9 Things You Should Never Say on a First Date

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Being single for the better part of the past decade, I mastered the art of first dates long ago. In fact, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve been on an insane number of first dates—quite possibly in the hundreds—and while I can’t remember them all, I do recall quite a few, both good and bad. I love first dates because they are filled with anticipation (the possibility of meeting your match!) and, if you’re lucky, fun.

However, when you are on one of those amazing first dates, after a couple of glasses of Sauvignon Blanc, it’s easy to let your guard down and reveal too much, too soon. After all, the purpose of a first date is to suss out whether it's worth a second. So what topics are off-limits? Here are nine things (from my personal experience) to think twice about saying on a first date.

01 of 09

What Happened in Your Last Relationship?

Young couple sits outside in the grass.

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On the first date, you’re just getting to know the person, so you don’t need to know why the last relationship ended in shambles. Save this question for further down the line. Instead, ask about their childhood, where they went to college, who their favorite baseball player is, and what their preferred part of the Thanksgiving meal is.

02 of 09

I’ll Pay

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I’m old-fashioned and like it when a guy pays for the first date. While some people believe it’s important to pretend to want to pay by reaching for your wallet, this is not a good idea. What if he says, “Sure, you pay?" Will you resent him for it later? Don’t play silly games. If you want him to pay and he is willing to, then let him. Be sure to express your heartfelt thanks afterward. That said, no matter who you prefer to date, a good rule of thumb should be if you asked for the date, then you should pay and vice versa.

03 of 09

I Just Have to Make a Quick Phone Call. Do You Mind?

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After meeting someone new for the first time, you’re going to step away to talk to someone else? Not cool. Keep your phone out of sight. Even resist the urge to pull it out to share those photos of your adorable new puppy; you may see a text or call from someone and be unable to resist the compulsion to respond.

04 of 09

Why Are You Still Single?

Couple sits close together and enjoy wine outside

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Whenever a date asks me this, I immediately cringe. I feel like it’s code for, What is wrong with you? I never know how to answer, and it just makes me feel awkward. If you’re on a first date with a catch, don’t question why no one else has swept in yet. Instead say something cute like, “You seem like quite the catch! I would love to know more about your background. How did you get into surfing?”

05 of 09

I’m Friends With All of My Exes

Couple sit on bench outside, conversing

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Your date does not need to know that your exes are still around. Nor does your date need to know to look forward to meeting these exes if you hit it off. Actually, don’t bring up exes at all on a first date—it’s unnecessary.

06 of 09

I’m Still Totally Hung up on My Ex

Couple converse on first date

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If you’re still hung up on your ex and hope that dating someone new will help you forget said ex, mentioning your former flame on the first date is not a good idea.

07 of 09

I’ve Probably Only Been on Five First Dates in My Life

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Don’t let on that you are a dating novice! Project confidence, smile, and make eye contact. Your date will never know that you’re inexperienced. Focus on having a quality experience instead.

08 of 09

Actually, Make Mine a Double

Couple enjoys drinks at bar

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DDTM is an acronym my friends and family use. It stands for “don’t drink too much,” and it’s something you should always remember on a first date. Dates don’t want to be with a hot mess who can’t hold their liquor and needs to be taken home from the party early. Trust me—I’m speaking from experience. Regrettably, getting too drunk on a first or second date has caused me to lose respect and interest from many an eligible love interest.

09 of 09

I Don’t Care. You Decide.

Couple sit across from each other at cafe, drink coffee

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Whether you’re deciding what bar to go to next or whether or not you want truffle or regular fries, it’s important to show that you have an opinion. You’re your own person and make decisions all the time, so don’t shy away from doing this on a first date.

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