First dates can be tricky. It doesn’t matter where you are, whether you’re at a speed dating event or having a coffee at your local café, it’s your big shot to impress someone – and for them to impress you. It’s natural for human beings to judge each other within the first few minutes.
To help you with this, we’ve come up with a list of things not to do on your first date:
- Don’t talk about yourself endlessly
- Don’t quiz them
- Don’t dismiss them because they’re not your type
- Don’t talk about your ex
- Don’t talk about work
- Don’t avoid eye contact
- Don’t wear something uncomfortable
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
- Don’t drink too much alcohol
- Don’t try to be someone else
- Don’t talk about religion or politics
- Don’t have your phone on the table
- Don’t eat anything sticky or stinky and keep smoking to a minimum
- Don’t go on about your kids but don’t forget to mention them
First date tips
1. Don’t talk about yourself endlessly
It’s a common piece of advice but an important one. You don’t want your companion to think that you’re only interested in yourself. Demonstrate how eager you are to get to know them by asking about their hobbies, what they like to eat, where they like to travel and what they are looking for out of the date. Keep this light, no one wants to know that you’ve picked out the names of your dozen children but it’s okay to find out if they are looking for something more long-term or just a friendly relationship.
2. Don’t quiz them
It’s easy to fall into a trap of asking them lots of questions just so that you’re not always talking about yourself, but you don’t want to make it seem like you’re interrogating them. Make sure they get a chance to steer the conversation and to find out what they want to about you.
3. Don’t dismiss them because they’re not your type
If you’re preferred hair colour is brunette but you’re sitting opposite a redhead – don’t dismiss them! You may surprise yourself, the adventurous side of your date may sweep you off your feet! Take the time and get to know them, you may find they tick more of your boxes than you think.
What not to do on a first date for guys
4. Don’t have your phone on the table
Most people are rather attached to their phones. Try not to put your phone on the table, it will be too tempting to look at it. Definitely don’t scroll through your social media – you don’t want your date to think that they’re boring or unappealing and that a recent post on Facebook is more important!
5. Don’t talk about your ex
Now sometimes this may slip out if you are asked a question about your last holiday and that’s okay. What you don’t want to do is talk about them repetitively. Your date may feel that you’re still in love with your ex and that this date is a rebound for you.
6. Don’t avoid eye contact
If you’re looking at anything but your date – or heaven forbid another person – you will seem like you aren’t interested. Where possible, hold eye contact with them to show your attention, and that you’re enjoying the conversations.
First date tips for girls
7. Don’t drink too much alcohol
One or two may relax you, and that’s great, but most people aren’t at their best when they’re drunk! Know your limits and show them your great personality, sober.
8. Don’t wear something uncomfortable
Depending on how it’s going, a date could last five minutes to several hours. If you’re going to be carrying your shoes around and undoing buttons just to feel comfortable, it’s probably not the right outfit. That doesn’t mean you should wear your joggers, but just consider that you may not be at your best if you are feeling uncomfortable.
Put on something smart that you won’t mind being in for a few hours. Layers are also fantastic, as you can put more on if you get cold and take some off if you feel like you’re starting to melt.
9. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
The UK is filled with singles, so if you haven’t met the one – don’t worry! Maybe you will make a new friend or find out what you could do to make things go better on another date. Don’t look at it as your last chance, instead know that there are other opportunities out there if it doesn’t go well.
10. Don’t try to be someone else
You should always try to ‘put your best foot forward’, as teachers like to say, but make sure that you are still true to yourself. There’s nothing wrong with being open to new experiences, but don’t agree that you love 10-mile hikes at 6am if you don’t surface before lunch on a Sunday. They will soon find out that you weren’t telling them the truth and it’s better to start as you mean to go on – honestly!
11. Don’t talk about religion or politics
It may be that you only want to marry someone of a certain religion, so it may make sense to mention what faith you follow but generally these subjects can be contentious, and it would be better not to start a debate with your date so soon. Eventually, you will probably move onto these subjects but not necessarily on the first date.
Do’s and Don’ts for a first date
12. Don’t talk about work
Your job may be super exciting and if it is, that’s great! Do talk about it, but your date would like to know more about your personality and interests. Tell them what you like to do in your spare time, where you are planning to travel or have travelled, and your favourite meals or types of food (for inspiration for future dates).
13. Don’t eat anything sticky/smelly and keep smoking to a minimum
If it’s sticky, you can’t shake hands or hug later, and as for the smell, sitting opposite someone that smells of garlic could be a little off-putting. Likewise, there’s no point in wearing expensive perfume or aftershave if you are going to cover it up with eau de ashtray.
14. Don’t go on about your kids but don’t forget to mention them
It’s a fine line to tread but finding out that you have kids a month in may be a little bit overwhelming for your date so make sure that you mention them and maybe their names and ages. If your date shows a genuine interest in them and asks loads of questions, answer a few of them but turn the conversation back to your date to find out more about them.
If you need more tips for what to do or what not to do on a first date, get in touch or sign up for one of our singles’ nights or speed dating events.