First dates make everybody nervous. After messaging for weeks on Tinder, you finally land the first date and now it’s real. There’s the pressure of finding a great venue, preferably one where the bartender doesn’t know you by name (that’s a giveaway, Player). Then there’s all that smalltalk while you try to make a good impression… We hate to think of you squirming in the hot seat, so we compiled a list of our own first date screw-ups, as well as a few of yours, and think this should work perfectly next time you want to ask a babe out on a first date.
Keep it in your wallet, type it in your phone, hell, write it on the palm of your hand if you have to! We’ve got you covered either way.
1. Being Late
This one should be pretty obvious. She hates when you’re late and yes, she is most definitely keeping track of the time for the first three dates, at least! If you know you’re going to be anywhere from 5-10 minutes later than you expected, that deserves a text to give her a heads up. Anything more than 15 minutes and your ass better be calling to apologize for your tardiness. Don’t blow it because you couldn’t put the remote down or couldn’t stop reading an email you know is going to be there when you get home. Make an effort to be on time and show her that her time is important to you.
2. Appearing Cheap
Are you the guy who is constantly checking the prices on the menu? When she orders something you weren’t expecting, do you start sweating a little bit? Okay, well, there’s a chance you probably should be on the date anyway. “If you can’t afford two, don’t buy one,” that sort of thing, you know? Nobody likes a penny-pincher, especially with something like dinner. If you’re really going to take her out, take her out! Make sure you have enough cash or enough on plastic that you don’t have to worry about a thing and can remain relaxed on all fronts throughout the night. She can sense when you’re acting tense.
3. Dominating The Conversation
This is honestly the easiest thing not to do on a date so if you’re one of the guys who constantly messes this up; knock it off! Women love to talk and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, that actually plays in our favor on first dates. Invite her to talk about herself as much as she wants to. Get in where you fit in during the conversation. Trust us, she will appreciate you much more for allowing her to vent rather than listen to stories about you and your mates. If you two hit it off well during the first few dates, there will be plenty of time for you to share with her whatever your heart desires. In the meantime, sit back and relax, let her take control of the conversation(s).
4. Dropping The Ball On the Venue
Your “quiet” bar isn’t the same as her “quiet” bar. Try to gauge what kind of night she wants to have and take it down one notch from where your first instinct says to go. Also, it’s not a great idea to simply pick dinner or a movie as a standalone “date activity.” If you’re going to spend the evening with her, try to plan at least two things and keep one in your back pocket in case the two of you really hit it off. Trust us, the less she has to think about things and you allow her to just relax and be herself, the better the date will go.
It’s not a great idea to go to a movie, as a stand-alone activity, on the first date. Why not? Because you won’t have a chance to talk to each other or get to know the other person. It’s okay to see a movie before or after a drink or dinner, but don’t make it the only thing you’re doing, at least not until the third or fourth date.
5. Coming On Too Strongly
Yeah, yeah, you want some first date action, don’t ya?! Careful, now. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself, you might trip over the first hurdle and never even sniff the finish line. She will sense the second you start coming on too strongly and back off immediately. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen so let it happen naturally! If she wants to invite you back to her place, she will do that herself. Don’t be that guy who begs for her to let you come over. If you’re one of those guys who likes to take action, maybe ease some of her anxiety and ask if she wants to come back to your place for another drink or perhaps some coffee. In the meantime, rein in those hormones!
6. Talking About Your Ex
Do you want to hear about her ex?? We didn’t think so. Don’t start pillow talking too soon. Even if you want to bash your ex about how crazy she was and turn it around as a compliment to your current date about how not crazy she is, she does NOT want to hear about her. Whether you’re speaking positively or negatively about your former girlfriend, it gives the impression you aren’t entirely over her yet and sends a ton mixed signals in her direction. If the conversation naturally veers in that direction, sure, speak (somewhat) freely. But, the longer you can avoid the conversation, the better.
7. Treating Service Staff Badly
Don’t be an asshole! Nobody likes an asshole. Service staff honestly want you to have the best night possible. After all, the majority of their money comes from you, the customer. Be nice to those people, they treat you as well as you treat them. Oh, your date is also paying attention to that sort of thing, by the way. She’s paying close attention to how you treat people such as service staff, it’s a pretty clear indicator how you might treat her in the future, while also revealing some key aspects of your personality. Be a good table and don’t be cheap on the tip! You come across far more appreciative and even more like a gentleman.
8. Poor Phone Etiquette
Don’t be that guy whose phone is buzzing on the table all night long. Nobody likes that guy. IF you must keep your phone on the table during the date because work won’t allow otherwise, at least put it on ‘silent’ or ‘airplane mode’ so she doesn’t think you have somewhere else you would rather be. If you have to take a call, apologize about the situation, and politely excuse yourself. This shows her that your focus is on her, where it should be.
9. Having Bad Breath or Body Odor
We don’t care if you have to carry cologne in your pocket and excuse yourself to the bathroom to go spray a little extra. Bad body or and/or bad breath are NOT an option on a first date. Cleanliness is next to godliness, yes, but it’s also just plain civil. We know this sounds pretty basic but you would be very surprised how many people actually forget this sort of things on first dates because their mind is elsewhere. Take a 30-second timeout before you leave the house and make sure you covered all of your bases.
10. Not Caring How Your Date Gets Home
Even if your date doesn’t invite you back to her place or she declines your initiation back to hers, don’t be a jerk. If you two drove separately, walk her to her car, open her door, and make sure she gets on the road safely. If you two took a cab, offer to pay for her ride back. Escorting her back to her ride home is a very kind gesture and asking her to confirm she made it home safely is another step you could take that will make her feel safe. Even if the two of you know you won’t see each other again, it’s better to end things on a positive note.