How Not to Greet (and Depart!) a First Date

Hellos and goodbyes are so important in dating. Hellos dictate the ever important first impression. And goodbyes leave a lasting impression.

Hellos and good-byes are so important in dating. Hellos dictate the ever-important first impression. And good-byes leave a lasting impression. Good-byes are as important as the first impression because they reflect what a person is thinking directly after parting.

Can a bad hello or good-bye make or break your chances at a second date? Here are a few from my past and one of my friend's lowest moments:

The "I Forgot You Already" Hello

I met a girl out and actually hit it off with her. However, I was incredibly drunk. I did manage to get her number, and we actually made plans to meet up.

I half jokingly freaked out to my friends: "What if I can't remember what she looks like?" Little did I know, my anxiety was well-founded.

When I walked into the bar to meet up with her, she happened to be standing to the right of the door, and there were only a few people in the bar. I strode in, obviously trying to be cool, looked right at her, didn't realize it was her, and walked right past her. I had gotten 10 feet past her by the time I heard her call: "Rich, I'm over here."

Needless to say I made myself look like a stupid, insensitive drunk, and made her feel like she wasn't memorable.

The Too Honest Good-bye

After making out with this girl I met at a party, I awoke around 4 a.m., itchin' to leave her bed, go home, and pass out to horrible late-night TV in my own bed. I figured she might think I was "a cool guy" if I cut the BS and honestly told it like it was. So, when I got up, I began to say my good-byes. She cut me off and said: "What, now you're just going to leave?"

Time to be honest. I said: "The last thing you want to see at 7 a.m. is my stupid face. Come on, we both feel that way."

I thought saying that obvious thing that no one ever actually says was so novel and cool. Didn't work. She sternly said: "Get out."

Even I could tell I was leaving on bad terms.

The Ultimate Lame Good-bye

The fact that people take trains and cabs around NYC creates awkward good-byes. When someone is getting whisked away in a cab, you are forced to give them a quick, sloppy kiss or a rough hug, or you're not even afforded the time to do anything if you take any time deciding what to do.

Many people in NYC take a train or two home after work or a night on the town. My buddy went out with a girl and at the end of the date, he walked her to her subway stop.

Things got weird when he insisted on waiting with her for the train (keep in mind this was a first date). So, he descended into the subway, paid, and walked through the turnstile even though he wasn't even taking that train...or any train at all.

When her train pulled up, he said good-bye and she stepped on — one has only up to 15 seconds to get on to the subway, so whatever he did must have been hasty (versus simply taking some time upstairs to say good-bye and then sending her down into the subway on her own).

Then things got truly bizarre. As the train started up, my friend walked along, waving in his date's window, as it picked up speed. He walked, then jogged, then sprinted along with her window, waving. His run-along was sprinkled with little jumps so that she could see his face better in the window.

I guess he realized his good-bye was a bit strange. He never told me about it. I heard from the girl he went out with that it happened. Our mutual friend refuses to believe that our buddy did it, but my life is much more entertaining believing that he did do it.

These are extreme cases of horrible hellos and good-byes. In my opinion, as long as you avoid extremes, you'll be in good shape. I'll remember a simple look, or a smile, or the way a girl walked into a room favorably as a "hello" versus a "grandiose" action. A "see you again soon" smile and leaving a little suspense is a hard-hitting good-bye.

What are your worst hellos and good-byes? Do you have any horrible ones from guys you've dated? What are your thoughts on the ones above? Did a bad/good hello or good-bye seal the deal for you ever?

Follow me on Twitter: