I’ve been going a little deeper than the usual mainstream dating advice. So, in this First Date Mistakes article, I’ll assume you know the basics like dress nice, don’t talk about your exes, have a plan and a backup plan, and so on.
First Date Mistake #1: Trying Too Hard
What? Women love it when guys put effort into making them happy, right?
Well, yes…but try too hard and it will make her less likely to get physical with you. I had a very hot friend with benefits who used to text me from her expensive dinners and events, asking if I could come over after her date drove her home. She told me that if this is what men do when they are chasing her, she wants them to keep chasing! Same thing if you cook her an elaborate meal.
There’s also a signaling effect going on. When a guy puts in more effort than a woman feels she deserves (based on their interactions together), it can make her feel uncomfortable or that he’s not up to her standards. Even if she is out of your league, you can still get the girl—as long as you don’t act like she’s out of your league.
Solution: Go on a first date that lets you impress her with your personality and the chemistry that the two of you share, not with your wallet or how desperate you are for her. This article has some great first (and second, and third) date ideas.
First Date Mistake #2: Interview Mode
It’s the first date, so there’s lots you want to know about her, right? Easy, tiger. If she likes you, you’ll have plenty more time in the future to find out everything about her. But if your first date feels like a job interview, there’s no way she’s coming back.
Obviously, you want to find out about her, and questions are a good way of getting information and looking for things you have in common. But they’re not the only way.
Solution: Focus on having a good time with her (that’s what’s most important to her anyway), and let the biographical details fall into place. For things you must know about her, try some of these ways of leading the conversation:
- Make a cold read (e.g., “My guess is you studied…hmmm…English in college?”). She’ll tell you what the right answer is if you guess wrong.
- Volunteer information about yourself (e.g., “My favorite food is sushi—ever since my friends took me out to try it on my 18th birthday”). She will usually respond in kind.
- If you do ask questions, never ask two questions in a row. That’s a simple way to make sure that you’re not overdoing it.
First Date Mistake #3: Never Let Her See You Sweat
Too many guys are self-conscious or awkward, or show too much nervous energy on dates, especially first dates. One of the principles of female psychology is that if you act like something is a big deal, she’s likely to treat it like a big deal. If you act like something is totally normal, she’s more likely to see it the same way.
Solution: Always act like everything is going according to plan.
She’s an hour late? Cancel the date if you want, but if you go through with it anyway, don’t even mention the show you were going to take her to that you’re now too late for—confidently and happily lead her to your backup plan. (Better still, don’t plan first dates on a tight timeline).
Stuck in traffic and can’t find parking at the restaurant? Take a deep breath—banging your steering wheel will make you feel better for 30 seconds but will destroy the value of the hours you’ve already invested in this woman.
Some idiot keeps bothering the two of you when you’re out? Deal with him firmly and confidently, like a mosquito. No woman respects a man who freaks out over a mosquito.
Nick Savoy is President of Love Systems—a team of men around the world who help other guys succeed with women. Through books, DVDs, live training (in bars, nightclubs, coffee shops, etc.) and the free PUA forum, Love Systems instructors have helped over 10,000 men meet their dating or relationship goals since 2004.