That nerve-wracking first date can make the most confident person feel stressed out. It’s not always easy to know what you should do to make a good first impression on the person you’re going out with, and what you should avoid at all costs. This is mainly because first-date advice usually contradicts itself. For example, should you or shouldn’t you talk about exes on a first date? While this is sometimes seen as a first date conversational red flag by many people, lightly touching on the subject could actually be a good thing. It gives you important information about the guy you’re on a date with. For example, if he’s only been single for a few days or weeks, and it’s clear from what he says about his ex that he’s still in love with her, you should know about it right away so you don’t waste your time on him. First-date behavior and conversation should be a good mix of making a great impression and getting information you need about the guy. So, here are 10 things you should always do on a first date because they’ll increase the chance of having a second one, followed by 10 things to avoid.

10 THINGS TO AVOID DOING ON A FIRST DATE

20Talking About Exes Too Much

Dipping your toes into the ex files to ensure that he’s really over his ex is fine, but you don’t want to fall into the trap of talking ad nauseam about your exes or letting him talk your ear off about how his last ex broke his heart. Ugh. That’s really no fun, and it turns the first date into a psychology session! Try to nip talk about exes in the bud so that you can keep things more fun and focus on the present. Exes are all about the past, and they’re best left there.

19Asking Too Many Questions That Feel Like You’re Drilling Your Date

You want to ask your partner questions to find out more about him – that’s the whole point of dating, after all. But, you want to avoid going OTT when it comes to how you do this.

You’re his date, not his interviewer, so don’t drill him with lots of questions or make him feel like you’re chasing him with a spotlight.

Be gentle and let the conversation flow. If there’s something he doesn’t seem keen to talk about, read his body language so that you back off a bit.

18Trying Too Hard To Be Cool Or Funny

You’re bringing your A-game to the date. You want to show him your best self, and that’s good. But, don’t go overboard by trying too hard to be the most amazing person in the world, such as by cracking lots of jokes so that he sees you as funny.

He’ll see you as desperate or insecure instead, which will put him off and make the date tank. Although you want to show him all the great things about your personality, slowly ease into doing this.

Let him discover who you are in a way that doesn’t feel rushed or OTT.

17Trying To Secretly Check Your Phone

You’re always attached to your phone, and you can’t help but want to check it when you hear it beeping with messages. Put it away right now! “Phubbing” your partner because you’re always checking your phone is one of the worst things you can do. According to research reported by Elite Daily,

phubbing isn’t just a rude move on your part — it can have a seriously negative effect on how the person you’re with perceives the interaction.

So, if you want to leave him with a bitter taste in his mouth, look at your phone more than him.

16Staying If You’re Having A Horrible Time

Just because you’re sitting in a restaurant and you’re eating a meal with your partner, it doesn’t mean you’re forced to stay there if you’re having a bad time on the date.

Yes, it can feel awkward to tell him you’ve got to rush off, but hey, it’s better than sitting there feeling anxious because you want to run for the hills!

The best way to deal with an early first-date exit is to be gentle about it. Yes, he might be angry or upset that you’re leaving so soon, but you don’t deserve to put yourself in a bad situation — ever.

15Talking About Marriage

Talking about your relationship goals is a good move. Talking about marriage and kids? Not so good. It can seem a little too heavy for the first date, which is supposed to be fun and carefree because it’s the first time you’re getting to know each other in a dating scenario. Throwing around talk about getting hitched, soulmates, and having children can totally kill that mellow vibe. It might also give your partner the impression that you’re hoping to rush into something more serious right away, which is a bit creepy. You’ve just met each other!

14Being Negative

If you’re having a bad day and you can’t hide your emotions too well, it might be better to cancel your date instead of going to it. The reason is because you don’t want to bring that negative energy to the table.

Sitting there complaining about how your car broke down and you had a fight with your best friend isn’t going to do you any favors.

Your date might feel sympathetic at first, but then become put off because it’s inappropriate. While being real about your feelings is a good thing, you don’t want to be super negative the entire time. Good first-date rule: leave the drama at the door!Featured Today

13Saying “Yes” To Everything

You’re talking and sharing about your hobbies, goals, dreams, and more. You find yourself saying “yes” to everything your partner says, even when he suggests you go hiking on your second date — and you hate hiking. While trying to form a connection can be scary on a first date, it shouldn’t cause you to force it to happen. That will backfire.

Your date will see that you’re latching onto his views and likes instead of daring to be your own person.

You should back yourself and stick to your healthy boundaries. Without them, you’ll end up in unhappy relationships.

12Being Too Affectionate Too Soon

Should you kiss on the first date? It’s really up to you and the connection you feel with the person. But, you might want to be wary of too much affection. As eHarmony reports, “affection is the physical expression of inner feelings — emotions that cannot genuinely exist between strangers.” So, take it with a pinch of salt! You also don’t want to rush into anything too physical too soon, especially if you’re not sure that the person wants a real relationship instead of just a fling.

