The Dos and Don’ts on a First Date

A first date can be exciting and daunting, whether you like the guy or you have not made up your mind yet. Here is a short list I’ve collected from personal experience and the amusing anecdotes of friends on first date etiquette.

Unrealistic Expectations: Sometimes we can get ahead of ourselves and envision the next fifty years of our lives with the date in question, especially if there’s a lingering infatuation. With high hopes come big disappointments, so instead aim to only have an enjoyable night out – anything more is a bonus. Block out images of bringing him home for Christmas and don’t make Valentine’s Day plans just yet – instead, aim for a night filled with stimulating conversation.

Money Talk: Do bring cash; there is nothing wrong with offering to share the bill or pick up popcorn while he buys movie tickets. Even if you don’t end up paying, the offer makes the date lighter and you both feel equally in charge. It’s also a good idea,to have extra few dollars for a cab ride home, in case the date is less than ideal.

Topics to Avoid: Salaries, exes, religion and politics are the big no-nos. Keep conversations light and ask follow-up questions. If you are a savvy conversationalist, use chats about travel, cinema, sport and school to try and detect the possibility of a hideous doll collection, narcissism, criminal record, hoarding addiction, a string of illegitimate children and One Direction obsession.

Too much, too soon: Be a creature of mystery. A friend went on a date with a guy who purchased concert tickets for her on the second date (concert was six months away,) used the pronoun ‘we’ from the first date, planned overseas trips and told her that she was ‘pretty much the ideal woman’ for him. While those things are great in a burgeoning relationship, don’t go full throttle on first dates. You can ask ‘Are we having dessert?’ but not ‘Are we going to take up cooking classes?’

Information Overload: While Googling his name might prove that he is not a serial killer, do not add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter prior to a proper date. Many friends have not gone through the online befriending process even after the first date. You don’t want them to see photos of you barfing at a New Year’s party or reveal your silly nicknames just yet – nor do you want to judge them on a possibly bad profile photo or their love for Nickleback. Without the online befriending, you are able to get to know them the old-fashioned way.

Dress to Impress: Carrie Bradshaw once said that first dates are like job interviews with cocktails and she was not wrong. When you are wearing your favourite outfit with your favourite shoes, you are feeling bold and confident and know that you are quite a catch. When you feel fabulous, you radiate fabulousness and even if the date does not work out well, you are looking great and can meet up with friends and still have a fun night out.

When Eating: The smell of garlic lingers even if you chew a dozen mints, so avoid garlic soup for lunch if you intend on kissing that night. Avoid Indian restaurants if your stomach is not great with spices, and avoid spaghetti if your spoon and fork skills are not great. However, do go to a restaurant and make sure your order something apart from water (a real anecdote).

Don’t Repeat: Delete his number and try and forget the last few hours if your date constituted the following: loud burping, your date spending 90% of the time fiddling with his phone, rudeness to wait staff, going for a ‘drive’, sexist comments, racist comments, toxic venting about their hatred of things, the discovery of girlfriends abroad, nose-picking, unwelcome advances, a man crush on Chris Brown and the ability to swerve any conversation only on themselves.

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