Consider this an incomplete list of things you should never do on a first date.
Once I had a first date tell me about his fantasy role-playing shower games, where he would embark on a quest and do battle with the enemy. Oddly, we ended up dating (and I’m sure that says more about me than him), but you can see how that could be an issue, right? If you can’t, you’re probably an oversharer.
2. Agreeing with everything your date says
One of the best parts about being a human is you get to have your own brain. Use it!
3. Holding your date hostage
Okay, literally holding your date hostage is a big mistake and at that point I’m not sure it qualifies as a date anymore. But making your date feel like they’re your hostage is equally uncool. Keep your date short. 3 hours is a lovely amount of time to spend with a stranger. No one likes to feel trapped on a first date from hell that is not going well. By all means, please captivate your date, but don’t hold him or her captive.
4. Being too touchy
Even if you’re a massage therapist or a professional puppeteer and you know how to use your hands, excessive touching on the first date is a turn off and can be creepy. (Note: thumb wars and high fives can and may be tolerated, depending on your level of weirdness and douchey-ness).
5. Being too scripted
Conversation should burble naturally like a beautiful brook. It should not be forced or predictable. Be an active listener and interact with your date based on their responses.
6. Talking about past girlfriends/boyfriends/husbands/wives/lovers
Don’t bring your baggage on the first date. Talking about old boyfriends and girlfriends carries the same amount of intrigue as telling me about your dreams, cats, or cures for male pattern baldness. I don’t care!
7. Being quiet
It’s okay to be shy, but if you’re not interested in conversing with your date, you may be exuding the Not Trying Very Hard vibe. The Not Trying Very Hard vibe has proven to be successful at later stages in a relationship (also known as playing hard to get), but the first date usually requires a certain amount of interest. You have to hook them before you can ignore them.
8. Double dates
Save the double dates for when you’re an old married fart. Doubling can be fun, but introduces a new variable. What if your date recognizes your friend as the asshole who broke her cousin’s best friend’s sister’s heart? Girl code loyalties might come into play. Or worse, what if she likes him more than you??
9. Dinner dates
Okay, dinner dates work for some people. But it’s a good idea to keep first dates casual or active. If you’re not grabbing coffee, plan an activity (like taking a pottery class). This way you’re not sitting across from them and desperately trying to murder an awkward pause. Instead, you can draw on the activity when there’s a lull in the conversation and discuss how lovely your demented vase is going to look on Aunt Beverley’s mantle.
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