Let’s face it: today’s dating scene is drastically different than it was 30 or 40 years ago. We practically date our smartphones (in more ways than one). Apps, websites, and speed dating mean we can “meet” dozens of dating prospects in the course of an evening without even leaving home. Gender roles that dominated the dating scene in past decades are no longer a given, and some would say they have gone out the window entirely. We are no longer simply either “single” or “taken.” It’s complicated.
But some parts of dating are just as true now as they were 40 years ago. For example, there are still some things you should never do on a first date.
Everyone is tempted to tell a few little white lies on a first date to make sure they make a good impression. In fact, one study indicates that around 63% of people lie on a first date in an effort to impress the other party.
It’s hard to resist, but try to keep in mind that being dishonest, even about something that seems trivial, doesn’t help you reach your goal in the long run. It’s best to find out sooner than later that the two of you are not compatible, and it’s hard to do that when one or both parties is not being honest.
Even if you’re not looking for something serious, keep the conversation honest and be unapologetic about what you have to offer. Being appreciated is great. Being appreciated for who you really are is even better.
2. Spill your guts.
It’s one thing to be honest. It’s another thing to be too honest. We all have neurotic tendencies and embarrassing moments from our past. There’s no need to divulge with someone you barely know. Don’t make the common mistake of thinking that you’re not being honest if you keep some personal stories or facts to yourself for the time being. So exercise tact and enjoy yourself. Save those personal details for a little later.
3. Get drunk.
Nothing diffuses the awkwardness of a first date quite like a couple of glasses of wine. While it’s alright to let alcohol lubricate the social situation until you become more comfortable, do so with caution. Getting drunk on a date with a complete stranger can be dangerous. If you have a tendency to let one cocktail turn into three pretty quickly, maybe you should choose a mocktail over that martini.
Additionally, alcohol doesn’t exactly encourage you to use your best judgement. Consider skipping the alcohol to be your most composed, in-control self.
4. Go to a movie.
I cannot think of any reason why you might choose a movie as a first date besides the following. You:
Really, really don’t want to be on this date, in which case, why are you on it?
Really wanted to see this movie and don’t have anyone to go with.
Have a phobia of talking to people.
Seeing a movie is not only a terrible way to get to know your date, but it’s awkward to do with someone you barely know. Choose one of the 4,000 date ideas that are better than this one.
5. Mention your ex.
So you’re on a first date with a great guy. Things are going well until, right after the server arrives with the salads, your date starts talking about his ex-girlfriend! You’re slightly taken aback. You may even be downright appalled. This date is supposed to be a time for the two of you to get to know one another, not dwell on the past.
Do unto others, people. (You know the rest.) If you can’t go 2-3 hours without mentioning your ex, you are probably not in an emotional position to be dating.
6. Become too connected.
One of the most common pitfalls for women is to connect online with men they’re dating when things are going well. It seems obvious that there will be at least a second date, so you connect on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram. It makes it pretty awkward when that second date you were so sure about never happens. More importantly, your social media profiles may have personal information that you shouldn’t make available to a stranger.
Even if you feel comfortable with your date, you still don’t really know them. It’s best to wait until they are a real connection in your life (which means more than going to dinner one time) before creating too many online bonds. Don’t be afraid to tell your date that you’re not ready to be Facebook friends just yet. Besides keeping your private life private, you’ll remain mysterious for a little longer.
Even in today’s crazy and ever-changing dating landscape, these old-school tips will help you avoid some common first date errors. They are meant to ensure that the date is safe and fun for both parties. If that is happening, you can’t be too far off the mark.