Ken recently joined Stitch as an advisor and brand ambassador. His passion is helping Stitch members enjoy their best possible online dating experience. Ken has written about senior dating for The Huffington Post, AARP, Maria Shriver, and About.com, for a decade, and the information he shares is based on his dating experiences, and those of thousands of readers who comment on his articles.
First Date Mistakes – We All Make Them!
Whether you’re looking for romance or platonic companionship, the first date can always be a little uncomfortable, even stressful! Even if you date frequently, meeting someone new can be challenging for all of us.
As a general rule of thumb, the simplest way to avoid saying anything embarrassing or inappropriate on a first date is to install a mental, five-second, time delay mechanism in your head, similar to what live television uses to avoid airing expletives. If your date asks you a tough question or makes a challenging comment, that’s the time to engage your time delay mechanism. You need to consider what you say on a first date if you hope to have a second.
Now, with that in mind, here are five first date mistakes to avoid:
1. Avoid Appearing Desperate
“I know this sounds crazy, but I think I’m falling in love with you,” is guarantied to make your first date with this person, your last, because yes, you will appear desperate and crazy. This has actually happened to a few men and women friends, and all of them reacted similarly. Desperate declarations are deal killers. While it’s wonderful to feel excited about someone you met, to suggest a virtually impossible emotional connection is a red flag to all but the desperate. Your time delay mechanism will prevent you from making irrational statements like this.
2. Don’t Suggest Risky Behavior
Suggesting to your boomer date, “Let’s go back to my place and make love,” after knowing him or her for an hour or less, isn’t just crazy, it’s potentially dangerous. And while free love may be reminiscent of the 1960s, it’s totally unacceptable behavior today. A salient point to consider is that if your date agrees to have sex with you, you’ll likely find yourself in more trouble than you bargained for. Casual sex is not new millennium, boomer, dating etiquette.
3. Don’t Be Combative
Informing a woman on a first date after opening the car door for her, “I won’t be doing this again because the sexes are equal now,” emphasizes the importance of the time delay mechanism. Being a gentleman has nothing to do with women’s equality. It’s simply a gesture of respect. Boomer women appreciate manners and want to feel feminine. Dating isn’t supposed to be a gender power struggle, so don’t make it one. Engage your time delay mechanism.
4. Don’t Ambush Your Date
Planting a surprise kiss on a first date’s lips isn’t even cool if you’re George Clooney or Angelina Jolie. A first kiss is a sweet moment that occurs naturally when a man and a woman look at each other in a manner that suggests a kiss is mutually desired. It’s a memorable moment that couples remember for years. While most people enjoy a pleasant surprise, no one enjoys feeling ambushed.
5. You Can’t Buy Love
Making a show of paying the check for coffee, and adding, “All future lunches and dinners are on me,” isn’t endearing, it’s showing off, and worse, it looks like you’re trying to buy a relationship. In the beginning at least, sharing the check or taking turns paying, makes sense. In that way, no one feels taken for granted or obligated. Once a relationship has developed, a conversation regarding paying for dinners, etc., is appropriate. A successful first date requires balance, not bravado.
Here is a final tip: Don’t over think being cool.
Just be you.
Don’t try to impress because you won’t be able to maintain that level of behavior. Treat your first date in the same manner you’d like to be treated. Relax and enjoy your first date. It’s supposed to be fun!