10 first date fails
In no particular order… (except for the last one, it’s a real doozy).
One of the most unpleasant ways to start a first date is when one party is noticeably, terribly late. It sends a signal that’s hard to ignore – like the Bat signal only nowhere near as cool. While a funny excuse might seem like the way to go (“Sorry, the paparazzi stopped me for an interview on my way in!”), it’s actually better to address it straight up. “I’m so sorry, I know your time is as valuable as mine and I didn’t mean any disrespect… lunch is on me,” will do it. Kapish?
The awkward silence
True story: 9 out of 10 first dates are killed by an awkward silence. Okay, I made that statistic up but it’s probably true. Everyone is nervous in this scenario. EVERYONE. Your best weapon is simply doing your research beforehand. Do they mention they play squash in their profile? A quick online search will tell you it was actually invented by a group of school boys who only had a punctured ball to play with back in 1830. Interesting, no? Put the same legwork into finding out about the town they grew up in, the industry in which they work, their star sign… you get the idea. You don’t have to make notes, but a quick half hour on the Google machine will mean you’ll always have something to reach for should an awkward silence arise.
The phone monster
They are the omnipresent scourge of our time… mobile phones. The only good time to check your phone on a date is when the other party excuses themselves to use the rest room – and even then it would be better in your pocket. If your date doesn’t seem to be on the same page, simply take your text facilitator out and also put it on the table for a few minutes. Then say, “You know what, let’s put our phones away, they’re too distracting.” It’s a nice way of saying you find their phone infatuation annoying without embarrassing them.
Splitting the bill
It’s 2016, people – and both people should be going into a date with the expectation they will pay half. That isn’t to say one party can’t foot the bill if they like. A lot of people – both women and men – are still pretty attached to the idea that a dude pays on the first date. There’s something romantic about it in a way. But ladies – you should be offering to split the bill. Sometimes the mere suggestion matters more than the moolah.
Being rude to waiters
A lot of women (and no doubt some men) use this as a barometer for future social interactions. You might think owning the waiter like a boss shows how confident and suave you are but your lady friend is thinking, “If he can be this rude to a guy who’s just trying to do his job, what he’s going to think of my crazy friend Kat or OTT Aunt Gina?” My tip: pretend your waiter is their little brother or sister. You’ll suddenly find yourself a lot more forgiving should they accidentally serve you sparkling water instead of still. Because in the grand scheme of things it’s like Paris Hilton’s recording career (read: no big deal).
The big reveal
Do not – I repeat, DO NOT – wait until you’re actually on a date to reveal a huge piece of news to someone. What would I count as huge? Having 17 kids, being on the run from the law, being 14 years older than the you they’ve seen in your photos, having a major physical disability, knowing you’ve slept with their sister, etcetera. It’s fine to have these things going on (except maybe the fugitive one), but these are all things that should be revealed prior to meeting. You don’t have to include them in your profile, but omitting them till the 11th hour can make someone feel as though they’ve been railroaded. It didn’t work for Wile E. Coyote and it probably won’t work for you.
I feel sorry for anyone whose parents called them Nancy as they must have to be the most upbeat gals in the land to avoid this nickname. But you don’t want it either – so even if you’re having an off day or hate your boss or are ticked off at your brother, a first date is not the time to air your grievances. Be the Bill Murray you wish to see in the world.
The ex factor
A quick word on how to broach the subject of exes on a first date… just don’t.
The job interview
I hear a lot of men complaining about this one – dates asking about their job, their car, their salary and basically giving the impression that they’re being sized up as a potential future joint bank account. Not cool, I grant you. There’s a fine line between getting to know someone and making them feel as though they’re in a job interview. Steer clear of specifics and always start with their hobbies and passions before asking more about what they do for a crust.
The mix up
Chances are, you’re courting more than one online date a time. Everyone is – that’s how online dating works! But this can lead to awkward mix-ups should you get them confused. For example: “So, tell me more about growing up on a farm?” isn’t going to go down well with a born and bred city girl who’s never been throwing distance from a cow in her life. If you realise your mistake early enough though, there is a way to fix it. And that is: the redirect. Try saying, “Oh no, wait – that’s something I saw on an episode of Orange is the New Black… tell me about your chichihua again?” Points for not bringing up the other girl, extra points for watching a female-centric TV show.
Have any of these scenarios happened to you? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.
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