First dates are a necessary evil in the lives of singles. They combine the pressure of job interviews with the artificiality of plastic flowers. First dates are a necessary evil in the lives of singles.; all the while you're observing each move your date makes with the suspicious air of a judge looking down her nose at a defendant. With all the high hopes, expectations and fears men and women bring to the table on a first date, it's a wonder anyone makes it to the second these days. To aid in the progress of l'amour au courant, here are some first date do's and don'ts.
- Be yourself. Let me amend that to "be your best self." This is not the time to admit to all the vulnerabilities and insecurities that regularly beset you, nor to share the story of how the shock of catching your fianc� in bed with your brother landed you in a mental institution. Trot out the tried-and-true tales that showcase your sweet and sparkling personality.
- Be a good listener. The purpose of this strategy is twofold. A man likes a woman who isn't a conversation hog. He wants the opportunity to shine in your eyes by trotting out his tried-and-true tales. Plus, allowing him to orate gives you the chance to discern what makes him tick. If he talks about how all of his ex-girlfriends are bitter, selfish, man-hating crones, imagine their side of the story. If he admits to not being the marrying kind, that's valuable information to have early on as well. (No, you won't change him!) If he talks about how the thing that gives life meaning for him is being involved in a love relationship -- well, isn't that good info to know?
- Try to have fun. Your life does not hang in the balance. It's just a date. All you're really doing is hanging out for a few hours with a new acquaintance. Lighten up and enjoy the time.
- Pretend to be someone you're not. If you eat meat and she's a vegetarian, fess up to your carnivorous ways. Ditto if you're a heavy smoker and she's a non-smoker. The truth will always out eventually - sooner is truly better than later.
- Don't drink too much! The best example I can think of is to rent that classic gem 'Blind date' with Kim Basinger and Bruce Willis. She's the girl of his dreams until she has a bit too much champagne, at his prompting... Before you know it, he's lost his job, suit, apartment, car and reputation. It probably wouldn't go that far, but no-one likes to see you get that loose before they even get to know you. If the date sucks, then drink when you get home!
- Leave your date hanging. If you'd like to see your date again, say, "I had a great time. The time really flew." Yes, you can kiss him goodnight but don't act desperate to set up a second date on the spot. If the first date is all she wrote for you, say, "It was a pleasure meeting you. All the best." Don't dilute the message by engaging in kissy-kissy.
- Make a snap judgment about your feelings toward your date. Unless he's a total boor or potential nutcase, give him or her another try or two before writing him/her off. Rush to first date judgment and you'll have lots and lots of time to regret the hasty rejection of someone who might have been the love of your life.
- Don't talk about yourself too much. It's true that one of the best ways you can get some one to pay attention to you is to ask them lots of questions about themselves. It's amazing how well this works. Yet when you're nervous, you might have a tendency to babble on about your life endlessly, as you don't have to think that much to pull that information out of your head. And of course, we all know not to do this when we think about it.
- Don't wear something you don't feel drop dead gorgeous in. How much fun can you have if you have to monitor how many bites of food because just one more might be the fatal one that bursts the seams on your skintight dress like the Hoover Dam? And always having to remember not to raise your arm no matter what happens is no picnic because your last clean shirt has a hole in the armpit.