There aren't too many people we know who look forward to first dates. Sure, don't get us wrong, the excitement of meeting up with someone new and talking to them is awesome — especially when you know they find you attractive and (hopefully) interesting enough to agree to go out — but, if bad vibes occur, too many drinks are consumed or, generally speaking, you and the person have nothing in common, it just feels like a waste of time.
To better assist you in your first date mission, we spoke with Sameera Sullivan, a professional matchmaker and Founder and CEO of Lasting Connections, who answered all sorts of questions that you've probably asked yourself before, during and maybe even doubted yourself after that first date... and, yes, guys, no matter how bad one might be, always pay for the person seated across from you.
FHM: Is It EVER OK To Bust Out A Phone On A First Date?
Sameera: "When it comes to a first date, being fully present is more important than ever. So, if you can, avoid your phone completely. If you have an important phone call or text to attend, let your date know this at the beginning of the date. Be sure to apologize in advance so you don’t seem rude when you step away from the date. Keep the phone on vibrate in your pocket so you avoid starring at it constantly and disrupting the date any more than you have to."
FHM: What're The Do's And Don'ts Of Conversations On A First Date?
Sameera: "Do: Share a little bit about yourself; remember, breath over depth on the first date! No one is interested in hearing a one-(wo)man monologue. Some great subjects are family, interests, passions, career, and travels. Stay positive… about everything. Do ask questions, listen, and be engaged.
"Don't: Talk too much! Talk about finances, politics, or religion. This isn’t an appropriate time to lament your money troubles. Talk about your ex or past problems. Talk poorly about someone. Talk about anything awkward — abuse, violence, arrests, addiction, etc. There will be a time to share these things later down the line. Oh, and stay away from talking about any sort of finances."
FHM: So, Exes And/Or Hook-Up Stories Are A Big No No, Huh?
Sameera: "Talking about this is especially tempting given the bad or crazy date stories that can come out of online dating but if you’re into the other person, avoid doing so! Also, don’t mention how hot or crazy your ex was, that shows you’re thinking about him or her which is always a turn-off. Don’t talk about these subjects unless you know the other person will never be anything more than a friend."
FHM: What's The Most Common Mistakes Men Make On First Dates?
Sameera: "Trying too hard by being flashy. Over-complimenting a woman to the point of awkwardness. Appearing disingenuous by complimenting her looks over-and-over versus showing your engagement in the conversation. Not complimenting at all or not appearing engaged. Talking too much! Ask her questions but also let her ask you questions. Ordering for her — you don’t know each other and this appears over-bearing."
FHM: Is There An Appropriate Price Range For A First Date, Or Just Case-To-Case Basis?
Sameera: "A first date venue depends on the person, their interests, financial means, and preferences. You should always do what makes you feel comfortable. In general, though there’s no need to break your personal bank or plan something too flashy."
FHM: Who Pays For A First Date? Always Guy? Split? Or, In Some EXTREME Situation, The Woman?
Sameera: "A man always pays on the first three dates. After that, depending on your situation, you can figure out what’s appropriate for the two of you. Sometimes, a nice compromise is for the woman to pay for breakfast or movie tickets if the man continues to pay for the bigger ticket items."
"If the woman makes significantly more money than the man, then it’s okay for her to pay but she needs to be honest with herself and make sure she’s okay with this arrangement. In this case, a man should try to pamper her in a different way and still treat her financially when he is able. He certainly can’t let her pay all the time and especially not on the first three dates. Cheap date options are still dates!"
FHM: How Common Do You Think Sex On A First Date Is?
Sameera: "There is no challenge when you give in so fast – there’s no chance to build that trust, friendship or bond that makes sex even better! If you do have sex on the first date, it's okay but be prepared to deal with whatever comes… In my experience, more often than not, a guy’s interest fades if this happens on the first date. I heard from a girl recently who had a seven-hour date with a guy. She felt like they had the best connection and then she slept with him. Has he been chasing her after that? No!"
"However, I have known several people who had sex on a first date and are married today. But in general, I advise my clients to wait until they’re exclusive with the other person and at the very least, after 3 -5 dates. There is no magic number- do what feels right for you."