There’s so much dating advice on the internet these days, and some of it makes me cringe, especially when it comes to what not to do on a first date. The first date is particularly important because as much as you may text each other before the date, nothing matters more than first impressions and the conversation that follows. Below are two pieces of bad first date advice that you should never follow:

  1. Don’t talk about your exes. Talking about your ex can give your date important information about you and what you’re looking for in a relationship. It doesn’t mean you’re still hung up on him, but how you bring the info up makes the difference. Obviously you don’t want to bad-mouth your ex. But what did you learn from the relationship? Why didn’t it work out? Did your ex cheat? You can have a conversation about how important loyalty and trust are to you. Was your ex selfish and only cared about meeting his needs? You can discuss what’s important for you in a relationship to feel satisfied. If your ex disrespected you, you can talk with your date about how you don’t tolerate that behavior and that it is a deal breaker. Maybe your ex wasn’t a good communicator and that created a lot of problems. You can take the opportunity to discuss how important open and honest communication is to you. By sharing your stories (just remember to not bash the ex!) and non-negotiables, you can see if your date thinks similarly or if they can’t meet your expectations.

 Trust me, you can filter your date out much more quickly than if you ask about how they like to spend their free time.

  1. Telling him you’re dating for marriage. You’re advised not to bring up the “M” word on a first date because it supposedly makes you look desperate. So basically this advice is telling you to suppress your own needs and desires in order to not scare a man off. If you’re dating for marriage or a long-term relationship, you definitely need to let your date know your intentions. I’ve saved myself a lot of time telling men I was looking for a serious relationship, and to their credit they were honest that they either were too focused on their career or didn’t have the same mindset.

Simply put, timing matters. Don’t waste weeks of your precious time by not telling your date what you really want. That time could be better spent with someone who has his/her goals aligned with yours.

…But it does make a difference on how you say it.

Men are terrified that a woman will just want any man – not him. So I coach my clients to say something like, “Yes, I would like to be in a serious relationship, but I know that it takes time to see if a guy is a good fit. I’m not just looking for just anybody, so it will take time to know more about each other to see if there’s even a chance.” Guys who are also looking for a serious relationship won’t run, despite popular advice saying that they will.

For more tips on how to date to find and keep a mate, come to my “Have More Than a Fling” dating workshop. The details of which are provided on this site.