Ever been on a date that you thought went really well, only to wait weeks and weeks for a phone call that isn’t going to happen? Maybe the other person didn’t feel the same spark you did – or maybe you were making some basic social faux pas that turned them right off ever seeing you again.
Fact is, some people have some really strange turn-offs when it comes to dates. One man deleted his date’s number when she ate all the bread in the restaurant, while one woman felt she couldn’t see her date a second time, simply because his voice was louder than she had expected.
Well, you can’t force someone to like you, or even to give you a second chance if your first date is an unmitigated disaster, but there are a few basic yet socially awkward mistakes that could be ruining your chances of finding love.
Of course, there is a school of thought that says you should always be yourself – no matter how terrible your personality traits – and that there is someone out there for everyone. Unfortunately though, if you possess any of the following awkward behaviours, then be sure that your probability of finding the one is much lower than expected.
15. Being A Chatterbox
Dates are all about getting to know each other – and to do that successfully you have to talk to your significant other, but you also have to listen. Sure, a lot of the time people talk too much because they’re nervous, and as time goes on, they don’t speak quite so much. There are also plenty of people who just love to hear the sound of their own voice. If you think this might be you, there are few cues to look for – first and foremost, keep an eye out for your date stifling a yawn half way through your seventh anecdote of the evening.
14. Not Maintaining Eye Contact
Romantics tell us that the eyes are the windows to the soul – certainly, many people use eye contact to show that they are interested in what you have to say, or even flutter their eyelashes to indicate that they find you attractive. Conversely, someone who doesn’t make eye contact will often be viewed as untrustworthy, or at the very least, bored by their surroundings. It might just be nerves or shyness that is keeping your gaze averted to the floor, but try and lift those peepers from time to time – otherwise your date might start looking elsewhere.
13. Expressing Your Low Self-esteem
No-one likes a show off, but at the same time, you don’t want to hide your light under a bushel – or else your date might start looking for someone a bit shinier! Self-deprecating jokes can sometimes be funny, and they show that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Making jokes at your own expense all the time however, just reveals your low self-esteem. And that isn’t an attractive quality when you’re looking for a long-term relationship. Get your friends to help by listing all your best qualities just before you go on your date – a welcome ego boost at just the right time.
12. Lack Of A Sense Of Humour
Ask people what quality they most look for in a prospective partner and many will answer -a good sense of humour. The ability to be able to laugh together is vital for a long and happy relationship. Trying to force humour into your early dates in a bid to show just how funny you are, however, is not a good move. The best humour is organic. It comes from situations you have been in together and anecdotes about shared experiences – not “funny” story after story about what you and your frat brothers used to get up to at college.
11. Telling Rude And Inappropriate Jokes
Telling unfunny jokes is bad enough on a first date. Telling downright rude and inappropriate gags is a whole other level of social awkwardness. You might get lucky and find a guy or a girl who shares your twisted and warped sense of humour – and who appreciates your wacky jokes about hospitals and funerals just after they tell you about their grandma dying – but let’s be honest, it’s more likely they’re going to throw their drink in your face and walk out. Save the dirty jokes for when you get to know your other half a bit better.
10. Sitting With A Bad Posture
Bad posture might seem like a minor consideration on a first or second date – especially when you have your head full of the other dos and don’ts – but it has been shown to make quite a difference when it comes to first impressions. Sitting slumped in your chair not only looks unattractive (not a good way for girls to show off their, ahem, assets, either) but it can give your date the idea that you’re bored by what they’re saying, and that you’re not enjoying being with them. If that’s true, then carry on with your slumping, but don’t lose that second date just because you didn’t have the energy to sit up straight.
9. Being A Self Obsessed Person
If there’s one thing worse than someone who never stops talking, it’s someone who never stops talking about themselves. If you’re the kind of self-obsessed person who thinks that everyone else is fascinated by the minutiae of your life, then you’re going to find it hard to keep hold of a lover. You’re going to have to learn to talk about other subjects, and – shock! horror! – you may even have to ask other people questions about their interests from time to time too. Dates should be a two-way street when it comes to conversation. Don’t monopolize, and you’ll increase your chances of staying together.
