First date…there are probably no other two words in the entire English language that stir up as wide of a range of emotions as these two. For some people, the words get them excited and get butterflies flapping around their stomach as they imagine the possibilities of finding love. For others, they incite cringing and uneasy thoughts of having to meet someone new for the first time.
Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, everyone has one thing in common. We all want our first dates to go better and be less, well, cringe-worthy. In this article, I’m going to cover some of the biggest mistakes people make on first dates. Ideally, if we can correct some of these big blunders, your first date experiences are going to be much more enjoyable.
Before I even get to talking about what to do on your first date, I need to cover something much more important. You need to make sure that you are not setting yourself up for failure by going on bad first dates. What is a bad first date? A bad first date is one where you know it’s a bad idea before you even take the first step out of the house. Now, I’m not referring to those of you that think every date is a bad idea and plan on being cat-ladies or cat-men for the rest of your life. I’m referring to those of you that know in the back of your mind that this particular date is a bad idea.
How do you make sure you aren’t going on bad first dates? Well, it all starts with meeting quality people. If you’re struggling to find quality people, I highly recommend this How to Meet Quality Singles guide which will walk you through the steps you need to stop dating the duds.
Secondly, you need to give each date an unbiased look before agreeing to go on it. You do not have to say yes to everyone you ask out. You also don’t have to ask out every single person you talk to. I repeat, you are under no obligation to go on any date ever no matter what anyone tries to tell you. Start looking for quality, and you’ll already be way ahead of the ball before you even step foot out the door on your first date.
First dates would be lightyears easier if we were forced to go on them immediately after they were scheduled. The problem with the time between scheduling and going is that our minds are able to run rampant. We start to imagine every bad scenario that could happen and convince ourselves that is what it is going to be like. We start analyzing every little thing about the date until we are blue in the face.
What am I going to wear? Where should we eat? Is that place too loud? Is my outfit too confident? Do these shoes work? What happens if they don’t like me? Should I talk about my work? I could really go on forever. While some of these questions are important (it’s hard to go on a date if you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re wearing), most of them are just going to send you down an overthinking spiral.
Focus on the things that are important and allow the rest to happen. You do not need to plan out every single detail. In fact, doing so is probably going to doom the date from the start.
You’re a more positive person? Don’t have a problem with overthinking all the negative things that could happen? You’re still on the hook here too. A lot of people spend that time before a first date imagining the person they are going out with as the perfect Romeo or Juliet. You find yourself asking and answering questions about the person in a way that fits your perfect narrative. Do they like the same music as me? Of course, they do. Are they extremely compassionate? They must be!
While we hope that everything is true, it paints an unrealistic picture of the person we are going to meet. It puts them at a severe disadvantage because they now have insane standards to try to live up to that they aren’t even aware of. I can assure you that Mr. or Ms. Right is going to be similar to what you imagine in your mind, but they are not going to be exactly what you think you want them to be.
Don’t let someone awesome slip through your fingers because you have unrealistic and unfair expectations.
When we get nervous most of us like to talk. The silence is awkward to us, and we figure if we keep talking we know what is going to be said and nothing can catch us off guard. Some of us also show up with pre-planned questions and things to talk about.
Here’s the problem. This is a lot of talking and not a lot of listening. You’re creating a one-sided conversation that will turn off your fellow dater, and it also inhibits you from getting to know them at all. How can you find out if you like someone if they never get the chance to get a word in? How can you see if there is any chemistry if you aren’t allowing them to interact with you?
The solution here is one word. Listen. You have to actually hear what the other person is saying and respond to that. Don’t respond to what you imagined them saying. Actually respond to what they are saying. You’ll be able to figure out quickly whether or not you mesh well together and if there is any sort of a future.
Remember, the purpose of a first date is not for it to go amazingly. The purpose of a first date is to see if you and the other person are compatible. It is completely okay to go out with someone and figure out that you are not right for each other. One less fish in the sea to consider!
Seriously, this is probably the most important tip on the entire sheet, and that’s the reason I chose to close with it. You have to remember that the entire point of dating is to find someone that you enjoy spending time with. Yes, it can be a little awkward at times, but that’s okay. You have to endure a little bit of awkwardness if you are going to find that special someone.
Embrace the awkward and have fun with it. You can go out with someone you are never going to go out with again and still have a good time. I have fun with complete strangers all the time just because I approach all of life with the right mindset.
I am challenging you to do the same. Regardless of how the date is going, have fun. Enjoy your time even if it is awkward and then worry about everything else later. Van Wilder said it best, “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive.”
Relationship Advice Guru