A first date is often romanticized in Hollywood as the start of a long and blossoming relationship that almost always ends in happily ever after. In the real world though, when you date someone initially, you’re spending a good portion of your time sizing them up and getting to know them. If you met them online, you’re comparing them in real life to the pictures that you saw on their dating site profile. You’re taking in the sound of their voice, the way they walk, their laugh, their mannerisms, and more. Even if you two met in a bar, there’s a difference between those dark lights and the afternoon glow.
People get very nervous on the first date and sometimes they don’t show their true selves as much as they wished that they could have. Others can be totally natural right off the bat, even if that means that they’re rude, brash, or abrasive. Hopefully, when you meet your next potential boyfriend or girlfriend, you strike a good balance between the two. Sometimes, though, you only get but a single chance to show who you really are. While you may have thought that you hit it off with that that cute guy or gal you just saw last night, the days go by and you don’t get a call back. Your texts go unanswered or you receive terse replies.
“What happened?” you can’t help but ask. While we can’t say for sure, more than likely you fell into a number of pitfalls that can deter any dater from ever meeting the same person more than once.
10. They Found Someone Better
Listen, playing the field is more common than ever before. With online dating and apps, anyone can sign up to a site for free and begin browsing local singles near them. When you use this in conjunction with meeting people at bars, parties, and other events, your dating pool practically doubles. That means that no one has to make the choice to settle for someone who they only feel so-so about.
Go into every date with the belief that whoever you’re seeing probably has a handful of other suitors chasing their tail. Women, you’re not the only hot commodity; guys can have ladies on a waiting list, too. Sometimes one of those other suitors is just, well…better-suited for the person you dated than you are. It doesn’t mean it’s anything you did or didn’t do in this case. It just happens. Brush yourself off and move on.
9. You Weren’t Punctual
We’re not all super early birds, this is true. Sometimes you oversleep and you’re late to brunch, that doctor’s appointment, or (gulp) even work. However, first impressions are everything. If you don’t make it to your date on time, this person who has never met you before is going to think that you have a hard time being punctual. Remember what was said before about people having more options than ever? If you’re already late, your date could find someone else who is more mindful about them and never see you again.
Tardiness is disrespectful to the other person. It says that you don’t value their time. If you have a tendency to show up late, head to your date with plenty of time to spare. Practice this habit often and you just may be able to get to places on time with more frequency, which will only benefit you as you try to find a relationship partner.
8. You Jumped Right Into Bed
Sex on the first date is a tricky matter. There are some people that have no problem with it at all and will go for it if the attraction’s there. Others prefer to wait a few more dates or even until becoming an official couple. Whether you’re willing to put out on that first night tends to depend on what you’re looking for. If you want a hookup, then you’ve got your wish, but if you want a relationship, sleeping together so soon is usually to your detriment.
This is because with some people, once they get what they want (which is in your pants), they’re pretty much good. You offered them sex and now they don’t need to see you again since they’re off to the next conquest. It sounds dirty and sad that way, but it’s how certain singles operate. Others may lose respect for you if you sleep with them so soon. While ultimately sex is always your choice, it can influence a lot in the early stages, especially whether a second date happens.
7. You Came Across as Bitter
Look, dating is hard. We know. That old saying that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince or princess wasn’t invented for no reason. There are a lot of duds out there. Then there are just as many people that you would love to see again that decide that they don’t want to date you. After being in the dating game long enough, it can seem just about impossible to ever connect with someone who feels the spark as much as you do.
You may start coming off as bitter on dates, making blanket statements about the opposite sex. As you can imagine, remarks like these will turn off your date immediately and not exactly endear you to them. If you really feel the way that you do, then it’s better to take a long break from dating and re-evaluate your perspectives. Otherwise, you could lose potentially fantastic partners because your mindset is still tainted.
6. You Gave off Desperate Vibes
Being single for too long also leads to a lot of jealousy. If you’re older, your friends and coworkers may start settling down, getting married, and having babies. You want this too, but here you are, sitting across the table from another loser with zero potential. With the supposed internal clock ticking, some women get a little nutty as they approach their 30s if they’re still unmarried and without children. However, some men are just as eager to start a life with someone too and can come across as a touch lingy.
