Struggling to get past first date territory? Not entirely sure what’s going wrong between the entrée and dessert? If so, you’re in the right place. We’ve gathered nine things that you could be doing wrong that sends your date running for the hills.
Because let’s face it: first dates are hard. From the preparation to the event, all the way through to the post-event analysis, first dates are work with a capital W. Wouldn’t it be easier if we were all assigned one man who was physically, mentally and spiritually perfect for us? Then you’d both ride off into the sunset while the wind blew artful curls into your hair and the waves of the ocean provided a blissful soundtrack to your perfect love…
Okay, time to wake up. That’s not happening in this lifetime, doll. So rub the sleep out of your eyes, slug down some caffeine and focus on our list of nine things you’re doing wrong that fudge your chances of ever making it to a second date.
#1 You Suck at the Pre-date
‘Pre-date?’ You might be asking. ‘What the heck is a pre-date?!’ Well, my still single friend, the pre-date is what happens before (or pre) your date. Technical, right? But the pre-date is absolutely critical, because as much as you’d like to think the timer on your first date clicks ‘go’ when you step out of the car/open the front door/catch his eye at the front of the cinema, it doesn’t. Your first date actually started from the moment he asked you out. Or maybe you asked him out, or your cousin’s mother’s friend set you up. Whatever. The point is that your pre-date work could be wrecking your first date.
How you respond to the initial invitation of a date is crucial. If you’re telling him the location you want, the time and date you want to see him, how you want him to dress and what tests you want him to take beforehand, you need to chill out. You’re bossing him around before he’s even hung up the phone.
On the flip side, if you’re okaying everything he says and responding with ‘I’m easy!’ every time he makes a suggestion, you’ve gone too far. Anti-relax a little. You need to have your own opinion, thoughts and brain too. Find it, fast.
And in case you hadn’t guessed, pre-date communication should be kept to a minimal. So that means no texting, calling, emailing or poking before the first date. Communication should be limited to a confirmation of the date only. Any more and you’re painting a great, big ‘desperate’ sign on your forehead. Settle petal. There’ll be plenty of time to talk later. When you’re actually on the first date.
#2 Your Outfit is Sending out the Wrong Signals
This one’s really simple: the dress you’re wearing either says ‘take me now!’ or ‘touch me and die’.
In an effort to create an outfit that isn’t too slutty and isn’t too prim, sometimes we can get it horribly, terribly, unforgivingly wrong. Trying to make your short skirt classy by adding thigh-high boots? Wrong. Combining leather-look skinny jeans with a granny cardigan? Wrong. Only a Victoria’s Secret model can pull that off.
So what could be adding a subconscious ‘only’ to your first date (making it your first and only) could just be your outfit. A good rule to stick by is to only show off one part of your body at any one time. If you’re wearing a short skirt, make sure your girls aren’t on display. If your cleavage is practically touching your chin it’s so well displayed, then you should probably be wearing long pants.
Also, try to dress right for the occasion. Wearing sky high stilettos, leather pants and a sexy top to a basketball game might give you confidence, but it also makes him think you’re high maintenance. So take into consideration where you’re going and what you’re doing and dress accordingly.
#3 I Spy with My Little Eye: a Fake!
So you told him that you love hiking outdoors and that spending time in Mother Nature’s delights makes you so at peace it’s almost transcendental. When the reality is that the last time you were anywhere even close to nature was when you accidentally walked into a camping store in the mall. Not a big deal, right? Everyone tells fibs on the first date.
Well, sure. Everyone who doesn’t want to make it to a second date. Because the instant you lie about what you like, how you feel or what your opinions are, you start being fake. And guys can sense fakeness from a mile away. Maybe your eye twitches when you lie, or you just can’t meet his eyes. Or maybe, he can just tell that you’re not really passionate about the great outdoors. And then he’ll start wondering why you’d lie about something like that. What if that wasn’t the only thing you lied about? Before long, he’s zoned out of the date and is thinking about what the score will be on the football game he missed. You lost him at ‘Oh, I love –‘.
#4 Your Keen-o-meter is Wrecked
The art of keenness is a delicate talent indeed. It’s a skill that has the potential to destroy a first date before it’s even time for the main meal. So how do you identify a broken keen-o-meter? Well, you could be acting too keen, flipping your hair, batting your eyelashes and cooing ‘Oh, you’re so smart!’ anytime the poor guy says anything. You’re all over him like a horizontally challenged kid on a cupcake.
