Don't Sabotage Your Date

Don’t start off on the wrong foot! Learn our 6 secrets to avoid ruining your date

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

hen meeting someone for the first time, we all want to put our best “face” forward—inflating, as it were, all our good points, and letting the less flattering fall by the wayside. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to impress the other person from the get-go, but if you’re not careful, what you don’t say may come back to bite you in the behind.

We don’t know if Paul Simon is right about there being 50 ways to leave your lover, but
The last thing you want to do on a first date is present a social resume of your past relationships.
we darn well know that there are six secrets you can keep from your potentially new, best friend that are guaranteed to sabotage any date.

1. Keep your occupation a secret
Almost none of us are astronauts or rock stars... but we’re not all lawyers or doctors either. Being a salesman or doing construction work may not sound as exciting, but it’s what you are and there’s nothing wrong with it. Thinking that you have to keep your job a secret because your date will think it isn’t good enough is self-defeating—it’ll ultimately be revealed and besides, why be with someone who is only interested in WHAT you are, not who?

2. Keep your likes/dislikes a secret
What if you really like beer and sports? Seriously, the whole reason for getting together is to see what makes that other person “tick” even as he or she is learning the same about you. Why pretend? Being honest may get you scorn, but it also could provide a reason for why you’re worth getting to know better.

3. Keep the truth about your dating past a secret
Granted, the last thing you want to do on a first date is present a social resume of your past relationships. And being divorced or having recently broken up with a longtime lover might not seem like good topics for conversation. But the other person won’t be surprised or amazed to hear that you haven’t been a social leper—just don’t make a big deal out of it or go on and on and on. Say a few words, then stop and gauge the reaction. If it’s positive, say a few more and move on to other matters.

4. Keep your reasons for dating a secret
If the truth is as simple as not wanting to stay home night after night staring at the walls, then say so.
I’m not saying you have to spill all the beans.
Wanting to date doesn’t make you desperate or a loser—it’s normal. Now maybe the reasons are more selfish than noble (i.e., maybe you just want to have fun versus looking for a long term relationship), but the more secretive you are about this, the less appealing you’ll be to the other person. I’m not saying you have to spill all the beans, but it’s okay to open up a little.

5. Keep your age a secret
Whoa boy, is this a recipe for disaster. Our youth culture may say that being over 30 (or 24 for that matter) is a bummer, but you know better than that. You’re only as old as you feel, and there’s something wrong if the other person will only like you if he or she thinks you’re 5 or even 10 years younger than you are.

6. Worst of all: Keeping your feelings a secret
Sure you don’t want to get hurt or move too fast, but in the world of dating it’s all about taking risks—and the surest way to be tossed out of the race is playing your cards too close to the vest and thinking that the silent type is appealing. The key word here: Share.

If all of the above have anything in common, it’s that the more you hold back, the less you’ll get in return. Dating is tough enough—don’t make it harder by juggling secrets. Because eventually they’re going to fall and you’ll be left to pick them up all alone. Tell the truth and find someone who loves you for who you are!

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a freelance writer who contributes to Happen magazine.
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