[Words from a Man] 7 Date-ly Sins. Things NOT to do on a First Date


‘She arrives 15minutes late but you’re all smiles even though you’re a stickler for punctuality. Small talk starts with her apologising for being tardy and that’s when you notice something stuck between her teeth…

I’m sure that some guys could relate to the above -not me perhaps for the exception of the former- but they are not indications to bail out on a date just yet. What are the signs then?

veruca salt

1.    Character: Veruca Salt

The ridiculously over-indulged, selfish and bratty girl who is spoilt relentlessly by her wealthy parents character in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.                                                                                                           

Men don’t want to know about your extensive luxury brand collections or expensive product knowledge on a first date. Let him praise your immaculately polished nails, salon-coiffed hair or even your engaging smile without you having to say how costly and top-of-the line they are. If his chosen venue for the date is not to your liking, instead of the abundant sighs and tsk like a spoilt brat, drop subtle hints. He does want you to feel comfortable but not at the expense of you making him feel otherwise. I’ll pass on the salt.

2.    Character: Tank Girl

We all know she drives a tank which doubles up as her home.       

If you’re planning to shoot down his opinions like an anti-aircraft missile and his attempts at simple conversations becomes a war tactical-manoeuvre on your part, it is best that you stay home and stay camouflaged. First dates are feelers of what can transpire so if you think his questions are too probing or his opinions vastly differ from yours, let him know politely. A potential healthy debate need not turn into an all-out opinionated verbal war. He probably had his best iron-plate ball-guard on when he plucked up the courage to ask you out so the least you could do is to perhaps use rubber bullets.  Tank you very much.

3.    Character: Smelly Cat

“Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you? Smelly cat, smelly cat, it's not your fault…”                                                                                                                                           

It need not be if you made a little effort in the personal hygiene department. I was a rugby coach so I can tell you it’s an equal gender issue.  The adage goes that the way to a man’s heart is his stomach but if you turn up smelling like all four ninja turtles combined then a churned stomach is what he’ll end up with. You don’t have to smell like roses, life’s not like that anyway. Just smell nice. The nose is the gateway to a man’s interest. Notice how we remember the scent of freshly-baked bread, brewed coffee or fresh-laundered linen even? It applies the same with humans. The sense of smell can repel as much as it arouses so splash on that deodorant or sprinkle the perfume, it will boost your self-confidence as much as it will ignite his interest further. If you can’t do that, then, well… smell you later.

4.    Character: Rogue

In the comic series X-Men, Rogue is a mutant whose superpower involves absorbing and sometimes removing the memories, physical strength and the unique abilities of anyone she touches. It’s emotionally draining to be on a date where the other person is not comfortable with themselves. Low self-esteem is a real life issue but cut yourself some slack, though. You’re out on a date, which in itself must have taken you tremendous courage to say yes. So take a deep breath and enjoy yourself. Stop thinking about the many times your dates have gone sour in the past or about that unrequited love. The man sitting in front of you right now is the present. Stop reminiscing and telling him how your former dates or boyfriends used to order from the menu or how they would ask for a quieter table and so forth. You are not doing yourself a favour. The negative attitude you bring to the table will drive him away and you may just lose the chance for true happiness. Don’t end up being an aXed-woMan.

5.    Character: Telephone Operator

Unless you’re a mobile fast-food delivery vendor, it’s always good to minimise personal phone time on a date. If it’s your voice you want to impress him with then have a conversation with him. If it’s a hint meant for him that you’re a busy woman then show him your daily/monthly planner so he can perhaps plan the next ‘first’ date, if you’re lucky. Communication is an essential social tool but the wrong tool at the wrong time can leave a person an awkward fool. You can tell your friends about the date later on Facebook and quit the bidding war on eBay, focus on the date or you’ll find no one at the end of the line.

time traveller

6.    Character: Time Traveler

Won’t it be fun to see where the both of you will be in the future? Hold your horses and DeLoreans. Take it easy, Missy, it’s a first date. Don’t overwhelm his senses with talks of couple holidays, a ‘let’s meet my girlfriends’ night (parents even) and yes, how you’d like your eggs done for breakfast. Don’t scare off the poor dude, his only interest is YOU. So let him get to know you before you decide to tell him your bridal gown of choice. Get to know him before all these mental time travelling wears you out. Set the date for NOW.

7.    Character: CNN

While it’s good to keep abreast of events and news around the globe, sometimes it’s better to keep gossips from your world to yourself. The man is on a date with you not your friends or your nemesis or your pets. He doesn’t need to know where Kate bought her dress from, which happens to be the same shop, where you bumped into Sheila and her husband, who happens to be Sara’s kids’ teacher… you get my drift. If you must share something, let it be about yourself. Listen to what he has to say about himself and engage in conversations that will linger on long after the date is over. If the date works out well, then by all means, tweet about it out to all your friends. But after the date, please!

First dates are always exciting times. You get the butterflies in the stomach and your expectations run high. However, it’s important to remember that it’s also an opportunity that could lead to that happiness that you’ve been searching for. But for now, just smile and be contented in the fact that it’s like a breath of fresh air.

… He didn’t mind that you were late nor was he repelled by the piece of veggie your niece fed you on your way out. He had a nice time it seems, because you did’.

Enjoy the date.