So your divorce is final and you’re beginning to date again. Whether you met online, via app, or in person, now that you’ve got that first date lined up you don’t want to blow it! Here are the three top first date mistakes to avoid:
1. Talking about Your Ex
Nooo, don’t go there! This first date is all about new possibilities. Why rehash the past? Talk about what’s interesting in your life now. Ask your date about what good things they have going on in their life. No one, other than psychologists like me, wants to hear about your ex. Even if you’ve got a healthy perspective about your divorce or past relationship, it’s way too soon to talk about that stuff! Did you see that movie Enough Said with Julia Louis Dreyfus and James Gandolfini? That movie had the best example of the worst first date talk that I’ve seen. They both talk about their exes and bash them! Talk about being stuck in anger and bitterness. Stick to the present day and your ambitions for the future. I’m not saying that you can’t talk about anything controversial, like politics. That can be fun and a little debate can be a turn on. But leave out the, “He done me wrong,” talk because bitterness is a turn off and detailed analysis is fun only for you and your therapist.
2. Arriving Late
Don’t start off on the wrong foot by being rude, which is exactly what arriving late is. Your date’s time is as valuable as yours. When you show up late it suggests that you’re inconsiderate and self-centered. When you pick a location, make sure you pick a place or at least a neighborhood that you know. If you are running late due to circumstances beyond your control, like a conference call runs long or a traffic accident, make sure you’ve got your date’s number handy to send a text. Also, send that text as soon as you realize you’re going to be late, not at the appointed meeting time.
3. Overselling Yourself
Don’t give it all away right away! That reeks of desperation and lack of self confidence. Leave a little mystery. Even if you’re not all that mysterious, there has to be more about you than can be related in a one to two-hour date. Think of it as giving them a trickle of water, so that they get a taste and want to come back for more; don’t make them drink from the fire hose!
“Desperation – it’s the world’s worst cologne.” (Singles)
Are you worried that if you’re not super impressive your date won’t be interested? A date isn’t supposed to be a recitation of your resume. More often, it’s your demeanor that attracts, not the actual words you say. Calm, confidence, and friendliness are attractive. Anxiety, desperation, and tension are not. Just be your usual, likable self and enjoy getting to know a new person.
So relax and take a few deep breaths and realize that first dates are more often just about weeding out weirdos and psycho killers…ahem, I mean inappropriate people. Just stick to your normal, friendly self, which was good enough to get you a first date, and you’ll get to the next round. Remember that the past doesn’t have to repeat itself. Be relaxed and realize that most people are pretty interesting. So enjoy finding out what’s interesting about the person in front of you.