So you’ve met someone new. This person seems pretty nice, so you decide to ask them out (or conversely, you accept their invitation). The first date is an exciting and important moment in any new relationship. First impressions count for a lot, but sadly, many people don’t fully realize this, or simply aren’t aware of the many traps you can fall into.
Too many first dates end in disappointment, or worse! That’s why we’ve created a list of “first date no-nos”. These are things you should avoid doing or saying during a first date. We asked lots of people at The Beat 92.5 for their worst stories before coming up with this list, so you KNOW these no-nos all stem from REAL experiences.
Personal hygiene is SUPER important on a first date, but there are some details that even reasonably clean people sometimes overlook. For example: don’t show up with bad breath! If you are a smoker, make sure you’ve got mints or gum with you. If you’ve eaten during the day and can’t make a pit stop at home to brush your teeth, plan ahead and bring a toothbrush!
Someone who smells nice is much more attractive to most people. Use that information wisely ;)
Don’t allow yourself to make unpleasant noises or smells. Burping, farting, or even sighing and yawning are all natural bodily functions. However, they send the WRONG MESSAGE when you’re on a first date. Pardon our French, but if you really need to let it rip, excuse yourself momentarily.
To pick up or to meet there?
Typically, it’s “the gallant thing” for a man to pick his date up at home in the early evening. However, several things can happen to make this impossible, undesirable or awkward. If you’re meeting an online date for the first time, it’s very unwise indeed to give them your address. Better instead to simply arrange a meeting in a public place.
If one of you doesn’t have access to a car, it could be considered rude to ask for or insist on a lift from the other person. If the date is worth it to you, make an effort to show up! Take a bus or taxi; show your date they’re worth the effort!
Don’t be too early, but don’t be late either! In general, a 5-10 minute advance or delay from your scheduled meeting time is the maximum acceptable amount. Being very early seems desperate, and sends the message that you’re too available. You date will ask themselves “don’t you have anything better to do?” Conversely, being very late is simply rude, and sends the message that you don’t really care.
Do gentlemen still exist?
Chivalry goes a long way! Gentlemen, we’re looking at YOU here! Most of the women we spoke to in preparing this article said that small chivalrous gestures are appreciated, yet hard to come by. Open the car and building doors for her; pull her chair out at the table; let her order first; don’t order for her, even if you know what she wants – it’s infantilizing.
Not only will this be noticed, but it will make you stand out from other men she has dated.
Mind your Manners
Present your best table manners. Among the commonly forgotten table manners, always place the napkin on your lap when your food is served. Wait until both of you are served before eating. Don’t place your used cutlery on the table; it always goes in your plate. Don’t reach for anything; ask for your date to pass it over.
Leave your phone in your pocket. Seriously folks, this is a no-brainer, and both sexes are equally guilty of violating this basic rule. The only exceptions include a medical emergency grave enough to require your immediate attention, and topics being discussed between you and your date that require a screen as media support, after which the device should promptly return to its resting place, away from eyesight!!!
Don’t be a creep. Women in particular often complain that their date acts in creepy ways, such as excessive staring, or making borderline obscene comments. Just don’t.
When two people are “scoping each other out” for potential love interests, touching is an essential part of the process. It’s always important to remember to take it very slow at first, and pay close attention to your date’s reaction. If you feel it’s appropriate, touch your date in a non-sexual and non-invasive place. If you’re beside each other, the shoulder or upper arm; if you’re sitting across from each other, a brief wrist touch (not a grab – a touch) while laughing at a joke…
The key here is to read your date’s reaction. Do they recoil, or do they return the touch? Do they smile, or does their face go blank? These small details will go a long way in telling you if your date is into you or not. If the signs are positive, continue what you are doing! If not, it may be a sign that this isn’t going anywhere…
Taboo Subjects… AVOID THESE!
Don’t talk about your ex on the first date. Ex-lovers aren’t a taboo subject, especially in a serious relationship. Your lover has plenty of good reasons to want to know what you’ve been through in previous relationships. However, the first date should be exclusively about you!
Don’t spend all night talking about yourself. This may come as a surprise, but this is actually a common mistake. It’s rude and boring for your date to have to listen to a non-stop barrage of information about you. Don’t worry! You must be at least somewhat interesting; otherwise, this person wouldn’t be sitting across the table from you! Now, time to find out if THEY are interesting enough for you. Ask your date at least one question about themselves for each thing you reveal about yourself. That will keep the conversation flowing and interesting for both of you.
Tread carefully around politics, class and religion. These subjects aren’t “taboo” per se, but if you express your views too strongly, you risk offending your date. Take some time to get to know their stances on things first! You may be surprised to learn which opinions and beliefs you’re able to accept into your life once you’ve established a rapport on a more basic, human level.
Ahh… The age-old question! Who should pay for the first date? The key here is to remain open-minded! Many people will appreciate their date offering to pay (typically, the man would pay for the woman). However, yours truly has been on many successful dates during which the other party expressed a strong preference for splitting the bill! There’s no harm in discussing it respectfully beforehand.
After the Date
There are a couple of things you should definitely avoid after a first date.
Upon leaving, it’s customary for the man to offer to accompany his date back home. However, if she refuses, it’s very unwise to insist! She may have good reasons not to want him following her home. Respect her space.
Regardless of anything else, don’t text the person immediately after the first date! Make yourself seem interesting and worth chasing by waiting a few days before texting or calling back.
What this all boils down to is that you need to BE YOURSELF when you’re on a date! When you’re starting a relationship, it’s important to remember that your true self will come out eventually. It’s best not to start the relationship with a lie or a half-truth. The other person will definitely find out eventually!
Don’t say or do anything just because you think it’s what your date wants! You’ll get a lot more respect from your date by just being true to yourself. It’s common sense!
With that being said, go out and enjoy your first date! Best of luck to all!