Join me on a trip down memory lane as I fondly recall my first date: the soft candlelight... the romantic strains of the violin... the atrocious cologne I wore... the piece of lettuce struck between my teeth... that wonderfully explosive flambé... the moonlight ride to the ER... Alright, that was sort of an exaggeration—except for the cologne part (sigh), and probably the lettuce too—but that first date was definitely unforgettable. So unforgettable, in fact, that she never agreed to a second. But hey, if you want to make your first date memorable for all the right reasons, we list nine things—from the iffy to the downright creepy—that you shouldn't do.
(don't) Be Late. Back in the golden, olden days, real men used to pick up their dates at home in horse-drawn carriages made out of garden pumpkins. Well, it may be "hip" now to just meet up at the mall, but remember: it's not fashionable to be fashionably late. Ten minutes after the appointed time, and we'll get fidgety—knuckle-cracking, incessant glancing around, text message on your cellphone: "Hi, wru na?"—so be thoughtful enough to spare us the torture. We're nervous enough as it is.
(don't) Overdose on Makeup. Makeup is nice, but showing up for a date with 10 layers of foundation and a vicious shade of red lipstick will make your guy wonder if he accidentally wandered onto the set of Memoirs of a Geisha. It's totally okay with us if you just put on a little lip gloss (in fact, we prefer it that way), but if you really feel the need to lay on the eyeliner, you should at the very least still be recognizable when you're done.
(don't) Talk About Just You. First dates are "getting-to-know-you" affairs—not "getting-to-know-you-and-only-you." Date conversations should be a two-way street, a give-and-take, a mutual exchange of ideas and feelings engineered to get you two to common ground. You'll probably run into some lame jokes, fake laughs, and awkward silences on the way, but that means that you two are on the right track. Oh yeah and whatever you do, please, please, please don't talk during the movie.
(don't) Brag. Just like you, our crap-o-meter is set to ultra-high sensitivity, and trust us, there's no stinkier pile of doo-doo than a braggy date. I mean, yeah, we already know how great you are—that's why we asked you out in the first place, right?—but now that you're actually saying it, well, we don't think you're hot stuff anymore. (You shouldn't either.) For the purpose of making a good impression, a little boasting is expected from both sides, but it shouldn't turn into a one-sided speech about Your Royal Greatness.
(don't) Go to the Bathroom....Too Much. For some reason, girls always retreat to the toilet during dates. That's totally fine. We don't get it, but it's totally fine. Do it too often, though, and, well, it becomes plain rude. If you ask to be excused to go to the bathroom one too many times during a date, you are sending us a clear and unambiguous message: "Spend time with this guy, or watch pee go down a toilet? Okay, toilet it is."
(don't) Eat Too Little. Lord save us from this wild health craze where girls have to eat like birds. If you're watching your weight—come to think of it, what girl isn't?—a first date is not the time to indulge in your reduced-portion, no-carb, diet-of-the-month fad. Unless it's for legitimate health reasons, eating too little comes off as being too picky, or worse, that you dislike the restaurant we picked out for you. If you really do aim to follow your diet to the letter, make sure you tell your date right off the bat.