by Alexis Thompson
Friday, 29th July 2011
I recently went on a third date which was a disaster in every way. I turned up late, our conversation dried up, we squabbled over the bill and then my date insulted me to the point where I couldn't control my anger and we ended up having a row in a public place.
Third dates are a crucial occasion during the blossoming of a new relationship, so it's important that if you do like the person you're dating, you don't mess it up by doing or saying the wrong things. Here's five things you should be avoiding if you want to make your third date into a fourth date.
Turning up on time is just common courtesy, you wouldn't leave a friend hanging around outside a restaurant or bar waiting for you, so why treat a date any differently? I know some silly out-dated rules tell women to keep a man waiting but it's only good manners to be there on time.
It's ok if you're running five or ten minutes late due to traffic or unreliable public transport, but if you turn up half an hour late just to keep a man waiting then that shows a lack of respect, which will annoy your date before the night has even begun.
Sometimes on a date we need alcohol to ease the tension and help the conversation flow a little easier, especially if we're feeling nervous. One or two glasses of wine is fine, but if you start necking vodka from a hip flask you've sneaked into the restaurant then the chances are the date is going to go pear shaped and your going to make a fool of yourself.
If you find that you're starting to slur your words and your vision is getting a little blurry then it's probably time to switch to a soft drink. The fuzzier your head gets, the more nonsense will start pouring from your mouth, and you could end up saying and doing things you will regret in the morning.
Keep cool and sophisticated by taking it easy on the alcoholic beverages and mixing them with soft drinks. If you're not having dinner with your date then make sure you eat a carb-heavy meal before you go, as this will help to line your stomach.
I know this is a bit of a controversial one, but I think it displays chivalry which most women will admire. Women like to be pursued and most men enjoy the pursuit, and this doesn't stop after the first date. I think a lot of men believe that if they've covered the tab on the first and second date, then by the third they can expect the woman to start coughing up and going Dutch with them. However, being the traditionalist I am, I believe that third dates are still very much part of the courting stage and that men should respect this by paying to take the woman out.
Of course once you're officially in a relationship then the dynamic changes and depending on your circumstances, you should be splitting and sharing everything, but until then the man is taking the woman out and he should be paying.
By the third date you may know all about this persons hopes, fear and dreams for the future, but there are still some personal questions which you should avoid asking unless your date chooses to bring the subject up.
For example, never ever ask about past relationships. This is a sensitive subject which could easily open up a can of worms that may sabotage your chances of a relationship. It's best to avoid this topic at all costs and likewise, try not to bring it up in conversation yourself.
Save divulging the details of your past heartbreaks until well into the relationship, when you will be secure enough to handle the knowledge that you have possibly both loved and lost someone else before.
Sleeping with someone on a first date is always a big no no, unless you're not that bothered about seeing them again. However, by the time we get to the third many people feel it's almost obligatory to sleep with someone.
My advice is don't succumb to modern day pressures about what's right and wrong, just do whatever feels right for you. If, for whatever reason you don't feel comfortable with inviting your date back to your flat, then don't.
Wait until you feel ready, if this person likes you then they will wait around for however long it takes. Sleeping with someone is an important step in a relationship, and it shouldn't be taken in haste. If you rush into things too quickly, then your relationship could be over before it even properly began.
Alexis is a 27-year-old and very often, cash-strapped journo, searching for her ideal man in London. After being single for almost a year, since splitting with her first long term love, she's decided to ditch the night clubs and bars, and start finding more mature and sophisticated ways of meeting her Mr Right. Join her every Friday as she describes the trials and tribulations of discovering love in a city that has little time for romance, as well as offering advice to those in search of the same thing or who may not have realised they've already found it.
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