4 things not to say on the first date
Ah, the dating game. All swings and roundabouts, highs and lows, intimacies and exertions. And that's only the effort involved in securing the date in the first place.
And once you're this far, how do you keep the ball rolling? How do you make sure we'll get the call back for round two? Which sweet nothings will keep you in the game? Our guide on what not to say on that all-important first date should help. Best of luck!
'I'm just out of hospital/prison/the worst relationship imaginable.'
Ah, here. We're on a night out, not a one-on-one therapeutic session. It's better to keep these little nuggets of information for later date revelations. It could, of course, be argued that getting filled in on the whole stint-in-prison or life-threatening illness shows openness and honesty. But those updates could just as equally lead to the end of real-life dates.
Prattling on about previous partners also puts you on shaky ground. A voice of experience is Karen Mooney, founder of a successful dating service in the UK called Sarah Eden Personals. 'A lot of people harbour bitterness. But who wants to go out with someone who's bitter and twisted?' she notes. Enough said indeed.
'Spaghetti? I love it, bring it on.'
The dilemma of every first dater - where to go, and what to order. Slurping through an unsightly tangle of stringy pasta, it's the set-up-to-fail scene in every romantic comedy. But it's very true to life that it's never attractive to talk through a messy mouth, and even less so on a first date.
A similar red flag is the end-of-date bill. Warnings for the ladies comes from Julia Bruni, author of How To Pull Girls. She wrote: 'Inviting you for a date doesn't mean he fancies being treated like a cash cow.'
But opting for generosity is the only way forward, notes dating agency founder Karen Mooney. 'I think the man should offer to pay,' she says. 'If he doesn't, he'll be indicating that he's tight. If you're tight with your money, you're tight with everything, including your emotions.'
The sentence 'I don't get paid until next Thursday' is another red flag. If you don't have the means, you're not going to be up to the first date measure. Stay put until that pay cheque comes rolling in.
'Novelty socks? They're part of my personality.'
Even white ones put the wearer on dodgy date territory, unless you're out smacking balls across a tennis court. The what-to-wear dilemma is just as loaded as the where-to-go scenario above, and says a lot about you before you open your mouth. And for both sexes, socks with sandals is still the obvious fouling factor - and a dead cert for zero future dates.
'Make mine a double.'
Lay off the liquor and you raise your chances of getting a second look-in. Given the power of first date nerves, the temptation to over-drink - putting in an order for a double or sneaky triple - is an understandable slip-up. But you'll be getting the voicemail when you make a post-date call if you cut too loose on the big night. Dating adrenaline, nerves, and lack of food can all cause alcohol apocalypse. The general advice is to stick with half of what you can normally handle.
Encore une fois - we wish you the best of luck out there!