By Mayson, dating coach for New Social Systems
Being on a first date can be a nerve wracking experience for anyone. Often times people will do anything they can to impress their potential partner. Over the past few years I've observed 7 of the deadliest sins that one can make when it comes to a first date. If you can avoid these 7 sins, then you're on the right track to getting a second date.
Deadly Sin #1: Arrogance vs. Confidence
Men, listen up because this part is especially for you. Arrogance does not equal confidence. Bragging about your accomplishments will only yield the opposite results of the emotions you want to evoke in your potential partner. Let’s explore the difference between arrogance and confidence.
1) Internal vs. External Validation: When a person is confident they get validation from inside and not the outside. For instance, an arrogant person might seek to demean others around them because they want to feel important and better. They might brag about their accomplishments in order to feel validation. This concept in psychology is called "leveling."
In the case of the confident person, they are sure of whom they are and do not seek to lower anyone but rather build people up. A confident person also has specific observable traits as well such as:
2) Confident people smile! A lot of people who are arrogant try to look tough because they believe being vulnerable is a weakness. They put on a front while truly confident people smile a lot more.
If I had to sum up the difference between arrogance and confidence in one sentence it would be, “A confident person seeks to build people up rather than tear them down.” It’s important to display confidence and NOT arrogance or you will be committing one of the 7 deadly sins of a first date.
Deadly Sin #2: Neediness
Our desire for acceptance is often the root cause for our needy behavior around members of the opposite sex. When we don’t accrue enough experience with members of the opposite sex, we tend to mistake neediness for love. This shows it’s deadly nature when we come to the understanding that neediness kills attraction.
The reliance on another person for your happiness is a lie we believe and it causes us all kinds of suffering. Not only does it cause us to suffer but we also destroy the very relationships we are working to build.
Deadly Sin #3: Fake it till you make it
Be authentic with you are. Often people will try to be something they are not in order to impress their potential partner. When I tell students that they are to be authentic this does NOT mean that they shouldn’t take care of themselves.
The way that you dress and look is an outside representation of your internal value of yourself. This is why it is extremely important to take care of yourself and look your best. Take pride in your appearance even if your physical looks are not perfect.
If you don’t have a perfect six pack or slender body, that’s ok. What are some traits that you can highlight to look your best? Find what accentuates your body and personality and use it to your advantage. This is why it’s important to develop your personality and not just find yourself, but to create yourself as well.
Deadly Sin #4: Over thinking
So you land the date with the guy or girl that you’ve wanted for quite some time. You plan your outfit, your shower, you get ready, you book the best table at an amazing restaurant, and they still haven’t called you. You then text them and don’t get a reply. You start to get in your head saying all these things that lead to self defeat.
It’s easy to over think things when you are about to go on a date. I see it all the time where people plan everything out with precision only to have their car get a flat tire. The best experiences we tend to have are the ones that are spontaneous and not planned out perfectly. It’s ok for things to go wrong, for people to run late, and even to cancel. It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like you. It just means that sometimes things come up.
When we over think things we make a lot of assumptions that cause us to suffer needlessly. Having a great date has nothing to do with how flawless the wait staff was. It has to do with the connection you make with your potential partner.
Deadly Sin #5: Not having fun
In addition to over thinking on a first day another deadly sin is that people will not have fun and just relax. I understand that meeting up with someone for the first time can be an anxious event. The best way to break tension is to let go, laugh, and enjoy the experience.
Guys, dinner and a movie does is not necessarily the best first date. You can’t interact or talk much during a movie, and it really brings about more space then connection on your date. Don’t be afraid to have fun and be a little silly.
Take her to the arcade, fly kites in a park, and connect with your youth again. If you take things too seriously then she will feel that vibe and will take it too serious as well. You end up hurting your chances of making a real connection.
And ladies, be open to trying new things! Let go of the pressure that surrounds a first date and open up to the potential for something new and exciting. Trust me, you’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have by simply changing things up.
Deadly Sin #6: Too Much Too Soon
Remember the phrase “too much of a good thing.” Well this is true with our next deadly sin as well. If you tell your potential partner your entire life story in an hour you are not allowing them to get to know you. One of the most attractive qualities that a guy can have according to women is some mystery and intrigue.
Don’t mistake mysterious for creepy because they are light years apart. Being mysterious means that you have captured a person’s attention and they want to know more about you. Allow yourself to be revealed over multiple dates. Don’t give away everything in the first 30 seconds of meeting your potential partner.
Too much too soon also shows it’s destruction in physical escalation. Sometimes you both have a ton of chemistry and soon end up in intimate situations together. While sometimes one partner will feel a strong connection, while the other is not completely ready. Don’t overdo it and try too hard to push past boundaries. You can end up in a really bad spot. This is why you must not fall sway to the final deadly sin….
Deadly Sin #7: Oblivious Advances
There’s a term I use a lot in order for a student to understand when the right and wrong time to go for the kiss is. That word is called “calibration.” The ability to understand and interpret social situations is extremely important.
Imagine for a moment that you’re on a date with a woman. The date is really dull and you’re not making much of a connection. At the end of the night you walk her to the door and feel that there’s not much connection, but you go for the kiss anway. This is an example of an oblivious advance.
Without understanding calibration you will doom yourself to awkward social situations. A friend of mine often says that calibration is everything; anything else is just a suggestion. I think there’s a lot of validity in that statement.
About the Author:
Mayson is a confidence and dating coach for New Social Systems in Boston. He specializes in personality development and confidence building.
If you'd like to guest post for The Professional Wingman blog, feel free to contact me.