Ever make first date mistakes? We all do. Here’s how to do better next time.
You’ve got first date jitters. You’re waiting at the coffee shop, a little nervous. What if she doesn’t show up? What if he looks nothing like his profile photos? What if I spill my drink? What if I’m so attracted, I forget how to talk, and I sound like an idiot?
Whether you’re 25 or 55, first dates can be scary.
I’ve been on many first dates since my divorce. Some were wonderful—great conversation, attraction, and a second date was planned before the date ended.
And some were cringe-worthy—the guy who couldn’t stop talking about himself, the one who wore so much cologne, I could still smell him three days later.
These bad dates are usually good people who made a few unfortunate first date mistakes.
They didn’t have a clue. People just like my date ‘John’ (not his real name). He was a decent guy who made a bunch of first date mistakes that could have been avoided. He’s probably still making them, wondering why women keep turning him down.
This is for all the ‘Johns’ out there who’ve made first date mistakes. If you’ve ever wondered why you couldn’t get that second date, this one’s for you…
My first date with John: 4 big mistakes that could have been avoided
I walked into the restaurant and spotted John sitting by the window. Or at least, I thought it was him, but this guy was much older, shorter, and heavier than the guy in I saw on the dating site.
It’s always a little shocking when someone doesn’t look like the photos they posted online. While I was disappointed that he misrepresented himself, it wasn’t a deal breaker for me.
I always look for the good in my dates. I want to see if there’s a connection, and whether we have good energy together. And he had pretty blue eyes and a warm smile. I was open to seeing how things progressed.
He had invited me to brunch, so we went to the counter to order our food. He asked, “Are you hungry?”
“Yes,” I said. “I’m starving”.
“I’m not hungry at all,” said John. “I ate a big breakfast this morning. I only want coffee. Please, feel free to order whatever you like.”
What? You ate already? Awkward! But, I was too hungry to care, so I ordered an egg sandwich and coffee.
Mistake #1: Don’t invite someone out to eat if you’re going to eat before the date.
As I sat there devouring my egg sandwich, he began a heated discussion about religion. Or shall I say, a monologue? He had extreme views on God and religion. He had even written a book on the topic, and once he got started, he became quite fired up.
It was way too intense for me. So, I politely changed the subject.
Mistake #2: Stay away from controversial topics on a first date.
It’s not a good idea to talk about religion, politics, or sex on a first date. The first date is primarily for meeting, to see if there’s interest in a second date. Keep the conversation light as you’re getting to know one another.
Talk about the values you have in common. Discuss that trip to Bali. What do you do when you’re not working? Why do you love about your job? Do you do volunteer work? Talk about those things—all good (safe) topics for successful first date conversation.
By this time, I needed a break, so I excused myself and went to the ladies room. When I returned, he looked me up and down, and said, “You’re very youthful. I’m probably too old for you.” Compliment or…bad move?
Mistake #3: Don’t put yourself down.
“I’m probably too old for you?” He was only seven years older.
I have no problem dating older men, especially when they are youthful, vibrant, and energetic. I don’t date older men who have poor self-esteem and self-sabotage throughout the date, which he did several more times before the date ended.
He said, “I don’t make a lot of money. Russian women only want to date men who make a lot of money.”
He then told me a story of a Russian woman he had dated, how pretty she was, how he slept with her, and how she left him because she wanted someone with a lot of money.
Yikes! Don’t share your sexual escapades about another woman with me. And, please don’t talk about women who rejected you. It makes you sound pathetic. Why would I want to date the booby prize?
Mistake #4: Don’t share stories about your exes, especially if they dumped you!
When he called to ask me out a few days later, I thanked him, but said I didn’t think we were a romantic match.
John is bright, cultured, interesting, and he has a good heart. If he stopped sticking his foot in his mouth and putting himself down, he would definitely have a lot more luck in the love department.
The moral of this first date story
What can we learn from my first date with John? Be your best on a first date (and every other date). Please don’t put yourself down, and stay away from hot topics like sex, politics, and religion, until you know each other a little better.
Confidence is sexy
If you want to attract a confident partner, work on building up your self-worth. Hold your head high, and value yourself in every area of your life, especially on a first date. You won’t get another chance to make a great first impression.
Have you ever sabotaged a first date by saying or doing something you regret? Please share your stories below.
Photo: Flickr/Petras Gagilas