Guys, I feel for you. You are under an enormous amount of pressure when it comes to initiating a dating relationship.
Sure, gender roles are changing and women are feeling more empowered, but there’s a good chance that you will still be expected to approach your interest, ask her out, orchestrate the perfect first date, and foot the bill; not to mention, you must appear charming and self-assured the entire time.
God forbid you get the nervous sweats or you run out of things to say—second date denied! Women can be merciless, am I right?
The good news is, there’s a whole host of women who are gentle and kind, in the image of Our Lady. We want you to succeed and we want to give this relationship a real chance.
In the spirit of cheering you on toward your best first date ever, here is a list of things NOT to say to a girl on the first date. We’re here for you. Don’t blow it!
“I’m not looking for anything serious.”
In Girlspeak, this sentence means, “I lack commitment.” Women are looking for a man who knows what he wants and is willing to work for it. They want to know that you are ready to put effort into this relationship and that you will have eyes only for them.
Exclusivity is important to women. They want to know that you value them and that you won’t be investing time in other women.
Saying that you’re not looking for a serious relationship sends the message that you just want to play the field. If that’s truly the case, then I always advocate for honesty. Just know that it might be a turnoff for many women.
Try Saying: “I just need to move slowly right now.” Your date will get the message that you’re not looking to get hitched anytime soon.
“Want to come back to my place?”
Times are changing and sex has taken on a new, more casual role in dating relationships. As Catholics, we are called to stand our ground and defend intimacy’s proper place—within marriage.
So for goodness sakes, don’t ask your date to come home with you. Even if your intentions are innocent, this phrase implies a sexual invitation. It’s likely to put your date on edge and it may even make her feel unsafe. It will surely cause her to question your motives.
If you are really hitting it off and want to extend your date, try taking a walk at the park or the mall. This will allow you to spend more time together without any pressure.
Try Saying: “I’m having a great time. Want to get some coffee and sit by the lake for a while?”
“I can bench 225.”
Guys, seriously. This means nothing to us girls. Unless your date is a fitness trainer, any attempt to impress us with details about your physical abilities is likely to go in one ear and out the other. Besides, how do we know it’s not just a big fish story?
We want to hear about your accomplishments, but please utilize a bit of humility. There’s nothing worse than appearing arrogant on a first date. That’s sure to be a major buzzkill.
Try Saying: “I like to run, bike, and lift weights.” Now watch your date’s eyes drift to your biceps.
“I can’t believe you wore that.”
It’s not likely that you will be this rude, but consider how this comment can take on many different forms: “Wow, your hair is so blonde…” “Oh, those heels are really tall…” “You look really skinny.”
These statements may seem innocent to you, but I know plenty of women who would find them offensive. When you talk about your date’s appearance, just know that you are treading on dangerous ground.
If you want to be safe, keep this general rule in mind—don’t comment on your date’s appearance other than to offer one or two genuine compliments. Too many compliments means you’re gushing. You’re likely to come off as insincere. No compliments and you’re aloof—or a jerk. I know; it’s confusing. Just trust me.
Try Saying: “You look beautiful. I love your dress.” It sounds cliché, but it makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside.
“A woman’s place is in the home.”
Can you say “patronizing?” This is a date killer right here. You have not only shared a very controversial opinion, you’ve likely made your date feel like she is out to dinner with her creepy uncle, not with a potential boyfriend.
The truth is, you are just starting to get to know your date. Don’t act like you know what’s best for her. Let her tell you what she enjoys.
She may agree with your views and she may not. If you give her a chance to explain her aspirations, you will not only learn more about her, but you will also help her feel affirmed.
Try Saying: “What are your goals in life?” or “Do you have a five-year plan?”
“I have to take a dump.”
It should go without saying that bodily functions are off the table on the first date. I know what you’re thinking. “I might be a guy, but that doesn’t mean I’m gross.” Just kidding. You’re probably thinking, “LOL.”
The truth is, this has happened before—many times. So put your pitchforks away and listen up. I already did you a solid and told the girls not to talk about their periods. Yeah, you’re welcome.
Try Saying: “Do you mind if I use the restroom while we wait for our food?”
“I’m taking some time off to find myself.”
This advice is for young twenty-somethings like me. You just started working. It’s not likely that you need a sabbatical right now. That’s what college is for. Girls want to know that you have purpose and drive—that you are willing and able to provide for them, or at least help them provide for a family.
Taking a year off to hike across the country is awesome, but it’s not likely to help in your search for a long-term relationship. If you really are unemployed, try being honest and let your date know that you’re working hard to find a job.
Try Saying: “My job wasn’t working for me, so I’m trying something new.”
“You’re on the pill, right?”
Let me just say…”NO!” First of all, one of the trademarks of Catholic spirituality is openness to life. That means no birth control.
Secondly, this is an unbelievably personal question. Sure, you’re trying to get to know your date—but there’s no need to delve into the depths of her personal life; not to mention, this question is always a prelude to sexual advances. Easy there, cowboy. Let’s keep it positive and casual, please.
Try Saying: “Tell me about yourself.” Seriously, that’s enough. If you’re feeling confident, ask more detailed questions.
“How do you feel about cosmetic surgery?”
Again, you’re not likely to be this offensive, but you should be aware that girls tend to be more sensitive about controversial topics than guys are. We just feel a lot and it’s difficult for us to separate our hearts and our heads.
To be safe, it’s best to avoid heated conversations on the first date. You can never predict a person’s convictions just by looking at them, and there’s no telling how your date will react if you bash veganism or praise the legalization of marijuana. If she brings it up, speak honestly, gently, and briefly on the topic and then move on.
Try Saying: “I feel like we should lower the drinking age, but that’s just my opinion. I can see both sides.”
“So you’re coming to meet my parents next weekend, right?”
Imagine a girl saying to you, “I want to get married next year and have at least five children.” Are you starting to squirm? Even if you’ve been looking for a relationship for a while, it’s unlikely that you want to feel rushed.
Take it slow and use this first date to test the waters. Wait until the end of the night to assess how things went. If you’re both still interested, you can plan your next date then or in a few days.
There are some exceptions, but generally, meeting the parents will come much later.
Try Saying: “I’d love to get together with you again. Are you free next weekend? You pick the place.”
“I forgot my wallet.”
It’s a sad reality…despite increased equality between the sexes, you will most likely be expected to pay for your date. So bring plenty of moola, and be aware that some venues only accept cash.
If your date offers to pay, feel free to talk about it with her. It’s your choice whether you cover the whole bill or go Dutch. Just make sure that you can stand by your reasoning, so you’re not caught off guard.
Try saying: “I’ve got this. No, really. It’s my pleasure.”
“My ex was crazy!”
This may very well be true, but it’s best to just keep it to yourself. No woman wants the threat of a crazy ex-girlfriend looming over her new relationship. It’s best to avoid talking about exes completely, if you can manage it.
The first date is all about new beginnings. If you can’t avoid it, try to look at the bright side and discuss the positive ways your previous relationship(s) impacted you.