Although I haven't been on a first date in 15 years being that I'm not sure my husband would approve of it, I did my fair share of dating and remember feeling exasperated by certain things some of the men I dated dared to do on our first date. That is not to say, that women can't be equally as uncouth as men- it's just that I never dated a woman, but I digress. Let's face it-first dates can be stressful; they're akin to going on a job interview with so much more at stake-your future. That's right-every first date has the potential to be that singular watershed moment when the stars align and you meet the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with in co-habitation or matrimony. And while we would all love to believe that our soul mate would see us for who we are-under all the makeup, clothing and social masks we wear, the truth is, first impressions are EVERYTHING. But ultimately how you act and what you do is what will determine whether or not you get a second date with this person. For instance don't forget to bring your wallet! This one seems like a no-brainer but I've known some men who go on a date and when the check comes say they forgot their wallet at home. But women also need to bring their wallets as they should never assume if the date is mutually agreed upon that the man will pick up the tab. Plus-most guys appreciate a girl who at least OFFERS.
With that being said Hunt Ethridge, a dating and relationship coach and co-founder of International Dating Coach Association which accredits dating coaches, shares five things you should never do on a first date if you want to get a second one.
1/ Have -No plan-
Did you just show up and ask her what she wanted to do? Not a good start. Get a plan in order. If you showed up at your dentist and she asked you what you felt like doing, how would that strike you? It probably wouldn’t fill you with confidence. Be a man with a plan. Tell her, “We’re going...” My advice is a coffee shop or something simple, but for heaven’s sake, find a cool, funky one. Avoid chains like Starbucks or Panera. Even if it’s not her preferred place, you’ll get points for having a plan!
2/ -Not be a leader-
Genetics plays a big part in our interactions. Not your dad or grandfather’s genes; we’re talking 10,000 years ago genes. Back when we were hunters and the women were gatherers, our job was to protect and lead. It’s still the same way. Women want a bold man to lead them. “I want a MAN!” as you have probably heard women say. Not an overbearing man, but one who is confident. Open doors, ask leading questions and know where you’re going and what you’re doing.
3/ Have -A date that goes too long-
Sometimes a date can be going so well that you don’t want it to end. This can also be a pitfall. Imagine going to a party where you’re having a blast. The music is great, the wine is flowing like, well, wine and everyone is talking and is interesting. You think about going but decide to stay longer. Then the alcohol runs out, the person who owns the iPod disconnects it and goes home and all the interesting people leave. There you are, with a warm drink, no music and everyone is just milling around. Once you leave, you have a sour taste in your mouth when you think of the party. Same deal here. We usually recommend an hour for your first date. Get in, get out, and leave them wanting more.
4/ Plan -A too-complex date-
“Okay, first we’re going to grab a drink at McDrinker’s but we have to leave by 8:45 so we can make it in time for the 9 show at the Comedy Club. You wait in line while I go grab movie tickets for the midnight showing of The New Action Movie and I’ll meet you at the table. Try to get one near the back in case the show runs long and we need to duck out early.” While I applaud your leadership skills, over-scheduling and over-committing is never a good thing. It doesn’t give her time to settle in and enjoy herself without thinking of the next thing. Make it fun but relaxing and stress-free. She is there for you; in fact, the whole first date is to get to know each other. If you are doing all this activity, guess what…? By the end of the date you will know as little about her as at the start. Worse, dating is emotional and when our energy and attention are unfocused, you are less likely to connect and get to know your date. AKA, it will be your one and only date with her.
5 / -Try for a second date-
Everyone wants a second date. Even before she shows up she is hoping there will be a second date in her future. But if you are trying to set up a second date before the first one is even over, it’s not going to look good. First off, you’ll come off as desperate. Like you are trying to lock her in before she realizes you aren’t worth one. Also, on the other side, what if she agrees and later you find out she’s a closet psycho. Leave planning the next date for a phone call a few days later. It is not an interview, and if you treat it as such, you won’t meet anyone of quality. Dating should be and is supposed to be fun and not too serious an experience, especially on the first date. Show your lighter side, enjoy the company and only after the date decide if you will call her or not. Guess what, you just might have so much fun together that decision has already been made for you!