You know the basic rules of a first date: don’t talk about your exes, don’t get hammered, and don’t lose control of your bodily functions. But while you’re worrying about the obvious Don’ts, how are you doing on the not-so-obvious ones? It’s usually those that get you into trouble and end up being the reason you don’t get a second date. Take a quick look and see if you’ve ever screwed up these 5 things not to do on a first date.
1. Don’t Set Boundaries
Most of us don’t live life on a whim; routine, boundaries, and predictability soothe us. So what do we do when we’re faced with something as unpredictable as attraction? We set rules. You suddenly start listing things you won’t do until your third date, things that must be accomplished by the third month, and things you’ll never catch yourself doing at all.
We all do this, to some degree.
There are two reasons you should never set boundaries. First, you’re giving your date a sneak peek into the future – a sneak peek he may not be too interested in living if it’s under an authoritarian nut-ball who won’t meet parents until the 8 month mark. The second reason? Easy. Love is unpredictable; the high the unpredictability provides is why we get on the ride in the first place. How likely is someone to get on a roller coaster if you say:
So it starts off slow, about 25 seconds in you’re going to think you’re going to ride flat but you’re suddenly going to drop. The moment you think you’re going to die is going to be saved by a right veering loop… after that, things go really fast and then they suddenly stop. That’s when the ride ends. Enjoy!”
2. Don’t Intimidate
Must. Make. The. Best. Impression. You actually have to find a balance between the best version of you and the honest version of you – but we’ll get into that below. This rule applies to going above and beyond. Remember that you’re trying to wow, not intimidate. You want to reveal your 5 year plan, not your 20 year plan. Your date is busy absorbing a thousand bits of information about you; everything from the way you wear your hair to your fascination with chimpanzees. The last thing you want to do is take up all of his energy by giving him the run down of your new cat day care business proposal.
Give a little short intro and follow it up with, “But we’ll get into that another time. Tell me a little about YOU!”
3. Don’t Lie… Much
This one isn’t usually a surprising first date don’t, but the way I’m going to spin it is. We all have an ideal version of ourselves – the version with the bulging peacock feather display. Lying isn’t always the wrong thing to do, but in the realm of dating it’s just plain exhausting.
Once you lie, two things happen: 1) you have to maintain that lie and 2) when you can’t do it anymore – because no lie goes undiscovered- you’ll have to deal with the backlash and embarrassment of the big reveal. And guess what? It can most often be traced back to your first date and the fact that you needed something to measure up to the year he spent in Africa saving starving children. Save your strength; instead of bragging about the non-existant internship you did in China, just smile, tell him that’s amazing and that you’d love to hear more about it.