If you don't like multitasking and you're not a fan of improv, first dates probably aren't your favorite activity. You want to put your best foot forward, but still totally be your authentic self. At the same time, you want to make the other person feel comfortable by showing interest in them but steer clear of interrogation territory. And all the while, you want to keep an eye out for any potential red flags so you can cut your losses before you get too invested.
It's. A. Lot. So, rather than letting a jumble of "what ifs" run rampant in your nervous brain, we've outlined the five most common ways we can unintentionally send a date in a tricky direction, and the easy shifts that'll help your meet-cute stay, well, cute.
1. Getting emotional when the subject of your last relationship comes up.
You tell the detailed version of your breakup story and can’t help but make digs at your ex. This gives the impression that you either aren’t over your ex or aren’t ready for a new relationship yet. This is especially true if you become visibly upset and your date ends up comforting you.
2. Revealing too much personal info too quickly.
It's great to be open and not embarrassed about your struggles, but it's usually better not to overwhelm someone who doesn't know you very well with the nitty-gritty of your past. Let them get to know you first. While you know it's only one facet of the person you are, if you lead with the heavy stuff, your date might imagine that drama is the norm for you. Divulge your innermost fears and the hardships that have helped to shape you over time the way you do every other part of yourself.
3. Aiming for assertive but overshooting the mark.
In an effort to save yourself time, energy, and heartache, you decide to spell out what you're looking for—whether that's marriage, kids, or something else, right away. Knowing what you want and not settling for anything else is incredibly mature. But if you don't judge your moment and instead lead with the expectations speech, your date is likely to feel more like you want to get married and have kids with someone than specifically with them.
4. Dominating the conversation.
Again, it's great to be open, but a monologue doesn't make somebody feel connected to you. Plus, you want to have things to share on the next date, right? Show interest in their lives by asking questions and giving them time to share.
5. Complaining or focusing on the negatives.
Sometimes you're trying to be funny. Other times, you're just complaining. Doesn't matter what the reason is—your negative energy doesn't make you an attractive person to spend more time with.
You may not know if your date is right for you, but first dates are just a beginning. If you find yourself not getting many second dates, you might want to reassess your first-date habits and try to redirect a bit.