First dates are easy. Seriously. There’s no need to stress out about them. All you’re doing is meeting some girl for coffee, drinks, maybe a meal. You’ll have some conversation, maybe you’ll like her, and maybe you won’t. She could end up being the mother of your children, or just some girl you went out with one time. They can be amazingly great or mind numbingly horrible, but they’ll most likely fall somewhere in the middle of that. The great thing about first dates is there are an unlimited number of things to talk about, because you don’t know each other yet, and there are no feelings attached. Two or three dates in, things get a little trickier, but that’s another article for another day. So, when you’re heading into a first date, you only really need to focus on two things: 1) Make a good impression, and 2) Keep an open mind. Those are the only things you absolutely must do to ensure you both have a fun, decent, or at the very least, tolerable time. But as usual, the list of things you shouldn’t do is somewhat longer. So here we go.
1. Show up late.
This seems obvious, but sometimes people think being fashionably late makes you look busy and therefore important. It makes you look like an asshole.
2. Act intimidated.
Even if you think she’s out of your league because she’s hotter than you, makes more money than you, whatever. She’s there, isn’t she? As always, confidence is the best tool in your arsenal when dealing with the opposite sex.
3. Act shy.
Being shy is different from being intimidated. There are a lot of confident people who happen to be shy. But you want to come off as someone who is up for anything, not a timid pussy-boy.
4. Expect her to pay.
I know, dude. It sucks. Especially if you’re dating around. All those first date bills start to add up. Well, get a new credit card, because feminism is never going to beat tradition when it comes to picking up the check.
5. Say anything about the bill.
Oh, shit, those drinks she’s been sipping for the past three hours were 25 bucks apiece? Suck it up, my friend. Just smile and put your card down. And don’t take it out on the bartender by stiffing him. It’s not his fault.
6. Look at your fucking phone.
Don’t leave it on the bar or the table. Put it in your fucking pocket and silence it. And don’t look at it just because you felt it vibrate. It can wait. She’ll go to the bathroom eventually.
7. Take her somewhere fancy.
You may think you’re impressing her, but the main thing you want to do on a first date is keep it casual. If you upset that tone by going somewhere super classy or formal, she’s not going to be as relaxed as you want her to be.
You make a lot of money, you went to an Ivy League school, and everybody loves you, whatever. Downplay all that shit. It’s cooler if you act like you don’t think any of that is a big deal and you’re more interested in what’s going on in her life.
9. Eat something messy.
I don’t care how much you love baby back ribs. There’s a time and place, and this ain’t either.
10. Talk too much.
You don’t have to fill the silence with endless blather. Keep your stories short, then turn things over to her. Back and forth is what you want. You’re not auditioning for a part in a play.
11. Not talk enough.
You still gotta keep the conversation going.
12. Not ask any questions.
People like to talk about themselves, so if you’re having trouble thinking of shit to say, just ask her a few questions about her life.
13. Interview her.
Asking questions doesn’t mean grilling her. You want to ask the kinds of questions that allow her to tell a story. It’s not a Q & A, it’s a date.
Your dad’s alcoholism, your high school girlfriend’s abortion, the boil you had lanced last week … these are not good first date topics of conversation.
Stay positive. You might like talking about music, TV shows, or people you hate, but it makes you seem like a downer.
If her stance on gun control comes up, and you completely disagree with it, why not just change the subject? You don’t know each other well enough to enter into any kind of debate.
17. Agree with everything she says.
Going the other ways, some guys have heard that mirroring a woman’s interests will make her interested in you. Even if she’s a complete narcissist, she’ll see right through it.
18. Talk about your ex.
Oh, boy. Nothing drags down a potential new relationship by bringing up a failed one.
19. Ask about her exes.
Dude, what did I just say? Exes are off the table.
20. Take her to a movie.
Movies are great dates, but not great first dates. A first date should be all about conversation, not sitting quietly in the dark.
21. Get drunk.
You may need a drink to loosen up, but pace yourself, my friend. Yes, you’re probably at a bar, and yes, it’s gonna be a few hours. But no one makes their best impression when they’re plastered.
I don’t have anything against smoking, but it’s just rude to do on a date. Even if she says it’s okay. So try to hold out for that nicotine fix.
23. Not compliment her.
Right off the bat, you should say something nice, even if it’s just a general, “You look pretty.” It sets a good tone.
24. Give her too many compliments.
On the other hand, if you go on about her eyes, her smile, her hair, how she smells, etc. … it comes off kinda creepy.
25. Say anything sexual.
Even if it’s a joke. The risk of offending her is too great.
26. Bring your buddy along.
Sadly, this happens more than you might think.
27. Check out other women.
Keep your eyes on the prize, pal.
Exaggeration is one thing. An outright lie is another. What are you going to do if you end up in a relationship and you have to confess you didn’t actually live in Prague for a year after college? You’ll look like an asshole.
29. Point out her flaws.
There’s a school of gameplay that tells you to do mean shit like this and you’ll have her eating out of the palm of your hand. I think those rules were written by guys who never get laid and don’t want anyone else to, either.
30. Make no effort on your appearance.
Odds are she got at least a little dolled up for you. Least you can do is iron your goddamn shirt.
31. Treat the waiter like shit.
Oh, big man! You have high standards and are hard to please. Fuck off, dude.
32. Pay no attention to your facial expressions.
This is a weird one, but I went out with a girl once who had a habit of fluttering one eyelid when she was making a point. She was pretty, but that came off as extremely unattractive, and made me wonder what kind of shit I do with my face that I probably don’t know about. Time to start practicing in the mirror, I guess.
33. Ask her out again.
Just let the night end. If it comes up at the door, fine. But no matter how good things seem to be going, don’t ask her out again halfway through. Now there’s nothing to build up to.
34. Force a goodnight kiss.
Just pay attention to her body language. You’ll know if the light’s green or red. Act accordingly.
35. Try to get laid.
Place no expectations on this. If it ends up happening, great. But if you set out with this agenda, you’re more than likely going to go home disappointed.