Due to overewhelming response from guys who feel they aren't the only ones to blame for terrible first dates, and in the interest of gender equality, here are some dating don'ts for the ladies.
You may wonder how a single 27-year old woman is qualified to give such advice: 4 out of 5 ex-boyfriends polled agree that I am indeed a great first date!! I also collaborated with some of my male friends to figure out what us chicas need not do in order to be a great first date.
Don't get ahead of yourself - It is a natural female thing to do: you meet a cute/smart/funny guy, he asks you out, and the next thing you know, you're light years ahead of yourself. It starts out innocently enough; thinking about what he might like to eat for breakfast so that you can stock your fridge, just in case. And then your thoughts wander to what your wedding will be like and how cute your children will be (you hope they get his nose but don't inherit this hairline). As much as having a positive outlook for the new prospective relationship can be a good thing, try to stay in the moment (aka reality). That way if it doesn't work out between you two, it won't be a massive let-down.
Don't be crazy- This is an elaboration on the former. Don't say anything like "you are the perfect guy to father my kids, I am ready for this if you are." "We are perfect for each other, this is it, I can feel it... can't you?" It's a first date!! Take a breath, and relax. Be laid back and just enjoy, don't set your expectations too high (of him or the date.)
Don't be self-conscious- We all have things that we don't like about ourselves: small boobs, growing waistline, gangly hands... whatever. Dress to play up your best assets, and do your best to not mention those things you happen to not like. Comments like: "I am fat/ugly/stupid" are a definite no no, and when he compliments you on your fabulousness, accept the compliment, smile and say: "Thank you." In other words, just be cool. If you aren't cool, fake it.
Don't be desperate- You haven't been on a date in months, you've been searching for your prince charming forever, and now you are just so excited that may have found him. If it doesn't work out with this one, you don't know what you will do!! The thought of spending one more Saturday night alone at home watching terrible J-Lo/Mcconaughey RomComs with a large pizza and a tub of ice cream depresses you to no end. When you are desperate, you send out a sub-conscious vibe of desperation that men can pick up on. They will be less attracted to you, even if they cannot actually pinpoint why. Don't put tons of pressure on yourself for the date to work out. Be confident, and know that J-Lo, Matt, 'zza and Ben & Jerry's are much better companions than the wrong guy.
Don't text/bbm/talk on your phone - This is a repeat, that again, should just be common sense, but sadly isn't. Don't constantly be on your phone, or take a phone call while out with a guy. It's just plain rude, and he'll feel like you may be talking/texting about him, which you probably are. If you are dying to tell your bff how amazing/horrible the date is going, wait till he hits up the men's room, send her a quick text, and put your phone away.
Don't order "just a salad & a water" or talk about your latest diet - this goes with the whole self-conscious thing. A girl who is insecure about her weight is a big turn off. All the guys I talked to agreed that they prefer to date a girl that has a little meat on her, that they can enjoy a cheeseburger with. You may be working towards your fitness goals and watching your diet, and that's awesome, but date night is a time to relax and enjoy. So save the diet-talk, and order a real meal and a glass of wine.... live a little!!
Don't expect him to pay. If he offers, let him. - In this modern world of gender equality, some things have gotten all mixed up when it comes to picking up the check. Here is the protocol (every guy I talked to about this one agreed on this). When the check comes, reach for the bill (a gesture that shows that you are willing to pay for your portion, which you should always have $$ for, just in case). If (and when) he grabs the bill and pulls it over to his side of the table, that's it, you've done your part. Don't argue with him over it, or pay the bill behind his back. You paying the bill on date 1 will emasculate him, or worse, have him think he can take advantage of your generosity in the future. Later on in a relationship, you can take turns treating each other, but even though we are in the 21st century, the bill on the first date is the guy's responsibility.
Don't initiate the first kiss - this again goes with dating standards that should remain old-school. If you think things went well, lean in for a kiss, but don't go all the way, if he's into you, he'll pick up on your vibe and plant one on ya!
Don't put out- This again should be obvious in my opinion, but some women just don't get it. If you actually like a guy and he is relationship material, don't have sex with him on the first date. He will lose a little respect for you (even if he would never admit it), and well, in the dating game, if you go "all the way" right away... that's it, you've played all your cards, given him the upper hand and are left a little powerless. Don't get me wrong, if he's hot, and are looking for nothing more than a free dinner and a shag, put out. If you like him, be patient and make him wait a little for the goods, trust me, he will. You'll have plenty of time to ravage each other once the time is right.
After all this, I am sure you use a stiff drink, I know I sure could!
-2oz Orange Vodka
-splash cranberry juice
-mix all ingredients into a rocks glass full of ice.