8. Lying About Yourself
In these days of internet dating, it can be all too easy to create the kind of persona that you think people want to date, rather than just being yourself. This is fine when you’re chatting online, but when you meet in real life you have to decide whether to allow the real you to show up. Honesty is the best policy – and that goes for online as well as in real life – as your other half is going to find out the truth about you in the end, especially if you start seeing a lot of each other.
7. Drinking Too Much On A Night Out
In the early days of a relationship, the chances are that you’re going to spend a lot of time getting to know each other in bars or restaurants. In other words, where alcohol is available, and where its consumption is actively encouraged. This can be very dangerous, especially if you’re a bit nervous ahead of a first date, and feel the need for a little Dutch courage, just to get you warmed up. Drinking too much can be unattractive in itself, but perhaps worse is the boorish way people often behave when they’re hammered.
6. Having Niche Hobbies
We all have our own hobbies and interests – and what we do in our spare time is a common topic of conversation on early dates. The problem comes when your interests are so niche that most guys or girls find them bewildering, odd or just plain dull. It’s great that you can quote entire scenes from Monty Python – and maybe one day you’ll find someone who knows all the other lines too – but until that day, keep your chat about your interests bright and breezy. And if you only spend your evenings playing World of Warcraft, it might be time to find some new hobbies.
5. Asking Yes-No Questions (And Answers)
First dates are always a nerve-wracking experience, but there are things you can do to make sure that the conversation at least flows. There is nothing worse than a monosyllabic date who only replies yes, no or don’t know to your questions, making getting information from them like pulling teeth. Just as bad is the date who asks yes-no questions, the kind of quick-fire questioning that you’d usually expect at a job interview, not on a date. If you have problems with this aspect of dating, try and get some help to make sure your conversation has a little more flow.
4. Using Curse Words
Some swearwords are so common, they have almost ceased to cause any offence – except in front of your parents and grandparents, obviously. Slipping the odd “bloody hell” into conversation with your date is unlikely to hurt anyone’s feelings, but plenty of people these days’ use words much fruitier than that – and use them frequently. The chances are that your date is also a swearer, or at least they use swearwords when the circumstances call for it, but punctuating your sentences with f-bombs or even c-bombs is only going to raise eyebrows, not your chances of a second date.
3. Having Unnecessary Fear Or Caution
While it has never been more important for both men and women to know and understand that no means no, for some people it is actually saying “yes” that is the problem. No, not in the bedroom, but in life generally. Perhaps they have had bad experiences in past relationships, or they are unsure of their own judgement, but no-one wants to be with someone who doesn’t want to take any chances, and who is more than happy to coast through life at the same speed the whole time. “I’ll try anything once” is a good motto to live by (although that does come with some pretty strong caveats)
2. Having The Resting Bitch Face Condition
Resting bitch face is a tragic condition, and those who suffer from it can find it affects their friendships, their careers and, of course, their relationships. If you have RBF, you are cursed to always look as though you are angry and annoyed – even though you may actually be in a very good mood. It can strike at any time, even in the middle of a fantastic night out with a gorgeous guy or girl – unfortunately sending them the message that you’re actually having a terrible time. Keep smiling, and once you get to know them better, confess your terrible affliction.
1. Not Taking A Shower
One of the biggest social faux pas you can make in any situation is to turn up wearing the wrong thing. Imagine turning up to a black tie dinner wearing jeans and a t-shirt, or failing to turn up to a fancy dress party in a silly outfit. Even worse than wearing the wrong outfit, however, is failing to shower. Nothing worse than spending a few hours up close and personal with someone smelling of stale sweat – and you can guarantee that you won’t be getting lucky if you haven’t washed before going out! It’s only polite to freshen up before meeting your date.
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