out to dinner, but equally, don’t wear a cocktail dress if you’re just meeting for coffee. Women may think that they will impress their date by dressing in a revealing outfit, but the truth is that he just wants to see the real you – and if you don’t usually dress that way, then why pretend otherwise?
11. Don’t Show Your Bad Manners
Good manners are another essential part of creating that good first impression – and I don’t just mean a gentleman pulling out the chair for his date or holding open doors for her. It goes without saying that if your date catches you picking your nose or chewing with your mouth open, then there’s unlikely to be a date number two. While belching may be seen as a compliment to the chef in some cultures, a loud burp after you finish eating on a first date is not the most attractive look. Mind your manners, and a second date will hopefully follow.
10. Don’t Have Bad Breath
While there is no guarantee that a first date is going to end in a first kiss, you should nevertheless choose your foods carefully. Garlic and spicy foods can make kissing a rather unpleasant experience for the kissee – and the same goes for smoking. Even if your date has said they have no problem with you smoking, it’s one thing to tolerate it in the open air, and quite another thing to experience it in their own mouth. And don’t think that popping a mint to cover up the weird and wonderful tastes and smells is going to help. If not sure of your dental health, make sure that you get the best advice of a professional dentist on what foods to eat and how to keep your breathe fresh.
9. Don’t Talk About Yourself Too Much
While a first date is the ideal opportunity to sell yourself to a prospective partner, there is such a thing as talking about yourself too much. Whether you’re talking about your work, your hobbies and interests, or your kids, it’s simply the height of rudeness to go on a self-monologue without giving your date the chance to get a word in edgewise. By all means answer your date’s questions, but make sure you ask them about themselves too. After all, if you don’t know anything about them, how are you going to figure out if you want to see them again?
8. Don’t Be Disrespectful
One sure fire way to make sure you don’t impress your first date is to behave rudely towards the staff at the restaurant or bar where you meet. You might think it makes you look like a big-shot, but the truth is that throwing your weight around when it comes to making complaints about the food or questioning the bill just makes you look like a fool – and a petty one at that. Show some respect to the staff at the venue, and you create the best possible impression for your date about how you will treat them in any relationship which develops between the two of you.
7. Don’t Mention The Ex
Past relationships can often stay a little raw for weeks, if not months, especially if your break-up was less than amicable. You may have spent all your time since you split up bitching about your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, but this is not what your date wants to hear about the first time you meet. By all means, make a passing reference to the fact that you broke up with someone a few months ago, but only if you can trust yourself to mention them without launching into a tirade of abuse about their cheating ass! If not, it’s probably best to keep your ex out of your first date altogether.
6. Don’t Over Commit
A first date is a chance to get to know someone, to see if there is any instant spark, or if you think they’re worth seeing again. It is not an ideal opportunity to set a provisional marriage date or talk about what names you want to call the children you have together. You might think that women are most guilty of over-committing, but some men have been known to get a little carried away when they go on a first date. Even if you think the date is going amazingly well, keep all that crazy deep down inside until a more appropriate time. Like six months later.
5. Don’t Talk About Sex
Even if you’re hoping that you’ll get lucky on your first date, you should definitely avoid talking about sex. What you think makes you seem open-minded will probably just seem a little creepy and desperate to your first date. And if you have niche tastes when it comes to the bedroom, don’t use the first date to tell your prospective partner all about your unusual fetishes! If you hit it off, there will be plenty of time to explore whether you’re sexually compatible later. The truth is that no-one wants to discuss sex over dinner, and trying to shoehorn it into the conversation is just plain weird.
4. Don’t Show Up Tipsy
If a first date is all about making a good first impression, then turning up drunk, or even just a little bit tipsy, is a big no-no. Having a quick drink for Dutch courage is understandable, but staggering into the restaurant and slurring your words is definitely a bad move. In the same vein, you should try and avoid drinking too much during the course of your date. Not only is it an unattractive quality, but you could end up wandering into very inappropriate topics of conversation without meaning to. And then you wonder why they don’t call you back.
3. Don’t Eat Messy Foods
When it comes to first dates in a restaurant, there are a whole series of pitfalls and obstacles that you need to negotiate. Should you order a starter? Are you going to split the bill? I really want to order pizza, but it’s going to be loaded with garlic… You also need to avoid food that could end up all over your clothes, or that is going to make you look really weird while you eat it, such as spaghetti and meatballs, chicken wings or spinach. The last thing you want is to have your first date staring at a spaghetti stain on your chin or a piece of spinach in your teeth all evening.
2. Don’t Flirt With Other People
No flirting might seem like a strange rule for a first date – isn’t that first encounter supposed to be all about flirting? However, while it is completely acceptable, and even encouraged, to flirt with the person you’re meeting, it is not a good idea to flirt with the waiting staff or to get caught staring at other men and women who happen to be in the same restaurant or bar. Not only is it disrespectful to your date, who should have your undivided attention even if there are no sparks between you, but it sends out a message about the kind of boyfriend or girlfriend you are going to be, in the unlikely event they agree to meet you for a second date.
1. Don’t Use Your Phone
It’s difficult to imagine life without our smartphones, but that doesn’t mean that it is acceptable to stay glued to yours when you should be busy being witty and charming on your first date. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be checking social media while your date is trying to talk to you – or even worse, swiping right on a few more Tinder possibilities. It is also the height of rudeness to answer texts or calls during your date. Unless they’re genuine emergency or a safety check you have out in place with your gal pals in case your blind date turns out to be an axe murderer. In which case, feel free to answer your phone and get them to come rescue you.
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