Dating can be exciting, yet unnerving. Want to improve the odds of a second date with a great guy? Beware of 25 common dating mistakes women make!
Many women have gone home happily after a first date, believing it couldn’t have been more perfect. They anxiously await the phone call that was promised, but in vain. Wondering why you never got that call? Don’t be too hard on yourself about it. Please, don’t obsess like Gigi in “He’s Just Not That Into You”:
You don’t have to replay the whole date in your mind to figure out what you did wrong. He may just not be that into you, and that’s OK – just as it would be if you weren’t keen on again seeing someone who’s excited about you. It may not even have to do with you.
Be confident in who are and what you have to offer in a relationship. Sooner or later, the right guy will come along.
That said, so that you don’t inadvertently turn off the right guy when he comes along, here are some tips:
25 Common Dating Mistakes Women Make
1. Jumping the gun
A first date is an opportunity for you and your date to get acquainted. It’s the time to get to know each other better. Dating is a process involving time and commitment from both parties. It is not the recipe for an instant relationship. No matter how much you’re into the guy, don’t appear too desperate to get married or to be in a relationship. So, remember not to scare the guy away by broaching topics such as exclusivity, hyphenated last names, and the worst – babies.
2. Getting too chummy
Never treat your date as if you’ve been long lost friends. Save all the intimate details of your life for later, unless you want to be labeled ‘neurotic’.
3. Forgetting table manners
A dinner date inevitably means conversations over food. It doesn’t mean you have to talk with your mouth full. Keep a check on your manners throughout the date. Say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ whenever appropriate. Also, it will be good if you ask your date well in advance about where you’re meeting. If he chooses a fancy restaurant, refresh your lessons on dining etiquette. Who wouldn’t want to appear well-groomed?
4. Being argumentative
Over dinner, your date could bring up a topic that you feel particularly passionate about. The prudent thing to do would be to state your point of view and to refrain from arguing. Yes, evaluate compatibility, yet remind yourself that it’s a date, not a debate. You’re not going to lose much by suppressing the urge to prove a point. Arguments escalate quickly and your date night could go from being memorable to forgettable in a matter of minutes.
5. Talking incessantly
Sure, it’s your first date and you are nervous. Moments of silence need not always be awkward. If you have to rack your brain to come up with something to talk about, you’ll know that it’s forced, and forced conversations are seldom pleasant. And remember, it’s a conversation, not a monologue. So, don’t hog all the talking time; give the guy a chance to put in a word now and then!
6. Dressing inappropriately
On first dates, you’ll want to impress the guy. But remember not to go overboard with it. Keep in mind where you’re having your date and choose an appropriate outfit. On the other hand, dressing shabbily will give the guy the impression that you’re either a messy person or that you didn’t think it was worth dressing up for him. Don’t fret: We also have some useful tips on good grooming.
7. Flirting too much
Conversation during a date is between two individuals who are exploring the possibility of a relationship with each other. So, it should not be extremely formal. Yet, bear in mind not to appear too flirtatious or even inappropriately informal. Let rapport develop organically.
8. Questioning too much
It’s all right to be a little inquisitive about the background of the guy you are out on a date with. But don’t make the guy sweat by bombarding him with questions, especially on matters such as his financial stability. You wouldn’t want him to feel like you’re getting interviewed, would you?
9. Digging into his past
On your first date, don’t even think about getting him to talk about his past relationships with other women. Most men tend to discuss ex-girlfriends and ex-wives after you win their trust and start to feel comfortable around you. So, give him time so that he opens up whenever he thinks right.
10. Telling him about your past relationships
Unless he asks (most guys probably wouldn’t on the first date), don’t bring up your past relationships. A first date is the start of something new, not the occasion to bring out any skeletons from your closet. It will be unpleasant for both of you to talk about disappointments from the past.
11. Expressing negativity or insecurities on the first date
Transparency engenders trust in a relationship, but the first date is not when you come clean about all your insecurities or pessimistic thoughts.
