5 horrible first date tips and how to get a second date

5 horrible first date tips and how to get a second date

Image: Corbis

When it comes to dating in our 20s and 30s, there are two prominent groups of people: Those who love going on dates and meeting new guys every week with no desire to settle down; and the ones pressured into creating online dating profiles or initiating blind dates in order to get out there and find love.

If you fall into the second category, the dates you do end up on are likely to be stressful situations. It’s tougher finding love in your 20s and 30s, especially when your options are limited to friends of friends or colleagues (not always the best idea). We also tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make the dates work out, especially if we’re surrounded by friends who are all in stable relationships.

Of course, finding a great guy to date is a challenge in itself. If you do manage to land dates, but find that your first dates are never progressing to second dates; or that guys just never seem interested enough, you might be following these terrible bits of advice:

#1 Be yourself
Now while this in certain situations might be great advice, it’s terrible to follow in extremes. You don’t want to be a completely different person (no one appreciates false advertising), but you also don’t want to share too much about yourself. A weird habit or quirk (like a fascination with serial killers) might be funny or acceptable later on in the relationship, but bringing it up on a first date is likely to scare the poor guy off. First dates are all about keeping things light and having a good time. Talk about hobbies, weird family members, travel plans or a passion you both share.

#2 Wait to see if he offers to pay
It’s 2015 already. Women take men on dates all the time! If you’re looking for a man who will treat you like an equal, that equality should apply to all aspects of the relationship. It’s perfectly fine if he offers to pay, but so should you. You don’t want him to think you’re going to be an “expensive” or entitled girlfriend! No one wants to deal with that. 

#3 Go to a nice quiet restaurant
Now, this also depends on your personality. If you’re more awkward like I am, the stuffier environment of a high-end restaurant is only going to make you nervous. The more nervous you are, the harder it is to keep conversation flowing. You’re also going to be worried about how you look when eating nice food, which is never fun. Besides, formal first dates are a rather outdated concept these days, and there’s really no need to spend that kind of money on a date that might not work out. Want a fancier spot for dates two and three? By all means!

#4 Wait a day or two before texting them back
This one should be a no-brainer. If you still follow the archaic rule of waiting three days before making contact, you might be living under a rock. Communication is so instantaneous these days that even waiting one day to respond could be taken as disinterest. Yes, no one wants to come across as desperate, but that is easily avoided by how you word your messages. That aside, it’s plain rude to wait that long to return a text or call, especially if you both enjoyed the date. Of course if you don’t want a second date, just let them know instead of wasting everyone’s time. 

#5 Be fashionably (or casually) late
It’s no longer acceptable to show up late, no matter how good you look (it blows my mind that being fashionably late was ever acceptable). When you’re late to a date or even a meetup, it shows the other person that you don’t value their time. Sure, there are circumstances that are unavoidable like a sudden traffic jam or your shoe falling apart and having to go home and change, but taking longer than anticipated to get ready is never a good excuse. There is truly nothing wrong with showing up five minutes early and using the time to relax. Someone who doesn’t value your time is simply not worth your time.