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The First Date: What Not to Say and Warning Signs

You would assume most young professionals – given how many social interactions we have on a regular basis – would be confident and well-mannered on a first date. This is often not the reality, however, as we've seen countless times in the past

Take charge
If the man has asked the woman out, he should not ask or pressure her to make the plan. Although women like to be in charge from time to time, it is sometimes annoying for females to decide on a date venue as they can be just as indecisive with girlfriends over where to have brunch, let alone a mid week date after a scrambled work day.

Just the two of us
Don’t invite others along last minute or take the date to a restaurant where you are friends with the bartender or the owner or where you know there is a good chance of running into someone you know. It is always best to avoid awkward introductions or for your date to feel thrown off that they are meeting your friends already and may be weary of others getting the wrong idea.

Name game, not gossip
It is one thing to discuss your mutual friends in a game of “do you know” but it is quite another to gossip on a first date about the habits, success, failures and anything else of fellow young professionals you both know. Gossiping is not only unbecoming but it’s also for the feeble-minded. If your date can’t think of anything better to discuss it either reveals them to be insecure or that they in fact don’t have anything else to talk about. 

No body talk
It’s fine and encouraged to discuss healthy living and lifestyle, yoga or ultimate Frisbee but a conversation should never venture to body image on a first date. Not only is it a warning sign of insecurity but we don’t need to know how much more in shape you used to be, how much weight you’d like to lose or how great you look on the beach. We would rather discover for ourselves, should we be so inclined. 

Leave your work woes at the office
Although it’s unavoidable and only natural in getting to know someone, don’t discuss work for any longer than necessary. This is especially the case in terms of job complaints and workplace politics. If the other person is already bringing work woes to the date, they are going to eventually bring them home. 

Be smart with your smartphone
Don’t be glued to your iPhone or Blackberry for the entire evening. Although it is increasingly accepted as the norm among young professionals that smart phones have a place at the table just like the cutlery, be particularly cautious while on a date. Not only is your date not present and in the moment if he or she continuously checks their device, it begs the question of who they are messaging at 10pm on a Saturday night that is more important than treating you with respect. 

Leave your exes out of it
Of course, this is an age-old rule but one we still find broken among YPs time and time again: don’t talk about exes. Nobody needs to know about your ex on a first date, nobody cares. Furthermore, if they spend too much time talking about the ex and their relationship, it reveals two things; that they are either still hung up on the other person and have not reached closure and also that they are quick to divulge personal information of themselves and people in their lives, making them untrustworthy. 

Don’t be superficial
Make sure your discussion isn’t too focused on material things. Bragging about cars, purchases and lavish vacations and casually mentioning the accompanying price tag is a total turnoff. Not only does it reveal that the other person is enamoured by material things, but also that they’re likely defined by their possessions. He or she could also be insecure and over-compensating for what they lack in other areas.

Be nice to the servers
Don’t be rude to the waiter. There is nothing more of a turnoff than someone who speaks down to servers, ignores them when they are standing at the table or who tips horribly for no good reason. These are all warning signs of snobbery, entitlement and inflamed egos.

Mind your manners
Use your manners, the same basic set that you learned when you were five years old. We will never forget the date who reached across and helped himself to our very last scallop without asking, or the one who snorted back his phlegm (sports bar or not) instead of excusing himself to blow his nose in the bathroom.

Don’t jump the gun
Don’t talk about marriage or babies. No matter how well things are going, or how perfect your mutual friends assured you the two of you would be together, nothing could be going well enough on a first date to even think of discussing those topics. It reveals desperation and that the person may be more occupied with the idea of the “white picket fence” than the person who they will essentially share it with.

Get over yourself
Although nobody wants a jealous significant other and it may be important to detect warning signs of this early on, don’t flirt with other people around you, whether it is the server or other patrons. Your date deserves your full attention. If you are not feeling it, bail out early but don’t let your wandering eyes get the best of you.

Don’t ask, just kiss
Never ask for a kiss. Whether or not the other person wants to, asking for a kiss is just awkward, and takes away from the spontaneity and passion of the moment. Chances are, if you are feeling the vibe, the other person is, too. We say go for it.

Notable Life

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