What not to do on a first date

February 1, 2022 — by Jason Cheng andAnjali Nuggehalli
While it is practically impossible to avoid the inevitable awkwardness that comes with a first date, here are some tips to make the evening a little more bearable.

It doesn’t matter if you have nerves of steel when performing for a crowd of thousands or don’t even flinch skydiving out of an airplane: First dates are terrifying.

While the awkward icebreaker phase is inevitable, there are certain things you should never do on a first date to make the evening as smooth as the one-liner you delivered when your date got in your car. 


Don’t try to be funny.

While it seems tempting to blow your date away with all the jokes you brainstormed in your bed the night before, there’s truly nothing more uncomfortable than a continuous stream of terribly timed jokes. Both parties are probably nervous during the first date, so making the other person feel at ease is far more important than becoming the next Pete Davidson. 


Don’t go to the movies.

There is nothing easier than sitting in silence in a pitch-black theater for two hours, which is why going to the movies is the perfect cop-out for a first date. 

However, we want to dissuade you from making this your first date location, as you’ll learn absolutely nothing about each other besides questionable movie snack preferences.

It’s understandable to be nervous for an activity that requires actual conversation, but it’s better than relying on a subpar Marvel movie to drown out any awkward silence. 


Don’t be obsessed with yourself.

We’re sure you’re a cool person. 


But this doesn’t mean that you should tell your date every detail about your stomach problems without asking any questions about them. 

Take this first date as an opportunity to discover more about the other person, whether that’s learning about their favorite hobbies or their music taste. Obviously, your date should want to get to know you as well, but showing genuine interest toward them will make sparks fly in no time.


Don’t be on a date with your phone.

We get it. Going on your phone is a great way to act like you’re super important with super important things going on. It’s also a go-to move to grab your phone when things get slightly awkward.

But from your date’s perspective, there is nothing worse than feeling second to whatever’s happening on your screen. They’ll think you’re bored, or uninterested in whatever they’re saying. Or even worse, they’ll think you’re hitting up an ex.

Giving your undivided attention to your date will make them feel respected, so put away that phone, make some non-creepy eye contact and enjoy the moment. 


Don’t overdo anything. 

Consent is key. It’s important to understand their boundaries through their body language and verbal cues. We know, you’re desperate for your first kiss, but if you push things too far, they won’t be back for another.

Forming a relationship can be a slow burn, and a first date is simply the catalyst for that spark. Don’t try to jump into any over-the-top activities, and aim to get to know one another instead. Connecting on a mental level is so much more important than anything physical. Just watch “Too Hot to Handle” (elite show, mind you).


Look, you’ve done 90 percent of the job when they’ve said “Yes” to a first date. They clearly see potential in you, and they’re willing to go out of their way to get to know you better.

Maintaining an adequate level of confidence that isn’t egotistical is much more attractive than not knowing your self-worth. It’s not just about you, but it’s not solely about them either: Both of you are equally important in the relationship.

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