In response to a request that we recently received, we 're starting an occasional feature, offering our tips and relationship advice, out of the context of answering questions.
For our first feature, we're going to try to perhaps lessen those uncomfortable looks and awkward silences that can make some first dates unbearable.
So here we offer a number of topics that perhaps should not be discussed on THE FIRST DATE, if ever.
GARLAND: Hmmm, this is an interesting one.
I've been on my fair share of first dates. And for some [lucky] reason I was usually able to tell which ones were going to be first and only dates and which ones where going to be the first of many. Before I say anything else, I want to make it crystal clear that some of the women I went out with were undoubtedly sizing me up too, and I probably did or said a few things that might have made them decide that they didn't want to get to know me either! So, I don't want to sound like I think I'm the perfect date!
Two things come to mind right off the bat - Marriage and Players.
I never think that talking about marriage, in depth, is a good first date topic. I think 80% of guys when they go on a first date, they are a little worried that the woman they are with are trolling for a husband. No, I don't believe that the majority of women are just dying to get married, and to those that like the idea, they don't just want it with just any old guy, but I know some personally that may talk the topic up so much that most guys duck and run for cover. If it comes up, touch on the subject and then move beyond it - there are so many other things to chat about.
And then, make sure you don't talk about the Players and Bums that have been in and out of your life [and/or bed]. You might think that it shows a guy that you've been hurt before and you might think that an honorable guy wouldn't want to do that to you twice, but more than likely, it MIGHT make you look like someone with poor judgement. To the wrong guy, that is like blood in the water for a shark, he may decide to see how much he can dog you too. Always act like you are on top of your game.
I'm going to add a few more very personal notes to this:
1. Don't lie to a guy on a first date and THEN don't turn around and tell him you lied! I once met this young lady on the subway, she was pretty and very interesting. A few days after we met she asked me to go out with her and help her pick out a suit for her younger brother who had his first job interview. When we met up that evening, she said that there was a big accident on the topside of the beltway and traffic was horrible and she suggested we go to dinner instead. I was all for it. Halfway through our meal she confessed that she had lied to me about the traffic and admitted that she just wanted to have dinner instead. I think she thought it was flattering to me, but I kinda' thought it was weird. It wasn't a terrible or particularly big thing, but it bothered me that she would just drop a lie on me for no good reason. Things eventually went no where between the two of us. Nice Sister - but not for me.
2. Don't be too candid! I went out a few times with this one woman, so this wasn't a first date thing per se, but we were having a really good conversation, and she said, "I'll be honest, I'm a much better friend than I am a girlfriend. I tell guys all the time, 'you're better off being my friend than my boyfriend.' " It was said in the middle of a bigger thought, but she said it and I would come to find out that she meant it. I should have turned and run away when she said that, but I was really feelin' her and hoped that maybe something special would develop. It didn't and when all was said and done, I blamed myself because she told me what she was about, but I didn't listen. So only say what you want heard!!! Nothing more nothing less.
3. Don't try to seem vulnerable. Okay, as corny as that sounds - it will usually work against you. Some ladies may feel that playing a little too heavy to the damsel-in-distress role, might make a man puff up his chest and become Ultra-Man. This might work sometimes because SOME guys feel they have to be the White Knight to the helpless lass, but for the most part I think it might turn off a lot of guys and I'd hate to see someone chase away Mr. Right by pretending to what they think HE wants them to be.
CHUCK: Someone stated in the comments to a previous post that I must have gone out with a lot of hoodrats when I was dating. I don't think so. But I definitely went out with my share. So here's a few don'ts for first dates. And no, all of these don't apply to me, personally.
-Don't try to outdrink your date. There's a scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. where Karen Allen, playing Indiana Jones' girlfriend, drinks a bunch of shady characters in a dive bar under the table. That's about the only time that behavior like that is considered cute or funny. Drinking too much on a first date is a no anyway. Drinking that much more than your date is a BIG no.
-Keep things light, unless given signals to do otherwise. If you lost your job, your transmission went up, your brother-in-law came out of the closet, and your cat got worms, talk about it if you must, but don't wallow in your misery. Most people like people who are upbeat, especially when they're getting to know each other. However, if the guy wants to list his complaints, too, you two go for it. We all need a pity party sometimes.
-True story: I once went out with this girl that I got fixed up with by a friend. She was fairly attractive, had a kind of earthy personality, if you know what I mean. We went out to a club, had a few drinks, and, before I took her home, she wanted to stop at a 7-Eleven in her neighborhood. As we come out of the store, she stops at this Mustang that's parked in front, and starts talking to the guy who's driving it. She seems to know the guy. I find it a little weird, but I don't stress it. Until she comes over to me and asks me if I'll buy her some cocaine. Yeah, that's right. The evening ended pretty quickly after that. And the thing is, I knew that going on this date was a mistake before that. I just didn't know what a big mistake it was. The advice here? JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS.
-Don't talk too much about bad exes. For some of the reasons Garland states: you don't want to call your judgment into question, etc. Plus, if you talk too much about that guy you used to date, who's upstate in prison, who "acted like he owned you" and is getting out soon, well, you may end up scaring some guys away.
-Don't talk too much about good exes. First of all, you may make this new guy you're dating start to feel inadequate. Second, it may lead him to think that you're not over the ex, and you're just dating him on the rebound. Even if it's true, you don't want anyone to think that.
Of course, all of these tips can apply to men, as well as women. Some people are hard on the first date experience. They think that people act dishonestly early on, staying on their best behavior until they feel it's safe to show what big a-holes they can be. But I feel that the initial thrill of that getting-to-know-you experience can be really exciting. Anyway, I hope that someone out there can find Garland's and my advice helpful. Happy dating, indeed.