12. Expecting a ‘father figure’
There are women who are on the lookout for a man who would take care of them and assert authority over them, like how their fathers used to. Re-evaluate your checklist and make sure you’re not on the lookout for a ‘father figure’.
13. Trying to be the ‘mother figure’ for the guy
Your date is ideally an independent, grown man who is capable of taking care of himself. Making decisions for him, such as insisting on him eating a particular dish off the menu even when he doesn’t want to, is going to make you appear bossy. So, leave all the fretting to his biological mother. A ‘mother figure’ isn’t probably what he’s looking for in a partner.
14. Discussing medical/ psychological problems
Almost all men set out on a date in the hopes of finding somebody they could bond with and have a relationship with. So, avoid all unpleasant topics such as medical or psychological problems, on the first date. You wouldn’t want that to be his first impression of you, would you? Also, if someone you go out on a first date with says that he has a health condition, however trivial it may be, you may not be too keen on having a second date. But, on the other hand, if he were to tell you about it five or six dates down the line, you would be more understanding and less dismissive of him.
15. Not paying attention to your date or being too critical
Appreciate him for what he is instead of finding flaws to point out. Don’t criticize him for his choice of clothes or based on what he chooses to order. He’s an adult and likely knows what he’s doing. Let him be.
The extreme opposite of this is to take your date for granted and completely ignore him. Strike a balance between the two extremes.
16. Being possessive and needy
Nobody wants to appear needy or clingy, neither on their first date nor during any time in their relationship. They are deal-breakers for a good number of men. Let me put it this way – why would any man date a girl who’s dependent on him for everything? Men want women who are independent and who can take care of themselves.
17. Having warped ideas about love and dating
This one is for all those women out there who are influenced by ideas of ‘Prince Charming’. Daniel Steele and Nicholas Sparks stories are good reads, we agree. But not every story has a happy ending. Neither is life one long romcom movie.
18. Complaining too much
People have been known to bond over a common complaint. But griping incessantly is going to make your date run for the hills. Don’t then be surprised if he doesn’t call you after he told you that he would.
19. Failing to set boundaries
You may be smitten after your first date, but do set boundaries right from the start. This also involves deciding the pace you would want an evolving relationship to take. It’ll help you get out of any sticky situations in the future.
20. Being a feminazi
You may be a hardcore feminist in your heart. It is all right to talk about gender equality/inequality on a date provided that you don’t make your date uncomfortable. Likewise, if he pulls your chair out or holds the door open for you, look at it as the result of a good upbringing rather than as an attack on your principles.
21. Never footing the bill
Whether it is the first or the fifth date, footing the bill should not be the man’s job alone. True that there are many men out there who swear by principles of gentlemanly conduct and would insist on picking up the tab, but remember to repay the favor next time. Or go Dutch.
22. Being ungrateful or unappreciative
Notice and appreciate the little gestures he makes. He may have driven a few extra miles out of his way to pick you up or brought you flowers not knowing that you’re allergic to them. Nevertheless, show your gratefulness with a simple ‘thank you’.
23. Giving out too much information
Don’t give out too much information about yourself on the first date. Leave a few details out; give the guy something to look forward to. And dates need not always go as planned. If you feel that your first date with a guy didn’t quite click, but you gave out too much personal information before realizing it, there’s a chance that you could be subject to stalking. Your date may not be obsessive, but why put yourself at unnecessary risk?
24. Constantly using your mobile phone
Put your phone away when you are on a date. Whether it is a work emergency or merely a habit of yours, checking your phone constantly will give the man the impression that you are ignoring him. Also, being active on social media can be achieved without checking into every restaurant or cafe you set foot in.
25. Uploading pictures on the internet
Letting the world know that you just went on a date will seldom work in your favor. A first date can go either way, so it is always safe not to publicize it, especially on social media. Besides, if your date is not ready to make it public, tagging him in pictures is only going to creep him out.
That’s it for now, ladies. Learn what you can from these tips and work towards building a better, stronger relationship with the eventual Mr. Right.
For all those guys who are clueless when it comes to asking a girl out, read: Tips for the Uninitiated.