Looking for Love? Here are the 7 very worst things to do on a first (or second) date that can kill a relationship before it even begins.
As a relationship expert I am asked two questions over and over again, “What is taboo on a first date?” and “How can I keep a date from being a dud?”
You’re smart, well-meaning, and hoping to find “the one.” And yet, even the savviest people can do dumb things on dates that can kill the relationship before it even begins.
In fact, there are so many ways to sabotage a date, I could write an entire book of them.
Yes, I have written several books on how to find love and not mess it up and give advice to men and women around the world on the topic.
For this story, I have selected the top 7 dating mistakes. They seem so basic but you’d be amazed how many people do these things and kick themselves later on!
Don’t Tell Everything Right Away:
Whether it’s a job interview, or a date, very personal information shouldn’t be shared until your date has a chance to know you a little more.
Divulging important intel about yourself is a must but by “don’t tell everything” right away I mean you don’t have to broadcast the most intimate details of your life. Be selective.
Don’t share how your yeast infection driving you nuts under the table (unless you’re getting intimate right away). There is plenty of time to talk about your stint in the slammer, bankruptcy and so forth later on.
No matter how tempting it is to talk to someone and get it off your chest, your date isn’t a therapist.
Don’t bring down the mood with details of your bitter custody battle with your ex, or that you and your mom had a huge blowout today.
Instead, talk about things that let your date learn about you in a positive way. Your passions, hobbies, job, funny stories about friends and family. There is plenty of time for heavy conversation, later on.
Serious personal information must be shared, but when it’s the right time-– not during your first drink or cup of coffee) when you’re just getting to know someone.
Be a Good Sport But not Against Common Sense:
Being adventurous, learning new things, and sharing hobbies is a benefit of meeting new people, but don’t be a good sport past your tolerance. For example, If you get seasick and your date wants to go sailing, say something. Keep silent and you’ll end up greener than the sea.
If you’re a couch potato and your date suggests a challenging bike ride or a difficult hike, best be honest about it. Nothing kills romance faster than passing out on the trail (now you get the idea…). Speak up or suffer, later.
Self Confidence Is Great, But Don’t Make False Claims:
It’s is fine to promote yourself as the wonderful person you are, but don’t do it at the risk of being a jerk. So you drive a Ferarri, found a cure for cancer, and are up for the Nobel Prize–really?!!!
Mention positives, but if you inflate your fabulousness too much, you’ll look like you’re just into yourself.
Also, you might get caught in a lie if you push reality too far. Ooops! End of relationship.
4. No Cell Phones or Selfies:
- This one really should be at the top of the list. The idea of a date is to focus on the other person, not to take selfies, or Instagram the food. It’s self-centered and it’s rude.
Even worse, don’t ask your date to take photos of you.
If you really must use the phone (e.g. to check in at home) and can’t tear yourself away for the amount of time the date requires without making phone calls, say so up front. Then, keep phone calls super short.
Consider: If your date doesn’t put the phone away, is this person someone you want to be with that’s more focused on a phone, than you?!
No Call for Alcohol!
- Under the theory at a drink will calm your nerves, the problem is that it might lead to two drinks, and then another…and another…
You already know if alcohol can get the better of you. No matter what, business rules apply: don’t drink at all, or drink lightly. Save happy hour partying for when you’re with friends.
If your date drinks too much or gets out of control, you already know not to allow an inebriated person to drive. And never get into a car with anyone who is drunk or overwrought.
Call an Uber and say “sayonara” to this relationship!
Safety Tip: consider setting up a “safe call” with someone you trust at a specified time so if you need to make a quick exit you have a plausible excuse (e.g. the babysitter called and my child is sick. The boss needs a report by 7AM I have to get home and finish it)!
- 6. Don’t Subject Your Date to Family and Friends Too Soon:
- In sitcoms, no one dreams of getting seriously involved with anyone who hasn’t passed muster with the wacky, zany and all-important group of friends. In real life, it’s pretty much the same way.
There will be instances where friends don’t “love the one you’re with.” This is even more true for the family.
The same mother who constantly bugged you to “go out and meet somebody nice” suddenly develops standards that the world’s most perfect person couldn’t meet once you bring someone home.
When you hear: “When are you finally going to introduce us to your new friend?” resist the urge until you are sure that this person is the one you’ll be seeing for a while and your relationship is solid.
On the other hand, friends and family can also bring up things about your special person that you might have not noticed. If your relationship is already secure, this may or may not matter to you.
- 7. Don’t mix Business and Pleasure At First:
The right person can brighten your evening and enhance your image in your company’s eyes by charming your boss and colleagues. The wrong choice of date can make you the target of office jokes, or worse.
Including someone new in a business or family event should best be kept for after you’re a secure couple. Know who you’re dealing with (including that person’s social habits), before you mix business with pleasure.
If It’s a Disaster:
If your date turns out to be a disaster, keep your sense of humor. When I was writing my relationship advice and dating books, I heard so many sad, ridiculous, and often hilarious dating stories. I had plenty of my own!
It may be hard for you to believe at the moment you’ve come home after another disappointing date, but keep a dating journal about your experiences.
Someday you will laugh about some of those terrible and terrific dating experiences. I did. I cried, and I survived. Then I found long-lasting love. You can TOO!
And There’s More:
It might be nice to have a date pick you up, but arrange your own transportation and meet in a public place until you know this person better. Don’t leave your car and go in someone else’s to a second location.
Smile even if you are nervous. It makes you look better and everything more fun.
Plan your date details before you meet. That way you can dress appropriately and get a sense of how long you’ll be together that day or evening.
Never invite someone inside your home until you’re sure you want them there.
Don’t say “I’ll call” or “let’s do this again” unless you really mean it. These trite date comments raise expectations you don’t want. You might say “it was nice meeting you” but don’t offer any more encouragement.
Keep a positive attitude. Remember that dating is temporary but the love you will find if you keep could be forever!