It’s your big night – your hot date. You’re likely to be nervous, and for some, this means non-stop chattering. What issues should you guard against mentioning during your time together?
"Financially, I'm doing great/awful."
Many people draw conclusions about others based on their income, investments, family wealth (or poverty), and so on. You want to be evaluated on who you are—your personality, beliefs, ambitions—not your income-generating potential. This goes for in-depth conversation that may conspicuously point out your wealth. (“I do like to summer at my home in San-Tropez.”)
"My last relationship was a disaster."
Less history equals more mystery, or something to that effect. There is no need to go in-depth about how you were wronged or who you may have wronged (oops!) during a first date. Try being a good listener and finding out all about your date, rather than filling the hour with romantic horror stories. It’s often tempting to fall into stories of horrible dates, as we all have them, but if you’re not careful one of those stories may say more about you that your bad date partner.
"I did want to tell you a dark secret..."
This may seem obvious, but you cannot trust someone you just met with really personal information. Give them time to prove their trustworthiness, and keep it light on that first encounter. There is no “full disclosure” rule in effect on a first date. You have the right to withhold almost every unflattering fact until it is established that you like each other and want to pursue things.
"I'm in recovery."
Many of us have them and deal with them and are proud of overcoming personal demons – but it is best to wait a bit before revealing this particular piece of sensitive information. Again, keeping it fun and light on a first date is highly recommended! Of course, it may come up, and that’s fine. (“Oh, do you not want any wine with dinner?”) Just don’t feel that you have a responsibility to share this detail.
"Life just isn't working out for me right now."
If everything in your life isn’t where you want it to be, that’s fine. The LAST thing you want to do on a first date is to apologize for where you are in that journey. You may need to find a job, get a better job, finish school, move to a nicer place, lose some weight, or any number of things, but be proud of who you are and don’t express your dissatisfaction to your date.
"My family is crazy!"
So your mom left your dad for his best friend, or you found out five years ago about a long lost sibling. Most of us have some sort of familial skeletons in the closet, but it isn’t fair to your family to reveal this to someone you just met. Over-share can equal sudden dating death!
Embellishing the story of your life is never a good idea. Some people feel that they are not exciting and experience pressure to exaggerate their life. Be honest and truthful about who you are, you want your date to fall in love with you as you really are. Not some amped up version.
"Will you marry me?"
Yes, it happens. Should it? Never! Even if you feel an amazing connection or intense infatuation -- keep your feet on the ground. Let’s add to that any kind of “Oh my God, you’re so perfect for me!” talk. It places additional pressure on the situation and can take a nice, pleasant first date and make it very creepy very quickly.
"I think we're going to be great friends."
Unless you discover you have no attraction for your date, uttering this phrase will put you in the friend zone forever. There are people who use online dating services to meet friends, but it’s really not the point.
"I'm still in love with my ex."
You may think you are being honest, but the reality is you are posting a giant red flag with a comment like this. Plus, you probably shouldn’t even be dating if this statement is true.
"Do you mind if I use a coupon for dinner?"
You may be smart with your money or saving for a rainy day, but one thing that is a turnoff for many is someone that could be cheap. Save the coupons for a bit later in the dating process, please.
"Do you want to come back to my place?"
You might not use these exact words, but any kind of heavy sexual come-on is a terrible first date idea. In fact, sex on a first date is a typically a big mistake, if for no other reason, because of its power to affect your decision making skills.
"I hate my job."
Keep the negativity to a minimum – no one wants to be around or get to know a pessimistic person. Having a sense of humor about life and positive outlook is what 98% of eHarmony users rate as a definite must have.
"I'm obsessed with Botox."
So you had crow’s feet that bothered you for years – and you decided to do something about them. That is completely ok and your prerogative, but could send the wrong, superficial signals to someone who has just met you. Save the plastic surgery wish list for later – once they know all of your other wonderful qualities!
This St. Valentine’s Day eHarmony is proud to be working with Cartoonist Hugh MacLeod to bring you a collection of funny and touching cards that you can personalize and share online, via Facebook.