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What Not to Do on a First Date

A couple riding a bike together on a first date and having a good time because they knew what not to do.

Let’s face it. Dating is hard and meeting people for the first time is one of the hardest parts of dating. That’s right, we’re talking about the first date. To help you navigate your first dates, we came up with this list of things not to do on a first date.

Most of the blunders people make during their first dates are completely within their control. Like getting so drunk during drinks that you pass out during dinner. Raise your chances of a second date by avoiding these and other simple mistakes, and let your real personality shine.

1. If you can’t handle your alcohol, try not to get drunk.
We know alcohol is a social lubricant, and we know people drink to make things less awkward and nervous during dates. Go ahead and drink. Just don’t drink so much that you think it’s a good idea to cry in public, fall down the stairs, steal your date’s phone, and start a bar fight.

2. Don’t talk about your ex.
A cardinal rule of dating: it’s generally not okay to unleash your baggage on someone you barely know, so no sob stories about the ex on a first date. Honestly, people hate hearing about their significant other’s ex(es) even after years of dating, so why would anyone want to hear about one on the first date? Focus on the person you are with, not the one you used to be with.

3. Don’t talk about yourself nonstop.
It is so not fun to hear someone drone on and on about themselves. So you volunteer at an orphanage, a soup kitchen, and the animal shelter, you recently got a huge promotion at work, you have 2 PhDs and everyone says you look like George Clooney? Good for you. You might be impressive, but you’d be a lot more impressive if you ask questions about your date and show you’re a good listener rather than just a non-stop one man talking machine.

4. Don’t lie, and don’t hide important facts about yourself.
You will get caught. Even something as seemingly insignificant as saying you read a book you never actually read will get you caught. How? Because it always happens. Also, don’t hide important facts about yourself. Your date doesn’t need to know everything about you, but they deserve to know if you have kids, are married to someone else, are pregnant, live with your parents, or are currently homeless. What you divulge is up to you, but skeletons do come tumbling out of the closet eventually, so you might as well be clear up front.

5. Don’t use your cell phone.
It’s rude to use your cell phone during a date unless it’s an absolute emergency. Being preoccupied on your phone is a sign you aren’t mentally present, which is a huge turn-off for the person you are with.

6. Don’t talk about your future together.
Even if you’re sure it’s love at first sight, don’t tell your date about your plans to Photoshop their Facebook pictures into fake wedding pictures and that you’ve always wanted two kids. That will only serve to make you seem creepy. And insane. Going into a date without any expectations is a good rule of thumb. Be pleasantly surprised if you and your date hit it off and make plans for the future, but it takes more than dinner and a movie before you get to marriage and kids.

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