The 12 Commandments Of First Dates

Thou shalt not speak of your ex or theirs

The golden rule of the first three dates is NEVER discuss your ex. I could write a whole post on this but as a guideline, if exes come up, keep it vague and move on. You should both have way more to talk about than each other’s pasts loves. Find out about each other before you even think of venturing into the shark infested ex waters.

Talking about your ex may give the impression that you’re not over them and it also may cause your date to draw, rightly or wrongly, conclusions about you. Even worse, sometimes people adjust their behavior and true character on the basis of the information that you reveal. Just don’t go there!

Thou shalt manage your expectations

Expectations, whether you have too little or too much tend to be behind a lot of problems with dating and relationships. You need to go on a first date with eyes open and with your feet firmly in reality.

If you go with too little or with too high expectations, this will not only skew your perception of the person and the date, but it is likely to cause you to ignore important signals about whether this is someone you should pursue further dates with.

Thou shalt leave your jaded, cynical, self at home

I’ve had more bad dates than hot dinners (OK slight exaggeration) but I still kept on going on dates. It’s best not to tar everyone with the same brush and if you can’t stop being negative, you shouldn’t be dating. Positive mental attitude!

Thou shalt make an effort with your appearance

It’s not all about the surface stuff but unfortunately it is the first thing that’s noticed. Hair combed, teeth brushed, breath smelling good (or at least of nothing), not too much perfume or after shave, no B.O., and avoid fashion faux-pas.

Thou shalt be a decent conversationalist

Conversation and communication is all about the exchange hence you must have a good balance of listening and talking. If all you can hear is your voice or theirs, the balance isn’t right. Be careful of spending your brain power thinking about what you’ll say next instead of listening. Ask questions but don’t interrogate, and steer clear of danger topics like religion or politics.

Oh and yes, it goes without saying that you should actually talk and make an effort to overcome your shyness as nobody wants to feel like they’re talking to themselves…

Thou shalt use your manners

There are few things worse than sitting at a table with someone who has hideous table manners or is rude to staff at the place you’re having your date. Don’t talk with your mouth full, do use the cutlery, and don’t even think of being rude to the waiter/waitress who is serving you.

Do open doors, say thank-you and just be generally polite. You don’t need to roll out the red carpet but don’t let your date end up believing that they went out with an ill-mannered person! And for God’s sake don’t burp or fart!

Thou shalt steer clear of anything overtly sexual

I beg you please, unless the sole purpose of the date is to get a shag (I have to wonder why you bothered with the date though…) you will create the wrong impression if you make the focus of the date getting into each other’s pants.

Don’t stare at their breasts/crotch all the time, don’t crowd their personal space, don’t leer, don’t touch inappropriately, and don’t talk dirty. If you kiss, don’t grope them like a randy teenager and it’s probably best not to badger them to have sex.

Thou shalt not get wasted!

I’m not trying to ruin your fun but getting really drunk where it actually impacts on your basic abilities such as walking, talking, or your judgment, is not a very good idea. I prefer to get drunk with people I know and that I’m really comfortable with.

Do you really want to wake up the following morning and be cringing over your slurring, silly behavior, or even worse, puking?

Thou shalt not display aggressiveness….or cry…

Getting angry on a first date or blubbering is a major, major no-no. Both actions show that you’re not really in control of yourself or an ideal date candidate. Being unable to control your temper or just being generally aggressive is actually a red flag and as for the crying, it is likely to make the other party feel highly uncomfortable, especially if you’re crying over someone else… It’s best to keep your emotions…balanced….

Thou shalt not eye up other people

So you’ve spotted a bit of totty – Is it a good idea to be staring at them or keeping tabs on other hot prospects in the room whilst you’re date is sitting there? Oh hell no!

Thou shalt not use your mobile phone

This is especially the case if you own a Blackberry. Put your phone on silent/vibrate and only respond to ‘urgent’ calls, preferably when you go to the toilet. Obviously don’t spend all night checking your messages! Short of actually looking bored, there is no better way to convey your disinterest if you spend the date emailing, texting, or taking calls…

Thou shalt not pretend that you’ll pay or go halves

If you have no intention of paying or splitting the bill, don’t do ‘the reach’ if you can’t follow through. Guy’s in particular find it very annoying when women do ‘the reach’ and then mark the guy down for accepting their offer!


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