May 12, 2014 By Kathleen O'Malley
Almost everyone has a good first-date-gone-wrong horror story to tell. Maybe they spent the whole dinner bragging about their income, or they didn’t look anything like their profile picture. Or maybe they just refuse to get a job and move out of their mom’s basement. My sister was out with a man for the first time, when halfway through the meal his bookie showed up and threatened him.
But those of us in the dating pool can sometimes easily forget that chances are, if you’ve been on your share of first dates, someone probably has a story about you as well. Maybe it wasn’t as extreme has getting threatened to have your fingers broken by a loan shark, but you’ve still probably committed a few faux pas early on in relationships.
Adam and Eve posed an interesting question to readers looking for their special someone earlier this year by asking, “Would You Go Out With Yourself?” Some people have a long list of attributes that they want in a date, but haven’t thought honestly about how they measure up to their own requirements. To make sure you’re ready for your next date, here’s a few ways to help you leave a lasting (and positive) impression.
Keep An Open Mind
When starting things off with someone new, you have to remember that no one is perfect. Don’t let one off-putting characteristic sour you on the relationship from the get go. Even the most self-aware person can have habits so ingrained that they don’t recognize their own wrongdoings. And everyone is bound to do some bumbling things when they’re nervous or trying to make a good impression.
You may not be able to predict your date’s actions, but you can keep your own in check.
Remember Your Manners
If your nerves have gotten the best of you, you might be too distracted making sure you look okay and that your breathe is minty-fresh to notice that you’ve been slightly curt with the servers, or that you’ve put your elbows on the table, right into a plate of olive oil bread dip (yes, it happened to me, no he didn’t tell me).
Your usual poise can be thrown off even more if you add alcohol to the mix. The Huffington Post suggests that while a few drinks can lighten the mood and calm your nerves, just make sure you don’t overdo it. It’s a slippery slope to embarrassing conversations about your future and crying about your ex.
Be A Good Conversationalist
Try discussing something that they’re passionate about or interested in. This can not only put them more at ease if they’re nervous, but AskMen explains that it’s also incredibly attractive to see someone motivated and enthusiastic.
Make sure you’re sharing the conversation and not overpowering it. Find the line between being humble and honest. There’s no reason to put yourself down, but a little self-deprecating humor now and again can make you seem relatable and therefore more approachable. Everyone wants to make a good impression during the first few dates, but talking yourself up too much can come off as arrogant or braggy.
Make It Fun
If you’re the lucky one in charge of choosing the entertainment, a unique date might be fun, but if you’re just starting out, eHarmony suggests sticking to a nice dinner and round of mini golf over rock climbing or an exotic cooking class. If you don’t know if your date has food allergies or a fear of heights, your date could be over before it even starts.
Remember no matter what you decide to do with your date, the night is about having fun. Calm the first-date jitters by reminding yourself that you’re both there to have a good time. If something grows out of it, great! But if not, at least you’ll have another fun story to tell!