The dating world is an absolute minefield. While you’re on the search for an authentic connection with someone, you’re certain to have your fair share of awkward first meetings. Or, put a little more crudely, you’ve gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. So, when you finally do find yourself sitting right across from Señor Charming himself, the very last thing you want to do is screw it up.
We’ve all been on “bad” first dates before now, but have you ever really put your finger on what went wrong? Trust me (because I should know): There’s a whole host of ways in which your date can go from 100% to, “OMG! Get me out of here!” quickly. If you want to avoid just that, here are some of the faux pas you may want to steer clear of.
1. Forgetting His Name!
It doesn’t matter how many people you’re dating right now — there’s no excuse for forgetting this guy’s name. Sure, it may be a momentary glitch or a slip of your memory; but if this happens to you, you must never let him know about it. It’s not merely the fact that you’ve forgotten that’s offensive here — there’s far more to it than that.
The real core of the problem here is what your poor memory says about how you see your date. Are they simply not important enough to remember? Do you see them as a nameless, faceless piece of man meat? If not, you’d better make more of an effort to recall at least his first name.
2. Talking About Your “Crazy” Ex
Let’s get one thing straight: We’ve all got our fair share of romantic skeletons in the closet. If you’ve gotten to the ripe old age known affectionately as your 20s or 30s, the likelihood is that you will have dated and even had relationships before now. It’s no great shock. That’s not to say that you should spend the entirety of your first date talking about your so-called “crazy” ex. Honestly, your date does not want to hear it.
The fact of the matter is that if you’re talking about how insane, possessive, or boring your ex is, it says a whole load more about you than it does them. It tells your date what you think about relationships and how you view them. It says that you’re the type of person who isn’t mature enough to know that gossiping about your ex is a faux pas. Cut it out.
3. Getting Tinder Notifications
So, you may not be exclusive with this person just yet (who is on a first date?!), but have a little respect here. While you’re coyly playing the “getting to know you” game, you really needn’t remind the guy that you’re still very much on the market. While there’s actually nothing particularly wrong with having dating apps, those pesky notifications could play havoc with the vibe of your hangout. Switch them off or temporarily delete the apps ahead of time; it may just make all the difference.
4. Drinking to Calm Your Nerves
Like many social situations, dates can be hella uncomfortable at times. Sitting across from a total stranger and chit-chatting about life can feel more like an interview for marriage than a relaxing situation. No matter how anxious you feel in the lead-up to your date, though, you must never make the, frankly, fatal mistake of drinking away your fears.
While having a cheeky vino pre-date may do no harm, any more than that may well be a recipe for disaster. This is the first impression the guy will have of you and you don’t want it to be that you’re a drunken, sloppy mess.
5. Talking About Marriage and Babies
Your future plans are your business, so let’s keep it that way. At least, for now. You may have a perfectly mapped out idea of how your life’s going to go down. You may know exactly when you want to walk down the aisle, what dress you’ll be wearing, and how many bridesmaids you’ll have. Equally, you may have picked out the names for your future children and know when you want to have them. None of the above matters.
What matters is that you don’t scare the guy half to death by spilling all of this information out onto the table. There’s such a thing as too much information on a first date, you know? There’s a time and a place for those serious future life conversations… it ain’t here and it ain’t now. Instead, stick to subjects that are light-hearted and interesting like, say, popular culture or your general interests.
6. Constantly Talking About Yourself
First dates are all about getting to know one another; they are not all about the guy getting to know you and you learning nothing new. While you may well believe that the subject of you is the most fascinating thing in the universe, it is not. Whether it’s down to nerves or sheer egotism, many ladies make the mistake of using the date itself as a personal platform to share their many stories. Don’t do it.
You’ll have much more fun (and get to know the guy better) if you make a conscious effort to let him speak up and tell you about himself. Learning what he likes, what he doesn’t, and everything in between is the best way to figure out if the two of you are compatible.
7. Ignoring Someone While You Text
The sorry truth of the matter is that we’re all completely addicted to our phones these days. You simply cannot deny it — phubbing is real. Ignoring someone that you’re with in favor of your phone is not only rude but it also sends out the message that you’re less than interested in them.
Of course, I’m by no means saying that you need to turn your phone off altogether. That would be ludicrous. No, just put it on silent and leave it by while you’re chatting away. Doing so will mean that you have a genuine chance to connect with the guy and get to know him. Because, in all honesty, Facebook, WhatsApp, and texts can wait.
8. Making Inappropriate Jokes
Finally, here’s one for all of you with a weird or dark sense of humor. If you’re the type who loves nothing more than making risqué jokes, you may well want to hold your tongue on this one. Joking about anything a tad racy — from sexist jabs to gory tales — is dangerous AF. Remember, you really don’t know your audience from Adam, and you don’t know what this guy finds funny and what he doesn’t.
A little light humor is cool — it’s actually very attractive; but make sure that you keep things clean. Stick to subjects that are neutral so that you don’t accidentally put your big old foot in it when you say something wrong. After all, offending a guy on the first date is probably not the best way to get a second one.