Everyone wants to make a good impression on a first date. But sometimes asking the wrong questions gets in the way of those good intentions, sabotaging your date and ruining the possibility of seeing this person again.
Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, author and founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, says never ask these nine questions on a first date.
- How long ago was your profile photo taken?“If meeting through an online platform, profile photos may be photo-shopped, dated or misleading. Asking this question is an attempt to undermine confidence.” Schweitzer says. “A better approach is, ‘You look even better than your picture.’ If you don’t find your date attractive, say, ‘It’s nice to finally meet you’ and be silent about the photo.”
- What kind of people do you like to date? “This leads to comparisons between your date and past romantic flings, which can truly be the kiss of death,” Schweitzer says. “Keep past relationships where they belong, and be present in the moment, especially on the first date, creating new memories, rather than dredging up old ones.”
- How do I look? “First dates make us all nervous, but asking this question can lead to quizzical looks, eye rolls, answers you may not like or believe, and are seen as fishing for compliments.” Yes, first dates are about physical attraction and chemistry; but second dates won’t happen without an intellectual and emotional connection as well. Be curious, focus on intellectual pursuits and building these. Be interested in your date rather than worrying about yourself.”
- Who are you voting for? “The more you get to know someone, the more you’ll be able to navigate the turbulent waters of political conversation.” Schweitzer adds, “Talking about world issues, news and current events helps you understand their values; avoid direct questions about political opinions on the first date. Nothing can shut down a convo like differing political views especially this year.
- Do you usually order/eat this much?“Whether it’s a date or your partner, people are sensitive about food,” Schweitzer says. “Never make a comment about how much food your date is eating because nothing good will come from it. Medical conditions, culture, health restrictions, food sensitivities and fasts all impact consumption. Keep your observations to yourself.”
- Do you want to split the bill?“There’s no going Dutch on the first few dates,” Schweitzer says. “Even though women do ask men out these days from time-to-time, the man is still expected to at least offer to pick up the bill. In time, if a relationship is established, then it’s acceptable to go split the bill. Chivalry still stands, and a man paying on those first few dates is as important as him opening the car door and carrying her packages.”
- When do you want to get married and have kids? “A first date is not the time to talk about tying the knot and bringing little ones into the world,” Schweitzer says. “A first date is a test of compatibility and for having fun. Talking long term goals is important way down the road. In the beginning, it will work against you and scares many potential dates off.”
- Are you having fun?“There’s no reason to ask your date if he/she is having a good time,” Schweitzer says. “You know when your date is having a good time because of the chemistry, it feels right and you’re connecting on an emotional level. You also know when things aren’t going well. Asking the question makes things unnecessarily uncomfortable.”
- So what’s your salary? “This question is off limits for a long time when you’re dating,” Schweitzer says. “At this stage in the game, finding a compatible partner with an emotional connection is the priority. After your discussions of their hobbies and outdoor activities, you can always ask what they do when they are not windsurfing, rock-climbing or running 5Ks. Their response will more than likely give you an idea of their financial situation.”
Visit Sharon online at www.protocolww.com