First Date Sins

There’s no second chance at a first impression, so why sabotage a first date? Look, everyone’s nervous, but that’s no excuse to leave your manners at the door, your boundaries back at home and your brain in the car.

So get a hold of yourself with this list of the five most deadly first date sins. This “don’t go there” list will help you take the pressure off of date number one. Then you can relax and enjoy the getting-to-know-them process.

There is no reason, ever, to reveal to a complete stranger a lifelong battle of chronic health issues, your total credit card debt, or the childhood wound that certainly won’t be healed on a first date. Forcing someone to listen to your over-share is tactless and self-centered (and most likely boring!). Don’t lead with your wounds. It’s a date, not a therapy session. Have fun. Movies, current events, comical family stories, favorite books and foods are comfy subjects.

Your ex
Don’t invite your ex along on your date. That’s right, never, ever bring them up on a date. At all. No talking about what used to be your favorite restaurant before the biggest, most painful breakup of your life – or about your old apartment or the time you went to (fill in the blank). No talking about how similar your current date looks, smells, acts or dresses like your ex. And never, ever, take your date anywhere you think your ex might be… to show off that you are on a date with someone new. If you are dating to get back at an ex, you are still dating your ex.

The first date should be only a few hours – dinner and a movie at most. The first date is a warm-up lap, not an endurance run. It’s just plain weird to go out for an extended amount of time with someone you just met. You are essentially strangers who are starting, hopefully, to make a connection. Respect the fragility of a new attraction. Let it grow over time. The first date might be the first step to lasting intimacy. If it’s the right person, there will be many more dates to come.

Showering your date with gifts, a limo ride, roses, a walk on the beach to take in the sunset before taking a private jet to Paris for éclairs is too much for a first date. A single gesture goes a long way. Flowers. A gift. A nice restaurant. One of these things is just fine. But throwing everything possible at someone looks like a desperate attempt to compensate for some inadequacy you think will show if your date isn’t dizzied by distractions. Even worse, what if you are halfway through the best date you’ve ever planned in your life and you realize you don’t even like this person? Make the investment when you know what you are investing in. If it’s the right person you’ll have lots of special occasions to celebrate.

Sex it up
After the mystery of the holy trinity resides the eternal question – how far do you go on a first date? The specifics are up to you and your inner guide. But if you decide to ignore your convictions, it may not be worth it. The fresh insecurity of a new attraction is enough on its own without the pit in your stomach the next morning wondering if you’ve rushed the physical intimacy. Using sex to artificially feel close to someone in the initial stages just won’t work. It’s fine for a hot quick flash that burns out in a few weeks, but if you are really looking for something to last, you have to build the emotional intimacy first.

Whether you’ve been the perpetrator or the victim of these top five crimes, the best part about first dates is there is always another one on the way. Dust yourself off and try again, if you mess up. Because with each date you tell the universe, yes, I am open, yes I am willing, bring me someone worthy to love.

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