Are you guilty of making these first date mistakes?
We all get nervous on first dates; it’s a natural part of the dating process. However, you can avoid the three most fatal dating mistakes, which will help set the stage for successful dating experiences in the future. Avoiding these three mistakes will make your date smile wider, laugh harder, and keep him/her wanting you more and more.
Mistake 1: Poor Manners.
You’re sitting at the table with an attractive date. The conversation is flowing well, and each of you feels intrigued by the other. You’re thinking, “This is a person I would love having in my life.” Then suddenly, one of the following things occur:
He utters a few curse words to punctuate a story he’s sharing.
She picks food from her teeth with her fingers.
He begins dominating the conversation and oversharing.
She takes a cell phone call, responds to a text, beginning a conversation with someone else on her electronic device.
Nothing kills chemistry faster than poor manners. Let’s review some common courtesies that often go forgotten:
Leave the locker room talk in the locker room. Few dates, men or women, are impressed with a sailor’s mouth. When used energetically, curse words hold negative energy. So, when you choose to let those salty words fly, it puts a negative energy into the space, which is rude and disrespectful to your date. Practice good table manners. Be mindful to use toothpicks, napkins, and chew with your mouth closed!
Allow a give and take in the conversation. If you dominate the conversation with oversharing, the other person will not have the space to ask questions or share in a natural way. So relax. Talk a little and listen. Let the other person share or ask. Then share more. Give and take in conversation is so important, and reveals whether or not you can give and take in other areas of the relationship.
Save the texting or cell phone calls for another time. The only exception to this rule is if you are a parent of young children, and need to remain in touch in case of an emergency. If an emergency does occur, the polite thing to do is to apologize to your date and say, “I’m so sorry for this interruption — this is an emergency with my child. Let me step out to take this call, and I will be right back.”
This is a very different situation than just having a casual chit-chat with your children who want to catch you up on their day while you’re on a date, especially a first date.
For example, Jon had not been out on a date for a long time. He finally met a woman, Lydia, that he thought was amazing, and asked her out. During the first date, his teenaged daughter called him just to chit-chat. Instead of saying, “Dear, I’m on a date right now, Daddy will call you later,” he proceeded to have a more lengthy conversation with his daughter than with Lydia. He even included sharing with his daughter, “Oh yeah, you’d like this lady I’m with…,” and proceeded to talk about Lydia’s appearance.
Thus, Jon effectively communicated to Lydia that he didn’t have boundaries around his role as a father or his role as a single man. He proved to Lydia that he was not able to simply schedule another time to talk with his daughter. No one enjoys having a third party on a date, even if that person is joining in electronically. Needless to say, Lydia did not accept a second date with Jon.
Mistake 2: Comparing Your Date to Your Ex.
One of the most common mistakes in dating is to share comments that compare your current dating partner to your ex. Comparisons may include comments such as: “Oh wow, you look just like my ex.” “The way you speak reminds me of my ex.” “When you tilt your head as you talk, it reminds me of my ex.” “You have the same build as my ex.” Or worse: Your date might accidentallly call you by his ex’s name.
Comparisons to your ex immediately discounts the uniqueness of the person in front of you and says, “I am seeing you through a lens of comparison to someone else whom I was intimate with, rather than accepting you for your unique self.” Sharing that comparison can lead some people into talking about their ex, and rehashing the previous relationship. This is another major dating no-no. It’s certainly not the way to start a new relationship.
If you find yourself making comparisons to your ex in the early stages of dating, there is a good chance that you will project whatever unprocessed feelings you have about your ex onto your new dating partner, especially when you hit your first few bumps in the relationship. You might imagine that your dating partner is exhibiting the behaviors or attitudes that your ex did during difficult moments, and find yourself reacting to him or her as if that person is your ex. This type of of projection can ruin relationships.
Mistake 3: Poor Follow-Up.
You’ve had that first date and are feeling intrigued. You’ve also been told the feeling is mutual. Excitement is high, and you’re really looking forward to seeing your date again.
Then you hear, “Er…let’s have a coffee or dinner some day” and no specific plans are offered. Screeech–listen to the sound of the breaks being hit hard! This kind of vague offer to get together again communicates several things: lack of interest, lack of confidence, and a lack of desire with making solid plans.
If you are truly excited to see your date again, be very specific. “I am really into you and cannot wait to see you again. How about Wednesday night at 8:30pm? Can I take you to dinner?” Nothing is more attractive and sexy than a person who is able to express confidence and comfort with setting up a date in a very specific way.
Also, know that if you get into a habit of accepting dates with people who make vague plans, you are effectively “teaching that person,” that ”I am not worthy of the effort of solid and committed plans in dating.” It is not a good precedent to set in a new relationship. Vague plans get old quickly, and do little to make you feel valued in the relationship.
We all are worth that special excitement that comes from looking forward to spending time with a person who is just as committed as we are. Creating a specific time and place to enjoy each other is the perfect way to show your date you truly care for them.