Those overly keen to make a good impression can end up doing just the opposite when their nerves, anxiety and insecurity cause them to act like an overenthusiastic dating nightmare. Read on to discover common first-date mistakes and remember that forewarned is forearmed.
Dressing for Excess
A common dating misdemeanor — often committed by more women than men — is dressing to excess. Classic symptoms include spending a whole weekend shopping for a new outfit and splashing out on a blow dry, spray tan and manicure… and you’re just meeting the guy for coffee!
Girls, you can’t project success onto a date by throwing money at it in the form of over-preparation. You might look every inch the polished, confident temptress but guys will see someone who’s at best high maintenance, and at worst out of their league.
Presumably, this is not the desired effect.
Solution: Don’t take the entire afternoon off work to prepare for a date. An hour should be the most time any woman needs to get ready. Opt for a tried-and-true outfit of jeans and a fitted blouse or camisole, shoes you can actually walk in and a light-handed application of makeup.
It’s only natural that you want to make date conversation flow smoothly but boning up on your date’s interests — and passing them off as your own — is asking for trouble. You can spend all week scouring the web for facts about football or fashion but you just can’t manufacture common ground.
“I thought I’d found the perfect woman when Grace started talking about football,” says Sam. Little did Sam know, Grace had spent considerable time familiarizing herself with the rules of the game, teams and players in order to impress him. Grace came unstuck when, after dating for a few weeks, her interest in the sport began to wane.
“It was pretty clear she wasn’t all that interested in football but had made out like she was so we’d have something in common,” says Sam.
Solution: If you’re concerned that you won’t have many shared interests with your date, stick with universal, pop culture-themed topics like film, TV and music that everyone has an opinion about. As an added bonus, you’ll also find out a little something about your date’s tastes — and you might be pleasantly surprised to find that you have something in common after all.
Flashy First Date
Sometimes guys (and girls) who are unsure of their ability to naturally woo a date resort to the age-old dating trap of the flashy first date. “On my first date with Dan, he took me to one of the best restaurants in town with killer views and very expensive food,” says Shannon, who admits that the grand gesture did impress.
“That was until I found out from his brother that this was his ‘big first date’ place. He takes all his dates the first time! That took the sparkle off things,” she says.
Solution: Don’t buy into the cliché of taking a date to a fancy restaurant to make an impression. Do you really want to be with someone who is that easily impressed? Instead, take them to a mid-priced place with personality — try Spanish tapas, Japanese Teppanyaki or a cook-your-own Korean BBQ. Is it really worth blowing a month’s rent on bonsai-portions of arty cuisine with a date that’s more enamored by the view than you?
Planning to Plan
Planning a date in precise increments is a clear case of date overkill — and a sure sign of someone who’s either extremely nervous (very unattractive) or extremely controlling (very, very unattractive). Do you really need to map out the whole date from the first hello to the last goodbye? And if so, you really need to lighten up a little.
Dating is about having fun and being spontaneous, not following some strict timetable.
Solution: Take a break from your rigid ways when embarking on your next date. If you must make milestones, stick to the two main ones — the start and the end of the date, two certainties you can cling to when the need for order and structure become too much.