8 Things to Avoid on a First Date
26 Jul 2023

8 Things to Avoid on a First Date

We find ourselves in an age of green and red flags qualifying and disqualifying potential dates before we really know them. Before we have uncovered what past experience and personality traits truly shape their behaviour. Trying to overcome shallow ‘icks’ that really aren’t harming you. in the endless pursuit of finding the perfect partner. 

It's bubble-bursting time! “It was love at first sight,” or, “By the time our first date ended, I knew I just met the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with” are both super cliche sentiments. Honestly, neither are likely scenarios for the average person. It is far more likely to hear how one person did something annoying, embarrassing, or icky to immediately preclude them from a second date. People are so cutthroat these days!

The interesting thing is how often they try and claw things back with “It’s a shame because he seemed so nice,” or “I was really into her before that happened,” or “I was having a great time but that just ruined it for me.” Judgment is sometimes used as a tool to protect our heart, whether the threat is real or not.

It's unfortunate that it really doesn't take much to turn someone off. Here are 8 things to avoid on the first date that will help you to nail that second one!

  1. Don't dismiss them because they're not your 'type."

Put aside your "must haves" or "dealbreakers" list because most people will not meet your criteria on the first date. Your criteria in fact may not equal compatibility. The average person doesn't even know what is good for them. Humans are imperfect and you can't take a grocery list approach to dating. Be curious, step outside your type.

  1. Don't talk about yourself endlessly.

Trying to prove how great you are just comes across as gross self-importance. Be inquisitive about your date. Ask questions and follow-up questions to get a better understanding of your date. The ideal date feels like a dialogue, not a monologue.

  1. Don't be late.

If you have a forgiving date (like I did) then this may not be the end of the world but being late makes for a terrible first impression! If it cannot be avoided, give them a heads-up text with an apology and apologize again when you arrive. 

  1. Don’t check your phone.

Pretty self-explanatory. It’s rude. It’s non-essential. It’s a distraction and it will make you miss important information about your date. The online world can spare your attention for a couple of hours but your date cannot!

  1. Don’t have too much liquid courage.

On the first date, you need your inhibitions for a multitude of reasons. For safety purposes, for first impression purposes, and to take in the information and remember how this date unfolded and the things you liked/disliked about your date. 

  1. Avoid self-deprecating humor.

If you put out into the world that you are not okay, secure, or happy with who you are, how do you expect someone else to see you as someone worthy of their love attention, and energy? It is also not your partner’s job to build you up 24/7. If you’re constantly trying to break the ice by making digs at yourself this will scare people off before they’ve had the chance to get to know you.

  1. Don’t talk about your ex’s.

There will be plenty of time to drag out the skeletons from their respective closets. The first couple of dates is not the place or time to do this. If you’re serious about moving forward and hopeful about the future, LEAVE THE PAST IN THE PAST. 

  1. Don’t lecture your date on your beliefs

Your religion is YOUR religion. Your fears are YOUR fears. Your political party is YOUR political party. Your date doesn’t need to be converted. In fact, your date will probably run a mile if you start trying to push any agenda even if your intention is to ‘save them’ or be ‘right.’

Being mindful of how you interact on a date, is a wonderful way to improve your dating experience and build up your confidence when interacting with new romantic interests. Take the time after you go on a date to decompress and evaluate yourself. If you feel up to it you could ask your date how they felt it went. Feedback is great! Failing that, these 8 things to avoid on a first date will help keep you on track for a second.


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