It's Friday night and you're all geared up to go on that important first date. You have not dated in awhile and are pretty nervous that you'll screw things up. How do you keep from making a complete array of yourself and more importantly, make it to that seemingly out-of-reach second date? I have compiled a list of some simple tips to prevent you from making the most common costly first date blunders.
- Do not talk about your ex. It is very unattractive to tell your date all about the exes and what they did or did not do or how they did it. It really is a turnoff and drops your date's interest level. I'll take it a step further and say do not even discuss your great platonic bowling partner friend to whom you confide all your problems to. Your date will clearly see this person as a possible threat and who wants to begin a relationship in a competition? You want to keep the date as romantic and light as possible.
- Speaking of light, keep the heavy dramatic topics out of the conversation. Nobody wants to hear the gloom and doom of how you think the world will end due to global warming or why Bush is doing a terrible job. It is incredibly boring to discuss the current rise in interest rates and the way your boss is giving it to you in the rear end. Everything that comes out of your mouth should be positive and upbeat.
- Do not brag. It really is unimportant how much you have stowed away in your 401K and how your Jag gets 34 miles per gallon. We've all heard it a million times before so let that aspect of your life be discovered. It's okay to highlight a choice a few of your accomplishments but do not oversell yourself. You're not on commission.
- Do not get all touchy-feely. It's creepy and offensive. You're not at the point where you can take those freedoms so keep your hands to yourself. No pats on the back, arms around the shoulders, or hands on the knee. These things will come in due time so do not rush the touching. This stage has to arrive as a natural progress in the relationship.
- Do not talk about sex. It's distasteful and downright tacky. Everyone has heard all the libido stories and the dirty jokes. Keep it classy and sophisticated. You're an adult so you should know by now that it is completely unnecessary to drone on about what a champion lover you are. If you're so good, your date will find out historically.
- Be prepared. While spontaneity is a really nice attribute, it does not bode well for first dates. You should have a well-thought out plan of what you will be doing, when and where. Know your budget and plan accordingly. Make dinner reservations and purchase theater tickets ahead of time. It is embarrassing to arrive at your destination just to find out its packed to capacity and / or sold out. Give yourself enough travel time in between locations. And whatever you do, do not be late in picking her up. And ladies, I know it's tempting, but it really is a tiresome habit to keep him waiting for the sake of being "fashionably late." Be ready at least 10 minutes prior to the time he is scheduled to arrive.
- Do not be cheap. Guys, make sure you have enough in your pocket to cover the date including any custom tips and incidents. And just so we're clear, it is not cute to skimp out on tipping your waiter / waitress because your water was 2 degrees warmer than you would have liked it or any other cockamamie excuse you think your date will find funny. She will not. You will look like a jackass and nobody wants to be with a jackass. A proper gratuity is 10% of the total bill. And ladies, just because your date is expected to foot the bill does not mean you should come empty-handed. If you're going dutch, then of course that's self-explanatory, but if he's paying the check, you should at least offer to leave the tip. Beside, did not your mother always tell you to keep some change just in case?
- Do not be cruel to the wait staff. As I said in the previous tip, your date will not find it funny. This is really childish behavior and I'm sure you do not want to come off as immature. So, please, do not be over demanding and difficult towards your wait staff. Be courteous and polite at all times and treat them like the human beings they are. As the old saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
- Use proper etiquette. Pigs eat slop. People eat meals with silverware and use napkins. Save another time to let your date "pull your finger" and keep the gaseous eruptions to a minimum. Eat at a reasonable pace that allows for conversation without a mouthful of food seeing from the sides of your lips. And ladies, do not order the most expensive item on the menu just for the sake of its price tag and do not starve yourself in an attempt to keep looking like a glutton. If you're hungry, eat. He'd much more see you enjoy your meal than watch you scrunch up your face in agony of your efforts to disguise the loud rumbles erupting from your tummy.
- Last, this really should go without saying but, do not overindulge in alcoholic beverages. A first date is not the time to show off how well you can handle your liquor. The combination of first date jitters and ten beers can be fatal to any possibility of a second date. You should be well aware of your surroundings and in full possession of your faculties. You do not want to be so uninhibited that you forget your manners so keep it to a three cocktail maximum.
The first date can be a horrific, terrifying, grueling, romantic, exciting, fun and memorable experience. You will most likely be a bottle of nerves and make many mistakes through your special night but so will your date. Just remember these tips and be yourself. After all, the hardest part was getting the date in the first place.