Friday, April 11, 2008

Commit First Date Faux Pas and Kiss Second Date Goodbye

Tired of countless first dates? Here's how to turn dating disasters of future first dates into dating delights and get that second date.

Remember, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. So you have to make the first one count. Commit one or more of the following first date mistakes and you can forget about becoming the dynamic duo because there will be no second date.

I compiled the following list from surveying two types of people: the first group had been on lots of first dates, while the second group of men and women had learned how to date smart. They had been on a lot fewer first dates but many more second dates. That's because they don't commit these common first date faux pas.

As you read through them, make a note of how many and which first date blunders you usually commit. Add up your score. Then, once you finish beating yourself up and making yourself wrong for being a first date failure, make a vow to do your next first date differently. Turn first date disasters into future dating delights and get a second date.

Oh by the way, I have made all but two of these mistakes. I don't lie and I'm never rude. And I've never had sex on the first date, but...in the past I have let "that chemistry thing" take over and fooled around a bit. The operative phrase here to pay attention to is, "in the past," because I don't do that anymore.

Unrealistic Expectations. The notion that the ideal just has to be real.
Before you even go out on the date do feats of fantasy carry you away? In your mind, do you imagine that this person is going to be the "the one?" If so, that very fantasy causes you to build up expectations. And, you convince yourself that this piece of fiction is fact. Of course your expectations are totally unrealistic, and with that much pressure on yourself and your date, you're bound to be disappointed.

It's okay to hope that every date will be your last first date, but don't expect it. If you do, you will always be disappointed and resentful about your dating life. Just remember, this is a date. D-A-T-E. It's not your whole life. It's only thirty minutes or a few hours out of your life. Backy: On the date be open and stay open. Get rid of your expectations and script. You just may be pleasantly surprised at what happens.

Doing the Ex Talk Torture.
If all you can do is talk about your ex, then you're obviously not ready for prime time dating. Even though you think the life and times of you and your ex is terribly interesting, know that the truth is that you're subjecting your date to ex talk torture.

You're really not ready to date. If you do not listen to my advice, you could waste the good ones because of the timing. So, instead of dating, follow these instructions:

  • Lock yourself in a closet and tape record your stories.

  • Put them on a single continuous loop tape. Then play them over and over and over again until you can no longer stand your own voice much less those boring stories.

  • Come out of the closet. Now you are ready to date.

Remember, this is supposed to be a date – not a support group.

Playing the Way Too Much Information Game aka Spilling Your Guts.
A date is not show and tell time. Sharing is good. That is how you get to know each other. Blabbing is bad. I'm not suggesting that you restrict yourself to inconsequential, surface small talk, but let's face it, you're not being interviewed for the TV show VH1 Behind the Scenes either. Remember that your date is out with you, not the skeletons in your closet. Excessive blabbing, also known as full disclosure is really bad. It's like this. People usually read the reviews or cliff notes of a book before they buy the book. The same rule applies to dating.

Being a Little Too Friendly with Your Lips, Hips, and Other Body Parts
Fooling around or being sexual when you've barely said hello is a really bad idea. Take the time to get to know someone before you cross the sexual threshold. That first kiss is very special. Don't diminish it. It shouldn't be the appetizer to the meal. It can be a completely satisfying meal.

Ladies there is a double standard here. Men like a challenge. Don't make it too easy for them. Many guys figure that how you behave with them on the first date is exactly how you are with other men. For the long term, men like their dates to be easy but not their women. Although a guy will press to see how far he can get, it's up to the gal to say no, regardless of the passion and chemistry. Remember girlfriends, women bond with their bodies, while men bond with their cars, dogs and sports. Men don't bond because of sex. They only bond with a woman once they've made a commitment to her. Ladies, I know you don't think this is fair. It isn't and so what! It's the way it usually is. There are exceptions to all of Shari's rules, but experience has taught me to live by these rules.

Being Inauthentic. Come out come out whoever you are.
The real you is bound to come out someday. How about someday being the day you're on your date. Your date wants to be with a person, not a chameleon. They want to get to know you, not a fabricated persona. Be yourself, not what or who you think your date wants you to be. If this is hard, pretend you're Sally Field receiving her Oscar saying, "You like me, you really like me." Guys, you can do this too, just don't put on a dress. We women often get intimidated by men who look better in their clothes and undergarments than we do.

Lying. It's not nice.
I think there is nothing worse than being dishonest. It shows a lack of character and disrespect for your date and yourself. If you start dating someone and the truth comes out, you'll look like a total jerk and besides, your partner will never know when you're being honest or when you're lying. And, it's always easier to remember the truth because there's only one version of it

Being Dull or Being Desperate.
The rule in Hollywood is don't be dull and don't be desperate. The same rule applies to dating. There is nothing more boring than being out with someone who doesn't talk. And there is nothing worse than being with someone whose theme song is Desperado. Here are some clues: clinginess, hanging on every word, opinions that change faster than the weather, or trying to "make" the date work. Talking about what you know and what you're interested in automatically makes you more attractive because it makes you more alive. And you never have to be desperate. Remember words of wisdom, "Men and women are like trains, another one will be along in a few minutes."

Being Rude and Having Bad Manners
Rude behavior is such a turn off. Here's a tip: how a date treats a waiter is a sure sign of character and how they will eventually treat you. No-no's to avoid: showing up late without calling, dressing inappropriately for the occasion, drunk or smelling like smoke, not being clean (this includes dirty fingernails), bad table manners which include licking the knife and wiping the plate clean, and flirting with others. Guys, I know it's sometimes hard to keep your eyes on your date because you're so accustomed to trolling, but women really appreciate a man who makes a conscious effort to stop his wandering eyes from wandering. And I know you guys know how to give us women your undivided attention. I've seen it and it's oh so wonderful when you do.

Not Giving Someone A Second Chance
Too many times we pass up an opportunity to have a great relationship because the first date doesn't exactly fit our picture. Think about those unrealistic expectations at the top of this list. In today's single world, we often don't see what's right in front of us because we're so busy looking at what's next and trying to figure if there's something better out there.

Sometimes, but not always, it makes sense to give a person a second chance. Most people are usually nervous on their first date. By the second date, you're both more relaxed and you've broken the dating ice. However, if after the second date there's still no chemistry or connection, then at least you know you gave it your all. Then it's time to say, "Next."

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