Disheartened by a string of first dates gone wrong, I sought answers straight from the source: eligible men. I grilled male friends, ex’s and even one of those disastrous dates (see # 3) to find out which first date topics to ditch and how to make it to round two on your road to dating bliss.
1. Your Ex. This is commonsense (or should be.) But I admit, it’s hard to resist – especially when baited with, “so, how long have you been single?” (Guys, stop asking us or prepare for a walk down our road of relationships past.) Conversing about past relationships (good or bad) shifts the focus on your past and away from your current connection. Besides, droning on about an ex’s faults does nothing but clue your date in on your questionable taste.
2. High Maintenance Name Dropping. The men interviewed suggested that nothing screams “ high maintenance” like bringing along Prada and Armani to your table for two. Men notice these hints at your high end taste and as one male friend indicated, “there is nothing duller than discussing a date’s latest trip to the mall.”
3. Feminism. Let me preface this post by revealing that the man who initiated this response is Jesse Spano’s nightmare (you guessed it, a chauvinist pig.) But he might have a point. A first date is not the time to roar for woman’s rights or insist on picking up the tab. “We want to feel like men and a woman insisting on paying her way is emasculating,” one friend explained. Simply put, you’re out with a man so let him be one (at least for the night.)
4. The Have You Ever Game. We think we are playing cute and coy as we ask innocently, “Have you ever cheated? Have you ever lied? Have you ever ____?” (Fill in an act that has wronged us in the past.) We are actually sizing up our date’s good guy potential and they are on to us. A friend detailed a date gone wrong when his companion’s sudden interrogation of his moral standing stifled an otherwise promising connection. Spoiler alert: he never called her again.
5. Your Daily Complaints. Did morning traffic trip up your day? Your latte not to your liking? Coworkers more irritating than usual? Keep it to yourself. Or call a friend, a therapist – anyone but the unsuspecting stranger sitting across from you. We date to form a connection and present our best selves, not to unleash our daily frustrations. You may otherwise smile throughout your days but your date is judging you on this very specific snapshot of your time – don’t get caught scowling in his moment.
After compiling my list, I whined to a friend, “What are we supposed to talk about?” His answer was simple – our interests, hobbies and factors of happiness. Keep these tips in mind and tackle your next date by focusing on the one topic that captures his attention: you.