Nerves can get the best of us on first dates, making us act in silly, non-authentic ways. Remember these five habits to avoid, you’ll be good as gold.
First dates aren’t the most comfortable situation for anyone; they can be nerve-racking, especially if you are already feeling emotionally involved with the person in question. From deciding what you are going to wear, to where you both will go, there is only so much that can go wrong.
Still, there a few things you should refrain yourself from doing—at all costs—on a first date. They mostly show up thanks to a combination of old habits and first date jitters; sometimes you are so nervous that your awkward self-manages to break free and kicks in. To help you out of these uncomfortable moments, I’ve listed five habits to avoid when meeting someone new.
Habit #1 – Talking About Your Past
If you used to open up about your past and private issues, this will be time to keep a little quieter. Dating is about the present, not about what has happened before you met that special new person. Likewise, a first date is also not the time for sad stories.
Of course, many things will become relevant later on a relationship, just not on a first date. He or she wants to know more about the person you are—your hobbies, interests, and preferences.
That is to say that you should avoid talking about:
- Your past relationships (no matter if in a good or bad way)
- Your deepest fears
- Family problems
- Financial difficulties
- Psychological issues
- Non-relevant medical conditions (if you aren’t dying or it isn’t contagious, it is probably not relevant to the first date)
It is tempting to over-share on a first date as a way to build connection, but this is usually too much information for a first meeting. You are both there to have a good time, not for therapy.
RED ALERT: However, if your date asks you a direct question regarding any of the topics above, answer it. You don’t need to go through intimate details (unless your date continues to inquire). If you ignore the topic (because you read an article that said you should) or give an evasive answer, it might give the impression that you are hiding something, are too secretive, or have a problem with intimacy—the next topic, by the way.
Habit #2 – Forcing intimacy
This is a common habit if you already fancy the person you are meeting. Your feelings might be hard to control around them, and you see yourself showing too much affection, forcing intimacy far too early.
Granted, there are exceptions; you need to trust your gut if you sense the other person is on the same page. If you’re unsure, however, it’s best to move with ease through the conversation; things should never feel forced. If you put yourself out there in a forceful way and your date doesn’t feel the same, it can feel unsettling when they realize you are much more emotionally involved comparatively.
Forcing intimacy might make your date think that they should back off, as they don’t want to hurt you by not being ready to live up to your expectations; or that you are needy and desperate for a relationship.
To avoid getting yourself into an unsavory situation, don’t:
- Call them pet names
- Make plans for your future together
- Make arrangements to meet each other’s families
- Try too hard to impress
- Hide your opinion so you can agree all the time
RED ALERT: if you already know each other, there is no way to back turn the clock. Just don’t push the boundaries of the intimacy you already have to the next level just yet, and keep following the guidelines for a great first date.
Habit #3 – Forgetting Your Manners
You barely know each other, and you are probably meeting in public, so it is certainly not the best occasion to forget your manners.
No matter how cool you think you look when you stretch your arms in the air, or that you think is no big deal to talk with your mouth full… just don’t.
Even if you believe that your date will agree with you, some etiquette should always be standard on a first date; it starts with wearing the right clothes for the occasion, for instance. Dressing for the occasion shows that you care enough about them personally (and the success of this date) to show your best/most appropriate.
So, don’t forget:
- Men should open the doors, pull the chairs, and pay the bill
- You should always be on time
- Never complain about the table service (except if it is terrible)
- Keep your phone away from your hands, and on silent mode
- Do not curse or use crude language
- Do not get drunk
RED ALERT: Because there are a few social conventions on the list above, always gauge how they fit with the environment and the person with whom you are going on a date.
Habit # 4 – Controversial Discussions
When you both are at your place of choice and the time for small talk is over, you have to move the conversation to the next level. This, unfortunately, can mean far too many things.
If you are the kind of person who loves to hear people’s opinion about controversial topics, you might be tempted to start one of them; however, I’d argue this is another thing you should leave for later stages of the relationship.
Don’t put your date off by talking about:
- Children (and your ticking biological clock)
RED ALERT: Depending on your professions or culturural background, some of these subjects may be perfectly appropriate to discuss on a first date. If that’s the case, be sure not to start a war defending your point of view.
Habit #5 – Monopolizing the Conversation
Remember: it is all about them, not about you. So if you have a “me-first” complex, leave it at home.
Yes, your date wants to hear your stories—to get to know more about you and your dreams. But give them a chance to express their opinions too; otherwise, you run the risk of sounding like a big-headed person who doesn’t care about anyone else but themselves. Instead, try to find some memorable things to ask on your first date. Preparing yourself with a few ideas for conversation is also a great way to keep the conversation flowing and avoid awkward silences.
RED ALERT: Don’t be tempted to let the other person talk about themselves exclusively. Put your ideas into words and talk about your goals and dreams WITH your date, so they know you have a mind of you own.
The Bottom Line
Even if you are head-over-heals for your date (and a little nervous), you can have the best possible first date experience by avoiding these five habits. Besides showing common courtesy, you’re showing genuine interest in them. Be confident and don’t forget to ask for a second date if you want to see them again—no need to play games by letting them wait things out if you are already know you’re interested.
Best of luck!
About the Author
Benedict Brychta is an MBA student from San Jose, CA. He is a big movie classics fan and he loves to share his opinion on different thing happening in the spheres of film industry, self-improvement and lifestyle. You can contact Ben through his Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or you can also visit GloriousEssays blog where you’ll find other articles of his authorship.