10 Ways to Ruin the Chance for Romance, Sex, Physical Contact, and Other Things on a First Date
If you're failing in the romance department on a consistent basis, odds are pretty good you're failing on your first date, spectacularly. Of course, you could be smelly or have bad breath or a lot of other bodily function things might be all wrong with you, but let's just say for the sake of argument that you're pretty normal. You're probably screwing up the first date.
The first date is the first chance to make a first impression and sometimes a bad first impression never goes away, so if you're doing something seriously wrong on the first date, you're going to have a very hard time overcoming it as you're unlikely to get a second chance. It's kind of like if you're on a first date and you pee yourself. Even if you get a second date, the woman is never likely to forget that you peed yourself during the first date. While most mistakes aren't that egregious, they have a similar psychological impact.
Before we dive into some bad date scenarios, it's important to define what I mean by a "first date". When I write about the first date, I'm talking about the absolute first time you're meeting a woman face-to-face. Call it your first meeting, if you want. Even if you don't spend a dime at this meeting, it's still a date, even if the woman doesn't think so. While a woman might define a first date as the first time you spend money on her or take her somewhere, it's only a first date if it's the first time you've ever met, unless the first time you met was when you got her phone number at a bar and the only conversation you had involved you asking for her phone number. That wouldn't count as a first date. However, anything more than about fifteen minutes of face time counts as a first date and this has particular relevance for online dating since the first date occurs after extended communication and the man often assumes a familiarity that isn't there and it leads to a bad first date.
So, read and pay attention. Here are a bunch of things you should be avoiding on your first dates.
- Dinner - Most of the time, this is a bad idea. Why, you ask? Isn't dinner as a first date an acceptable, traditional thing to do? Well yes, dinner is traditional, which makes it uncreative and boring, so if you want to project those two things, more power to you. However, that's not the real reason to avoid dinner as a first date. The reason to avoid dinner as a first date is that it's likely to last too long. Unless you can limit a dinner date to under sixty minutes or so, it's best avoided. Men are just too prone to stretch out a dinner to some ungodly length and ruin any chance for success. I've heard of some dinners running three or four hours. Who the hell wants to sit down with somebody they've never met for three or four hours? I can tell you, there's no woman on the planet who wants this, whether she knows it or not. This is because a three or four hour date is an eternity and such a thing will most often produce bad results. What you want a first date to be is an introduction ending with a desire for more. What you do not want is endless conversation resulting in a desire for it to be over. And guys, have some self-respect. What if you know in the first five minutes the woman isn't for you? Now you've got to sit there and eat with her for an hour or more. First dates should be short, sweet, and moderately creative but not so creative they seem loony. Save something more lengthy for a second or third date.
- Dinner and a Movie - I've personally made this mistake, so I know what I'm talking about. Again, this refers to the point made in the previous item. First dates should be short. Dinner and a movie is probably a three hour commitment. It's a bad idea. It's boring too. In my case, I met the woman and knew very quickly I wanted nothing more to do with her, yet I had already made plans to take her to a movie. The best thing you can do on a first date is to give both parties the opportunity to bail if things are not going well. But let's assume for a moment the opposite turns out to be true: you've met your soul mate. Well, you can extend the date, certainly, but you also know you're going to get a second date, so don't freak out. Don't get desperate. Play it cool. Your soul mate will go out with you again.
- A Movie - In addition to being a seriously boring date, you leave absolutely no opportunity for conversation. When are you going to talk to your date? Driving? During the trailers? The purpose of a first date is to get to know somebody a little. A movie doesn't afford that opportunity.
- Most physical things - Unless you know for a fact that your date likes to do a particular physical activity, things like hiking, biking, rollerblading, tennis, and whatever else you can think of, should be avoided because the difference in your skill levels is likely to cause problems. Though if you're going to do one of these things, make sure they are done very simply and in a non-competitive way. Hiking for instance - make sure it's easy and short. There's nothing a woman would rather do than start sweating profusely in front of her date or break her leg climbing rocks. However, what can be a bigger turn-off, is if your date is just a complete wimp. I went on a hike with a woman and she was completely frightened of any strenuous part of the hike. That interaction was not pleasant for either of us. This goes both ways, obviously. Remember, your idea of easy may not be his or her idea of easy.
- Hitting the bars - You may like drinking. She may like drinking. You may even have met her in a bar and gotten jiggy with it after a few drinks. Still, it's just not a good idea. Nothing good can come of it. Somebody is going to drink too much and unless you admire alcoholism in a partner, some kind of bad impression is going to result. Yes, the upside is you may score, but more bad will come than good.
- Driving together - The reasons for avoiding driving together are the same reasons for avoiding dinner. If you're driving with somebody, there's no way to leave if things start going wrong. What if you pick the woman up and she starts talking about eating cat? What if she's flatulent? It also puts pressure on the woman that will make her feel uneasy. Any first date should be an arrangement where you meet at the location by separate vehicles if at all possible. Once you pick a woman up, you know where she lives and once she gets in your car, you have her trapped for some period of time and she's not in control of where you're going. While most situations like this turn out fine, this is hardly extreme paranoia. Whether the woman admits it or not, you're placing her in an uncomfortable position from the beginning of your date and that's not how you get a date to go well.
- Playing video games - Unless you know for a fact that the woman is really into Elder Scrolls or you met her on the Warcraft chat board, do not assume that your date is going to want to watch you slaughter bad guys with your machine gun or watch you hack elves with your mighty long sword with the +3 to defense diamond enchantment. There's nothing like having a first date that screams "get a life!"
- Anything involving your parents - However innocent you may think it is, do not involve your parents in your first dates. Do not suggest going over to their house to say hello. Do not suggest going bowling with your parents. Do not stop by to pick something up. Make sure you know where your parents are and don't run into them at the store. Introducing a first date to your parents is creepy and smacks of desperation. And what do you do if you live at home? Well, don't have your date pick you up there and don't take her back there. If you absolutely have to take her home, make sure your parents know you're having a date and to be out of your way. Whether you're 14 or 40, introducing a woman to your parents on the first date screams something is wrong with you.
- Anything involving your kids - This is as much for the sake of your kids as your sake, but either way, it's not a good idea. In the best situation, it places added pressure on the woman to get your kids to like her. In the worst situation, she sees that you have ugly or misbehaved children and she realizes she has to get the hell out of there. This is the ultimate no-no if the woman you are dating doesn't have children of her own. If the woman does have children, you wouldn't introduce yours to her until she suggests it. And if she suggests it on the first date? Then you know she doesn't know what she's doing and is probably more screwed up than you.
- Hunting - There's nothing most woman enjoy more than seeing a man shoot a helpless animal, particularly for sport. Whether it's squirrels, prairie dogs, or deer, there are very few women who want to kill things on their first date. And if you primarily hunt for food, most women are probably not into watching you gut your prey either. In fact, you should probably not reveal that you even own a gun until you find out what her position on such things is. And if owning a gun is important to you, that should be something you've vetted already anyway. Generally speaking, try not to kill things on your first date.
- Anything involving a public restroom (bonus #11) - I thought I'd provide a bonus point. Try not to do anything or go anywhere that involves your date being in a position where she has to use a public restroom. And if you have to be in this position, the less public, the better. In other words, rate the date on the basis of how public a restroom the woman might have to use. Women hate public restrooms, generally speaking. If she has to use one, she's likely to blame you, since you set up the date. So, if you go on a long walk in a public park and the woman has to drop trow in one of those filthy restrooms, it's going to reflect poorly on you.
© 2011 Allen Donald