There is always going to be that person who wonders to themselves after a first date, “I’m not sure what happened? Seemed like we had such a great first date.” Online dating is easy nowadays, it is the taking the relationship offline where it becomes challenging because now you don’t have a screen to hid behind. You are out there in the real world. You’re exposed.
People have a lot of expectations when it comes to the first date. Those expectations often surface as nervous energy, which may not work in your favor at the end of that date. Read on to learn what not to do on a first date, and more importantly why you don’t want to do these things.
Don’t Show Up Late
This. Is. So. Important. Show up on time. Punctuality says a lot about you. It tells the other person you are responsible, able to organize yourself and plan things in advance. It also shows the person you are meeting up with you respect them and their time as well.
If for some reason you are going to be late, make it known in advance, meaning don’t wait until you are supposed to be there to let your date know you will be “a few minutes late.” Let them know as in advance as possible, even if your only means to inform them is by text message.
Also, don’t say you’ll be a few minutes late if you’re more than 5 minutes away. For the person waiting in that restaurant, coffee shop or bar every minute feels like an eternity when you are waiting alone, and you can feel the eyes of everyone else around you looking in your direction. Its awkward waiting alone.
Punctuality means a lot more on a first date than you might think.
Don’t Skimp on the Personal Hygiene
Okay, so we know you must rush from work to go meet up with your date for the very first time, and as we already discussed above, you certainly don’t want to be late. Remember to plan things in advance if you know you are going to be low on time. Pack a bag with some fresh clothes, comb, deodorant, perfume or cologne, toothbrush and toothpaste, and any other items you may need to freshen up prior to your date.
Not only will you feel better freshening up just before your date, but you will smell great too, and your date will certainly appreciate that. If you are planning to go out on a date after hitting up the gym, then be sure to take a shower at the gym if available and pack all the shower essentials you will need. Remember to pack your razor if you’ll need to take care of that five o’clock shadow.
Don’t Talk About Your Ex
We’ve all had ex’s… ugh. It’s fine to share about your ex’s if you have been dating someone for a very long time and they are cool with listening to you, but the first date (even the fifth date) is not the place nor the time for you to share about your ex. Even if the other person casually mentions something about their ex, don’t take this as an open invitation to start rattling off about yours.
People often assume since everyone has an ex at some point it makes it common ground for conversation, this could not be farther from the truth. Consider it more like a mine field, if you take the wrong step it could result in very bad results for everyone in proximity. Whether you have good or bad things to say about your ex doesn’t matter, what matters is that you should zip-it, lock-it, and put it in your pocket. Don’t talk about your ex, or ex’s… ever.
Don’t Get Drunk
The fact that we feel the need to talk about this is somewhat silly. There are still people out there who believe since they Uber-ed to the restaurant or bar it is okay to get sloshed, hammered, three sheets to the wind, intoxicated, tipsy, drunk. No, no, no! Don’t do it.
First impressions are just that, first impressions. If you get tipsy, then your date is going to think you are someone who gets tipsy all the time, someone who drinks too much, and ultimately someone they don’t plan on having a second date with. Don’t get drunk.
Don’t Ramble On-and-On About Yourself
A first date is where you want to get to know each other, but you don’t need to share your whole life story up until that very day. Think of it as snippets into who you are. You are trying to peak the other person’s interest, so they want to go on another date with you and learn even more about what makes you uniquely you.
Rambling can be a nervous trait of yours, if this is you then decide that for each question your date asks you to only share a few thoughts or sentences, and then return the question back to them. Another helpful tip is to (literally) bite your tongue, but not too hard. Biting down on your tongue prevents you from speaking and forces you to listen to your date.
The Bottom Line
There are so many things you shouldn’t do on a first date, but these one’s top the list. Remember that no matter what you will be nervous n a first date, the nervous excitement is completely normal, just don’t let it take the wheel and start driving. Don’t drink too much to relax and loosen up. Don’t forget to put on deodorant beforehand because your first date nerves will cause you perspiration for sure.
Just show up on time, be yourself, and have some fun! ?
Written By: Jason Lee
Jason Lee is a journalist and data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.
His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.