With over 25 years of helping singles, divorcees, and widows with dating and working with a top dating coach, I’ve identified several traits that your date will find unattractive. Are you aware of these potential characteristics you may have? For most people, no. Maybe this will help and give you a good, long think.
Yes, no one is perfect nor should you strive to be. You be you. But maybe you can do away with a couple of items that are a turn-off to others. We are always looking for self-improvement, and if you are wondering why first dates are not turning into second dates, this may be helpful.
You act as if you know everything.
No one likes Mr./Ms. Google. There is no possibility you know everything, and that is where curiosity is a lovely trait. The other day I had a client on a Zoom call who wrote down something I’d never heard and I asked her point-blank what it was. French food being my favorite cuisine, she totally stumped me on this one. Why pretend to be a know-it-all? Vulnerability and curiosity are assets. Plus, I learned something!
Talking only about yourself on a first date
As a dating counselor, I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me this after a date. Well, I have a simple solution. Since they rarely give you a chance to speak, wait until the end of their sentence and say “Wow, I feel like I know so much about you now. What would you like to know about me? Fire away with the questions”. This usually stops them in their tracks and quite often a one-sided conversation suddenly becomes much more of an even dialogue.
Oh wow! I notice this constantly. So does your date. It shows a lack of self-confidence. I know personally this one being taller than all boys and girls in my 8th grade class and slumping to appear shorter. Thank goodness my mom had the foresight to take me to a good chiropractor at a young age and correct my posture. Shoulders back, stand tall, watch that neck as we constantly are scrolling through our phones. Exude confidence with your body language.
Ok, we all know someone like this. Could it be you? Instead of active listening and being in the present, are you thinking about what you want to say next? Let the other person finish, take a breath, then say what was on your mind.
A huge part of body language. I’m not talking about a stare-down, just looking at the person while they talk. Not fidgeting and looking around the room, not reaching for your phone, not looking down at your food the entire time. Eye contact is a connection.
I don’t know a single client who reports back to me and says “Wow, was he/she arrogant and it was a turn-on. You know what arrogance is? It’s an insecurity.
Perhaps a relation to arrogance. Being 15 minutes late. Demanding with the wait staff. Making negative comments about online dating. (Hey, you’re both on it, right?). Dismissive about your career, likes, hobbies, music.
Put it away. Or at the very least, turn off the ringer/vibration and place it face down on the table. If an important call is coming in, tell your date upfront and that’s the only reason you have your phone out. Perhaps it’s making sure your son got picked up from soccer practice. Or you are a doctor waiting for news on a patient that cannot wait an hour. But let them know upfront why your phone is on. It’s just politeness and showing them that their time is valuable.
Lack of Empathy
An inability to understand others. Impatience. Excessive criticism. Poor listening skills. Self-centeredness. They joke about someone’s emotions or circumstances. To me, this is a huge red flag and I’d recommend ending this date and never accepting another. This is one for a therapist, not for you. No matter how attractive they may be.
Maybe no one has ever taught them to use their “inside voice”. I’ve actually seen this when I’ve been out to lunch/dinner when the adjacent tables are parties to the conversation at your table. It’s embarrassing to your date and inappropriate. If your friends have told you that you are a loud talker, I’d think hard about this and practice downing the decibels.
Ok, maybe you’ve read through this list and see yourself in one, two, maybe three of them. Just be aware.
Oh, as a dating coach, let me mention one more thing that drives me crazy and is ineffectual. Stop texting/messaging a potential date 3 to 5 times in a row before they’ve even answered one. They will think you are crazy or desperate! Be patient, wait for their response, then send a message back no longer than 2-3 sentences and ask them a question.
Happy dating! Never give up. It only takes one. We all need a little encouragement and someone to show us the way and make online dating more efficient and effective. And fun. Yes, I said fun. Remember, when you started golf, you had help. Pickleball—you took a clinic or two. No pro tennis player did it on her own.