I’ve been a matchmaker for almost a decade, and I’ve listened to feedback after thousands of dates. OMG – I should write a book! It always amazes me how some of the most intelligent, successful people do the most ridiculous things on dates.
You get ONE opportunity to make a good first impression – everything you do on a first date is under scrutiny (this goes both ways). And to make matters even more complicated, you’re not only trying to make a good impression, you’re hoping there’ll be chemistry too.
So a lot of stars need to align for the two of you to really connect, and a few missteps can derail the whole thing. I’ve seen it happen SO many times.
That’s why it’s vital you avoid these 10 common dating mistakes that will KILL your chances of finding LOVE!
1. Don’t be late. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than sitting around waiting (and waiting and waiting) for your date to show up. It doesn’t matter why you’re late. If you’re late, your date may think you’re flakey or inconsiderate. Plan ahead. Check out the venue in advance and know your route and the parking situation. Be. On. Time.
2. Turn your cell phone OFF. There’s nothing worse than being on a date with someone who’s checking their cell phone, texting under the table or even worse, talking on the phone. When you pay attention to your phone, the person you’re with feels like they’re not a priority (and you’re not interested). Turn the darn thing OFF.
3. Don’t talk about ALL the dates you’ve been on (and how rarely you go on 2nd dates). No one wants to hear about the gazillion dates you’ve been on or how frustrated you are with dating. And no one wants to feel like they’re just another link in your long chain of dates. If you talk about your dates, you may seem like a player who’s not serious about finding love. Your job is to make him feel special – like this is the only date that matters.
4. Do NOT talk about past relationships. Why on earth are you talking about an ex when you should be focusing on the amazing person sitting across from you? If you talk about your ex, your date may think you’re not ready to be in a relationship. And if you say anything negative about your ex, it only makes you look bad. I know it’s tempting, but please save the ex talk for later, when you know each other better.
5. Don’t be negative AT ALL. Healthy, happy people want to date healthy, happy people! If you complain or point out what you DON’T like about things, or if you talk negatively about other people (your ex, your parents, your server, etc.), I promise your date will notice. Keep the conversation positive.
6. Don’t drink too much. For introverts and nervous daters, a bottle of booze can be a welcome bottle of extroversion, and it’s tempting to over do it. But please don’t. If you drink too much, you’ll say or do things you’ll regret later, and your judgement will be impaired. You don’t want to wake up in the morning and think, “OMG, did I really say that?” or even worse, “Why is this person in my apartment?” Take it easy on the alcohol and limit yourself to two drinks for the first few dates. Most of all, be safe.
7. Don’t be rude to the waitstaff. Your date is watching every move you make. If you’re impatient or rude to the waitstaff, don’t expect a second date. Make eye contact and say, “thank you” to the guy who refills your water. If the service is slow, go with the flow. If you check your coat, leave a good tip. Believe me, your date is watching how you treat others. Be kind.
8. Don’t wait for your date to flirt. If you’re waiting to see if your date likes you, and your date is waiting to see if you like him, you’ll both just end up waiting! Decide to be enthusiastic from the start. Enthusiasm is like a snowball rolling down a hill – once it gets going, it grows and grows! Smile, be fun, complimentary and even flirtatious. Start the date off right, and your date will relax, open up and be more authentic. And don’t worry – if you decide later you don’t want to go out again, it’s okay!
9. Don’t talk too much. I know you’re trying to be a good date and keep the conversation going – that’s great. It’s important to be open and to share about yourself – that’s great too. But PLEASE make sure you’re doing no more than 2/3 of the talking (1/2 is better). Make sure you’re asking thoughtful questions. Take a real interest in HIM, and genuinely listen instead of just waiting to talk. There’s no better gift than really listening to someone.
10. Don’t forget to say thank you (a lot). When a man pays, opens a door or walks you to your car, it means a lot when you give a BIG and ENTHUSIASTIC “thank you”! Please make sure you have impeccable manners. It’s important to be exceptionally nice and appreciative. Small gestures mean a lot.
If you’ve made some of these common dating mistakes, don’t beat yourself up. It’s no big deal as long as you STOP NOW! :) I promise, you’ll be a lot more successful if you do.
Here’s to being a savvy dater (and to your last first date)!
The Embassy Row Hotel and DC Matchmaker, Michelle Jacoby will host a number of events including Game and Trivia Night [link to Game and Trivia Night Event on website] in Station Kitchen & Cocktails!