First dates are rough. I mean, I don’t even really date, so I wouldn’t know. I’m assuming they are rough. They are especially rough if you’ve been in long-term relationships for most of your life and you’re used to the people you date knowing (and loving) everything about you without you having to put in any effort. It’s not like that when you first meet someone, though, and sometimes it can be difficult to find the line between “this is who I am” and telling someone “I come with an airport terminal’s worth of baggage”. You need to save that for when they’re already invested (#lifehack). It’s not that you should hide parts of yourself, but there are some topics that can wait for date five instead of date one. Here’s a non-comprehensive list of first date topics to avoid.
1. Family Drama
Look, if things work out and you bring him (or her) as your date to your cousin’s wedding, he will absolutely see that your mom was two hours late, showed up drunk, and threw a wine glass at the wall. Again. You don’t need to tell him this right off the bat. Family drama is obviously something you will need to confide in your partner about, but it’s just not really a fun topic when you first meet someone. Plus, it takes away from him getting to know you. You also don’t want him to think that you’re a shit-talker, disloyal to your family, or even worse, that you’ve inherited the wine-glass-throwing genes. He can find that out later when he already likes you.
2. Mental Health Problems
You have no idea how much I love talking about mental health. I’m so glad it’s open, honest discussion now, and we can all lean on each other through depression, anxiety, and whatever else. I am an open book about my own struggles, and I love when others are too. HOWEVER, I don’t start with this on a first date, and I wouldn’t recommend you do so either. Your mental health does not define you, and you do not have to lead with how Zoloft made you gain 20 pounds in six weeks and made you stop sleeping for a while. Yes, you’ll have to talk about it eventually. But on the first date, try to just get to know each other and save the heavy topics for when you’re more serious.
3. Anything About Children
This goes for both men and women. Do not say anything, and I mean anything, about children on your first date. The one exception is if you’re talking about ones you already have, in which case you should definitely tell them, but leave out the part where your deadbeat ex refuses to pay child support (see Family Drama above). Not speaking about children means you cannot ask them if they want kids, how many kids they want, if they plan on raising their children Jewish (and would they expect you to convert), or even how adorable your best friend’s kid is and how you can’t wait to have one of your own. No. These are important questions, but not for date one. It’s just not attractive if you seem like you want kids with anyone and don’t care who—the person you’re on a date with probably wants to believe you fell in love and want to reproduce with them specifically. He won’t be able to get to know you if all he can hear is your ovaries exploding all over the place. Save this talk for later and talk about happy hour deals or your awesome PhD dissertation instead.
Do not, and I mean DO NOT, bring up any insecurities of yours. And tbh, with this one, I don’t think you should bring it up ever to anyone except maybe your therapist. Don’t beat yourself up to people. If someone is on a date with you, they find you attractive. Do not talk them out of this. Don’t say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t normally look like this, I typically wear more makeup,” etc. It really doesn’t matter what you look like, confidence alone is sexy. Telling him about your rigorous diet plan to drink only spicy juice for the next week to lose your love handles makes you look awful and insecure. If you do feel bloated or you’re broken out, don’t address it. He probably doesn’t care or notice. On that note, if you’re dating online, also make sure your pictures actually look like you. If you have creative angles hiding your body, or all your photos are of you at weddings with full makeup, straightened hair, and gowns, but you normally don’t wear makeup, leave your hair as whatever, and wear leggings every day, you run the risk of someone showing up and being disappointed in your appearance. Don’t lie about who you are. He has every right to like straightened-hair girls, just like you weed out anyone under six feet tall. Save yourself the heartache by making sure your pics show you IRL.
5. Fate, Astrology, Etc.
Don’t say it’s fate you met him. Do not say you’re so glad he’s a Taurus, because your last three exes were also Tauruses and also your best friend from college, and you know that is most compatible with your sign and when the planets line up and blah blah blah. And for the love of God, do not ask him the exact time he was born so you can chart his moon sign. If your date brings up their love of fate, astrology, whatever, then go ahead and talk about it. Otherwise, save this sort of thing for a later date. It can come off badly, like you’re not all there, but mostly it puts a lot of pressure on the situation. Telling someone you’ve just met that this is destiny and written in the stars makes it seem like you want to keep them locked up in your basement. I don’t make the rules here, it’s just how it is. Even if you genuinely believe this, there is no harm in keeping to yourself until he’s already invested in other great things about you.
For more relationship advice every week, listen to the U Up? podcast!
Images: Giphy (5)