You’re single. You’ve been on more than your share of first dates. It’s definitely not you. It’s them. Sound familiar? There’s no shortage of inflated egos in the dating game these days. Thinking back to the days pre-Tinder, you would almost cringe at the amount of bad dating behavior that goes on now. Some of it seems obvious, like talking about exes or playing with your cell phone mid-conversation. But what happens when you think you’ve done everything right and you still don’t get a second or third date? It could be that you are sabotaging yourself.
So why isn’t someone telling you that you’re screwing it up? Everyone wants to be polite on a first date. And, unfortunately, unless you’re working with a professional dating coach, you may be under siege with bad dating habits. If your date doesn’t clue you in, you may remain unaware of what you’re doing wrong. Check out these secret dating deal breakers!
#1: Poor Hygiene
When I work with my date coaching clients, we start from top to bottom. A pedicure, shower, good cologne/perfume, a rocking outfit and fresh breath are all required for a successful first date. Granted, on a hot summer day, we’re all going to sweat. But it’s your job as a dater to handle your stuff and put your best foot forward (no flip flops please!).
Top deal breaker for poor hygiene? Bad breath! No one is going to tell you, but it will absolutely ruin your dating game. Not sure? It’s worth a trip to the dentist. Floss daily! Use mouthwash. And don’t be afraid to ask, “Hey, does my breath smell a little off? I just ate some…” This gives the other person an open invitation to offer feedback.
#2: Drinking Too Much on a Date
If you’ve been on the single scene for a while, this experience has more than likely happened to you. Whether you were the culprit or the unsuspecting witness, having a few too many does not showcase your best attributes. When I work with my clients on their pre-date jitters, we discuss strategies in keeping a cool head. Having a glass of wine during the date (or while you get ready) is fine. But downing a bottle at dinner? That’s too much.
Top deal breaker for drinking? Getting drunk. If you’re a lightweight, hold off on the shots!
#3: Lack of Chivalrous/Ladylike Behavior
This is probably the biggest area I work on with my male clients. Fortunately, it’s very easy to fix! Men should hold the door, pull out the chair and pick up the tab. Ladies should dress feminine, be flirty and use their body language to show interest.
Top deal breaker for not being chivalrous/ladylike? You’ll end up in the friend zone. Or you’ll hear something like “Great conversation, but I didn’t really feel anything.” Chemistry/sexual energy is created when you allow the male/female dynamic to play out.
#4 Not Physically Compatible
This area can range from not being physically attracted to someone to being a bad kisser. Physical attraction is essential! If you’re online dating, use current photos that show your whole body. No one likes surprises. If you don’t like how you look right now, then put in the work and get yourself to where you need to be. You’ll feel great on the inside and outside. And if and when it gets physical, use communication to make sure you’re headed in the right direction. Even a “Do you like when I do that?” will let you know if you’re both on the same page.
Top deal breaker for not being physically compatible? Differences in your physical fitness. You may find yourself attracted to rock-hard abs, but you’ve put on thirty pounds. People generally pair up with someone with a similar fitness level. If you can grab onto your own love handles, you better get ready to hold onto someone else’s, too.
#5 Body Language
Nerves affect all of us on a first date. And since we communicate anywhere between 60-93% non-verbally, it’s in your best interest to understand how you appear on a date. Lack of eye contact, fidgeting, scanning the room and tapping your legs are all signs that you’re nervous, disinterested or unconfident. And tone can really get us into trouble. Watch the cadence, tonality and the way you say things in conversation. I work with my clients to interject a “pause” mid-conversation to add an element of sexual tension. Caution! That technique is not for beginners.
Top deal breaker for body language? Eye contact! It’s a delicate dance between you and your date. When you’re on a date, you want to feel as though the other person is interested in you and completely present. Eye contact will always give away what your real M.O. is. If you’re nervous, excuse yourself to go to the restroom and re-situate yourself. Don’t check out other singles or gaze up at the football game on the television!
Contact LunchDates Today
I can’t be there with you on your dates, but I can get you going in the right direction. Everyone needs some tough love when it comes to dating. We all think we’re so much more sophisticated than we really are. Have an honest heart-to-heart with yourself if you find yourself on significantly more first dates than second ones. Dating is a tough game to play. Keep your cool, carry mints and have a great time! Oh, and be sure to give us a call at LunchDates if you’re in the Boston area and looking to up your dating game. We’d love to hear from you.
Aimee Burke is a Boston dating coach and matchmaker at LunchDates. Aimee specializes in date coaching for singles in the Boston area. She also serves as an executive matchmaker and recruits professional singles for her clients.
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