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The First Date - Don't Scare Him Off

Updated on February 28, 2010

I remember my friend Pete. He was 30ish at the time. Successful. Settled. He wanted a family. He would speak about it sometimes, how he felt ready, how much fun it would be to bring his kids to Ranger games one day. He admitted to me once that when he'd see Dads at the Garden with their little kids in their little jerseys, he could actually feel a physical ache, he wanted it so badly.

He went on a blind date with a woman his brother works with. About 2 hours in, he called me from the bathroom. “Call me back in ten minutes with an emergency. Get me the fuck out of here.”

An hour later we were sitting at the bar in Jekylll and Hyde’s drinking dirty martini’s. “OK, so tell me. What the hell happened?”

“It was awful,” he said. “I don’t even know. I just had to get out.” He actually looked shaken.

“Well, where is she from?”

He shook his head. “I don’t know.”

“Don’t tell me she’s an Islander fan.”

He shrugged. “No clue.”

After a few more questions – what kind of music does she like, what are her hobbies, what kinds of books does she read, is she a democrat… all of which went in that same shrugging direction, I gave up. “Alright. What DO you know about her?”

“I know her sister just had her second baby, Theresa. I know it’s her little sister and that kills her. I know her time clock is ticking, and she wants to get married and have babies as quickly as possible. She likes the name Winston if it’s a boy. And I know her mother asks her all the time, why isn’t she married like her sister.” He downed the rest of his martini and waved at the bartender frantically for a second.

That poor girl. She was actually out with a man that wanted the same things she wanted. He hadn’t freaked out because of what she was saying. He freaked out because of when she was saying it.

“Who the hells dumps all this at someone so fast?” Poor guy was blinking and twitching.

Being on a first date is like meeting any one for the first time.

A neighbor, a coworker, a friend of a friend. You start gradually. Generally you do not begin the conversation with the worst possible things you can think of. You don’t start with a focused agenda. If they did it, you’d think there were a few screws loose, and you’d be right.

I’m not saying lie. I’m not saying to hide things. I’m saying, there is a certain amount of time you should know someone before the topics of conversation become very intimate and personal. The first date is no different. There is an order to revealing yourself.

Your ticking biological clock is just one example. Talking about your ex doesn’t usually bode too well during the first meeting either. Odds are your date doesn’t want to be lead to believe you’re living in the past. He probably doesn’t want to hear how many partners you’ve had, or how your ex was a narcissist. He doesn’t want to hear how you’ve never been good enough for your mother, and how all your friends are getting married and how badly you want to have a baby. He doesn’t want to hear how you never got over that guy in high school that broke your heart.

All of these things may be true. And, yes, they are all important for you to discuss in a relationship. But a first date is not a relationship. There is an order to things.

You Rock! Don’t You?

There are many other things about you that aren’t on the scary list. Maybe you speak a second language, play guitar, collect matchbox cars. Maybe you just read Survival of the Sickest and you’d love to discuss it. The Matrix is one of your favorite movies. You saw Blink 182 in concert a bunch of times. You go to Ireland every fall and you saw the Mammoth head at the Celtic Museum in Dingle. You have opinions about art, and music, and politics. You have traveled, you have an interesting job, you kick ass at Halo. You’re a Ranger fan. You’re an excellent photographer. You’re in a darts tournament next Friday. You once met Carmen Electra in Kennedy Airport. You make a mean lasagna.

There are hundreds of things that make you “you,” many of which a first date would love to hear about.

Scaring Him Off

Sometimes this sabotaging is on purpose. For some people it’s easier to end things before they start. Blowing it fast and hard is easier than taking a real risk, by taking the chance that someone might actually like you.

It’s true, telling him you can’t wait to get married and breed will scare him off. And then you can tell yourself, "Well I’m glad I found out now, nice and fast, instead of later." You convince yourself he was scared off because he doesn’t want what you want. You think: He must not want marriage and kids.

Think again.

What most likely scared him off is the fact that you were so desperate and insecure that you actually brought this up on the first date.

Pace yourself. Take your time. You won’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Try to keep your first date light and fun. Get to know someone and let them get to know you a little bit before you reveal your more personal secrets or serious issues.

Don’t rush it.

“The universe tends to unfold as it should.”

-Adam Siska

Blink 182 - First Date

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*All text is original content by Veronica.

All photos are orignal content by Veronica, or used with permission. All videos are courtesy of


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    Sara Stanford 

    10 years ago

    Wow. This is probably the best looking hub i've ever seen. Great story there. We all talk about our ex's during conversation. think i may have to take your advice.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from NY

    Sam, i'm so glad you've made the trip from the blog to the hubpages. Thanks for checking me out over here. Thanks for the awesome compliment too.

    And I got your email. And no, the post on the blog from May 4 2008 is not a current piece I wrote. Most of my posts are about moments passed, or were written in past moments.

    I wrote that around 1993, and it's about my cousin actually.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    This is a great piece. I think I have done a few of these things correctly but I def did a few wrong. thanks for the insite. I am one of your blog readers checking out your hubs now. i agree with the thought process that taking dating and relationship advice from a single person is like taking work advice from an unemployed person. obvious they dont know what to do. you're advice is meaningful to me because you dated so actively til you were 30, and then married. i know this from your blog. Anyone so happily married 11 years must have some good advice to share.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from NY

    It's done Jason. I hope you'll check it out. Thanks again

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from NY

    You got it, Jason. I'll link you as soon as it's up. ;)

  • Jason Stanley profile image

    Jason Stanley 

    10 years ago

    First date? Oh my God! I would be horrible on a first date, and probably if she sneezed, or said much more than hello I would break out in a cold sweat and bolt for the door. Clearly I have been married a looong time and the thought of going on a first dates is enough to bring me to my knees either from the shock or in prayer to end the pain.

    Foolishness aside, since you did such a good job here, how about writing a hub on first dates for those who are "mature" (read older) and newly re-singled?

  • Marisa Wright profile image

    Kate Swanson 

    11 years ago from Sydney

    What a good example to illustrate your point! Go on a date and start talking immediately about how desperately you want to have kids, and your date will read it as, "I don't care whether you're the right man for me or not, I'm going to grab you and use you as a sperm bank!".

    A guy wants to know you want him for himself first, and as a father second - no matter how much he may want children too.

  • Brandy Owens profile image

    Brandy Owens 

    11 years ago from Wherever life takes me

    I loved reading this. It's very informative and true. Thumbs up.

  • pjdscott profile image


    11 years ago from Durham, UK

    A most informative hub - it makes me glad that I'm already taken! I wish I had read it when I was younger though - where were you then Veronica?!!!!

    Thanks for cheering up my Valentine's day and have a great one yourself!

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    oh hi, V! didn't know you were about but glad you are. it is a fun hub and many aspects of dating are funny if not always fun. at least they make good fodder, heehee. :D

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from NY

    Thanks! I had fun writing this one, thinking about all those first dates I've been on...

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    good advice and as always, nicely written. :)

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from NY

    Ha. I don't know! I remember always looking for something like popcorn shrimp: petite bite sized, not alot of stuff to get stuck in your teeth.

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    Great article!! So dam true..

    Are girls still only ordering salads on first date's now days?????


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