A first date is full of such opportunity. An opportunity to meet someone new. An opportunity to fall in love. An opportunity to make a bad impression. Really, that’s what makes first dates so stressful — the idea that you could ruin something great by doing something super small, but super terrible. Even though dating is my business, I still get nervous for first dates for this very reason. But the truth is, that as long as you’re being yourself, there’s very little that can go wrong. Just avoid these few small things that can totally make a bad first impression.
Getting your drink on
If you know me, you know that I have a strict two-drink-maximum policy for dates. And this isn’t because I’m against boozing. (Hello! I love a really good cocktail!) It’s because I’m protecting you from your drunk-self. Being too drunk is a huge turnoff. And it’s not putting your best foot forward. You won’t be able to pick up his cues as well, you won’t be as quick on your feet and you won’t be able to drive yourself home safely if you need a quick out. I say stay away from heavy boozing whenever you’re meeting someone new.
Running an interview
I know that you want to learn as much about this potential new honey as possible, and the easiest way is to ask. But think about it. No one likes a job interview. And that’s exactly what you’re turning your date into if you become a machine gun of questions. Keep conversation light and, most importantly, mutual. You shouldn’t be asking all the questions, and the questions you ask should spur conversation, not just fulfill your curiosity.
This is a total pet peeve of mine. Don’t be late. Just don’t. I know traffic stinks. Parking’s hard. Your flat iron broke and you had to run out and get a new one. I’ve heard all of the excuses. And all of them suck. Just be on time and show this guy the respect he deserves.
Blabbing about your ex
You’re on a date with a man, not in a therapy session to vent about your ex. Your ex is an ex for a reason, and that reason is probably that he sucks. Who wants to spend an entire evening hearing about a dude who sucks? No one. Plus, it’s hard for a new guy to suss out the difference between your icky feelings for your ex and your icky feelings for men in general. I’m not saying never talk about your ex. Of course, if he’s a big part of your past, you should tell your guy about him eventually. But just not on your first meeting.
Talking about money
Like your ex, money is an issue that should not be discussed on a date. I don’t care if you just got a raise at work, put a down payment on a new house or finally paid off your credit card debt. Don’t mention anything with a specific dollar sign attached to it. People are finicky about money. You never know, something you think is totally casual, totally cheap or totally obvious about your take on finances could be totally offensive to him. It’s better to play it safe and avoid the topic until you have a better sense of your guy.