5 Common First Date Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Whether you’ve met someone in person or connected online, going on a first date is always stressful. From deciding what you’re going to wear to worrying if you’ll live up to expectations, it can make a good experience something to dread. When you add in self-consciousness, nerves, and that never-ending desire to say the right thing, you may start to think you’re better off staying at home.

However, if you’re going out with someone who you think could be really great, persevering through the awkward get-to-you-know stage can equal a lifetime of happiness. Take a look at the five common mistakes made on first dates and how you can avoid them. Set yourself up for a second date, not failure!

1. Bringing Up Exes

Even if you’re not 100 percent over your last breakup, it’s never a good idea to dwell on the past. When going on a date with someone new, bringing up anything about your past relationship isn’t the best idea if you want a second date. Although talking about exes is something you may do down the line, for the first date, it’s best to keep any talk about your past relationships to the minimum.

Avoid situations where you may be inclined to talk about your past love or tilt the conversation away from that subject if possible. If for some reason you are stuck answering a question about an ex, keep it light and non-specific. Don’t go into detail about why you are no longer together or make him or her out to be bad. Talking too much or too negatively may cause your date to worry about how a potential relationship may end.

2. Flirting or Checking Out Other People

If you’ve been on the prowl for while, it can be hard to keep your eyes to yourself when you see an attractive person. However, if you’re out on a date with someone new, checking out someone else is the first step toward going home alone. Not only does it make your date feel self-conscious if they don’t stack up to the person you’re obviously attracted to, but it will also make them wonder if you’ll be faithful in a relationship. Similarly, flirting with the waiter or waitress while dining out isn’t the best way to set yourself up for a second date.

The easiest way to eliminate this problem is to compliment your date. Make sure he or she knows you find them intriguing. Limit looking around the room and make eye contact as much as you can. Your date will love that you’re engaged in conversation, and you won’t have to worry about roaming eyes.

3. Asking Personal Questions

Even though a first date is designed to get to know someone, asking personal questions can make a situation awkward. Don’t spend too much time dwelling on the deep parts of each other’s lives. Avoid talking about past relationships, personal failures, family issues, or political stances on the first date.

Make the most of your first time together with lighthearted questions or get-to-know-you exercises. Once you’ve established a good rapport with each other, you can delve into more intense topics. Keep first date questions to the average everyday topics.

4. Being Rude or Impolite

Mistakes happen, and if the waiter somehow messed up your order, keep a calm head when sending your dinner back. A rude or impolite date is one of the biggest turnoffs when it comes to going out for the first time. First dates are the time to show off the best side of you. Even if you may be in a situation that stresses you, it’s never an excuse to let that negative side of you show.

However, if you’ve met someone online who seems too good to be true, be on the watch for scammers. Even though online dating can be a great way to meet others, if the person you’re talking to is overly polite, invested, or rushing you into a romantic relationship, you may be the victim of money scam. Manners are a great asset to have when looking for someone to connect with, but don’t be fooled by a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

5. Talking About Yourself Too Much

A first date is meant to be the best way to get to know each other; however, try not to spend too much time talking about yourself. Even though you may think your stories are the best, your date may get tired of never getting a word in the conversation.

If you’re concerned about overtaking the conversation, make sure to ask questions often and engage your date in topics you both find interesting. Keep your personal stories to a minimum, and avoid tangents or lengthy stories. If the date goes well, you’ll have a lot of time in the future to share some of your favorite memories or personal tales.