As the saying goes: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” First impressions, powerful as they are, make all the difference between a successful encounter and a failed one. So you haven’t dated in a while or you’ve never had a serious relationship before and now you’ve met someone special and both of you are going out on a date, and now that you are out of practice or new at it, you’re worried about how to behave at this special date, let’s consider how you behave and what you should reveal on a first date to ensure a second.
The Dos and Don’ts On A First Date
Maintain your information boundaries.
Even though your long-term goal may be to establish a “we,” you must remember you are still an “I.” On the first date, save your personal information for later when the foundations of trust and intimacy have been established. Before your date, do a little soul searching. Be honest about what kind of a partner you are looking for and what kind of partner you can be.
Be authentic and real. You want honesty and a certain level of transparency from your date, so you should offer the same. This does not, however, mean you must share your darkest secrets with that person.
Do not be too emotional or dramatic.
Although it’s cool to emote, over-dramatization can be a big turn-off. Most times, keeping yourself relaxed will put your date at ease as well and open the door for a more open and honest discussion.
Talk about your strengths, not your weaknesses.
People want to see what’s good about a potential partner, so make sure you do yourself justice.
It’s really okay to sell your positives, however, you don’t need to be boastful.
Be polite and considerate. Rudeness kills a date faster than anything. If you’re expecting your date to conduct themselves in a certain manner, you should exhibit that same behavior in return.
Do make sure you look your best. This doesn’t mean you need to spend hours at the beauty salon before a date, but when you’re meeting someone new, first impressions count. Iron your outfit and make sure it’s in great condition, wash and style your hair and adorn yourself with extra wit and charm. Your inner beauty needs to shine, too.
Do not ever talk about your ex(es) during a first date.
It is best not to reveal the wrongs of your past relationship because you can inadvertently reflect light on possible previous mistakes. Besides, you are looking to move forward, not back.
Don’t mention your finances.
You would want your date to get to know your personality, beliefs and values, and in turn, get attracted to them, not your income earning potential.
Do not boast about your children, if you have them.
If the relationship moves forward, your date will be given the opportunity to meet your children and form his/her own views about them. Do not discuss sexual practices or experiences with your past lovers.
Your first date is not the appropriate time to discuss these personal topics. This is something that should be broached as the relationship progresses and you find yourself ready to be intimate.
Don’t show how miserable and lonely you are.
This is a big turn-off and it really should be kept between you and your therapist or your trusted friend. You would also seem “desperate” or “wanting a relationship for the wrong reasons.”
Revealing your health problems and physical ailments is a bad thing to do on the first date. This will land you in the “problem child” category. Everybody has issues of their own to take care of, and a first date is not the place to reveal them.
Do not choose a contentious location.
You may have been eyeing that heavy metal rock concert; or a restaurant that serves all its dishes deep-fried with garlic, but a first date should be somewhere on relatively mutual ground. Find somewhere you know will appeal to you both.
Don’t spend all the time on your phone.
You can be tempted to check in with friends and family while you’re on a date, its fine, but hey, it’s time to put that phone away. Spending a lot of time on gadgets could seem like you are rude or disinterested.
Don’t dominate the conversation
There’s nothing more off-putting than being on a date with someone who never stops talking, especially about themselves. You should ask as many questions as you’re asked and be interested, as well as interesting.
Don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable
First dates are opportunities to talk, talk and talk some more, but there’s always the possibility you may meet someone who isn’t quite as interesting/charming/wonderful as you expect. If you happen to find yourself in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, don’t hesitate to make your excuses and leave.