First dates are always nerve-wracking … here’s how to avoid the pitfalls of a first date downer.
Appearing Wishy-Washy When the Check Arrives
When the check arrives for drinks, coffee, or dinner, the man should announce, “This one’s on me,” and reach for it. This is generous, sexy, and avoids an awkward moment: Both parties staring at the bill wondering what to do. It’s not presumptuous for a man to pay for a first date if he initiated it. But not all women are comfortable with this, and may insist on paying half. If she does, by all means, let her. While some men feel it’s not a date unless they pay for everything, they don’t want to appear inflexible or disagreeable.
Discussing Politics, Exes, and Sex
There are a number of topics to avoid on a first date. As fun as it may be to talk about intimacy, it’s not an appropriate subject. Some men think that by bringing it up too prematurely, they’ll have a head start at rounding the bases, but in reality it has the opposite effect. Also, don’t grill your date about their personal life (do you want children, how many, when do you want to get married, etc). It’s understandable you may want to know it all before a planning second date, but you might inadvertently scare them off before it happens!
Bragging and Lying
We all want to look good to a first date, but sometimes people are so intent on showing their good side, that they end up boasting. You can talk about your job and you can talk about your clothes, but as soon as numbers and labels start flashing, you’ve overstepped your boundaries. The worst offense, however — is lying. Statistics show that as many as 80 percent have lied about their age, job, and where they live to impress a first date. This may work for the first couple of dates, but all relationships must eventually accelerate beyond talk.
Too much of anything can be bad — except for love. Both parties must resist trying too hard to be funny, whimsical, or flattering. This will only get you bonus points for being annoying and over the top. But playing it too cool, aloof, or critical is also a big turnoff. It’s all about moderation, people. This includes drinking (alcohol) and the number of guests, too. Three is always a crowd (don’t bring a friend), four (a double date) can work — but two is optimal.
Always Late and Ill-Prepared
Being late is not only disrespectful, but it opens a dialogue in your date’s mind into their future with you. You’ll be late to dinner with the parents, your wedding, and even the birth of your first child. It’s difficult to get over the stigma of a late first date. Appearing unorganized or without a plan is another big turnoff. If you invited someone to go out, they expect you to have at least given it some thought before arriving at their door. Arriving, and saying, “What do you want to do?” isn’t going to cut it. Also, plan to go somewhere you can both hear and talk. Concerts and movies make poor first dates.
Rampant Cell Phone Abuse
Cell phone abuse is becoming a big problem, and while some people choose to accept it, they shouldn’t. Technology has brought us these self-important folks who appear to be just as interested in keeping up with their old friends as they are in getting to know their date. Last I checked, romance and chivalry were far from dead. They should include opening the door, pulling out a chair, and giving someone your full attention when they are speaking.
That First Kiss Can Be a Doozy
As the night wears down, be careful not to overstay your welcome. It is better to leave them wanting more, than with the uncomfortable task of telling you to go home. The end of the night can tell you a lot about how a date went. There is the handshake (you probably won’t see they again), the hug (much better than the handshake), and the goodnight kiss. As described in the movie Hitch, overzealous kissing is unattractive. Move-in 90 percent, and allow them the option to travel the remaining ten. You may not get a kiss, but you will know where you stand, and save yourself from the awkward, “dead-fish,” sympathy kiss.