Yes really, take your mother’s advice!

March 13th, 2009

As a dating and relationship enthusiast and expert, I have often pondered the age-old quandary of first date conversation. Not only is it important for the conversation to be appropriate, it is important that it can produce a positive outcome, like a second date!


Of course, I am not alone…Almost everyone has their own version of first date rules that they have read, heard, made up, or tried out. I have heard men say ridiculous things like, “Men have to keep the women talking about themselves the whole time.” And I have heard women say ridiculous things like “You have to make sure not to appear too independent.” In my experience, most rules like these actually prohibit you from getting to know each other better.


Let’s get serious. There is no one magic trick or recipe to make sure you ace a first date. There are way too many variables. The most important thing to remember in order to have the best date possible is to do what your mother always told you. Mind you manners and be polite. This does not just mean saying please and thank you. Although that is a good place to start. It means having polite conversation, an art that seems to be vanishing these days. As weird as it sounds, good manners will make you stand out in the modern dating arena.


Polite conversation means, first and foremost, absolutely no talking about the big three, sex, politics, or religion. I know these are important factors in knowing if you would want to cultivate a long-term relationship with someone, but they can wait until a few dates down the road. Just concentrate on enjoying each other’s company at first.


Some people will not agree with me on this one… But I highly recommend that you do not, touch, text, answer, or even look at your cell phone, especially if you are having dinner. This will immediately send the message that your mind is somewhere else. Also, it will put your date in the awkward place of trying to mind their own business while you are displaying your business in their face. Turn it off or leave it in the car if you have to.


Whatever your date asks you, do not engage in conversation about your ex. Why? Bad-mouthing people is never polite, so complaining about your ex is out.  If you adore and miss your ex, you are making your date uncomfortable, which is also impolite. It is best to just avoid any and all conversation about past relationships when you are first getting to know someone. No matter what you may think, they will judge you by your ex.


One last topic to avoid all together is one that seems should go without saying, but you wouldn’t believe how much I hear that this has come up on a first date… Mental illness or emotional problems are never ever appropriate to talk about on a first date. Can you believe I even have to say it?! Do not talk about your narcissistic mother, or your stint in rehab, your emotionally abusive ex, or the anti anxiety medication you have in your medicine cabinet. If you don’t understand why these are topics to avoid, please just trust me.


One final very important thing to keep in mind when you are on a first date, it is not just about you and what you want. While it is important for you to be figuring out if you would like to get to know the other person better, it is also important that you are thinking of them and if they are having a good time. Think about it, don’t you wish they were trying to make sure you are having a good time? Remember that other thing your mother always told you, the golden rule… Do I really have to say it?

Entry Filed under: Dating