First Date Advice: Ten Things a Man Should Never Do
This could be a sweeping statement, but I'm putting it out there anyway: the majority of first dates suck for many people No matter how many you go on, you're still nervous, your sweat glands go into overdrive, you're not funny to save your life and you generally end up spilling something. True story, I once spilled a glass of wine on my date, who proceeded to stand up in the middle of the restaurant and boldly exclaim: “Oh, no! Not my new suit!” He barely rejected my dry cleaning offer, mind you. We could all use a little first date advice, right?
The truth is a great many of us either over think or under think these first encounters. Or, we focus on the wrong things... Over planning might include the decision to do something different, creative, and off beat, for example. While there's something to be said for being unique, there's not a lot to gain from surprising your acrophobic date with a bungee jumping expedition. Have the plan ready beforehand. Stay safe (literally), it's just a first date! Make suggestions and be open to alternatives. You're entering into unknown terrain with this person whose likes and dislikes are unknown There's nothing worse than the theme of the date being: “So, what do you want to do?” “Dur, I don't know, what do YOU want to do?”
First Date Advice: Ten Rules
For your convenience, I've compiled a handy little list of the top DON'TS for a first date. These are the ultimate blunders, a guaranteed strike for date number two. These are the ultimate first date rules you should never, ever break! You may think I'm kidding (I wish I were), but the following are not depicted for dramatic purposes, they've happened to me or my friends.
Please, I beg of you refrain from TMI (too much information) on first dates! Discussing your battle with Swine Flu, an abscess or your pus-filled rash is not attractive. Basically, any bodily function discussions are out. And don't be a boundary-less Chatty Chuck, please. Don't be talking about Uncle Stan who was an alcoholic, but cleaned up his act by becoming a Hare Krishna. Or, how you really used to be shy until you started taking Cymbalta, a proven social anxiety medication. Don't overshare, we all have baggage, problems and physical oddities, but leave them out until your relationship matures.
Be nice to the waitstaff if you end up at a restaurant, please. This is not the time to be on a power trip or show off your machissmo, gentleman. On a side note, TIP! For the love of God, tip the poor soul who's had to be the unfortunate participant in this first date.
If you have obvious issues with your car, get them fixed beforehand or borrow a car from a friend. Old fast food wrappers don't really work to pimp the ride, boys. Nor does blasting music really make for great conversation. Gum chewing is okay, especially post meal. Where gum chewing becomes an obvious problem is its frequent use in fixing one's car throughout the date night. Finally, make sure there's an actual door handle on you passenger side unless you're shooting for the serial killer image.
Don't talk badly about your ex's, really it doesn't look good. It makes you appear like there's unfinished business, you're wounded, or you're just simply bitter. Even if she really was a Biotch who cheated on you, talking badly about anyone doesn't bode well, it makes your date wonder what he'll be saying about YOU.
For all that's holy and sacred, leave your epidermis alone. Scabs get itchy when they heal, so plan ahead and put some topical antihistamine on and cover it with a band aid. Picking your scab just before finger appetizers is the beginning of any woman's escape route plan.
Don't be a frat boy. Having a couple of drinks is acceptable, but anything approaching tipsy is a blunder. First, if you are the driver, you're putting your date in an awkward position. Second, losing your inhibitions can turn you into an over-sharer, scab picker, disrespectful diner, AND can render you unable to fix your car with the gum. Just say “NO!” to the fraternity boy image.
Make and maintain eye contact with your date. Too much looking away can make your date suspicious that you're hiding something. Plus, eye contact demonstrates you have confidence, feel comfortable with yourself, and are interested in what she's saying. Avoid staring or you might seem a little creepy, you know the difference. By the way, eye contact means the eyes, not her breasts. Her twins can't see, let them be. Finally, if you're in a restaurant with a television, even if the Jets are playing, don't watch the tube.
If you have what could even be remotely considered a strange hobby, mums the word. 'K? Basically collecting anything falls under this category. Even if you don't collect handcuffs, most likely she won't be as excited about your retro junk as you. This should also apply to your ability to speak fluent Klingon. That's your little secret.
Don't flash the wad. I'm not talking about your Peter here (although I hope you know that's a serious no no). I'm talking about enough cash and credit cards to choke a horse. Leave it where Peter belongs, in the trousers.
And leave out the tongue wrestle. Some of my best first dates have simply given me a sweet kiss on the cheek that left me wanting the full snog for the next time. That's sexy! Don't swoop in for the snog unless your absolutely certain sparks are flying. The awkward goodnight kiss is not a date prerequisite. When in doubt, leave it out, unless sparks are obviously flying.
First Date Advice: On a More Serious Note
There are some topics you definitely want to avoid. Now, I realize 2012 is an election year, but it's best to keep politics out of the first date conversation. This goes for religion, too. If you hit it off and continue to see each other, there will be plenty of time to have the more controversial conversations.
Dress like you're making an effort. I know you love your holey jeans and broken in sneakers, but refrain from wearing them on a first date.
Keep the first date short and sweet. A quick lunch in a public place is a great start. Or, consider planning a fun activity together, but steer clear of anything too adventurous. If you have a local street market, that can be a great way to break the ice.
Meet your date somewhere, chances are she'll be more comfortable with that in case you aren't well acquainted.
Turn your cell phone off or at least have it in airplane mode. Be respectful of her time.
Don't go on and on about yourself. Ask HER questions, but stay away from extremely personal ones. Don't go asking how many kids she wants, either.
Don't interrupt, it's rude! Give her a chance to talk while you listen.