After months of admiring that cutie online, you’ve finally worked up the nerve to ask your crush out for Valentine’s Day. You send a DM (direct message) and to your delight, they agree to go out with you. Unfortunately, not everyone hits a home run on their first date. It’s very possible that you’ll strike out because of something you say or do. Here are some ways you can accidentally ruin your date and how to avoid making a mistake again.
Forget to make reservations in advance
Good luck trying to get a table without a reservation on Valentine’s Day. According to the National Restaurant Association, February 14th is the second-busiest day of the year. Snickers commercials don’t lie, people start acting different when they’re hungry. And you might not like the person your date becomes if the restaurant turns you away. Instead of rolling the dice, use an app like OpenTable or Reserve to secure your spot in advance.
Spend too much money
Picking the right Valentine’s gift can be tricky when you’re dating someone new. You don’t want to set the bar too high because you’ll have a hard time trying to top it in the future. Plus, if you come on too strong, you might scare your date off. Experts recommend spending no more than $50 if you’ve only been dating a month or two. Keep it simple and stick to thoughtful gifts such as their favorite bottle of wine or liquor, a funny card or a book.
Whether your date is picking you up or meeting you somewhere, both parties need to be on time. Arriving late gives the impression that you don’t care. If you plan to meet at a mutual location, map out the route beforehand to estimate your travel time. Then head out early.
What’s the point of inviting someone out just to ignore them? Constantly checking your phone kills the mood and almost guarantees that there won’t be another date. Show your partner that you’re all in by giving them your undivided attention. Easy ways to show interest include making eye contact, laughing at their jokes, touching them subtly and asking questions. Treat your date how you want to be treated if not better.
Talk about your ex
Unless you have kids or your date brings up the topic, avoid talking about your ex at all costs. Depending on what you say, it may appear as though you’re not ready to move on to someone new.
Ask to split the bill
Call us old-fashioned but going Dutch isn’t a date, it’s just two friends hanging out. If you want to avoid a lifetime membership to the friend zone, the asker needs to pay. This sends a clear-cut message that you’re serious about seeing where things go.
Leave a lousy tip
You may think leaving a well worded “tip” instead of cash is funny but you’re messing with someone else’s livelihood. Plus, your date will think you’re cheap. The standard tip for good service is 15 to 20 percent of the pre-tax bill. For poor service, only leave 10 percent.