First Date No-No’s

What the opposite sex finds utterly unacceptable the first go–around

by Samantha “Sam”  Foster

The, first dates. There’s always an element of hope mixed with experience-driven trepidation. On one hand, you feel that, if the stars align, this date could lead to others. This date could lead to a relationship. And just maybe, this date could lead to—dare it be spoken?—love! However, you know the way many other first dates have ended—first and only excursions for which you’ve gotten too excited, spent too much money for a new outfit and gotten your mom’s hopes up too high that you might not be alone at family get–togethers this year.

Sometimes first dates don’t lead anywhere for obvious reasons, like you two just aren’t that attracted to one another. Or you realize quickly your belief systems are off balance. Or you face the fact that you’re a Capulet and he’s a Montague. These are all reasons why a relationship won’t make it past square one. But then there are those things—negating actions, I like to call them—that, well, negate that you will get any further in a relationship with the person on the other side of the table.

I’ve polled male and female singles in Birmingham and compiled a list of “Must Not Do’s” for your first dates. If you’ve committed one or more of these in the past, however, you may need first-date training lessons.

Sam’s survey shows that those wanting second dates with anyone they are half-interested in should NOT do as follows:

1. Cry: We all get upset sometimes, especially ladies. We all know this and understand that tears happen. You could be going through an awful breakup. Someone may’ve just passed away. You may be upset that Edward Cullen isn’t real. But do not cry on a first date. If you are in an unstable place in life, postpone until you are feeling better.

2.Over–complain: Sometimes we can all be bitter. However, no one enjoys a Negative Nancy. You may not be a chipper person, but try not to talk about how terrible the food is, how much you hate your job, how disgusting you find certain people, how pathetic this and that can be. Negativity will chase any pleasant person away.

3. Act Like a Diva: Do people pay $100 a ticket to see you sing at the BJCC? Do fans cheer for you as you get off an airplane? Do personal assistants pick out the M&M colors you prefer? Likely not. Nix the diva behavior on first dates. The world won’t end if you get mud on your shoes, if the waiter gives you the wrong order, if the valet is running behind. Acting like a superstar is just, well, gross.

4) Sell Yourself: A lot of people say first dates are like first interviews. You must impress. This is true to an extent, but don’t try too hard to sell yourself or what you want from a partner. A girl I know once had a guy bring his portfolio to the date to show her the extent of his professional talents. Another friend had a guy bring a book on Mother Teresa and tell her, “This is who I aspire to be.” Doing things like this just aren’t normal, no matter how much you want someone to know that you want to feed children in poor countries or that you are one stellar graphic designer. You can talk about these things, but please keep the props at home.

5. Let Nerves Get the Better of You: Someone I know once went out with a guy who was so nervous that he lost his meal on the way out of the restaurant (which really sucked for him because it was Sol y Luna, which everyone knows is delish!) No alcohol was involved. He explained that it was nerves and nothing more. It’s understandable to be jittery, but you should calm down and realize this is just a date and should be just fun.

6. Drink Too Much: A girlfriend of mine was once challenged to a drinking contest on a first date. Number one, I don’t think he understood how much this girl could drink, and two, it’s a first date, not a frat party. First dates aren’t supposed to be like a night out drinking with your best friends. They are about seeing if there’s a real, non–alcohol–induced spark.

7. Talk About Exes: No guy or girl sitting across from you wants to hear much about the last person you dated. We like to think we are special and worth focusing on, especially on a first date. If you spend too much time talking about an ex, it’s a turnoff.

8. Be Glued to Your Cell: For me, this is the most annoying thing a date can do. If you’re on a first date and you’re really interested in getting to know someone, stay off the cell. Focus on the person in front of you. This might be the only chance you get. In addition, it’s just rude and makes it look as though you find the date boring and pointless (which you may, but in that case, just don’t go on any others with that person.)

9. Not Be Old Fashioned: We ladies are glad that feminism is alive and well. However, we still like to be treated like ladies, even if we don’t admit it. We like for guys to open car doors, tell us we look nice and pay for the first date. In turn, ladies, thank a guy for paying if he is a gentleman and does so. We’ve all forgotten how nice it is to treat one another with politeness, respect and good old-fashioned courting techniques (plus, I‘m broke, and free meals rock my world.)

10. Turn the Date Physical too Quickly: A guy friend once told me he went on a date with a girl and within five minutes she was kissing him, telling him how hot he was and how she couldn’t keep her hands off him (not that he didn’t like this, but no matter how well the date went physically, she never got a second one.) You may want to rip someone’s clothes off when you are around them that first time, but if you don’t compose yourself, you may not get to know them any other way than in the buff.

So, there you have 10 of the most common mistakes I heard in my recent personal poll in the Magic City, though other sure–fire ways of making a guy or gal run in the other direction do exist. Remember on your next first date that you should just be casual, be yourself and genuinely see if that other person has any connection to you and you to them.

If all else fails, politely feign a stomach virus, a migraine or food poisoning, go home and go out with your besties for a drinking contest instead. Not that I’ve done that or anything … •

5 Responses to “First Date No-No’s”

  1. AB says:

    This article rocks! I’ve had so many weird first dates and can relate to some of these. Excellent and funny list!

  2. Christy Simpson says:

    Oh the delights of being single. I would absolutely LOVE to post this article to my facebook for everyone else to benefit from!

  3. Mark Anthony says:

    Entertaining article; Funny, yet at the same time sad, ’cause it’s all true! Keep up the good work.

  4. G says:

    This is a great article 😉

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