When a colleague of mine recently went on a first date, her friends afterward asked her what the guyís last name was. She didnít know because it hadnít come up and was given a bit of a hard time for not knowing.
When she told me about this, I had to laugh and disagree with her friends. To me knowing your dateís last name isnít something that typically comes up on the first date unless youíre asking about the personís heritage or something along those lines. Otherwise, needing to know the last name is a little out of context and you likely just want to stalk them on Facebook.
That conversation with my colleague got me to the topic of this column Ė†things you should and shouldnít do on the first date.
The first date should be very shallow, almost superficial. Youíre just skimming the surface to find out if the two of you have chemistry, have similar interests and any attraction to one another.
Dig too deep and you might ruin the chance for a second date.
Letís start with what you shouldnít do on a first date.
1. Talk about your ex. This is a cardinal sin on the first date. It comes off as if youíre not over your ex, youíre bitter or youíre comparing the new person to the old one already. Not a good idea. Itís a huge turn off and not something you should talk about for quite a few dates in. This also means donít ask about your dateís relationship past on the first date either. Thatís way too deep of a conversation to be having right off the bat and can completely throw the chemistry and mood of your date.
2. Get drunk. No. No. No. Sure you might want to have a couple to take the edge off or calm your nerves, but getting drunk isnít only a bit classless; it lessens your mental and physical inhibitions which can open the flood gates for many ďtoo deepĒ conversations and bad decisions. Your date will end up running for the hills or taking you to bed and never calling again. Tip: when you feel yourself getting tipsy, get a water.
3. Talk about how you want to get married/have kids/grow old together. Itís the first date. Even if youíre thinking these things or getting your hopes up already, for the love of God keep it to yourself, especially if youíre a girl. Itís the first date! Your dateís still trying to figure out what he/she thinks of your favourite movie Ė talking about popping out some babies will send him or her into flight mode even if they ARE incredibly attracted to you. Yes itís important to figure out what the other person wants in terms of a future, especially if youíre older, but at least try to save that for the second date.
4. Dig for compliments. Putting yourself down to hopefully get a, ďNo you donít, you look greatĒ will come off as you being insecure and desperate for some positive reinforcement. Confidence is key, especially for us older people and both sexes are hugely attracted to confidence. If you start nitpicking at your looks, your weight, your age, whatever, youíre immediately bringing your insecurities into the limelight and putting a dampener on the conversation. Keep it light, keep it fun and most importantly, keep it confident.
5. Talk about politics or religion. Iím kind of on the fence with this one myself, because Iím intrigued by politics and like to talk about it, even if the other person votes for a different party than I do. I donít get hot under the collar about it, however, and many people do, so if youíre extremely passionate about your stance on politics or religion and you know youíre going to get fired up about it, leave it alone for a couple dates. Again, you want to keep things shallow. Dig deeper later.
1. Be yourself. Even if you have some hesitancy about your laugh or how loud or quiet you are, be your genuine self on the first date. Why? Because that way you can gauge whether or not that person is right for you. If they are theyíll like you for who you are and you donít waste your time trying to be someone youíre not. Everyone has flaws, but some people will find your flaws endearing. Youíd be surprised.
2. Try to pay for the bill. This goes to both sexes. Girls, itís kind of rude just to expect the guy to foot the bill, even if you think he should. At least offer to pay or pull out your credit card. If he says, ďNo I got it,Ē thatís great, but at least you made an effort to contribute, plus heíll love the fact you offered. Also itís 2012 and thereís no shame in women trying to pay once in a while. Oh and whoever pays, tip well. No one likes a cheapskate.
4. Make eye contact, even if youíre shy. It shows that youíre interested and engaged in what your dateís saying.
5. Dress nice. Iím looking at you, guys. Thereís nothing wrong with jeans so long as you wear a button-up or polo shirt with them, but for the love of good leave the ball cap and T-shirt at home. Ladies, donít show too much skin. It comes across like you have different intentions. Rather than just getting to know the guy it looks like you want to get to know what his bed looks like as well. Keep it classy and keep your makeup pretty but simple.
6. Text the person when you get home. Did you have a great date? Want to see him or her again? Then let them know afterward. Donít play the dumb ďthree-day ruleĒ to contact them again, otherwise it seems like youíre not interested. Games are stupid so if you had a great time, let them know once youíre both settled in at your homes. Even if the other person didnít feel it and you did, at least youíll find out sooner than later and youíre not wasting your time. If they did feel it and you text them, itíll bring a big smile to their face and take some stress off their shoulders about whether or not you were interested. Itís a win-win.
Of course there are many more rules and alterations and variations, but these seem to be the general, basic rules of the first date, plus some friendly suggestions. Iíve been on enough to know Ė†my worst? The guy talked about the show Seinfeld for the entire date, even after I told him I wasnít a big fan of the show. He just kept quoting the show for two hours. Needless to say I never called him again or returned his texts.
I hope this helps some of you out there! Happy hunting.