I hear a lot of stories of first dates. I also hear a lot of myths about what a first date should be like. I want to bust the myths of first dates. Let me clarify that in one sentence. The first date is only to see if you want to have a second date. That’s it! What not to do on the first date is it’s not time to talk about your ex, vomit your problems, or be so vulnerable that you divulge all your issues so you get it all out on the table upfront. It’s just a time to chat, do something fun, and keep it light! I usually suggest that it be in a place where you can talk.
People put so much pressure on themselves and their prospective dates based on social myths about dating—poor advice from friends or family. The first date should be easygoing. Of course, you want to put your best foot forward, but not to the point of being fake. You also don’t want to focus so much on vulnerability that you vomit out information before it’s time. There is a time for everything, which isn’t all on the first date.
What not to do on the first date?
I suggest that a few things are off the table of discussion. Finances, Exes, past bad relationships, traumatic events, and sex. Yes, sex. Unless you are only seeing this person for sex, then keep sex off the table. If you are looking for a hookup, that would be the time to let the person know. Just be honest. You might say, “I’m only looking for casual right now and physical intimacy. I’m not looking for emotional intimacy and a committed relationship. What do you think? “
If you are looking long-term, that might be a good time to say it if you haven’t already in the pre-date chats. The point of a first date is to see how it feels, connect with the person and talk, make eye contact, listen to their voice, watch the body language, and see if you are interested in learning more. It’s not that difficult.
Stay focused on what is important.
Stay focused on what’s important to you and not be nit-picky because you are nervous and decide not to get to know someone because they have food on their teeth or a pimple. Often we reject someone because of essentially human traits that everyone has been through at one time in their life. They might be nervous and make mistakes, be clumsy, or forget. This can be a good sign. Try not to let your mind turn you off with unimportant matters.
Here are some pointers for first-date vetting:
- Did they arrive on time? If not, did they have a reasonable reason?
- Did they make eye contact and greet you warmly?
- Did the conversation flow or become awkward and silent for long periods?
- Did you have things in common?
- Did the person seem open and receptive or close and guarded?
- Do your lifestyles seem to complement each other?
- Did you feel comfortable enough to talk?
- Did you feel judged?
- Did you hear any deal breakers?
- Did you feel strong chemistry? Was it an attraction?
- Were there smiles and laughs, or was it serious the whole time?
The first dates are for vetting the person, and part of knowing if you want a second date is also looking for signs that the relationship won’t be healthy or right for you. While you’re having fun, hopefully, keep this info in the back of your mind. If you’d like more information on first dates or how to date consciously, contact me to schedule an appointment.
Photo by Fredrik Ivansson