5 Surprising Things Not to Do on a First Date

things not to do on a first date

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.

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Chiara Mazzucco

Chiara Mazzucco

Chiara is the Founder and CEO of Indie Chicks, Inc. She's a published author of The 9 Mirages of Love, and is working on her second book, But First, Me. You can find out more about her by visiting her website, or can email her to get in touch.

  1. I’m awful with monitoring my facial expressions sometimes and the overly fake plastered on smile doesn’t fool anyone. That’s one thing I have to consciously try to control. I think these are great tips…especially that lying one. Having to maintain a lie, even a small one, for the duration of a relationship is exhausting. Don’t do it.

    1. I’ve seen that smile, and you’re right.. it definitely doesn’t fool anyone! HA! Ok, kidding. It actually makes me wonder how many fake smiles you’ve handed ME! It’s true, though. Having to maintain a lie for the duration of a relationship is one of the heaviest bricks on your back and it’ll never get lighter. I’ve done it. No fun.

  2. Every lie told is a lie to remember. Too much work!

    I may have broken rule 4 by growling at an overly-aggressive charity worker who interrupted a first date till they backed off like a turkey who just spotted Bernard Matthews.

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