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5 lies it’s ok to tell on a first date

by Eharmony Editorial Team - September 3, 2010

It’s never ok to lie on a date...is it? Here are 5 white lies we think you’d be pretty safe telling. And no, that doesn’t include ‘Your age’!

As a general rule, lying on dates is a big no-no. If you want to see the person again, there’s no point as they’ll find out the truth in the future. If you don’t want to see them again, why bother lying in the first place? Lying – even small lies that appear to have little consequence – erodes trust in a relationship, however new it is.

But, at the risk of contradicting ourselves, there are a few white lies we think you’re ok telling on a first date. And no, we don’t include lying about how old you are, where you were educated or your what you do for a living.  Check out our five lies it’s ok to tell on a first date and let us know what you think. Would you, or even have you, told these lies on a date?

1.    “Your profile caught my eye as soon as I saw it”
No one wants to hear that their date ‘ummed’ and ‘ahhed’ over their profile before finally getting round to talking to them.  Your current date doesn’t want to know that you archived them because you thought their profile photo was a ‘bit weird’ and only later actually read their profile and decided to get in touch.

We’re not saying you should tell your date that as soon as your saw their profile the sun broke through the clouds, birds began singing and the world seemed like a better place. But if they weren’t top of your list, sugar the pill a little. The same applies if you met your date offline – just because they were the last person you tried to talk to at a party, doesn’t mean you should tell them that.

2.    “I’ve never been here before, no”
Some people put in a lot of effort for a first date – planning romantic walks, picking cosy little pubs to have a drink in, or booking at their favourite ‘undiscovered gem’ of a restaurant.  But picture the scene; your date has booked at their favourite Thai restaurant weeks in advance, asked them for their best table, then you walk in and say, ‘Oh, I came here a few years ago, it was alright I suppose’ – your date is going to feel more deflated than a week-old party balloon.

Unless you had a terrible experience there (food poisoning, perhaps) if your date has really hyped up the venue, there’s nothing to be gained from quashing their excitement. If you want to admit you’ve been there before – perhaps as a talking point – say something like, ‘I’ve been here before,  a while ago, I’m looking forward to trying their Pad Thai again’.

The same logic applies to any activities your date has planned. If they turn up with a picnic basket, but you’ve been put off picnics since a childhood wasp incident, smile and tell them it’s a lovely idea – because it is!

3.    “I’ve only been on a few dates recently”
Just as your current date doesn’t need to know about your horrible/amazing ex (see our article on How to ruin a date in 7 simple steps) they also don’t need to know the nitty gritty details of your dating life. They don’t need to know that you’ve been on a dating binge recently, working through a list of men or women as long as your arm, and getting nowhere. Conversely, they don’t need to know that despite all your efforts, they are the first date you’ve had in two years.

The fact that you went on a first-date spree, or had a particularly rough dating dry patch is something you’ll be able to talk about – and laugh about – in the future. But remember, first dates are strictly for fun, light-hearted banter – not for spilling your guts.

4.    “Life’s good!”
Many of us have probably been on a date with a moaner, who spent three hours talking about how they hate their job, their family aren’t supportive enough, their friends are disloyal and/or their dog seems to hate them. These are all perfectly legitimate things to be upset about, but a first date is NOT the time to air those grievances.

For example, if your date asks you what you do but you don’t enjoy your job, avoid saying something negative like, ‘Well, I’m an accountant, but to be honest I hate my job, I find it really boring and my boss is an idiot’. Instead, say something like, ‘I’ve enjoyed these last few years as an accountant, but I think it’s time for me to do something different, so I’m thinking about retraining as a tightrope walker.’ In that second response you’ve not only shown a positive attitude, you’ve also told your date something new about yourself.

5.    “I’ve had a lovely time”
Maybe she spilled red wine on your trousers, or he clumsily got his watch caught in your hair. Maybe you’re not sure you even want to see them again, but at the end of the date is not the time to say. It’s only good manners to thank someone for their company, even if you’ve had the most boring/frustrating/embarrassing evening of your life. Notch it up to experience and move on.

Have you ever said any of these on a date? What do you think it’s acceptable to bend the truth about on a date – or can you say you are always 100% honest?