By Anita Chlipala | @AnitaOnLove
There’s so much dating advice on the internet these days, and some of it makes me cringe, especially when it comes to what not to do on a first date. The first date is particularly important because as much as you may text each other before the date, nothing matters more than first impressions and the conversation that follows. Below are two pieces of bad first date advice that you should never follow:
1. Don’t talk about your exes.
Talking about your ex can give your date important information about you and what you’re looking for in a relationship. It doesn’t mean you’re still hung up on him but how you bring the info up makes the difference. Obviously you don’t want to bad mouth your ex. But what did you learn from the relationship? Why didn’t it work out? Did your ex cheat? You can have a conversation about how important loyalty and trust are to you. Was your ex selfish and only cared about meeting his needs? You can discuss what’s important for you in a relationship to feel satisfied. If your ex disrespected you, you can talk with your date about how you don’t tolerate that behavior and that it is a deal breaker. Maybe your ex wasn’t a good communicator and that created a lot of problems. You can take the opportunity to discuss how important open and honest communication is to you. By sharing your stories and non-negotiables, you can see if your date thinks similarly or if they can’t meet your expectations. (Just remember not to bash the ex!) You can filter your date out much more quickly than if you ask about how they like to spend their free time.
2. Telling him you’re dating for marriage.
You’re advised not to bring up the “M” word on a first date because it makes you look desperate. So basically this advice is telling you to suppress your own needs and desires in order to not scare a man off. If you’re dating for marriage or a long-term relationship, you definitely need to let your date know your intentions. I’ve saved myself a lot of time telling men I was looking for a serious relationship, and to their credit they were honest that they either were too focused on their career or didn’t have the same mindset. Timing matters. Don’t waste weeks of precious time by not telling a guy what you really want. That time could be spent on someone who has their goals aligned with yours.
How you say it makes a difference, though. Men are terrified that a woman will just want any man – not him. I coach my clients to say something like, “Yes, I would like to be in a serious relationship that could potentially lead to marriage. But I know it takes time to see if a guy is a good fit. I’m not looking for just anybody, and I really want to make a good decision. So, it will take time to know more about you and for you to learn about me to see if there’s even a chance.” Guys who are also looking for a serious relationship won’t run, despite what popular advice says they’ll do.
For more tips on how to date to find and keep a mate, come to my “Have More Than a Fling” dating workshop. Info on my website: www.relationshipreality312.com.