We’ve all been in the hot seat and know from experience that it only takes one question or comment to plummet the first date with a potential match down a wormhole and far from recovery.
Often times, the hard questions are asked as a way of speeding up the “weeding out” process. It’s a matter of making sure the match for the evening checks off all the “must haves” before deciding to a second date. Put another way, it’s a way of saving time by making sure the person is worth investing any more time and energy into a second time.
When did we get so rushed to make a decision? The truth of it is we forget to just take the time to date. As a test, ask yourself when the last time you went on a second date was? How many seconders have you been on?
People are different on second and third dates. Don’t be in a rush to speed through this encounter only to do the same with the next one.
While I am sure you are aware of the topics to avoid, here is a quick reference list:
1) Former relationships
Wow. You would be shocked to the core at the number of singles who feel the need to dump their past romance baggage on the dinner table of a first date. Not only does it ruin the mood, but it doesn’t cast you in a good light. Keep stories of the ex (good or bad), your feelings about your former other half or even why the relationship ended at home for a later time.
Flip side, resist the urge to question your date regarding their past encounters or why they are still single. Their answer will vary from too busy to date to the death of their spouse. Either way, game over for you.
Best bet: Focus on the person in front of you. Ask them about their weekend plans, favorite movie or the last time they laughed so hard they couldn’t breathe. Stay away from previous heartaches.
It’s an election year and a trending topic across the board. But exercise some restraint and stay away from political discussions. This will only lead to a veto on a potentially ideal mate simply by the way he votes or stands on a subject.
Best bet: You can touch briefly on current affairs but resist sprialing into debate mode. Shift gears quickly and on to safer topics if the conversation gets heated. Or, better, if it comes up, simply say, “Perhaps this is a converstion for a later date.” El fin.
Both men and women have ideas about the kind of career and economic status they want their mate to have. We all want stability in life. We want someone with a stable job and who is financially responsible. But keep an open mind. Treating people as individuals and not judging them based upon money or profession is one of the keys to dating. Quick to judge based upon income will only limit your dating pool — and not for the better.
Flip side: Don’t flaunt money, power or prestige. Bragging is a huge turn off.
Best Bet: Stay away from topics on money. While important for the long run, compare and contrasting of bank accounts will only cause problems on the first date. Make the date about the other person and not their debit account.
4) Babies & Marriage
Again, this should go without saying but there is a reason it is listed here. Too often, singles jump into the questions about long-term relationship plans. Dating, particularly the first date, is about whether you want to see the person again or not. That’s it. Ask someone about the size of their dream family and it will be your last date with them.
Best bet: Stay away from marriage and children for at least the first three dates. People’s relationship goals change over time and are rarely set in stone. When it is important, it should be a serious discussion rather than a fly-by topic over appetizers.
To ask or not to ask is a lesson every dater should learn prior to that all important first encounter. The first date is light. It’s fun. It’s casual.