What Not To Say On Your First Date
We all like to think we put lots of thought into a first date: what to wear, where to go, what to say …
This is where it’s very easy to get off on the wrong foot, so a little forethought can help.
Talking About Your Ex
Talking about your ex is not a great idea on a first date. If you talk too positively about him/her, your date will wonder if you’re not over them yet. If you talk negatively, your date will think you’re bitter and wonder what the other side of the story is. Past relationships can be discussed when things have progressed a little further.
Don’t be A Mood Hoover
Don’t be a mood hoover! Have you ever been in a good frame of mind, then you talk to a friend who regales you with their tales of woe, how work is terrible, how lonely they feel in lockdown, how the world is against them? Unless you’re especially resilient, your mood might plummet to their level. So it goes without saying that the difficulties you’ve had with your internet connection that day and how miserable and frustrated you’ve felt are really not subjects to focus on. Be alert to this before meeting your date and set aside your frustrations for the next hour.
Common Speech Patterns
“Erm…”, “sort of…”, “er, like, maybe…”, “hmm, not sure…” These are common enough speech patterns, but does your conversation include a high proportion of these filler expressions? If you think that might be the case, bear this in mind:
It makes you sound uncertain, but not only that, a joint study between Stanford and the University of California found that using these expressions on a first date reduces the strength of the connection you and your date feel. The uncertainty conveyed can lessen your chances of a second date. It’s also possible that your “Erm, sort of, maybe” level might rise due to nervousness, so it’s really important to be mindful of this.
Avoid Asking Awkward Questions
Why Did Your Last Relationship End?
You want to feel at ease on your date, don’t you? And that’s how you want your date to feel too. So whilst you might be itching to ask why a previous relationship or marriage ended, please don’t go there! It’s just too much, too intrusive – but we know clients who have been asked exactly this before the starter’s arrived (by the way, our advice is stick to a short coffee meet-up first – (virtually, or in person!).
How Many Times Have You Been Married?
Asking how many times your date has been married, too, is a no-no. The fact you’re asking this suggests you’ll make some kind of judgment about the answer; chances are it would be a negative one. And whilst understanding why your potential partner’s (perhaps) multiple marriages have ended is important, Date 1 is not the time to enquire. Your date will not want to go into intimate detail – it’s actually none of your business right now – and any answer you get will probably appear evasive. Guess what that will do to the mood?
If you want your first date to go well, avoid asking …
- “Am I your usual type?”
- “Do you prefer blondes?”
- “Am I anything like your ex?”
Here’s the point to a first date: it should be light and preferably fun. A chance to have a brief introduction to the other person, not a chance to over-share about your past or probe into theirs. A chance to see if they are someone whose company you enjoy. Save the heavy-duty questions for when you’ve established a rapport and it’s evident that a relationship is evolving.