Mistakes made on first dates

Those
of you who are divorced or recently single have probably been out of the dating
game for a while.

And
only the bravest – or some would say the most foolhardy – would have attempted
a first date on Valentine’s Day, as that might have seemed like a declaration gone
too far.

Since
going out with someone new can be a tad nerve wracking, it is hardly surprising
that some singletons need a few pointers on what not to do.

Mark
Laskin – a trained psychiatrist – who is about to launch Cayman’s first ever
dating website, iConnect.ky, says that first dates can be incredibly nerve
wracking.

“Nervousness
can cause people to say too much or too little,” he says.

His
ground rules on what not do on the first date – if you want there to be a
second – include:

We’re
all nervous when meeting someone in a dating situation for the first time and
it is not unusual to end up trying too hard to make a favourable impression.

“First
impressions are very important in our mating ‘dances’ and one can form strong
opinions that may stick,” the former psychiatrist says.

“For
this reason, many men allow their macho selves to come out by attempting to
impress their date by dominating the conversation and exaggerating their
positive attributes. While this may impress those women who are materialistic
and swayed by possessions, it may not bode well for the health of
a   longer term relationship.”

Mr.
Laskin says: “It is better to allow the other party to talk more about
themselves, delving more deeply into areas of mutual interests and similar
experiences.”

 

 One area of commonality many first-date
couples can find to talk about is their recent bad experiences with someone to
whom they were previously close.

Mr.
Laskin says: “This can be a minefield in any new relationship as it speaks much
more about your character than that of the ex.

“Attempting
to blame the other party may make you seem callous and self-righteous. On
the other hand, blaming all the fault on yourself is hardly a good
advertisement for a new relationship.”

 He recommends taking a discreet and neutral
stance, at least until you get to know your date better. “In such situations
it’s best just to gloss over the issue with a phrase like ‘it’s complicated’”

Talking
about other things that affect you negatively is also not advisable, so do not
lay bare your health and self-esteem issues. 

 

 In some situations
men and women feel a need to share deeply held or highly personal information.
As insightful and illuminating as that kind of discussions often are, they can
be inappropriate for a first dating experience, unless that viewpoint or belief
is what brought you together in the first place.

Mr.
Laskin says: “While one wants to be open and honest on a first date, there is
no need to share your innermost thoughts, fears and deepest desires. A bit of
mystery keeps the other party interested and hoping for more information.”

And other
first date faux pas

Picking the wrong
venue – a fast food joint, a restaurant with $50 entrees and anywhere that puts
beer mats on the table and has TV screens is not appropriate.

2.   Making more eye contact with the waiter or
waitress –  It may well be that this is
one of your favourite restaurants and you know all the wait staff on a first
name basis but spending time talking to them rather than your date is bound to
put some heckles up.

3.  Seeming distracted or remote – Put your cell
phone on vibrate and avoid checking it periodically throughout the date. It may
be contentious of you if you are an ER doctor but for anyone else it may come
off as plain rude.

4.  Interrupting
– Butting in before your date has finished his/her train of thought can start
off seeming as if you are really interested in what they are saying. If,
however, it becomes habitual it can cause resentment and make you appear
dominating and a bore. 

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