Every first date you have is potentially the last first date you will ever have! It only takes one time to meet the perfect person and once you find them, well, you don’t carry on looking, do you?
So you need to make sure that you make the best impression every time. After all, a first date is certainly not an assurance that you will get a second, so you need to make sure that you make that assurance while you’re at it.
18 things you have to avoid doing on a first date
Of course, this is easier said than done and often, people can fall into habit traps that they don’t even realize put other people off. So what are the habit traps and how do you avoid them?
Here are 18 little annoyances that can turn into a dating turn off if you don’t keep them in check.
#1 The date setting. It can often be tempting to try something different on a first date like paintballing or water-skiing, but the problem with this is that you are not going to be able to talk to your date. Yes, you might seem adventurous to them, but they won’t get a chance to actually get to know you. This makes it hard to build a connection with your date and significantly lowers the chance of getting a second one.
#2 Make simple plans. Another thing to avoid doing if you are in charge of setting up the first date is making it too complicated. Yes, it might be lovely to go see a film, then go eat and then go to the beach, but you might find by the time you have eaten that the two of you have nothing in common. Instead, plan a simple date with only one or two activities. If you find that at the end of those activities, you want to go to the beach, then do, but at least there is no pressure if both of you want to split ways.
#3 Always be on time. Okay, there may be a saying about being fashionably late, but don’t buy into it. This is your first date and you want to make a good impression. You want to be seen as reliable and not flaky. Being on time will help your date know that you are worth their time to get to know. If you show up half an hour late, then there is a good chance your date might have already left the building assuming they’ve been stood up! [Read: Easy ways to avoid getting stood up on a date]
#4 Cover yourself up, it’s cold out! I hate to sound like your mother here, but seriously girls, you need to start covering up. It might be tempting to dress yourself up like sex on legs, but if you do, then that’s all your date is going to see you as. There is a rule of principle that every girl should follow on a first date, either legs or chest, but never both.
By this, you can have some cleavage out, but cover up your legs, or have your legs out but cover up your cleavage. This way, you are well balanced and your date is left with a little room for imagination. [Read: 16 first date tips for girls to dazzle your date every single time!]
#5 You’re only a stalker if you get caught. Okay, you can admit it, as soon as you found out your date’s last name, you were searching for them on Facebook and Google. There is nothing to be ashamed of and we all do it. However, telling your date that you know about their childhood pooch Mr. Barksalot might seem a little weird. There is nothing wrong with doing a little research, just don’t bring it to the table with you. [Read: 12 things you do that’ll make your date think you’re a stalker]
#6 Don’t forget to put your best foot forwards. It can be really easy in the hours and days leading up to a first date, to become worried about impressions. People can often find themselves freaking out when they can’t find the perfect outfit or their face has become zit city. This doesn’t need to happen though, often the other half of the date will be getting themselves just as worked up. You both like each other, otherwise this date wouldn’t be happening, so relax and just be yourself.
#7 Being an ice queen won’t melt many hearts. I’ve watched enough romantic comedies to know that if you like a person, then you should play it cool. This doesn’t mean however that you should turn into an ice queen or king, it doesn’t mean you should wait three days to call your date or you should act like you don’t care while you’re on the date. Playing it cool means giving it a few minutes before you text back, and not setting your Facebook relationship status to ‘married’ before you have even been asked out! [Read: The right time for a guy to call the girl after the first date]
#8 Life is a stage and all the men and women… Sometimes, the pressure of a first date can make you feel like you have to put on a performance or only show your best side. This might secure you a second date, but it’s unlikely that you will get much further than that. A first date is all about working out if you are compatible with the other person, and you won’t be able to work that out if you are playing pretend.
#9 Don’t judge a book by its cover. They say that within five seconds of meeting someone, you will have already formed an opinion of them. Do not let that opinion stop you from getting to know someone. You cannot know everything you need to know from five seconds with a person, you need to at least give them a chance, you never know they might be having a bad day or you might have caught them at the wrong time. [Read: 18 signs your date really likes you on the very first date!]
