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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    First dates are crucial, don’t forget these tips

    What situation involves excessive perspiration, countless sticks of gum and awkward silences? A standard first date.

    First dates are those crucial first impressions that can either lead to lust, love or mixed messages. Nowadays, it’s difficult to know what to plan or say, because the politics of dating are constantly changing.

    People are now falling in love online through dating sites like or

    In the September issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, a study determined that someone’s level of understanding of the other person during an in-person first date is how each of them will know whether they’ll have a lasting relationship, a hookup or a breakup. The key word here is “in-person.”

    With these online dating sites, people might bypass the first steps of physically going out to meet someone, but their first date is inevitable. You will eventually have to meet the love of your life in person and if the study holds true, then your perception of your online love might change. If anything, it’s important to meet that special someone to make sure they used an accurate profile picture or weren’t on “To Catch A Predator.”

    Whenever you do go on that first date, there’s more to avoid then sweaty armpits, garlic breath and toxic cologne. And let’s hope all men learned what not to do with their “hair gel” from the 1998 film “There’s Something About Mary.”

    Here is an updated list of a few things students should avoid on first dates:

    Avoid the “classic” date

    Going to dinner for a first date is like going to a job interview. Think about it, you’re sitting across from a person you barely know, asking random questions to try and see if this person fits your criteria as a potential candidate. It can be stuffy and too personal. Then back that interview up with two hours of sitting next to each other in silence, and you have an awkward scenario. Instead, go for something active or go to an event where you can talk throughout it. That way if the conversation begins to falter, you have the event for backup.

    Avoid future talks

    Even though it seems like everyone is getting married in their early 20s these days, it doesn’t mean you have to talk about it. Women are probably guiltier of this, saying things like: “I want to be married by the time I’m 24 and have one on the way by 25.” Pump the brakes. It’s a first date and with that talk, it will probably be the last. Talk about interests and passions and less controversial topics. No politics, religion or money.

    Avoid the ex-files

    We already talked about what not to talk about, but this one is so important that it needed its own spot. Do not talk about past relationships. Do not bad-mouth your ex. In fact, don’t gossip about anyone. It sounds trashy, catty and immature.

    Avoid the cellphone

    It should be an absolute deal-breaker if the person whips out his or her phone during the date. Your date should be capturing all your attention. If they aren’t at least have the decency to fake it. Unless it’s an emergency, keep it on silent and show some respect. And, don’t “check-in” on Facebook or make a Facebook status about your date.

    Avoid drunken heart to hearts

    Meeting for happy hour is less intense than going out to dinner, but don’t let the first-date jitters influence you into sucking down two cocktails on an empty stomach. Exert some self-control so you’re not slurring your speech or traveling into “TMI” territory. If you two are heading to a house party, the same principle applies — don’t get sloshed. Maybe hold back on your Olympic beer pong skills until the next date. This will also avoid drunken hookups, which aren’t respectable methods of getting to know your dates … at least not their personalities.

    — Kelly Hultgren is a journalism junior. She can be reached at

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