Going on a first date is like interviewing someone for a job. Half of what you hear is either embellished, modified, or a blatant lie. If you’ve been out with more than a handful of people, then some of these lines should sound familiar to you. But if not, consider yourself enlightened.
1. “I’m a simple guy.”
Yup, he’s just your average Joe who appreciates life’s simplest pleasures: a freshly ironed shirt, a cold beer on a summer evening, and the love of a good woman.
The truth: The only people who will insist that they are simple are the ones who are insecure about their angst, their emotions, and how other people perceive them. In other words, they’re complicated. A guy who is naturally down-to-earth and unpretentious would win you over by being himself, not by verbally persuading you that he’s a “chilled, easygoing dude.” Not that there’s anything wrong with guys who aren’t simple, but if you’re going to date someone who’s a little more high-maintenance, at least be with a guy who can acknowledge it.
2. “I hate playing games.”
Games like “hot and cold,” “we broke up but let’s be friends,” and “I’ll wait three days before calling a girl” are for amateurs. If he likes you, he’ll act on it. If he doesn’t, he’ll make it clear.
The truth: This person doesn’t hate playing games. He or she hates being played with. Chances are, if they have to bring up “games” on a first date, they’ve been burnt before and are dead set against it happening again. Telling you that they hate playing games also absolves them from the guilt of leading you on. If you get upset at him for not calling you after he said he would, then it’s your fault for not understanding that some people change their minds. If you get angry at him for “stringing you along” only to dump you after meeting someone better, well, you’re the psycho for falling in love with him when he clearly wasn’t ready to commit. He wasn’t the one playing games, you were the one over-analysing his actions.
3. “I LOVE the great outdoors!”
Rock-climbing? Water sports? Running up Bukit Timah Hill at five in the morning on a Sunday? BRING IT ON.
The truth: Well, of course there are people who love getting bitten by mosquitoes and being one with nature. But until your date is willing to rough it out in the jungle with you, “loving the great outdoors” probably means strolling through Gardens by the Bay beneath the safety of her UV-protective umbrella.
4. “I’m just an old-fashioned guy/girl.”
This is exactly the type of person you’d want to bring home to your parents. She’s a domestic goddess who makes her noodles from scratch, who would rather read a book than go clubbing, and whose dream in life is to be a stay-at-home mum. And if your date is a guy, he’s a “man’s man” who drives a car, holds conservative family values, and can smoke Cuban cigars with your dad.
The truth: This person isn’t old-fashioned. He or she is a normal person playing up their traditional aspects to seem as inoffensive as possible. But honestly, who wants to date someone that boring and unrelatable? Your date’s got to have a weird streak. Praise that quality when it comes out so that he or she will feel more comfortable acting like a contemporary person.
5. “I’m so over my ex.”
That b*tch is old news. He doesn’t even remember her name anymore!
The truth: ALERT. ALERT. What kind of person mentions their ex that early in a relationship? The type of person who is clearly still thinking about her – and comparing the two of you as he speaks. Granted, everyone compares their new flame to their ex at one point or another, but you should be with someone who’s at least recovered from their heartbreak enough not to bring it up on a first date.
6. “I go to the gym every day.”
Crossfit, cardio, pilates – the only thing he loves more than romancing pretty ladies is looking like Ryan Gosling without a shirt on.
Truth: Unless this guy works in the gym as a trainer, he’s probably bluffing. Maybe he goes five days a week. Maybe he goes for three. Or maybe he goes every day but spends two out of seven days just drinking smoothies and catching up with his bros. If the guy is really clever, he’ll tell you one day that he’s reducing his “daily” gym routine to three days a week so that you have more time together.
7. “I’m 25 years old.”
Twenty-five years old, the prime age for one’s future wife. You’ll date for two years, get married when she’s 27, and have your first child when she’s 28. Perfect timing.
The truth: By 25, she means 25 years, 11 months, and 28 days. Or maybe she’s 27 and was just rounding down. Women lie about their age and weight all the time on dates, the same way that guys lie about their job scope or earning power. This is especially common when she’s older than you, but looks young for her age. Once things get serious, find out her actual birthday, lest you receive a cruel surprise after getting engaged. Not that there’s anything wrong with dating women who are past 30, but honesty should always be at the foundation of a relationship.
8. (For guys): “My favourite movie is The Godfather.” (For girls): “My favourite movie is Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
What a cultured, intelligent person. He probably collects vinyl records and reads Ernest Hemingway, while she listens to jazz radio and only shops in thrift stores.
The truth: By “The Godfather” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” most people actually mean Gladiator or The Notebook. Does your date watch any other classic movies? Have they bothered to explore anything other than the default choices for classic films? If not, then you can relax. This person’s taste is as pedestrian as yours.
9. “This food is delicious!”
The two of you like the same food, so this probably means that you’re soul mates.
The truth: At last, we’ve arrived at an acceptable fib. Most people would try to pick the most “normal” cuisine possible for a first date, such as pasta or sushi because who doesn’t like pasta or sushi? Unfortunately, there’s always a chance that your restaurant choice was a dud but the other person is too polite to complain. Don’t worry. If things go well, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find eateries that you both like.
10. “My life’s pretty great right now.”
She’s got a stable income, an awesome job, tons of friends, a drama-free family, and perfect health. In other words, it’s time to lock her down and put a ring on it.
The truth: Her life might be good, but it’s not perfect. Surely there’s something she’s unhappy with, but don’t take this as a fault – take it as a boon! Not only is she smart enough to not complain about her life on a first date, but she’s actually taken the time to express gratitude for all the good things that she’s experiencing. Her struggles will come out eventually, but at least you will know that she’s got the attitude to handle it.
11. “Oh no, my grandma’s in the hospital!”
She’s so sorry to leave you hanging, but her grandma fell down the stairs so she needs to rush out. No, she doesn’t need a ride. No, she doesn’t need you to accompany her. This night was so great, the two of you will have to make it up another time. Bye!
The truth: The date was terrible and she needed a convenient excuse to leave. Better luck next time.
12. “Oh, this old thing?”
The guy: That’s a great dress
The girl: Oh, this old thing? Haha, thanks. I don’t normally wear dresses. I forgot that I even had it.
The truth: Are you kidding? She loves this dress. She looks bangin’ and she knows it. She might have been self-effacing in her bid to sound humble, but you should know that she’s been saving this outfit for a special occasion – and that special occasion was a night out with you. Call her!