Let me start this post by saying that you can be a great dater and still experience “bad dates.” You can even be an amazing catch and someone may still let you pass by. While there is no way of controlling others there are some things you can do to become a better dater.
1. Don’t personalize: This is the number one rule. It is nobody’s fault that it is not a good match or no chemistry. The worst thing you can do is to think it’s your fault of that there is something wrong with you.
2. Avoid certain topics: Avoid talking about politics unless you want the discussion to heat up. Avoid the infamous two letter word that can be a buzz kill. Ex. Show your date you have moved on from past relationships by not bringing your ex partner.
3. Take the time to both talk and listen: We’ve all been on a date where the other person continuously talks and fails to ask us about ourselves. Don’t be that person. Make sure you are asking questions.
4. Keep the date fun: I recommend keeping the conversation light and alive at first. For example, “Where was your last vacation?”, “What was the last concert you went to?”, “Do you have siblings? “or “What do you miss about your home state?”
5. Screen! Just as a screen door keeps the pesky animals out make sure you screen out pesky daters. Have an understanding of what the other person is looking for before you agree to meet up. If the other person is looking for casual encounters and you are looking for a relationship go ahead and skip the date. It is important that you have a mutual desire of what you are looking for.
6. You are in charge: Challenge your thinking. Instead of thinking, “I hope this man/woman likes me” I want you to think, “I hope I like this one.”
7. Don’t jump 50 steps forward: Remember, you are not deciding whether you want to marry this person after the date. Go in with the intentions that you are going to meet and get to know someone.”
8. Be careful with who you get dating advice from: Too many opinions can cloud your judgement and make you question your decisions. You may want to limit the advice or feedback from friends who have been in committed relationships for a long period of time.
9. Be emotionally ready: If you are struggling with any mental health issues make sure you are in treatment (therapy) to address those. I’m not saying that these issues have to be gone by the time you have a date but make sure you are in the process of working on them.
10. Don’t ignore red flags: Trust your gut in the dating game. If someone seems to be unstable, obsessive or rude feel free to say that you will not be able to meet up. There is nothing wrong with having to cancel and never reschedule if you are feeling uncomfortable.
11. Be the date you want: If you want someone outgoing, fun and interesting try to let those qualities shine through to your date. Attract what you want!
12. Coincidentally I left the most important for last. Safety is KEY. Most likely you have never met this person. Please agree to meet in a public place where other people are around. DO NOT agree to meet at someone’s house, apartment, a parking lot, etc. The dating game can be fun but don’t forget your safety along with way. Stay safe and good luck out there!