Avoid These Classic First Date Mistakes

After three years of more or less random celibacy, I vowed to go on two dates a week, every week. I’m not a psychologist, but at the moment I’m pretty much an expert on first dates. And (so as not to brag), but I am usually asked again. You can read more about my dating decision on my 2 Dates a Week blog .

We all look for different things on our first dates, especially the ones that get arranged through dating apps rather than a wise country matchmaker. Maybe you are just trying to strike up a relationship. Maybe you want real love. Maybe you need something in between – like a sex friend who will feed your cats while you are on vacation. However, I think we can agree that it is important to make a good first impression. After nearly a hundred first dates, I have some idea of ​​what went wrong and what went right.

Now, before you start talking about me in the comments, I will say that some of these tips include generalizations about gender. I am a cis woman, I identify as bisexual on dating sites, and when it seems appropriate, do it out loud. But I meet people of any gender. Some of the observations presented here about how men and women act on dates may not match your experience, but they come from a diverse sample of urban populations. With those caveats in mind, here are a few mistakes my dates made, and some that I definitely made. Learn from our mistakes:

Excessively high expectations

You can tell when someone with really high expectations shows up. And waiting to meet someone cool and nice is a great prospect. There is no reason to date someone if you’re going to sound half asleep because of dating apathy. The other side of this is that expectations are so high that you scare someone. Don’t joke about your future together until you finish, and don’t make loud statements about what kind of person you are on a date before you even know if they have siblings. “You seem to be great at raising kids,” or something like that – NO. One day a guy I’ve never met found me on Facebook and commented on all of my public posts. Stay up to date, don’t get stuck.

Trying to get too serious, too fast

On that note, let’s say you love each other and decide to meet again. Awesome !! Now be normal. I’m not talking about three days of texting bullshit or any other trick to keep the other person on their toes. Just make a plan within a reasonable time frame and follow through. Excessive texting, immediate Facebook friendships, or unwanted photos of your genitals will likely end up with the other person either faking a long-term illness or blocking you. While I have never written naughty pictures to anyone (without asking), I missed a chance with someone by texting them too much. If someone says they are away for the weekend, do not text them Thursday afternoon to see if they are free on Monday. At least I’m pretty sure it confused him. Should I write and double-check ??

Luggage transfer

Dating app biographies seem like a secret language. It must mean something to the right person when they read that their match is “fluent in sarcasm.” It doesn’t suit me, and that’s okay. However, there is one “About Me” style that I think should be canceled for everyone: show your wounds. If you’re an adult looking for love, you’ve probably burned yourself before. Biographies that say something like “no liars or gold diggers” are alarming, and bringing old grudges into dating will destroy them before they even start. This is something to work on in therapy, but the first step is self-awareness. If your profile and first dating conversation mostly revolves around how terrible love and dating are, you’re waving a big red flag and potential love interests will act accordingly.

Talking politics

We live in a time when everything seems to be political and I definitely don’t want to go home with someone wearing MAGA underwear. But before you dive into the question of whether Bernie would have won or not, ask yourself if I can continue to have a respectful conversation with family members about this? If the answer is no, what are the chances that you will be able to engage in positive political dialogue with the virtual stranger?

Maybe you can, and that would be cool. Maybe you want to weed out everyone you never get politically with. And maybe you could save that for date number two, when you have a little more context for the person sitting across from you. If you still want to get down to business right away, at least let them finish their drink first. I really wish I drank more than a sip of wine when one of my dates began with the words, “You know, I think we’d better have Trump in power.”

No questions asked

Ok, let’s go! This will probably be rebuffed mainly by cis men. You don’t ask questions . At least on dates with women. I found that even if I don’t really like women, we usually have a pleasant evening full of polite conversation, active listening, and supportive comments. It is extremely rare to go on a date with a man and break up knowing the same number of things about each other.

I have two theories about this. First, when men are nervous, they think the best way to impress a woman is to talk about their accomplishments. One day a guy asked me to guess how expensive his jeans are. The answer was $ 450, and to be honest, I thought he should be ashamed! Another theory of mine is that men are trained to think that what women say isn’t that important, especially the women they try to have sex with. Agree, disagree, madly angry in the comments. Just know that you will always move a lot further on a date if you think from time to time, “I’ve been chatting about my cross-country ride for a while now, maybe I should ask this person where they grew up.” Then listen to the answer and ask the next question. You will have a better chance of winning over the person sitting opposite you, and you may also learn something interesting about their life.

Don’t offer your own information

After a lot of dates, when I felt a little resentment about the above phenomenon, I tried more to share information about myself instead of asking questions. It can be difficult to expand yourself in this way if you are not used to it and I found myself holding back for no good reason. Some people were immediately distracted from the topic no matter what, but some seemed to be relieved that they didn’t have to think about something to say or ask, and this led to a more serious conversation. If things are deadlocked, remember that you can reduce the pressure on the date a little by talking about things that you really care about.

Being too aggressive

Being in almost all dating apps, some of which have a reputation for being more romantic, some having more sex, I’m being offered all sorts of ways. Although I went on two dates a week, in the first three months of the experiment, I slept with only two people. Do you know what they both had in common? There was no pressure on me at all. In fact, I explained to the second guy that it was his relaxed attitude that made me feel comfortable with him, and he told me bluntly that this was his usual (extremely successful) course of action. I suppose it’s a bit clinical to treat sex as a strategic enterprise, but it’s also true that the safest, saneest people don’t want to mess with someone who can’t seem to take a no-answer. One day I met a guy who started touching me very intimately as soon as I sat down. Looking confident but normal that nothing is happening is sexy, but only if you are really serious about it.

Don’t say what you want

While it’s important to avoid being overly aggressive, it’s also important to be direct about what you’re looking for. You don’t need to tell someone that you want to get serious before they even take off their coat, but on a few occasions I would like to be clearer about what I want much sooner. I dated a woman for over a month and we only kissed once. It’s like we missed a moment to talk about what we are pursuing: sex, relationships, a sex friend who will feed my cats when I go on vacation. And it kind of just slipped away. I think ghosting has become the normal way to end everything, but it really felt like if one of us had just confessed, we could at least become friends now.

Do not be late

I’m an absurdly punctual person, and online dating made me change my very nature. Everyone is late, all the time, always. Although my standards dropped, I never went on a second date with someone whose timing was too insanely different from mine. All of the tips above cannot compensate for the most important deciding factor – compatibility. There is a person out there somewhere who most likely greets a helper who is an hour late because he is damn late too! The chemistry, the attraction, that special bond that makes you want to see someone again cannot be artificially reproduced. All you can do is get rid of the bullshit so that love has a place to work miracles. Or at least you can get to second base.


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