It can certainly be tough watching others enjoy what you so very much covet. However, men can sniff out baby-crazy ring-seekers while women will run away screaming from suffocating, needy men. Have some pride and some self-respect. Don’t settle. The right one will definitely come eventually, but not if you’re stuck with Mr. or Ms. Right Now.
5. You Wouldn’t Shut up About Yourself
The whole point of a first date is to figure out if this person could be a suitable partner. Even if you two met via a dating app or website, you probably only chatted a little bit through the messaging platform before moving the conversation to text and then to an in-person outing. Your date wants to learn all about you, like where you grew up, where you went to college, what your job is, what your family’s like, your favorite hobbies, if you have pets, your travel adventures, and your dreams.
However, you’re supposed to want to hear all of that stuff from your date, too. The questions should go both ways. If you’re dominating the dinner all night and you won’t stop talking, especially if you’re only fixated on yourself, few people would want to stick around. They’re going to feel stifled and like the evening was only one-sided. If you’re guilty of talking and talking, remember to listen and give the other person a chance to speak.
4. You Were Rude to the Wait Staff And Others Around
Again and again, you’ll hear horror stories of people who went on bad dates with a totally insufferable person. Most single people out there have one very good, very meaningful litmus test that lets them get a feel for a person’s character right out of the gates: how they treat the waitstaff. Plenty of first dates end up at some establishment, whether that’s a restaurant, bar, or coffee house. Even if you choose an activity, unless it’s a park, you’re pretty much going to have to interact with some service staff eventually.
Think about it. Those staff members are complete and total strangers. If your date is going off on them for seemingly no reason, imagine how they’ll treat you, a future potential boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s one thing if your food is cold or not what you ordered. It happens. That doesn’t give you a license to verbally attack the wait staff, especially since they likely didn’t even prepare the meal. If you were a bit testy at dinner and you’re waiting for the phone to ring, you’re probably going to keep waiting.
3. You Talked Incessantly about Your Ex
One of the first bits of advice that you’ll get after a breakup, whether you dumped them or vice-versa, is that you should get out there, hop back on the horse (the horse being dating, of course). No one is advocating that you jump right into a relationship, but that you see that there are different people out there besides your ex, maybe even some that you like. Dating can also help you restore your confidence and have some fun, taking your mind off the end of your long-term love.
However, some breakups hurt more than others, and some people are farther along in the process of moving on. You will have to talk about your last relationship at some point on a date, which is the only time it’s okay to bring up an ex. Do not mention them besides that on the first (or second, or third…) date no matter how much that they loved that restaurant or would have enjoyed the movie you just saw. Well, not unless you don’t care if you get a second date. People will run if they sense you’re hung up on a past flame.
2. You Were on Your Phone Too Much
In the modern technological age, everyone has their smartphones on them 24/7. Unfortunately, this means that people often don’t know when to put the device away, opting to have it out during dinners and outings with friends and family. That behavior can easily carry over to dates. If you’re texting or updating Facebook more than talking to your date, you can almost guarantee that it will be you and your phone from now on since you won’t be asked out again.
It’s one matter if you receive an emergency call from a family member or your boss. However, save the play-by-play group texts with your friends for after the date. If you really must let someone know how things are going, wait until you’re in the bathroom and do it then. If you start a no-phone policy on dates, when you eventually get into a relationship, you both will be much happier since neither will feel like you’re competing with technology for the other’s attention.
1. You Just Don’t Click
It happens all the time. You go out, think you had an amazing date, and you feel the butterflies in your stomach when you think of your new sweetie. You can’t wait to hear from them to quickly set up the second date. Maybe they’re available that weekend? The excitement is overwhelming. One day passes, and your spirits dampen, then another, and you feel utterly deflated. What happened? You had made sure to book a table at that trendy restaurant or bar, and he or she was laughing and talking a lot. Maybe you even got a kiss at the end of the date. Why aren’t they talking to you now?
Unfortunately, what one person feels isn’t always what the other does. What you thought was a dream date may not have been their idea of fun. The spark you think you feel may be nothing more than a pile of ashes to them. Some people are sadly too cowardly to admit to you that you two just don’t jive, so they’d rather dodge your calls and texts until you get the idea yourself. It’s sucky and it hurts, but keep your head high. With time, patience, and perseverance, you’ll find someone who is crazy for you like you are for them. The second date won’t even be a question.