Lot of things can go wrong on a first date:
- Nerves put us off our game
- We say dumb things
- Those awkward ‘what’s next’ scenarios
Never in my life, however, have I heard a true 1st date story worse than this:
Frank (name changed to avoid assassination) invites Claire out on a date.
“Awesome” she says.
Frank orders the most expensive meal on the menu because he’s trying to impress.
He goes on and wins the ‘who gets to talk more’ game by cutting Claire off right before she starts each sentence!
Frank then knocks her socks off by suggesting a movie! Surprise! (I bet Claire had always dreamed that one day she might be that lady on this date night!).
Frank then says he’s out of $$ and asked her to pay for the movie (remember the steak he just ordered…)
After the movie Frank played his doomsday trump card. You guessed it – he skipped the whole ‘Do I kiss her… What if she… etc…’ awkwardness that other guys go for and went straight to ‘Hey I’m still outta cash, could you get me a cab home?’
Bad boy? For sure! Man of her dreams? Hell no!
So what makes for the best date of all time?
The previous true story is horrible – just horrible! Almost no-one is this bad at date nights but it’s very easy to get into a rhythm when dating and forget to keep improving yourself.
Here’s some top qualities that make 1st dates into 2nd dates and beyond:
Work out your dates ‘Wait timer’
We all have a ‘Wait Timer’ built into the way we talk. It’s the gap we wait after someone stops talking before sharing. For example:
- A bunch of New Yorkers out for dinner is a game of Who Interrupts Next. The wait timer for the night is about -0.5 seconds!
- Conversely a quiet southern guy from the country will wait about 3 seconds before saying anything.
Once you realise this you’ll notice just how many people #fail! It certainly takes some focus when you first start but learning to identify this helps you on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and every date you’ll ever do (including those with your soulmate one day).
How to do this: use the first 10 minutes of the date to identify the other person’s Wait Timer:
- They’re a talker: If they’ve been talking non-stop for 5 minutes it’s probably because you haven’t interrupted them yet! Seriously just jam in your own thought just as they finish a sentence. Chances are they will feel better right away since in their mind you’ll be interacting ‘normally’.
- They’re pretty chilled: If they’ve haven’t said much count to 3 whenever you finish saying something. You’ll be amazed just how much stuff ‘quiet’ people have to say when people actually stop talking long enough for them to say it
These are two extreme ends of the spectrum. The probability is your date is going to be somewhere in the middle and it will change based on how they feel. For example if they’re nervous for the first hour they may talk more than usual. Conversely they may normally be a very talkative person but just had a draining day at work.
The goal is to learn the art of adjusting your ‘Wait timer’ to fit the situation. This is a great general life tip but particularly awesome on a 1st date!
Stop going to the cinema (and other boring stuff)!
Life is a creative adventure of new experience and exciting journeys so don’t do the same date as everyone else (unless you’re a tax auditor… then it’s ok to be boring!)
Check out these fun activities that are a lot better than a movie:
- 50 great 1st date ideas in London
- The Only Dates vault of ideas
- Dates for when it’s wet (ok, for the whole year…)
- Or grab more ideas from one of these Top 10 dating blogs
- Why these date activities are better than a movie:
- An activity takes the pressure off by generating smalltalk
- An new activity is a memory (just try and remember the last few movies you watched…)
- An activity says you actually have a personality
- An activity helps you see each other for who you are – chilled, open minded, easily stressed, etc…
- An activity is fun! Fun gets you to date #2!
Ditch these Money Myths:
These myths don’t matter on date night (seriously!):
- He should always pay
- He should never pay
- Let’s split the bill
- Let’s impress with an expensive place
- Whoever asked the other out pays
These are totally the wrong questions and are not flexible enough for the colourful spectrum of human personalities. So what’s a helpful line of thinking?
“What’s the kind of person you want to be with. Then be that person yourself!”
Why this is better:
- If you want someone who’s generous with their friends and partner then start by being generous yourself
- If you want someone who’s frugal with their finances, because they’re saving for an overseas holiday, then be that person yourself and split the bill
- If you’re a single parent, who’s invited another single parent out on a date, go on a cheap date you’ll both enjoy
- If you want to date a career chick who earns more than you then be prepared that money’s not an issue and paying/not paying is the least of their concerns
Be the person you want to be with. If they don’t like the true version of you then it’s great to
work this out early (it’s hard to fake who you are long term!)
You can do it!
Almost no-one is as bad at dating as Frank! (seriously he’s horrible!)
If you can keep polishing your skills by trying one of these on your next date you’ll connect better and have a lot more fun!
All the best!
P.S. For some more great first date tips check out How to have the perfect first date.
P.S.S Do you have a story of a horrible date night you were taken on? Share it with the crew in the comments!