First dates are incredibly anxiety inducing, if you’re not careful. They’re the first real test if two people can prove to be a good match. And if the first date goes well, then you’ve set yourself up for something with a lot of potential. But all those fears and worries can come together and ruin the entire experience for both of you. Overthinking the situation, failing to control your ego and hangups, or even just treating the date poorly when you should just be getting to know them and being nice could completely kill any chances you had of scoring on a first date. If you make the wrong move, then it’s easy for your date to only see that and decide it’s just not worth the time and effort to waste trying to see if you’re better than you appear.
First impressions are vital in the early stages of a getting to know someone, and it’s not the time or place to mess up. Seriously, there are plenty of ways to ruin a first date. But there are also a couple of tricks that might just keep you calm and collected. It’ll make you seem significantly cooler and kinder than some of the more traditional (jerk) moves that get suggested. These tips will keep you focused on your date and off your insecurities, helping both of you relax and just get to know one another. And that way, something might actually come out of it all. Here are fifteen ways people can mess up first dates, and fifteen things you should do instead.
15 Don't Get The Shakes (Find Ways To Stay Calm)
Being nervous is easy. It plays into every insecurity and fear that’s in the current line of thought, and uses it to just make everything worse. It can even show up physically in the form of blushes, tremors, and sweat. Take it from someone who has a tendency to have his hand twitch when he’s under pressure – it just amplifies the terror exponentially.
So, you just have to combat the anxiety of it all. It can be difficult, but find some way to calm yourself. Use a mantra, and clear your mind. Or take deep breaths and slowly count down the heart beats. If you have hand tremors, then spend time slowly flipping a quarter between them. Keep them occupied, and slow down the nerves. It’s literally what fidget spinners are for, so just use those, if you want. Giving off the air of a nervous wreck is never a good starting place. So find what helps calm you down, and work with it.
14 Don't Get Them Presents (It’s A First Date, So Start Small Instead)
First dates are simple first steps in a potential relationship, so it doesn’t make sense to try and make them anything bigger then what they are. It puts too much stress on what should be a calm situation, by forcing it to be bigger then letting it naturally become something bigger on its own. And there’s nothing that does that worse than a big gift. It might be a meant as a sign of affection, but it’s the equivalent of going from 0 to 80 in a street with a 25MPH limit.
If you want to give them anything, then make it small. Think simple. Don’t get entire bouquets, just get them their favorite chocolate bar they once mentioned. Don’t go with the massive mementos. If the first date is going to be important, then let it be important. Don’t try to force it.
13 Don't Go Big And Bold (Go Somewhere Nice Instead)
The impulse when it comes to setting up a first date can be to try and make it something bigger than it has any right to be. And that’s not just possible by getting some over the top present. It can also happen with the very place the date takes place at. Taking her someplace impossibly fancy sets the bar far beyond what a first date is supposed to.
Find somewhere nice, where you can have a good meal and actually hear one another. Where there’s not an air of formality or expectation. Just pick somewhere both of you can try to relax, and make the date more about you and less about the place. Besides, you don’t want to try and set the bar impossibly high for a possible second date.
12 Don't Get Too Attached (It’s Way Too Soon For That)
It’s important to remember this at all points of the first date. It doesn’t matter what you think or how you expect or what you want – don’t get too attached too quickly. You’re on a first date, taking a chance with someone else and seeing if there’s any reason to hang out more often. You shouldn’t be too into the idea of bringing anything out of the date, other than just hopefully having a good time. It can be easy to psych yourself out or find yourself putting on a front that you know you shouldn’t bring out on a first date.
Just remember it’s a first date, and just try to enjoy yourself. Make sure your date is having fun and enjoying themselves, and just enjoy one another’s company.
11 Don't Make It About You (Talk About Them Instead)
When it comes to being with someone new and trying to think of ways to impress them, it is very easy to look desperate. The people who have to talk the biggest game are usually the ones with the least going on. So keeping the conversation on you and your achievements/life/everything alone can make you go from cool to just another idiot trying to look cool.
Instead, talk with your date. Learn about the stuff they’re proud of. If they ask what kind of things you have done, then you can bring up your track record. It’ll feel more natural, and less like you’re trying to make yourself out to be the biggest and the best.
10 Don't Expect Too Much (Remember, It’s Just A First Date)
The worst first dates are usually the ones where someone is trying to make something out of nothing. The setting is important, and so is anything a person brings for their date. But one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make on a first date has nothing to do with where you are or what you brought. It’s entirely within what you’re expecting from the experience. When expectations aren’t met or something changes these plans, it can throw someone completely off and ruin any connection with their date.
So when going into the first date, just keep your expectations from taking over at all. It’s the kind of thing that you need to keep in mind and keep out of the situation when you’re on a first date.
9 Don't Go In Trying To Impress (Be Confident In What You Have Instead)
Look – any and all attempts to make yourself look way cooler than you already are will fail. Most of them are already doomed to make you look ridiculous. Think about any bar that you’ve ever gone to. The guys who actually end up talking to women are doing more than leering and badly flirting with people. They’re never the guys who go all out to try to show off. That extends to dates just the same. Don’t try to show off to the point of hilarity.
