You walk into the restaurant and glance around nervously, scouring faces until finally you spot your date. You excitedly join them for a meal or coffee and then talk hopefully about seeing each other again. You watch your phone for the next couple of days, but to no avail. You’re disappointed and can’t help but wonder … what went wrong?
When a date goes awry, it’s easy to get caught up in disappointment and question what could have made it successful. Sometimes it’s just not in the stars for you and your date, but other times you may be unintentionally sabotaging any future chances.
Here are the top 10 mistakes made on first dates:
1) Interrogating the other person. It’s a date, not an interview. While it’s important to ask questions and appear interested, it’s also important not to go overboard. Make sure to talk about yourself after you have asked a few questions in a row.
2) Over-emphasizing serious topics. It’s good to get a little deeper and discuss relationship issues, just make sure to keep it light and have some fun — especially in the beginning.
3) Picking a loud or uncomfortable date spot. Be careful where you pick to meet up. It’s okay to hit up a fun, hip bar or restaurant, but consider meeting for a drink somewhere quiet at first. When you meet for the first time, it is so important to be able to simply hear each other to avoid miscommunication. There’s nothing worse than playing the “What?” game on a first date.
4) Being rude. Always try to be polite – offer to hold doors and pull out chairs. Be respectful to the waiting staff. You never get a second chance at a first impression.
5) Don’t look at the TV during your date. Yes, this actually happens, plenty of bars and restaurants have giant, juicy flatscreens on, but don’t let your eyes wander — it shows disinterest even if you really are interested!
6) Being silent. Having topics or questions prepared can ease any awkward tension or fill any conversational lulls, keeping you from being a boring date.
7) Sharing your opinions as facts — and not opinions. If your date asks about your favorite type of music, instead of responding with “Rock is the best, everything else is bad,” respond with “Personally I enjoy rock but would love to hear your thoughts.” Be engaging!
8) Negative body language. Make eye contact, and don’t check out people of the opposite sex (this is a no-brainer). You’re here to get to know your date, and eyeing other people will make him or her question your interest.
9) Getting drunk! It’s cool to go out for a drink, not twelve. Your focus should be on getting to know your date, and that’s hard to do when you’ve had too much to drink.
10) Inviting friends. Don’t invite friends, or suggest a meeting with your friends for the first encounter. It’s all about judging chemistry and connection, and your date shouldn’t have to compete for your attention during your first meeting.