You’ve put the hard work in. You’ve got to know them, you’ve bantered, you’ve flirted. Now the day’s set, and it’s fast looming.
Whether this is your first date or you’re several rendezvous in, meeting up in person is a big deal. It’s your chance to validate the great personality you’ve conveyed over text, not to mention the perfect opportunity to see if sparks fly and the chemistry’s as vibrant as it seemed during messaging.
But just because you’ve crafted a shit-hot persona from afar, doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily translate in person. Today we delve into 5 common mistakes people make that can turn their dates off them for good.
1) Eating unsexy food
Whether or not you’re a connoisseur of all that is culinary, eating on a date is about way more than simply indulging in the most flavoursome dish on the menu.
Take spaghetti. Unless you’re an animated Disney pooch, long strands of pasta are hard to pull off in a way that isn’t unflattering. It takes only the accidental flick of an untwirled loop of spaghetto (yes, that is the singular of spaghetti) to send a wayward drop of sauce somewhere in the vicinity of your mouth, ready to surreptitiously smear at the slightest touch.
Broccoli might seem an innocent enough option, but woah there! — that iron intake will count for nothing if your date’s flinching at the green stuck between your incisors. At least check yourself out in the mirror post-feast if the brocc’s just unavoidable. And if you’re hoping for that coveted end-of-night kiss, the less said about garlic the better — do you really want to make your date literally cry at the pivotal moment of romance?
When it comes to deciding on your meal, just pause to consider the masticatory implications — and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
2) Misjudging the location
There are aspects of potential date spots that less forward-thinking daters might neglect to consider — but make no mistake, the location can make or break the occasion.
Are you planning a date somewhere noisy or crowded, where conversation isn’t going to flow naturally? If you’re going to the cinema, fair enough — but consider meeting for a drink beforehand to lay some groundwork. Otherwise, you’ve just enough time for a swift salutation before the lights dim and you’re socially prohibited from speaking for the next 2 hours. How are you going to lay down some serious flirting in that environment, pray tell?
Alternatively, maybe you’re considering meeting somewhere really quiet, where conversation will flow just fine… Or rather, it should flow just fine — but you’ve now gone too far the other way and created an atmosphere that is far too intense, with no background noise or activity to keep things feeling normal. Sure, the two of you need to have stuff to talk about if you’re going to get on, but when you’re relying solely on conversation with someone who is essentially a complete stranger, you really need to contextualise it by meeting in a location where other things are happening around you.
3) Covering your eyes with sunglasses
Look, we get it — you look hot in your brand-new Ray-Bans. And in the summer, shades are both essential and stylish.
However, even if you’re on a summertime date, you have to prioritise your connection with the other person. By all means go ahead and rock the sunnies if the two of you are taking a walk somewhere, but if you’re sitting together in an intimate space then it’s a big fat no-no. People often forget that eye contact is the easiest, sincerest, sexiest way of conveying — and, of course, perceiving — romantic interest.
If your date is wearing sunglasses and you’re feeling confident enough, you might even request that they take theirs off, too. Don’t sweat it — just slip in a compliment about wanting to see their beautiful eyes.
4) Inappropriately intense topics of conversation
People often mistake unnecessarily deep chats with someone they’ve just met for coming across as profound and thoughtful. In reality, touching on subjects that are potentially awkward, uncomfortable or downright inflammatory before you’ve got to know a person is risky and can make you seem insensitive or uncaring.
What’s more, you shouldn’t expect from your date what you’re not willing to divulge yourself. Remember, it can be difficult to articulate deeper-rooted stories, opinions and aspirations to a stranger. Don’t rush. You have so much time to get to know one another!
Avoid talking about your back catalogue of exes — or the other people you’re still seeing at the moment. Speaking nonchalantly about a person in whom you have had — or even still have — romantic interest does nothing except entirely remove the focus from the person in front of you and make them feel decidedly unspecial. You might even give the egregious impression that you’re not even interested in and attracted to your date, but are instead there just to pass the time.
5) Staring at your phone
What list of dating don’ts would be complete without this staple piece of advice?
Whilst it’s obvious to most people that continuously glancing at your phone is a surefire way to signal a considerable level of uninterest in your date, many of us are still prone to absentmindedly leaving it on the table in front of us, lighting up frequently and unpredictably with notifications.
Let’s make this crystal-clear: looking at your phone during a date is pretty shit. It breaks the mood, deconstructs the chemistry you’ve both been organically building and sends strong signals to your date that they’re boring you. So, unless you’re checking the map for the whereabouts of the jazz bar to which the two of you shall retire, keep that phone firmly pocketed.
Keep it simple and you can’t go wrong!
Going on a date doesn’t have to be some elaborate showcase for your creativity. By keeping proceedings straightforward and focusing wholly on the getting-to-know-one-another aspect, you instead showcase your personality, your generosity and your attractiveness — things your date is far more interested in discovering about you. Ask questions, be courteous and be respectful, and you’ll have a better chance of making a positive impression on your date. Know where to draw the line with the banter, be genuine and sincere in your questions and let them see what a great time you are!