I met a lot of nice men that I had a pleasant enough first date with, over the course of the two years I seriously dated before I met Cosmo.
Maybe because I overlooked a lot of things that might be deal breakers for other women.
My feeling was that first dates can be stressful. It’s easy to be nervous and do dumb things. If there were enough good things going on during the date, I didn’t sweat the nagging little things.
But then there were the men who were just plain insensitive.
What really got to me was when they were so impulse-driven – or just ignorant – that they did what felt good to them . . . without caring if they overstepped and made me uncomfortable or creeped me out.
They didn’t seem to care or consider the impact their actions would have on me. After all, except for a few emails and phone calls before the first date, they didn’t know who I was.
Sure, acting on impulse can work out. Everything may be groovy. She may be glad when you do.
But isn’t it better to play it safe . . . just in case what you do may make her feel uncomfortable or, even worse, unsafe?
5 Things Men Should Never Do on a First Date
1. Press the woman hard to go to dinner, when she suggests just going for coffee.
Meet her for coffee for the first date, instead of a meal, for a number of reasons:
- A coffee date allows either of you to make a hasty getaway, if things are going sour . . . and they can go bad in an instant.
- If your coffee date is going well, you can prolong it for several hours. Coffee joints typically let you sit there for as long as you want, but a restaurant probably won’t.
- Dinner typically lasts an hour or longer. If things aren’t going well, you’re probably stuck with each other until the dessert menus come around.
- Most times of year, it will be dark when you’re done with dinner. She may not want to have a stranger (you) walk her to her car in the dark.
- Dinner is a relatively big investment to make for a potential first-and-only date. Neither of you should be expected to shell out that kind of money for all the first dates you’re likely to have, if you’re seriously dating.
2. Have your phone at-the-ready, sitting on the table next to you.
I find this annoying even when my girlfriends do it. What potential calls are so important that you’ll risk coming off as rude to your date?
If you have some pending situation for which you must be available at a moment’s notice, then of course, you’ll need to be able to take calls.
Otherwise, keep your phone in your pocket, turned off, and ignore it completely.
I know some people like to arrange for a friend to call them during a date, so they can pretend there’s an emergency and exit the date quickly, if things are not going well.
Instead of leaving someone in the lurch like that, why not politely say you don’t think things are going well, if you really can’t stand to stay a moment longer?
That would be kinder. I did this once on a first date that was agonizingly uncomfortable. Although I felt like bolting, I realized this was just a regular guy. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
Once I verbalized what we were both thinking, we both loosened up and had a nice time. It took the edge off. At the end of the date, we cheerfully (instead of anxiously) said goodbye knowing that was the first and only date we would have.
3. Lash into your ex at length.
Don’t get into comparing war stories about your exes. That makes for a negative vibe between you. If your date can’t stop himself from lashing out at his ex, he may not be over her.
If so, he’ll probably carry that animosity over into your relationship with him. He’s probably not ready to let someone new into his life. Or he may be perennially immature.
It may be best for you to move on.
4. Act on assumptions that you have more of a relationship than actually exists.
On a few first dates, I could tell the men were more into me than I was into them. I was careful not to lead them on, but I’m an upbeat person with a pleasant demeanor, and I’m a good listener. I suppose the attention I was paying them was mistaken for attraction.
These guys were not good at reading signals. One or two of them moved in for a kiss at the end of the date – a romantic kiss, not just a peck on the cheek – assuming I wanted them to. If they had been paying attention, they would have noticed that I wasn’t interested in the same way they were.
It backfired in a big way.
These days, with the pandemic still a big concern, kissing on the first date is probably not a good idea for health reasons. Also, because you may be masked, moving in for a kiss could be a fumbling mess.
Whether or not the pandemic is still with us, planting a kiss on the first date is a big risk. Why take a chance of offending her? Being a gentleman will almost always be a good thing to do.
5. Take out a list of questions and run down each one (I swear, this happened to me).
The same man as above, who insensitively went in for the big kiss on date one, actually pulled out a sheet of paper with about a dozen typed questions on it, and began drilling me from his list.
I was surprised because things were going okay, we were chatting back and forth so there was no need to interject with canned questions.
Needless to say, it was a conversation killer.
It’s okay, in fact wise, to prepare for dates by jotting down some topics and questions in advance, and then review them right before the date. Or, you can bring your list on the date, but go into the bathroom to review them, if needed.
Get a head start, or a reboot, on your dating life, and find your soulmate faster, with our Mature Dating Game Plan.