First dates can be a lot of fun, and yet most people have a first-date horror story or two to tell. Make sure your upcoming date is filed under “successful” — and don’t make these first date mistakes:
1. Making a bad first impression.
You don’t need to be a designer-clad supermodel to make a great first impression. Good hygiene and a friendly disposition can go a long way. Iron your shirt, brush your teeth, be on time and smile.
2. Talking about yourself — and only yourself.
When nerves kick in, it’s easy to start babbling a mile a minute. Don’t let those nerves come across as narcissism. If you know you tend to talk about yourself in awkward situations, come prepared with a series of questions you can ask to shift the attention away from you. Show a real interest in your date and be intentional about getting to know him/her.
If you’re hoping this date will turn into another one, brush up on your table manners, thank your date when given a compliment, and treat your server well.
4. Talking about the future.
You can talk about your (personal) future, just not your (collective) future. It’s a first date. Focus on getting to know who your date is, not how they fit into your five-year plan.
5. Getting weird about money.
Men, as a general rule, if you initiated the date you should be prepared to pay for it, especially the first one. Women, if you suspect your date is footing the bill, be smart about your ordering habits. Steer clear of lobster and champagne — unless he’s ordering it, too.
(Ladies, it doesn’t hurt to offer to split the bill, as long as the offer’s genuine. Accept his generosity graciously if he insists on picking up the tab.)
6. Holding your date hostage.
A good date can turn into a bad one if it doesn’t end. Don’t drag out the evening. It’s better for a date to feel too short than too long. Keep your first date relatively simple, like a coffee date or a nice dinner, with an obvious ending. When the bill’s paid, go your separate ways. If you feel like you haven’t spent enough time together, great! Follow up with a second date in the very near future.