Bad dating habits are the little things and signs we send that can fuck up a perfectly good date. A great New Year’s Resolution for 2018 would be to be aware of these things and stick a big red light in your head saying STOP when you find yourself doing them. Here are some bad dating habits I’ve thought of – leave a comment or shoot me an email if you think up some more.
Bad Dating Habit 1: Being too self-conscious
Oh shit you spilled water, your hair is messy, you think you look fat in this top and OMG you forgot mints!!! It’s OK. Chill the fuck out. The main purpose of the date is for you to enjoy yourself and see if you can enjoy yourself in your date’s company. If you’re worrying about every tiny detail being perfect, then you won’t have fun and your date will be miserable.
Bad Dating Habit 2: Being paranoid that they’re dating other people
People date before deciding whether someone’s right for them – it’s a fact of life. If you’re offended on a first date that they haven’t already cleared their life out for you, then you need to grow a thicker skin. Obviously if things start going well and it leads to another date/lots of chemistry, then it’s something to address. But don’t expect people to have a clear schedule BEFORE they meet you.
Bad Dating Habit 3: Chasing perfection
There is no such thing. We shouldn’t settle for people who we are not compatible with, but we should also accept that everyone has flaws. Stop thinking you can always do better; Jeffrey Arnett, a Clark University psychologist who studies emerging adults says that we reach adulthood when we stop chasing perfection in a mate.
Bad Dating Habit 4: Apologizing for EVERYTHING
“Oh I’m so sorry I didn’t see you”, “Sorry, I eat messily”, “Sorry for my existence”. By apologizing too much, you’re giving off that you have low self-esteem, don’t know how to set boundaries and rely on others for approval of self-worth. Stop. Laugh some trivial stuff off. Sure, say sorry if you do something which causes a negative impact on them, e.g. spilling your drink on them. But don’t apologize for EVERYTHING.
Bad Dating Habit 5: Going for the hug-shake
Are you a handshake person or a hug person? Figure it out. Both are fine; just be decisive, otherwise it’s an awkward first impression.
Bad Dating Habit 6: Talking without listening
Yes, we all want to seem confident. But there is nothing worse than spending an hour with someone who just talks at you without taking a break – That’s what happened on my date with The Boring Artist. Listening is the number one underrated skill required on dates. It shows empathy, patience and emotional intelligence. Enter into the conversation not just to teach the other person how amazing you are, but to learn something new from them. They will sense you’re interest and it will make them like you more. Ask some of these questions and see what they say.
Bad Dating Habit 7: Complaining about the place you’re in
Why so much negativity? Instead of complaining about the décor, service, food etc. make a joke and move on. Yeah, if the service is crap, a comment is fine, but constantly dragging it out will leave a sour taste on the date. You want to focus on how you guys get along, not whether the waitress is a bitch.
Bad Dating Habit 8: Telling people you’re on a date
Uh oh. People will kind of be able to figure this one out themselves. And it may put pressure on you to get along from the get-go. Everyone will know you are an awkward tinder-couple. Leave out the notoriety.
Bad Dating Habit 9: Constantly scanning the room
Try and focus and be present in the moment. Otherwise your date will think you’re bored. I’ve had people scan the room a lot, or just switch off when I’m talking and I find it really rude.
Bad Dating Habit 10: Asking for a second date all the time
If everything’s going well, then invite them somewhere cool towards the end of the date. If you ask too early, they may hesitate and you will come off as a little desperate and pressurizing.
Bad Dating Habit 11: Asking them if you’re a good date
Well, they can’t exactly say ‘no’, can they? Stop pressurizing them, it looks desperate.
Bad Dating Habit 12: Complaining about how much you hate dating
Listen. We’re all in the same boat. If you don’t like dating, stop wasting the other person’s time; it seems like you’re patronizing them for being OK with dating. It’s like how people write “My friend told me to do this” on their Tinder bio. Dating is just another way to meet new people and sometimes, yeah, it doesn’t work out. But suck it up and stop complaining.
Bad Dating Habit 13: Expecting them to foot the bill
Come on. We are all grown-ass adults who should know how to be independent. If you don’t then get independent before you start dating. 71% of millennial men and 77% of millennial women consider it vital for both sexes in a relationship to have successful careers. So be open to splitting the tab, because equality in all directions is cool.
Bad Dating Habit 14: Probing them on their schedule
It seems like you want to text/call/stalk them a lot. Calm the fuck down. You’ll both figure it out if it’s mutual. Obviously, if you’re both planning for a next date, then sure, discuss. But don’t bring it up out of the blue and grill them over it with 21 questions.
Bad Dating Habit 15: Relying on their perception of you
You are an awesome human, regardless of whether or not they get you. Know that and savour in that knowledge. Be nice to them, sure, but don’t be too hung up on catering solely to their interests. Just be you.
Bad Dating Habit 16: Not trusting your gut
We are animals with instincts. Trust them. If you really like someone, don’t be afraid to tell them or show them – we only live once. On the other hand, if something is wrong about your date, then don’t ignore the red flag, even if you can’t pinpoint what exactly is making you anxious. Again, we only live once, so use your gut.
Bad Dating Habit 17: Talking about your ex… A lot.
Yeah, sometimes exes come up naturally in conversation and it’s actually OK to talk about them, or about funny dates you’ve been on in the past. I do it. But just be mindful of the feelings of the person in front of you. This date is not a time to be overly gushy or give a dramatic monologue on why you hate your ex so much. As with everything else, make sure they’re involved in the conversation and don’t feel left out. And if you’re not over your ex… maybe you shouldn’t be on the date.
Bad Dating Habit 18: Constantly being on your phone
Phubbing sucks. Your date didn’t get dressed up and travel to meet you to be ditched for your newsfeed. Put your phone away and make conversation – Here are 101 conversation starters to try instead.
Bad Dating Habit 19: Trying to be someone else
Why? Just be you and you’ll attract the kind of people who are into YOU. If you’re goofy, then show it, if you’re nerdy, show it and if you have other quirks, don’t be shy about them. Couples with a shared sense of humour stay together – invite intimacy by taking risks and showing your true self.
Bad Dating Habit 20: Playing games
If you just want a fling, be honest if that comes up. if you want something serious, there’s no shame in that either. Maybe it won’t come up on the first date, but try and leave some hints and make sure they know what your intentions in the dating sphere are. It’s not good to lead people on.
Bad Dating Habit 21: Being disappointed when there isn’t instant chemistry
There probably won’t be in 80% of your dates – it’s fine. Not everyone will be your fantasy Prince Charming or Wonderwoman – that’s just life and nobody’s perfect. Enjoy meeting someone new and keep going; eventually you will meet special people. Don’t lose hope. The world is full of wonderful people, regardless of whether or not we think they’re fuckable. Just enjoy the moment.
Let me know if you have any more bad dating habits!