I Went on 10 First Dates in Two Weeks and This is What I Learned

I went on ten first dates in two weeks. Most of the people I went out with, I met on Tinder. After interviewing college women about their positive experiences with the dating application for a class study, I wanted to discover what the hype was about myself. I felt like Adam Sandler in 50 First Dates because each dating experience made me feel more confident and comfortable the next time I went out, even though my dates were not with the same person every time. 

Here are 16 do’s and don’ts I learned from my dating marathon:

Don’t: Meet at their place

One guy invited me over to watch a movie and it made me uncomfortable because he was clearly looking to hookup.

Do: Pick a place where you can talk and get to know each other

Coffee shops are good places to meet for morning dates and quiet bars are fun to meet for drinks at night.

Don’t: Have too many drinks

Limit yourself to two drinks maximum. Sloppy is not a good look for a first impression.

Do: Try to relax

I was really nervous for one of my dates and kept fidgeting with my fingers. My date totally could feel my anxious energy and asked me why I was nervous, which was really embarrassing. Try to get in a relaxed head space (without over drinking) so you can enjoy your date.

Don’t: Talk about an ex or past romantic partners

First dates are not the right time to talk about how your ex broke your heart. I made this mistake and my date was convinced that I wasn’t over my ex.

Do: Ask what your date is looking for

It’s important to make sure the two of you are on the same page about what you are looking. I invested my time in someone who wasn’t looking for anything serious and ended up feeling used and hurt.

Don’t: Look at your date as a job interview

On the first date I went on, I tried way too hard to sell myself. I basically was reading him my entire resume so he would find me impressive. But neither of us ended up having fun because the conversation didn’t feel natural.

Do: Be yourself

The best conversations I had were the ones that flowed naturally because I was myself.

Don’t: Overwhelm your date with questions

Asking too many questions can overwhelm your date and make them feel like you’re looking for something too serious too fast. Getting to know someone takes time.

Do: Ask your date about themselves

Make sure that you are not only talking about yourself. When your date asks you a question, it's probably because he/she wants to answer it himself/herself.

Don’t: Worry about awkward silences

Awkward silences are inevitable for a first date or for normal conversation in general. Don’t worry about forcing yourself to think of something to say. Let the conversation flow naturally.

Do: Be in the moment

Awkward silences are fine as long as they are not a result of you not paying attention to your date. You want you’re date to feel like your attention is on them. Listen to your him/her and keep your mind from going elsewhere, such as focusing on responding to a text.

Don’t: Leave as soon are you decide you’re not into him/her

I left one date after fifteen minutes because I was not physically attracted to the guy at all. We ended up having a mutual friend and my date told our friend how rude I was. Being able to hold a conversation with new people is a real-life skill. If you’re not into your date, think about it as practice for the professional world where you have to hold conversations with all different kinds of new people all the time, even those you may not like.

Do: Leave if your intuition is telling you that you’re not safe

If you are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable that is enough reason to leave right away. In that situation, don’t worry about being rude.

Don’t: Obsess over your date if he/she doesn’t call you again

Everyone gets rejected sometimes. It's a bummer when you like someone who doesn't like you back, but it isn’t healthy to obsess over what went wrong. Don’t over think it and move on.

Do: Let them know that you had a good time

I think it’s really silly when people say that girls shouldn’t text guys first. If you had a good time on a date, text them afterward and let them know that you want to see them again.

*All GIFS from GIPHY and cover image from unsplash.com