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As children, most of us were taught that lying is wrong. Though honesty is almost always the best policy, some subjects are best avoided when meeting somebody new. If these topics come up on your first date, telling a little white lie might actually be in your best interest. If the relationship progresses, you can gradually reveal the more personal details of your life.
Intimate Details About Your Family Dynamic
Most of us have less than sitcom-perfect relationships with our families. If your relationship with your kin is less than ideal, feel free to simply state that you “stay in touch” with your loved ones. Avoid portraying your family dynamic as dysfunctional. A date may wonder why you’re hyper-involved in your children’s lives or estranged from all of your siblings. After a few more dates you can gradually let them in on the “craziness” of your family.
Personal Sexual Details
Nearly a quarter of men and women lie to their dates about the number of sexual partners they’ve had. Women often decrease this number, whereas men appear to either raise or lower it, depending on the circumstances. Ideally, your “number” shouldn’t be brought up on a first date. Detailing fetishes and past sexual encounters is generally considered taboo as well. If these subjects are brought up, however, it’s fine to be a little vague. You might say that you’ve had “a few” partners and “aren’t into anything strange.” These personal details can generally wait until you’re in a more committed relationship with the person.
If you’re having sex on the first date, however, it is important to tell the truth about your sexual health and history. If you’re simply looking for a hookup partner, you may want to be upfront about your sexual preferences, too. In general, however, it is fine to keep the nitty-gritty details of your past to yourself until you’ve decided to get intimate with someone.
How Your Last Relationship Went
On a first date, the subject of your past relationships might arise in conversation. In many cases, it may be best to fudge the details of your how your relationship ended. You can tell your date, for instance, that things ended mutually, even if the breakup was tumultuous. Avoid ranting about your ex and his faults, and try to avoid bashing yourself, too. Don’t call your ex crazy, even if you believe they are. Doing so might reflect poorly on you or make you appear to be a “crazy magnet.”
If you’ve been dating a lot recently, it’s fine to tell a little white lie and say you’ve only seen “one or two” other people in the past month. If you’re fresh out of a relationship, it also won’t hurt you to claim that you broke up “a little while ago.” Even if you’re not completely over your ex, it’s best not to mention this, either. By evading a few of these tricky talking points, you can avoid portraying yourself as someone who’s desperate for love.
Finances are often cited as the single biggest source of conflict in committed relationships. Naturally, it’s important to discuss money in a serious relationship, particularly in regards to planning for the future. This subject, however, is best avoided on the first few dates. If you have major debt or, conversely, have accumulated a good deal of wealth, discuss it once you’re headed towards a long-term relationship. Early on in the dating process, it is best simply to state that you’re “comfortable” or “able to support yourself” and leave it at that.
Other Little White Lies
There are other times when telling little white lies may help your date progress more smoothly. It is in bad taste, for instance, to rant about how much you hate your job and your boss. If you’re truly unhappy at work, it is better to tell your date that your job is “just a job” and that you have other priorities, such as hobbies, family, and your health.
Don’t feel bad if you feign interest regarding date logistics, either. It’s fine to say you “love” Mexican, even if you would have preferred eating at an Italian bistro. It’s not a crime to act uncertain regarding your entrée choice and ask what your date is having as a means of determining how much you should spend. It’s also best to offer to split the bill, even if you’re secretly hoping your date will cover you too. These little white lies are often considered common courtesy.
When pursuing further dates, it is fine to say that you’ve got a fully booked weekend ahead of you, even if your only plan is gardening and watching some TV. It’s good to appear as though you’ve got something interesting going on, so long as you avoid playing too hard-to-get.
In short, little white lies are an effective tool for being courteous and putting your best foot forward on a first date. Don’t get carried away, though! Whenever possible, stick to the truth.
In the early stages of dating, it can be difficult to strike a balance between revealing too little and saying too much. By sticking to lighter topics of conversation and telling a little white lie in a pinch, you can navigate the tricky waters of dating and improve your chances of scoring a great second date.
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