What not to do first on your first date.

The first date is never going to be a walk in the park, both figuratively and actually.  Do a bit of preparation and take onboard some thoughts on what's to be avoided which will help make your date the fun and rewarding evening you have been planning.

Don't stress out just because it's the first date
There is always going to the first date after divorce.  Just like there was always going to be your first day at school.  Relax, everyone's done it and we all survived!  We are not talking about a job interview here, it's meant to be fun.

As part of your preparation think about what you already know about this person and prepare some questions to find out more about the interesting stuff.  (Yes, I know it's not an interview but you can ask questions without it sounding like an interrogation).

Mature couple on their first dateThen on the date you can feel less stressed because you already have some topics of conversation ready to fill any conversational gaps that might appear.  In the event things will probably go swimmingly as after five minutes you are already enjoying an enthralling conversation about the possibility of a multi-dimensional Universe or perhaps the latest plot line in The Archers (or maybe Eastenders).

Leave Your Anger At Home
Divorce often leaves people both angry and resentful.  When on a date put all that stuff in a box and leave it at home.  It's a difficult thing to do as there is a little part of you that thinks if you tell your date about your anger then they will empathise and be on my side.  They won't.  Try to let that drain away as you move forward into your new life after divorce.  Save the heavy duty stuff until you have begun to build a relationship.

Beware of Too Much Information (TMI)
There's a lot of it about these days.  People often just want to tell you too much too soon.  Whether it's about their toddler's potty training or the fine detail of the row they had with their boss.  The same is absolutely true in dating, keep it light and keep it brief.  If you tell an anicdote keep it short and make it interesting and amusing.  The purpose of all this is to entertain your date not to explain the intricate detail of the events being recounted  

Of course he should know if you're divorced and if you have kids (including where they are resident), but details of your aging parents or rebellious teenage kids should not be shared, not yet anyway.  Spend the time getting to know each other and having a sense of who this person is and why you might like or not like them.

Don't Make Snap Judgments
Dating as mature people is different from dating in your twenties.  In those days the red line issues were probably largely based on social background or economic potential.  These may still be important but are they deal breakers?  Probably not.  Making a snap decision either way is not often a good plan.

Look at the whole person, use your experience of life to take a holistic view.  Without going over the top just decide is this person someone I could spend a bit more time with.  If that's a yes (even a borderline yes) then why not consider a second date.  Give the new man or woman a chance.  The second date very often is far better at predicting compatibility than the first.

The first date after a long period of coupledom is never going to be easy.  However, you have come this far and that's an achievement in itself so just keep going.  It will be OK and you are taking the first steps to start a new social life and begin to build the future you really want.

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