11Spending Time On Your Phone

On a first date, the best thing you can do is keep your phone out of reach. While you’ll obviously have to take calls or texts if they’re emergencies, anything else is a no-go. If you’re sitting there looking at your phone the whole time, it’s disrespectful. But what about using your phone to take pics of yourself with your date that you can later upload to Instagram? That’s equally inappropriate!

You don’t want your date to feel put on the spot or like you’re only interested in getting “likes” on social media.

Put your phone away and have some real communication with the person right in front of you. Make it count.

10 THINGS YOU SHOULD ALWAYS DO ON A FIRST DATE

10Ask Him About His Last Relationship

Exes are considered a taboo subject on a first date, but they really don’t need to be. You obviously don’t want to talk about your ex partners for the whole time, but you do want to get some information about your date’s last relationship.

Has he been single for a long or really short time? Does he speak about his ex in a way that makes you think he still has feelings for her?

These are important to know about, before moving onto lighter subjects. If he’s clearly still carrying the torch for her or he’s on the rebound, you don’t want to waste any time finding out about it.

9Offer To Split The Check

You might think a guy should be the one to pay for the first date, and maybe that is a chivalrous thing for him to do. However, you shouldn’t make assumptions that he’s going to pay for dinner. The best thing to do is offer to pay half for it, so that you show him you’re kind. Instead of feeling forced to live up to gender roles, such as that the guy has to pay, treat each other as human beings.

Even if he insists on paying the check, at least then he knows you’re not selfish or putting unfair expectations on him.

Treat him like you would one of your friends.

8Talk About Your Families

You can learn a lot about someone based on their family relationships. Not every family will be close, but that’s not the point. What’s important is to learn more about how he grew up, who’s important to him, and if he’s a family-oriented person.

He doesn’t have to be super close to his family members in order to value family himself. His friends might be people he considers to be his family, and that’s totally fine.

What’s important is that he’s got relationships in his life that are based on qualities such as loyalty, honesty, and respect.

7Keep The Date Short

It’s tempting to sit in the coffee shop or restaurant for hours while you laugh and talk, but this isn’t the best way to treat a first date. As reported by Bolde, keeping a first date short and sweet is important because it gives you enough time to see if the guy’s someone you want to hang out with again. But, it also shows that you’ve got boundaries.

If you come across as having all the time in the world to spend with someone you’ve just met, it looks a bit weird and desperate.

You’ve got things to do and other people to see!

6Always End On A High, Before The Conversation Becomes Boring

It’s been a fun date but now there are awkward silences in the conversation and things are becoming a little uncomfortable. This is the worst way to end a first date because you’ll both be remembering that awkwardness at the end of it.

You want to feel excited about the date and leave with that butterfly-in-your-stomach feeling.

So, leave the date when the conversation is still flowing and you’re both having a great time, instead of when you’ve exhausted all topics of conversation. That way, you both have something interesting to look forward to, like date number two!

5Go For Coffee Instead Of A Meal

In line with keeping the date short, choosing to go for coffee instead of having a big meal at a restaurant is a smart idea.

Coffee dates give you just enough time to suss out your partner, while also giving you an easy exit if the date doesn’t go according to your expectations.

It’s much easier to ask for the check and get your coffee to go, before making an excuse for why you have to leave, than if your food’s just arrived and your partner’s digging into his meal. Yikes, that can be really awkward!

4Dress The Way You Usually Do

You know how people advise brides to look like themselves on their wedding days? Well, similar advice should be given to people who are going on a first date. Dressing the way you always do and doing your hair in a way that feels comfortable and makes you feel confident is the best thing you can do. It’s much better than trying to be something you’re not. What’s the point in that?

If you hang out with the guy many times in future, he’ll see that you were trying too hard to impress him on the first date by being unlike yourself, which isn’t cool.

Be real and be yourself!

3Be Positive (And Show Him What You’re Passionate About)

Everyone wants to be around someone who’s positive and full of life. That’s what makes someone come across as attractive, too. When you’re in a good mood and have positive energy, it can make the date so much more enjoyable for both of you. It’s not always easy to feel good when you’re nervous as hell on a first date, but try to pretend you’re meeting one of your friends. When you’re in this naturally energetic and fun state, you’ll be able to relax and show your date what’s so amazing about you, like your passion and creativity.

2Text Him Afterwards If You Want A Second Date

Who says you have to bite your nails waiting for your date to text you after meeting? All you need to do is tell him you had a fantastic time. As reported by Her Aspiration,

“Get a scope of how he felt about the date first by just texting him to thank him for a good time and that you had a lot of fun. How he responds will give you an idea as to whether he feels the same way.”

Then leave the ball in his court. Whether or not he asks you out to a second date, at least you can walk away without any regrets.

1Be Honest About What You’re Looking For

The whole point of a first date is to see if you and the guy have a good connection. To find out, you should do more than just make eye-contact over a table and feel the spark. You need to talk about real things, like what you’re both looking for.

If you’re looking for a relationship, tell him honestly and ask him what he’s looking for. This is important so that you both can figure out if you’re on the same page or not.

You don’t want to discover that he’s only looking for something casual on date number six when you’ve already started falling for him!

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