Instead, just be confident. If you’re happy with who you are and what you do, then just ride that to success. Confident people draw others in, and make more of a lasting impression than the people showing off every single shiny thing they could afford.
8 Don't Get Too Personal (Get To Know One Another First)
While starting up some conversations, it’s important to know the right kind of topics to bring up. And by that, it’s important to know which topics to not bring up in any way, shape, or form. These are the kind of conversation killers that will end dates with a single syllable. So avoid things that might be too heavy, like bringing up other relationships or trying to learn too much about their home lives.
Instead, try to just get to know one another. Go with lighter stuff, like movies or sports. Find out they like, and why. Just talk. See if the personalities even match up before you start spilling your guts out for the other to see. It’s all about taking your time, and making sure those revelations feel more natural and acceptable as a result.
7 Don't Plan It Out Completely (Just Have Fun And Let Things Flow Instead)
All the best laid plans in the world aren’t worth squat if nothing comes of them. If the ideas you’ve been trying to force into reality don’t all come together, then there was no point in coming up with them or trying to make them come out. And when you’re doing something like a first date, there’s no point in planning it all out. There’s no way to know how it’ll go, or what’ll go down.
So, just roll with it. Have fun. Learn to let go of that controlling element of you, and forget the plans and missions and ideas. All of that stuff is pointless if your plans just ruin everything. Just have fun with another person, and see if you want to try and hang out with them again.
6 Don't Neg Them (Maybe Try Not Being A Jerk)
Negging is a dating technique that requires the guy to try and hit on women by insulting her and weathering down her defences. The idea makes it so that guys will ruin their self-confidence to the point where a single simple compliment suddenly feels like a major win. Then, the women become attracted to the guy for even that little validation.
In other words, it’s a huge jerk move, and probably one of the last things anyone should do on a date. It’s the sign of a cruel and petty person who’s so afraid of opening up to others that they resort to horrible tactics like that. If you try that on your first date, don’t be surprised when it turns out to be your last. Turns out women aren’t usually all that attracted to guys who are horrible.
5 Don't Be Overly Complimentary (Don’t Be A Creep)
Giving your date a nice and friendly compliment is a very sweet thing to do. But it’s not the sort of thing you really want to drill in the ground. If you’re being too complimentary, then it can really quickly seems like you’re just focusing on what you see, not what you think. It tells everyone around you exactly the kind of stuff you’re looking at and for. And it’s easy for your date to think that you just don’t care enough about everything else about them to even really engage with it or think about it.
So just don’t be a creep. Back off a little, compliment them early, and then just relax and get to know them. Listen to what they have to say, what they think, and how they act. And just don’t be aggressive or overt about everything. Just hang out with them.
4 Don't Probe For Too Much Information (Have Natural Conversation Instead)
When you’re getting to know someone for the first time, it’s tantalizing to try and figure everything out about them. But if you push it too hard and too fast, it’s an easy to make everything incredibly awkward in no time at all. For one, you might end up stumbling on some fact or reality that you two are not ready to be coming across together. Or, you’ll end up seeming like a painfully intrusive person who just wants to hear the worst of the worst. It’s not exactly a good look, especially for someone just trying to introduce themselves.
So don’t try to make your early conversations into something too over the top and pressing. Don’t push and prod your way into their lives or background. If those things come up naturally, then great. But they shouldn’t be on your list of priorities, especially on a first date.
3 Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously (Just Roll With It Instead)
If you’re going out with someone, then you probably are trying to present the best possible version of yourself to the word. And in doing so, it’s important to psych yourself up. Remind yourself of all the great parts about yourself. But if you focus too heavily on all those attributes, then it might just end up being all that you think about. It locks you into an assertive and aggressive mode, which isn’t exactly the kind of look you want to have on a first date.
Instead, just relax a little bit and just roll with the punches. Don’t go in trying to look to serious or like you’re trying to be the biggest thing in the world. Be cool, be casual, and just enjoy the time out on the date.
2 Don't Go Too Cheap (There Is A Difference Between Cheap And Cute)
Being good with money is important. And cutting corners when it’s possible is usually the smart move, sure. But you have to be careful when you’re out with someone and just introducing yourself to them. Otherwise, it’s going to change how your date sees you and give them the impression that you’re a bit of a cheapskate. It can be a huge deterrent from your date for wanting to see you again.
If you’re trying to save money, then there are ways to go cheap without feeling cheap. Don’t take the train or the bus – just go on a walk. Don’t go to a hole in the wall for food, but find a small hip place that doesn’t break the bank. If you're going to cook for them, then make it cute instead of desperate. Keeping the price tag low can be an easy excuse to spend more time together, but it just shouldn’t feel too cheap.
1 Don't Make The Date Super Active (Go Somewhere Calm Instead)
Everyone says they like to do something big and adventurous with their time. But, here’s the thing. A first date isn’t about being big and crazy. A first date is just an attempt to spend time with someone and seeing if you are compatible with one another. You want to be somewhat calm and collected when presenting yourself and meeting someone – and no one has ever been calm and collected while trying to rock climb or free run.
When you’re on a first date, then just try to keep it calm and fun. Take the time to just connect with one another. And if there’s a bond or a reason to see one another again, then you can try something bigger and more exciting. But save it for the second pass.