#10 Don’t just hear blah blah blah. Sometimes, you will find yourself drifting in and out of conversations, a first date is not the place to do this. It doesn’t matter if your date is boring you silly. You need to give them your full attention until the very end, otherwise you haven’t really given them a fair chance, have you? It wouldn’t be nice if they weren’t listening to you, so try to remember that.
#11 The five year plan is off the table. During your date, you will talk about all kinds of things, where you grew up, what your upbringing was like and your hopes and dreams for the future. It’s a great time to really get to know the person you might end up in a relationship with, but it is not the time however to ask about their five year plan. It’s a first date and nothing is certain yet, so asking whether your date wants to get married at some point might seem a little over the top.
#12 You’re not in on the joke. If you don’t think a joke is funny, then don’t laugh, it’s perfectly alright to just smile. There is nothing worse than someone who laughs at everything their date says, just because they want to impress them, even if it means behaving like a silly child who’s smitten by the person they’re talking to.
Let your date see your identity by the way you behave around them. After all, you’re not on the date only to please the person you’re with. Truthfully speaking, you’re on the date because you are willing to let yourself be evaluated while evaluating the person at the same time.
#13 EXcuses. One topic that should never be discussed on a first date is the ex-files. It doesn’t matter how much they screwed you over and how much better off without them you are now. Talking about your ex on a first date will only make your date think that you are not over them yet. No one wants to play second fiddle to someone’s ex. If it pops up accidentally, talk about your ex briefly. Otherwise, just skip it. [Read: 40 perfect first date questions to have a really great conversation]
#14 One, two, three and floor. First dates are meant to be fun, right? So what’s the harm in having a drink or two? There’s nothing wrong with a drink or two, however three or four might be pushing it a bit.
A good drink helps to shut up the sensible part of the brain, the part that says “Should I really be doing this?” and “Will I regret this in the morning?” So you need to be careful not to drink too much, otherwise you might be waking up to more than the cat in your bed.
#15 I’ll have a piece of lettuce with that. So many girls think that they have to eat like rabbits on a first date, the truth is that men like women who can eat. So stop ordering the garden salad when you are clearly hungry, and order the steak! After all, if you like your date enough, then you will be seeing them again, won’t you? Do you really want to starve every time you see them? [Read: 14 signs you’re ruining all your first dates unintentionally!]
#16 Please remember to use your manners. It’s actually surprisingly easy to forget to use your manners on a date, but that doesn’t mean that you will get away with it. If your date is picking up the bill then thank them for it, it’s that simple. A person with good manners will be remembered over someone who can’t even be bothered to say please when asking to pass the salt.
#17 Well, that was strange. It’s a first date and both of you are nervous. Naturally both of you may come out with some odd things to say. However, listen to what your date is saying, if something strikes you as really odd, then don’t blow it off, it could be an early warning sign of something. [Read: 20 great ways to perfect your first date conversation]
#18 Say goodnight, not good morning. It doesn’t matter how great the date was, tell your date goodnight, and don’t let them get a good morning out of you instead! If you sleep with your date on the first date, there’s every chance that it may just end up as a one night stand or worse, misunderstandings, because of how easy it was to get you into bed. Either ways, it doesn’t bode very well for you unless your date knows and respects you already. [Read: Kissing on the first date – Is that a yes or a no?]
First dates are the time for magic and chemistry to begin, they are the openings to beautiful relationships and experiences that will change your life, but only if you can avoid all the easy pitfalls that arrange themselves along the way.
Being yourself won’t always secure you a second date, but the second dates that you do get, will be because the person really liked who they saw, not just the act that you let them see.
[Read: The complete guide to ending a first date with class and finesse]
Enjoy yourself and have a good time, but don’t forget the little details. Remember these 18 things you need to avoid doing on a first date, go out there and enjoy that chance to find your soulmate!
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