Or maybe you’re shrugging your shoulder, looking around the room and muttering ‘sure’ in response to his questions. You couldn’t be colder if you were both naked in an ice rink.
Whatever it may be, you judged the environment completely wrong. You are trying too hard, or not trying hard enough. You need to find the middle ground where you’re not pouncing on the guy when he turns his head and you’re not pretending to doze off either. Be natural, interested and friendly. Stop short of creepy arm touching.
#5 Ex-hibition not Wanted
We get it: your ex was amazing. Or maybe, he was a total jerk. Either way, your first date shouldn’t have to hear about him. That’s right, he shouldn’t have a clue why you broke up, how long you dated, what you fought over or what the name of your joint pet goldfish was. No. Clue. He shouldn’t even know the guys name.
Why? Because it’s uncomfortable for all involved. If you spend more than a sentence talking about your ex (and that’s only in relation to a question your date asked) then it’s too much. Don’t give your date the impression that you’re still hung up on your ex or that there’s a reason you’re single. You’re a normal girl, on a normal date, with a normal guy. So, act like a normal person and do not bring up your ex on your first date.
#6 Missing: 1 x Personality
Ever been on a date where you were so interested in the guy you completely forgot to tell him anything about you? Instead, you spent the whole night asking about his likes, his dislikes, his family and his friends. You learnt what he majored in at college, how he was fired from his first job and what his favorite soda flavor was. And somewhere along the way, you lost your personality. You morphed into a nodding, grinning, encouraging blow-up doll.
Now, of course it’s good to show interest in his life and discover what he enjoys. But he shouldn’t walk away feeling like he knows nothing about you either. He should know just as much about you as you do him. Your first date is an opportunity to – wait for it – get to know each other better. So make sure there’s a little of you in that date too.
#7 You Act Like a Negative Nancy
Maybe you were told once that that if you wanted to appear cool and sophisticated, that you shouldn’t ever say that you like anything. That every topic should be met with a combination of distaste and displeasure. If so, this may explain why you spent the entire first date whining, complaining, moaning and scowling. It’d also clarify how you ended up telling him how much you hated your job/family/friends/housemates/dog/mail box. And it’d also explain why when you both parted ways after the date had ended, he had absolutely no intentions of calling you again.
We like being around happy, energetic, enthusiastic and fun people. We don’t like being around people who bring us down and only focus on the negatives. If we wanted that we’d watch the news. So don’t turn your first date into a bitch fest. Give the guy a break and if you legitimately don’t like something that you’re both talking about, don’t linger on it. Acknowledge the dislike and move on, before he moves on from considering you as a potential girlfriend.
#8 You’re Already Thinking of Names for Your First-born
Hello, crazy. Need a reality check? You’re on a first date. A first date! Stop thinking about how good he would look in a tuxedo, what your children will look like and what suburb you’re both going to live in. That dreamy/creepy look that appears on your face when you’re thinking these types of things will send him packing. 100%. So tone down the crazy talk, and focus on the now.
You’re not going to snap up a second date when your mind is already picking out the color palette for your wedding. Just like guys can sense fakeness and desperation, they can also sense craziness. And that is exactly what you’re displaying on, let me repeat, your first date.
#9 Ditching the Dutch
Sure, you’re independent, modern, sophisticated and classy. You don’t take hand outs from anyone. Pfft. You’re not a charity case! Right. We get it. But does that really mean you have to insist on going dutch on the first date?
It might be something you’re passionate about (why we’re not entirely sure) and if so, fine. Volunteer to go dutch. But if he says no, then don’t push it. If he says no twice, then leave it the heck alone. Let him feel like a man and pay the darn bill. Who cares? It’s not going to send either of you bankrupt and does it really matter if he picks up the cost for your first date? Hopefully there will be plenty of opportunities for you to pay for something on future dates. If you don’t stuff up your first one by pushing the issue of going dutch.
So put your adorable purse back in your trendy handbag. Now smile, and say ‘thank you’. There you go, that wasn’t too hard was it?
After all, first dates don’t have to be stress-inducing episodes. They can be fun, exciting, exhilarating and memorable. So why don’t you relax, be yourself, and let your next first date be exactly that?