Ten Common Dating Mistakes
1. Trying a New restaurant. If you are going on a first date and are the one choosing the restaurant, don’t choose a new restaurant. Choose a restaurant whose food you like and are comfortable with both pricing and service. You will be familiar with the menu and can also tell your date which foods you have enjoyed from the menu and why and at the very least you will know the quality and taste of the food that will be served so it is not a disastrous food choice.
2. Too many plans. Don’t plan too many events for your first date. It may mean getting stuck spending several hours or an entire day with someone you are having a miserable time with. Be open to playing it by ear. If the date is going well you can add activities, but don’t start out with a list of all the things you are going to do and see.
3. Going to places beyond your means. Don’t try to impress a date by going to a fancy restaurant. You will be creating expectations for future dates and if you want to go to a less fancy restaurant next time, the person you are dating may think you are changing your standards. Let your date see what your real budget is and the kinds of places you can really afford to eat at. If dating is a means to possibly get into a long term relationship, then be who you are now and don’t pretend to be someone you are not.
4. Avoid talking about money as much as possible. If you do not want to have a relationship based on money and materialism, then try to steer conversation away from money matters, and money bragging and material things. Instead, focus on character and personality and interesting stories. It is far better to show your real nature than to fabricate or focus on something that doesn’t really make you who you are. Material items and money do not make you who you are. Integrity and honesty and humor and intelligence and human compassion makes someone likeable.
5. Don’t be shallow. Focus on the personality of your date and not their good looks or lack of. Connecting on a mental level is what will make the date enjoyable for both of you.
6. Be willing to pay. If you asked the person for the date, then expect to pay for the date. If you were the one invited on the date, offer to pay. Be giving and don’t be cheap.
7. Don’t have sex on the first date. Even if you believe both of you are willing to have sex on the first date, wait until a subsequent date so you can create some distance from the date to really see if you want to add physical intimacy to the equation. The last thing you want is to become involved sexually with someone who has deep psychological problems that may not have been so apparent on the first date.
8. Being Over confident or overly sensitive. Being confident with yourself and comfortable in your own skin is a great thing and many people find that an attractive quality. However be careful to not be so confident that you act like God’s gift to the world. Charm and a little self-deprecating humor coupled with humility compliments confidence far more than over confidence. Also don’t be so serious and overly sensitive that your date has to worry about offending you. Strike a balance where you can be yourself and make your date feel comfortable at the same time.
9. Don’t talk bad about your ex. Even if your ex girlfriend or ex boyfriend or ex spouse was the scum of the earth, there is no reason to talk badly about them. In fact avoid talking about them all. Your date doesn’t want to know your baggage and it is time for you to get over it anyway. If the subject comes up, say something polite about your ex and leave it at that. Don’t tell your whole life story on your first date. It will just zap your energy and give your date a headache. If you are divorced, you can mention it, but don’t start talking about the history of your marriage. Blame games are a big turn off.
10. Strong Opinions. A first date is not the place to announce strong opinions on anything. If you are asked your opinion, you can state it in a way that shows you are flexible to being open to your date’s opinion too. It shows you are intelligent and willing to listen and learn. It’s a quick turn off to hear strong political or religious opinions. Conversation is an exchange between two people, and bullying someone with aggressive opinions is just plain rude.
No matter how your date ultimately turns out, always be sure to thank your date and tell them you enjoyed yourself. There is nothing fruitful about making someone feel bad or judged. If you follow the above list, even if your date is not someone you would be interested in dating further, you can still enjoy yourself and make it a pleasant experience.