40% of Americans use dating apps to find their next date. Chances are if you’re interested in meeting someone new, you’ve tried one out yourself.
It’s natural to be nervous about dating. But the best advice we can give is to be yourself. Unfortunately, nerves can get the best of us and you forget what you should and shouldn’t do.
That’s where we step in.
Dating is not for faint-of-heart! If you’re new to the dating world or just looking for a little refresher advice, here’s what not to do on a first date.
1. Be Late
First dates are about first impressions. Want to know what makes a bad first impression every time? Being late. So just don’t do it.
Being late is disrespectful. When people are late, it sends the message that your time is more important than their time.
Sending that message on the first date is never a good idea. So plan ahead and make sure you are there on time.
If you are running late, you better have a good excuse. And don’t forget to let them know ahead of time.
2. Forget Your Manners
Don’t forget the manners your mamma taught you. It’s the little things that make a difference. Be considerate when opening doors, say please and thank you, and don’t talk with food in your mouth.
You know, the basics.
Another important manner to always remember is to put your phone away. You are here to get to know this person. Look up, and have an adult conversation with the person in front of you.
I promise, your friends can wait till later.
3. Forget About Personal Appearance
Personal hygiene. We learn about it in elementary school for a reason.
When going on a date, it’s important to look (and smell) your best. Don’t show up in sweaty gym clothes, unless you are going to the gym for your date.
Along with shaving and brushing your teeth, you need to wear clothes that you are comfortable in and represent who you are. Don’t wear brand new 5-inch stilettos if you’re not comfortable walking in them. Don’t wear a suit and tie if you’re going to pull at it all night.
Look at your wardrobe and make sure it’s up to date. It’s even okay to buy something new. You want to be comfortable and confident.
4. Talk Only About Yourself
We know, the point of a first date is to get to know each other. But that doesn’t give you the green light to just talk about yourself.
Part of being a good conversationalist is asking and answering the right questions. If your date asks you a question, answer, then turn the conversation back to them. It should be a two-way street with both people talking and asking.
Safe questions to ask include work, family, pop culture, hobbies, and music. These are all fairly easy and low-key questions. And remember to pay attention to the answer!
5. Comment on Eating Habits
We all have quirky eating habits. Whether you want to admit it or not, we all eat a little differently from each other. What we don’t want is other people commenting on what or how we are eating — while we’re eating.
Is your date a big eater? Fine. Don’t comment on it.
Is your date a light eater? Fine. Don’t comment on it.
Does your date eat noodles with a spoon? Fine. Don’t comment on it.
Try not to make your date self-conscious about what they’re eating.
On the other hand, practice good eating habits when on a first date. Maybe order something that’s easier to eat.
6. Get Drunk
And while we’re on the subject of eating, let’s talk about drinking.
Know your limits. It’s okay to order one or two drinks, but don’t go overboard. A little alcohol can help you loosen up, but too much alcohol will just make you embarrass yourself.
The last thing you want is your new date to end up dragging you home or watching your puke in the cab. So, be smart about it.
7. Dwell on the Past
There are some topics that should be left alone on a first date and your ex is one of them.
No matter how juicy your stories are, try to avoid talking about them on the first date. You don’t want to make the other person feel like they’re being compared.
Also, avoid comparing numbers such as intimate partners, streaking sessions, or wild parties. Save these fun stories until you have a little more trust in the other person.
8. Focus on the Future
Just like you don’t want to dwell on your past, don’t lay out all your future plans on one date. They don’t really need to know you want to be married in a year, pregnant in two years, and have a house in three years.
That would scare any sane person away. Keep your family goals to yourself for a little while longer.
There will come a time to discuss them, just not on the first date.
9. Be Cheap
It used to be standard for the man to pay the bill. These days, no one knows what to do anymore.
The standard seems to be, if you extend the invitation and choose the place, then you pay. If you’re lucky enough the other person picks up the bill, always offer to pay your share.
It can come across badly if you don’t even offer to chip in. If your date does cover the evening, offer to pay for the cab, or for the next night out.
Speaking of the next night out, if you’re up for something a little more intimate, you can learn more here.
It can be tempting to stalk your date afterward. You know, to check up on old girlfriends or to see what they did last spring break.
But, don’t do it. In fact, avoid social media altogether for the first few weeks.
Being a person of mystery has its perks.
If you’re interested in going out again, shoot them a text. But keep it casual. Something like, “Had a great time. Thanks again.”
Don’t Forget What Not to Do on a First Date
Reading this list will remind you of what not to do on a first date. So next time you’re headed out the door to meet someone new, take a look at this list to refresh your memory. We can’t guarantee you’ll get that second date, but at least you’ll put your best self out there.
Keep reading for more tips!