Rookie First Date Mistakes You Should’ve Stopped by Now
Whether you’re going on a first date because you hope it will lead to A) sexy time, B) a second date, C) a relationship, or D) all of the above, there are certain behaviors that will guarantee you will get secret option E) nothing. These are those behaviors. Don’t do them.
This is a good lesson for life, not just dating. Being late shows that the other person’s time isn’t important to you. They have made the time to show up for you, so it’s just good manners to do the same for them. That said, sometimes your car/subway really does break down or you really do get lost. In those situations, an apologetic text goes a long way.
Pretending to know what you’re talking about when you actually have no idea
If your date has a black cord in capoeira and you start talking about downward dog, you’re going to look rather foolish. It’s okay for you to say you have no idea what capoeira is. In fact, your date will probably enjoy explaining it to you.
Regardless of whether or not your end game is a serious relationship and/or marriage, NO ONE wants to meet “Married Guy/Girl” on the first date. It will appear as if whoever is standing next to you at the wedding ceremony is irrelevant, so long as you get to that point before you turn whatever age you’re creeping up on. A first date is about getting to know someone, enjoying the moment and opening up the door for a second date. There’s plenty of time to pick out baby names. A first date is not that time.
Talking only about yourself
We get it. Sometimes you’re nervous on a first date, and you want to talk about things you know. And what do you know better than yourself? Still, this is also the time to show how interested you are in the person you’re with. Ask them questions, let them ask you questions. Let it be a conversation with give and take. Basically: calm the fuck down.
The lip ambush
A first kiss has to be mutually agreed upon. You can’t just pull a surprise sneak-attack kiss. First of all, if you think she wants you that badly there’s a very good chance she does not and then it’s just awkward for everyone. There will be a very noticeable pause and lean-in from both parties if a kiss is on the menu. The “grab and kiss” that you saw in a Ryan Gosling movie should be thrown out from your repertoire because… you are not Ryan Gosling.
Trying to get laid on the first date
Sometimes it’s okay to leave room for romance. It’s not a race. Not going home with your date after your first rendezvous doesn’t equal a lack of interest. In fact, it may very well be a sign of real, genuine interest -- specifically, interest in not turning this budding relationship into a one-night stand.
Not being prepared to get laid on the first date
It’s 2015. Sometimes you’re just in the mood to bang, so let the stigmas go. There’s a very real chance that a second date will happen, even if you spread ‘em on the first. So shave those legs, manscape and for the love of god someone remember to carry the condoms.
Not offering to pay
Yes, ladies. I’m talking to you. Like we said, it’s 2015. The man isn’t required or supposed to pay for everything. You should definitely offer. That said, gentlemen, maybe don’t let her pay on the FIRST date.
Checking out someone else
Really? Come on.
Making the date anything longer than a drink
Unless you have known each other for YEARS and this date was a long time coming, then please, please do not make it anything longer than a drink or cup of coffee. This is pure self preservation, because there’s a real chance that your gym crush/OkCupid match/that guy on Tinder is just straight awful. You don’t want to be locked into a full meal with them. Say you have plans later in the evening so that there is a cap to the date. If it’s going extraordinarily well then you can extend it to dinner and/or sex, or at least plan a second date.
Bringing up past relationships/hookups
No. Stop. Bad.
Having poor hygiene
It might not matter to you that you have dirt under your fingernails, but people notice, especially if those people are interested in having those fingers touch them. Clean that shit up.
Spending time on your phone
You can put the fantasy sports/Facebook/Instagram on hold for an hour. I guarantee no one is going to miss your filtered photo of the cocktail you’re drinking.
Looking nothing like your pictures
This only applies if you met online. No one likes false advertising. About anything. Don’t load up your dating profile with all downward angle photos. Your date is obviously going to be disappointed and then you’re going to feel like shit. How is that fun for anyone?
Correcting each other
A first date is not the time to let your partner know you’re a grammar nazi. It’s okay to let “who” vs. “whom” go. At least just for the night.
While it might seem polite to say, “Whatever you want to do,” sometimes that’s just plain annoying. Guys, it’s sexy when you take charge and make a plan. Women like to know you’ve put thought into the evening, or at least aren’t a social recluse who knows few things about the place in which you live.
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Meagan Drillinger is a contributing writer for Thrillist. She once went on a first date with a guy who talked about their future children. There was not a second date. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @drillinjourneys.