Attention my fellow millennials. I clearly wrote this post with you all in mind. As a millennial myself, I feel completely qualified in criticizing the mistakes our generation makes when it comes to dating. Well, with first dates in particular. While I’m sure I could compile a list of more than five things, I think the following is sufficient. And like always, please remember my platform is meant to help not hurt. So let’s get started.
- Letting Social Media Be the First Impression
Now I’ll be the first to admit, I understand the value of using social media to investigate a person. Ashamedly, I’ve used my skills of navigating Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to dig around and find out information on a few people. No, not in a stalker-like way. Well, not always. I actually used some of my skills to find out about an entire half of my family (but that’s definitely a story for another day). Anyway, the risk you run when you use social media to be your sole first impression of an individual, is that you often meet an online persona, and not the person. Or, you only meet a fraction of a person.
Think of it this way. Say I give you a bag of puzzle pieces, and ask you to put the puzzle together. However, as you work on putting it together, you find that you don’t have all the pieces needed to complete the full picture. It turns out, I just gave you edge pieces and few random middle pieces. That’s what social media is. No matter what posts and pictures you find on a person, you rarely will get the full picture of who he is. Or you may wrongly make assumptions of who he is based on the limited information you have access to. Again, it won’t hurt you to wait at least until after the first date before you do a deep dive into a person’s social media platforms.
- Speeding Up Romance
A mentor from college once told me he calls my generation, the “Microwave Generation.” He insisted that millennials want everything instantaneously and don’t believe in putting in the work and waiting. I naturally rolled my eyes a bit when he told me his opinion. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that he actually is right in many ways.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen individuals around my age go through the phases of a relationship at warp speed. It’s like the world is in a hurry to date, move in with each other, and get married. Folks don’t want to take their time to get to know a person anymore. And it starts with the first date. On a first date, you don’t have to walk in with the expectation of establishing the entire foundation for a relationship. It usually takes more than one date before the foundation of a relationship is formed. So don’t put so much pressure on yourself or on those you go out with.
- Giving Away too Much too Fast
Diarrhea of the mouth is a common issue I’ve seen when it comes to first dates. Look, it’s a first date. Leave some mystery about yourself, so a person can take his time to get to know you. When you first meet someone, it’s not the time for you to give your whole life story. You shouldn’t be giving a monologue version of your Lifetime Movie biopic.
Besides if you’ve had to give a person a recap of your whole life on the first date, that often means you spent more time talking than listening and getting to know a potential mate. And that’s a big problem. Do yourself a favor, and on occasion just hush.
- Miscommunicating Intentions
This easily could have been number one, because single millennials do this all of the time. Folks agree to go on a date with a person, but they aren’t on the same page with the individuals they’re dating. You may think you’re both going on a first date with the hopes of dating to be in a relationship. Meanwhile, the guy you hope to be boo’d up with one day goes on the date with only one intention. To hit it and quit it. I understand that people will tell you anything to get the draws, so a person can be tricked into thinking a fellow dater may be ready for a relationship. However, this is why I usually encourage people to wait before jumping into bed. Time is a friend when trying to gauge a person’s true intentions.
- Making Phones the Third Wheel
Millennials, put down your phones when you go on a first date. Be in the actual moment with the person you are trying to get to know. There is no need to check your Instagram and Twitter feeds, to upload pics of what you’re doing on Snapchat, or to check-in on Facebook. The people you go on a date with want to get to know you, and want your attention so they know you’re trying to get to know them. In short, being on your phone on a date is EXTREMELY RUDE and not romantic.
I know I said I had a list of five, but I have to say this. Stop letting people meet your super drunk self on the first date. A drunken you is more than likely not cute. Being hammered during your first date sends a message to most people that there won’t be a second.