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First Date Disasters and Why You Didn't Get a Second Date

Jun 20, 2008
If dating were a job, I would have given my 2 weeks notice a long time ago! No doubt about it, dating is tough. There you are on the date staring at the person you just want to run away from, wondering what you did to deserve such punishment. You ask yourself why you wasted your time and money on a trip to the barber or a new dress. The conversation is boring. Watching paint dry is more exciting than the drivel coming out of this fool's mouth.

Don't you wonder after one of those horrible experiences if we have a big "L" on our forehead and just don't see it? There has to be some reason why we have fools for dates that we can't wait to get away from, and other people find the love of their life!

Where Does it All Go Wrong?
Sometimes it begins when you meet someone that is so socially awkward, so inept at conversation, so out of touch with mainstream society that you cannot believe you ever agreed to go on this date. They just seem oblivious to how their behavior might be interpreted.

Let me share with you an email sent to my advice column:

"I went out with this guy, the first date was great. The second date we went to the movies. We bought popcorn and drinks, he said he had to go to the bathroom before the movie started. I offered to hold the popcorn and drink, but he said NO and took it in the restroom with him! I was soooo grossed out!!. When we got in the movie he kept trying to offer me popcorn, I did not eat it. It just seemed nasty and ignorant to take food into a public toilet. It turned me off completely and we never went out again."

That was just one of several dozen responses I received about this topic. And looking at them, I've narrowed the responses down to the 5 top reasons a second date ain't gonna happen.

#1 Unrealistic Expectations of a First Date
If you expect a lot, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. A date is merely time you set aside to spend with someone else as you two attempt to get to know each other better. But too many people go on a date wondering if this person is their soul mate, their future husband or wife. MAJOR TURN OFF!! All you know is what they look like. You don't know beans about this person's true personality, habits or family yet you want to waste your time fantasizing about a wedding? That is a sucka move.

#2 You Never Should Have Gone Out With The Fool In the First Place
You knew the man was not what you wanted, but you wasted time and energy going out with him. I guess hoping that maybe he would "grow" on you or something? This is what the telephone was invented for people! Do your pre-screening by phone. Religion, age, education, height, weight, goals, job, smoker, pets, previous husbands or wives, children... Check, check, check. Does this person have at least the BASIC qualities you are looking for? Do you have the basic qualities your date is looking for? If the answer to either one of those questions is "no" don't go on the first date!

#3 Your Personalities Clash Like Robin Givens and Mike Tyson
Your first date should be spent getting to know each other to see if you are compatible. You may be a good match on paper according to your Aunt Beryl that set you two up, but when you get together there is instant conflict. You feel put off and strained to be around this person or have a vague sense of irritation. Perhaps you suffered the indignity of being insulted or offended by your date, which to me is an immediate deal breaker!

Under this category is a cheap man, something which no woman should ever want to be bothered with. Listen to this:

"We met at a bar and he was telling me what he did for a living, some kind of manager for a large company and "that was how he made his millions", and now he was selling insurance "just to keep busy". Then he asked me if I was satisfied with my insurance and we proceeded to split the bill for 4 beers."

#4 One or Both of You is Conversationally Challenged.
Some people are so socially awkward, so inept at conversation, so out of touch with other people that you cannot believe you ever agreed to go on a date. Others are just shy and take awhile to warm up, or they are very nervous about dating, or they aren't good at small talk and can only talk about quantum physics or global warming. But a lot of people have trouble figuring out what topics are safe - that reveal a bit about who they are, without being overly personal.

This issue was covered in more depth in my talk show broadcast THE ABCs OF DATING which you might want to listen to if you aren't clear on what to talk about on dates and what topics should be avoided like the plague. Find the show link in the author section below.

#5 You Try Too Hard to Impress.
Some singles are so anxious for love that they get entirely too comfortable and either share too much information about themselves, or they ask too many personal questions about their date's assets. Others, feeling insecure and wanting badly to be liked, will give too many compliments, talk too much about themselves and what they have to offer, spend too much money on a person they barely know, or be overly accommodating and end up coming across as spineless, desperate or fake.

Though we live in a very modern, equalitarian society, women often report feeling the need to "dumb down" in order to attract a partner, stating that men seem to be intimidated by their professional accomplishments, education, or social standing.

I would never suggest that a woman "dumb" herself down.
But if this is a repetitive pattern, I suggest that you downplay your professional accomplishments, and instead focus on your inner qualities... kindness, humor, compassion, honesty, devotion - things that mean something to a man as they are trying to get to know you as a woman.

Snap Judgments Are Best Avoided
The first date can be the start of a great relationship, leaving you feeling connected and your imagination stirred with the possibilities. In the cinema version of life, relationships start off with a bang and end up with a couple falling passionately into each other's arms, married and living happily ever after with 3.5 children. However, in the real world that isn't the way it usually happens.

Most good solid long-term marriages did not start out with that instant spark. Instead they built gradually. The difference is that the first date is enjoyable but not like off the charts great.

What that couple did that others may not is give each other another chance. Nothing offensive happened, nothing awful. So they meet up again and spend more time together and give themselves an opportunity to get to know each other before they decide if it makes sense to keep seeing each other or not.

As one wise man said: "Hey, the chemistry is either there or it isn't. Sometimes it's quiet, and sometimes it's explosive. No need to try to be someone you are not. After all, one man's trash is another man's treasure!"
About the Author
(c) 2008 Deborrah Cooper. Deborrah has authored dozens of relationship articles and advice columns on Ask HeartBeat!, which focuses on modern relationships for teens and adults. Her dating guide Sucka Free Love! provides street-smart, hilarious insight into the toughest issues facing singles today. Check out The Sucka Free Dating Radio Talk Show on Wednesday night at 7:00 pm PST.
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