We talked to author, motivational speaker, and Huffington Post contributor, Carole Brody Fleet, about the most common first date mistakes and how you can avoid them. Here, she recaps the biggest obstacles that stand in the way of date #2.
1. Choosing someplace romantic. Although you definitely want to set the mood to make sure your date knows you’re officially on a date and not just “hanging out,” you don’t want to overdo it. If you break out the candles and violins on date number one, it can be more than a little overwhelming. As Fleet explains that type of evening is great for the 10th date in, but for the first one, keeping it “light” with coffee or a casual lunch or dinner will go over much better.
2. Keeping your phone on the table. Yes, we live in this wonderful world of technological advances, but give your phone a break. All business emails, and personal calls and texts can wait until after your date. Even having your phone on the table is basically saying, “I’m not really interested in what you’re saying, because I’m waiting for my phone to notify me of a text.” That’s not OK, and actually really hurtful.
3. Being rude to the waiter. When nerves hit, it can be easy to be a bit cranky or rude, especially if you’re under pressure. However, keep that in check, especially when talking with your server. It’s important to think about what sort of message you want to send to the person you’re on the date with, says Fleet, and you definitely don’t want that message to be that you’re a jerk.
4. Not respecting personal space. Some of us are huggers, some of us prefer pecks on the cheek, while others prefer to say hello and goodbye with a handshake. But no matter what you prefer, you need to take into consideration what your date prefers. Nothing says awkward like leaning in for a goodnight kiss as your date puts out their hand. It’s important to be cognizant of your date’s comfort level and give them the personal space they need and want.
5. Getting drunk. Of course there’s the obvious fact that drinking-and-driving is a major concern, but even if you don’t have to worry about driving home, getting drunk on a first date is pretty much the worst thing you can do to someone you’ve just met. “Too much alcohol lowers inhibitions and pretty much eliminates common sense,” says Fleet, “You don’t want to say – or do – something that you will regret the following day.”