The Biggest First-Date Mistakes
What not to do on a first date
First dates are fraught with tension - will he like you, will you like him, did you wear the right outfit, are you talking too much or too little? It's difficult to know what to say or do on a first date, since you typically don't even know the other person yet. When you're nervous, it's easy to talk too much. So, before your date, take a deep breath, calm your nerves, and remember to smile when you see him. Smiling makes you feel good, and will put him at ease as well. Remember, you're not the only one worried about first impressions.
While just being yourself is important advice, there are also ways to be the best version of yourself that you can be, and get yourself a second date invitation. That puts the ball in your court, and whether or not you accept that second date is up to you.
Here are the top 10 tips from our relationship experts on what not to do on a first date.
Five top tips
Shawna Dirksen, a matchmaker and dating coach, said that these are some of the biggest mistakes she sees her female clients make on a first date:
1. Pre-dating. Many women will research their date online on Google and social media before meeting them. This results in judging their date prematurely, even if it's not intentional, and will take away chemistry that could develop naturally on a first date. Pre-dating also increases the risk of cancelling your date based on what you see online, which is not a complete picture.
2. Not preparing for the date. It's important to look and feel your best on a first date, obviously, which means you need to prepare a little. Try on your outfit ahead of time, make sure you know where you are meeting and have enough time to get there and find parking, and make sure you have time to regroup from your workday and get out of work mode and into fun mode beforehand. You want to put your best self forward.
3. Setting your expectations too high. Don't expect every first date to be "the one" or to have instant chemistry with your date. You will likely be disappointed. Enjoy it for what it is, you are meeting someone new for a fun, friendly conversation.
4. Deciding "yes" or "no" too quickly. It's impossible to know who someone is after one meeting. Jumping to "yes" too quickly can lead to too many justifications and, eventually, heartbreak. Jumping to "no" too quickly can cause you to miss out on getting to know someone who may have been right for you after all.
5. Leading with the physical. So, avoid wearing revealing clothing, speaking in innuendos or being too touchy feely. If you come off as too physically available, he likely won't be thinking about a long-term relationship with you.
Three big mistakes
Kerri Zane, single Mom lifestyle expert and spokesperson for the dating site, AYI.com, considers these some of the biggest mistakes to make on a first date:
6. Talking ad-nauseum about an ex - or all of your exes. Your date only needs to know you had one or a few, so they're aware you have the ability to be in a relationship. They do not need to know the grizzly details of your break-up, divorce, child support or custody arrangements.
7. Don’t talk about your child too much. For single mothers it's important to let your date know you are a mother, but don't go
on and on about your kids. This guy is on a date with you, not a play date with the family. Get to know each other first and then decide you like each other before detailing the proud moments of mommyhood.
8. Don’t answer your cell phone or text or check your social media sites. Only answer your cell phone if it's your child or babysitter calling. It's inconsiderate to take calls or text like a mad woman at the table. In fact, if you really want to do it right give your kids and/or babysitter the restaurant phone number and instruct them to call only if it's an emergency.
The final two tips
And from the male perspective, Brenden Dilley, relationship coach and author of "Still Breathin': The Wisdom & Teachings of a Perfectly Flawed Man,” shared his tips on what not to do:
9. Don’t censor yourself. Let it fly. Seriously. If you're a quirky weirdo that does basket weaving from the hair of Barbie dolls, don't hide that. Own it. No sense in burying something you obviously are passionate about and enjoy doing. Be as transparent as possible when trying to make sincere connections.
10. Don’t ask "what they're looking for.” Who cares? It's a first date. You don't know anything about this person and you’re already sizing up whether they're ready to meet your parents. Stop trying to see if someone qualifies for your time and instead focus on actually trying to get to know them without the ulterior motives.
Follow these tips and you'll have a head start on impressing your date and getting him to ask you out on a second date. It's really the second and third dates where you can truly assess someone's character and find out if they are the type of person you'd like to date. Don't go by first impressions - give him time to show his true colors, good or bad, and cut him loose if any red flags start flapping in the wind.