The 12 Worst Things To Say On A First Date

Leo Hidalgo
Leo Hidalgo

First dates can be scary, entertaining, or unforgettable experiences. Part of the fun is that they can even be all three.

Most people are quick to agree that a few awkward dates are more than worth an unforgettable one with the right person. When we find that feeling – the butterflies in the stomach when we feel the connection and they feel it back – it suddenly makes all the bad ones seem more than worthwhile.

Even the right man will be pushed away if you say all the wrong things. Certain topics are automatic turn-offs to men. Unless you want the date to end early, here’s 12 you’d be wise to steer clear of.

Intimate personal details of those close to you.

It’s poor form to discuss your mum’s battle with alcohol, your sister’s depression or how your good friend is struggling with a recent miscarriage on a first (or first few) dates. Doing so shows you lack a sense of boundaries, or worse, respect, for the people you’re discussing.

Only share details of your friends and family that – if it were you – you’d be comfortable with a stranger knowing.

How cool/impressive/amazing your ex was

It’s obvious that if you tell a guy how devastated you are over losing your ex, you have no hope with that guy. What can be almost as debilitating (but not as instinctually obvious) is reeling off a list of your ex’s life achievements to impress upon your new date the ‘league’ he is playing in.

Telling a guy your ex was on the cover of sports illustrated, owned 3 mansions on the gold coast or took you to the Ritz on his first date not only makes you look superficial, but it leaves the guy you’re telling feeling utterly inadequate.

That you’re bored

You may be. The date may go nowhere. Try to have empathy regardless.

For a guy who’s probably doing his best and is anxious inside about what you’re thinking – don’t slam him down by telling him how much he sucks. Not only will it cripple his confidence with you, it’ll seriously inhibit him from asking out the next girl, who may be just right for him.

If you’re not enjoying yourself, either make an effort to have fun or make an excuse to leave. Let him know you enjoyed meeting him. You don’t have to accept another date, but at least you haven’t left him too intimidated to ask out the next girl.

“I’m not playing games. I’m looking for something serious.”

It may be true. And you may be frustrated with flaky guys, who leave after a few days and wasted your time.

But these 9 words are automatic attraction killers for guys. Even good guys.

When you say these words, you misunderstand the way attraction works in men.

Men take time to think about a relationship with you. They want to see how you act across different situations, get to know you on a variety of levels, and reach the point where they feel compelled to invest emotionally before they consider themselves ‘ripe’ for a relationship.

Saying, “I’m not playing games. I’m looking for something serious”, backs them into an corner that they will fight to get out of. It makes them feel like you have an agenda to ‘relationship’ them, despite hardly knowing them, and they get the sense you’re more interested in being in (any) relationship than being in a relationship with him.

That you don’t like your life

Dating is about a man seeing if he wants to become a larger part of your world. First dates are about giving him an introduction to that world and the amazing experiences awaiting him, were he ever lucky enough to become a part of it.

If you communicate to him you don’t like your life, what possible reason does he have to play a bigger part in it?

If you’re that disenchanted by your own life that you can’t find anything positive with which to share, make that your focus before you book another date.

I’ve never told anyone this before

If you’re sharing things with a stranger on a first date that you’ve told no one else before, you either have no quality connections in your life, no standards, or you’re lying.

Whichever it is, it’s a social faux pas no man will respect you for. Make him earn information that you’ve told no one else.

How terrible your ex was

We’ve already discussed avoiding ex-worship on the first date, but going the other way is much more common, and makes just as bad of an impression.

Your ex may be an asshole. He may have screwed you over, lied to you or hurt you. You might feel like you’re just venting or being honest, but all the new guy hears is a bad attitude he’s next in line to receive.

It’s a new man and a new beginning; don’t bring down the occasion by discussing old grievances.

Insecurities about yourself or your body

We all have insecurities. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves.

The first date is not the place to address them.

He’s already attracted to you. You know that because he came on the date! Men don’t waste time going on dates with women they’re not attracted to. You may not think you’re attractive, but he does, so now is not the time to blow it for him by discussing why you don’t like your body. You are a prize. Let him continue to believe it.

“Sorry” for your opinion

No guy wants a yes-woman. A man wants an equal. Someone who can make him think, challenge him and help him grow as a human being.

You can’t be that person if you don’t own your space, your opinions, and who you are.
Contrasting him in your opinions is an idea that makes a lot of women anxious. They’re afraid it could push him away. In truth – it might. But it will also draw other, more compatible guys, towards you. A woman who owns herself, who she is, and what she thinks is polarizing. Love her or hate her – men respect her.

Temporary illnesses/sicknesses you’re struggling with

Current illnesses aren’t good topics for 2 reasons.

One, it’s a downer. And good first dates should never be a downer.

Two, it hits a switch in a man’s primitive brain. For thousands of years, health has been a key attraction attribute for men. It’s what they’re wired to seek out. It’s mostly subconscious, but the sicker he perceives you to be, the less he can feel physical attraction for you.

Previous illnesses you’ve gotten over or chronic ones you identify with may be a different story. Just keep in mind that physical wellness, especially in the beginning, is something all men are wired to look for.

That he’s out of your league

No man is out of your league! Never tell a man, “I can’t believe a guy like you would take a girl like me on a date.”

No matter how accomplished, incredible, or good looking he is, if he’s on the date with you, he’s started the date considering you as an equal. Keep it that way.

Men will sleep with most women, but they’ll only ever date and commit to one they perceive to be their equal. It doesn’t matter if your achievements, intelligence, or physical beauty appear to pale in comparison to his. If he’s on the date with you, he thinks they could.

If you have the attitude that you’re in his league, you will be. Simple as that.

That you’ve social stalked him

So you’ve looked him up.

A lot.

You know he has two brothers. You know the name of his cat. You know what three of his ex’s look like, where they went to school, and what those bitches are up to now.

You may know, but the first date is not the time to mention it.

If you can’t stop yourself from pre-date social stalking, at least don’t bring up the fact you have. If he finds out (especially if he hasn’t stalked you in return), it shifts the balance between the two of you, making it seem like you’re way more sold on him than he is on you. Frankly, it’s weird.

First dates are your foremost opportunity to get to know a guy and for him to get to know you. You want to bring your best to the table, making sure you don’t push away the right guy for the wrong reasons. Avoid these common first date conversation faux pas and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying many more dates with the guy who’s perfect for you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog