You blew it. You went on a first date with an attractive, witty person and enjoyed their company so much you completely botched the whole experience. Don’t waste time sitting by the phone: your date is probably not going to call. Dating is as much learning from things that went wrong as it is building on the things that went right. Reflection is the best way to improve dating techniques to guarantee a better experience in the future. Let Kelleher International guide you through the multitude of ways your first date went wrong – and how to fix it for your next first date.
The Problem: You talked too much.
The Fix: In poker, when everyone’s cards are on the table, the game is over. Your goal is to stay in the game as long as possible, so limit yourself to sharing information only when it is directly applicable to the conversation. Better yet: focus on asking your date questions about themselves so they feel involved and invested in the date.
The Problem: You didn’t talk enough.
The Fix: Shyness happens, especially when you meet someone for the first time. You definitely want to hear your date’s perspectives, but try to guide the conversation in such a way so that they know you’re listening and can relate to their experiences. Occasional silences are normal, but try not to let it become awkward. Build on something your date just said by asking them to elaborate on the topic.
The Problem: You weren’t dressed properly.
The Fix: Dress up for dates, but please don’t wear a prom dress to the corner bistro. Your date will probably understand if you just came from work and are still wearing business attire, but there is a certain boundary which should not be crossed. It’s important to scope out the venue beforehand and take notes of what current patrons wear. You want your personality – not your clothes – to stand out during your date.
The Problem: You were awkward about the check.
The Fix: Tradition dictates the man should pick up the bill, but the woman should at very least offer to pay her portion of the check (and be gracious about paying if he takes you up on it). Obviously these rules can be bent to fit your own personal preferences, but it’s nice to have a standard code of behavior to expect when you meet a stranger for the first time. If your date picks up the check, thank them and be grateful.
The Problem: Negative body language.
The Fix: Slouching, fidgeting and checking out other people in the room are all signs you aren’t interested. If your date caught these unintentional gestures, they probably assumed your heart wasn’t in it. Instead, make eye contact and encourage your date to talk more by nodding when you hear something you relate to. Keep your hands folded on the table or in your lap if you aren’t sure what else to do with them.
The Problem: Indecisiveness.
The Fix: When it comes to a first date, both genders need to come off cool, confident and assertive. Be the first to propose a date location (have a backup in mind) and, if it is a dinner date, check out the menu in advance to avoid awkwardly sending the waiter away multiple times before ordering.
Everyone has a bad first date story, but there’s no reason to give up on your love life. Step away from the television or another late night at the office; Friday nights were meant for going out and having the time of your life with someone who means the world to you. Visit our blog, “First Date Etiquette for Men and Women” for more ideas about how to make your first date an unforgettable experience.