Dating is a numbers game and you always need to put your best foot forward when making a first impression.
It's important to prepare for your date emotionally, intellectually, and physically. That means selecting your best outfit for the occasion, doing some homework about your date and their interests, and most importantly, leaving the baggage at home.
Unfortunately a gentleman that I will refer to as the "Donny Downer" wasn't prepared for his big date. He had waited 6 months to meet a particular woman, who was a member of his favorite online dating site. He agreed to drive to her side of town, which was greatly appreciated. But what happened when he left his best foot behind?
Within minutes, Donny told his date about his bad back. He claimed it was the result of all of the athletic activities he had engaged in during his youth. He asked his date if she had any back problems as well. Does misery really like company? He then talked about all of the medical problems his elderly mother was suffering from and described his father's dementia in great detail. His date was empathetic, but she wondered, did he have bad genes? This is where a dating coach would have come in handy to prepare Donny for better communication skills before going on a date. The conversation was not enticing at all, especially with someone he had never met before.
Next on the agenda, Donny brought up the financial problems of his adult son. He told his date that his married son, now in his 20s, didn't work. It wasn't the tough economic times that held him back. He revealed too much information by stating that his son was a gambler. He added that his son sat home all day playing online poker, while his wife supported him and their children. Donny continued to tell his date that his gambling-addicted son wiped out his father's bank account from an ATM at a local racetrack. Donny even told his date exactly how much money was withdrawn for his gambling problem and complained that his son was a thief. Did she really need to know?
As the conversation continued, Donny talked about his first ex-wife who was sending money to their son to support his gambling problem. He went on to discuss his ex-wife's current husband. Details of their 5-year marriage from 25 years ago were brought to the lunch table, along with a brief mention of his second ill-fated marriage. His date was quickly losing her appetite.
Although the subject of religion can unite a couple with common backgrounds and values, unless you are met at a place of worship or on an online dating site that focuses on religion, your opinions about your religious beliefs should not be brought up on a first date. In this case, Donny was of a different religious faith. His commentary about religion was again, negative. Although not always a deal breaker, when he put down his religion at the lunch table, it was an immediate turn-off to his date who greatly respected her religious beliefs.
The last question Donny asked his date was, "So, what do you think of Obama as a President?" It couldn't get much worse. It's just not a great idea to bring up politics on a first date. She politely exited the lunch and thanked him for his generosity and time.
So how do you prepare for a first date and what subjects should you be talking about?
My suggestions are to make a list. Call it your cheat sheet. Think about the positive things in your life. Write them down on a piece of paper. Memorize them. It's your personal guide for success when meeting someone new. Would you tell a perspective boss that your son stole money from you and was a gambler? Would you complain about your two ex wives? Would you ask a potential employer what their political beliefs were? Tell them about your backache?Most likely not. But, you would do some homework on the company and come prepared for your first meeting and interview.
Not only did Donny ruin his chances for a second date, he won't make it to her list of potential guys to fix with her single girlfriends. A friendship could not develop as a result of the poor communication on his first date. Finances, ex-relationships, religion, politics, and medical conditions should't accompany you on a first date. His date left the luncheon feeling low. Donny ended up bringing her down by sharing everything negative going on in his life. It was just too much information. Perhaps his nervousness just got in the way.
When going on a date, remember first impressions do matter. So does the tone of your voice. Life may have it's ups and downs, but please, leave the baggage at home. Try to limit the subjects to current events, recent activities that you enjoyed, or a recent accomplishment. Remember to keep the conversation light. Nobody wants a "Debbie" or a "Donny" Downer.