The 11 Easy Mistakes Guys Keep Making On Dates
Here’s the truth about dates:
They aren’t about impressing her, they aren’t about being perfect, and they aren’t about having the most incredible time in the world.
In fact, you can fail to impress her, you can be imperfect, and you have an “okay” time, and it can still go well regardless.
Dates are about getting to know one another, flirting with one another, and connecting on an emotional and sexual level. As long as you stick to those elements, you’ll be fine.
But when we’re inexperienced, insecure, and anxious, it’s all too easy to overthink our way into making basic mistakes that make our dates worse.
We become stiff and awkward, we kill the sexual tension, or we end up rattling off jokes like it’s our first night on the open mike. And the date limps along until it crashes and burns.
With that in mind, I’ve written down some of the easy mistakes that we make on dates so that you can start avoiding them today.
The beginnings of dates are inherently awkward. You don’t know each other. You’re both hoping it’ll go well. All your insecurities are firing on full blast.
This makes the beginnings of dates awkward. So instead of getting hung up on it, accept it, and learn how to move on.
Early dates aren’t rocket science (i.e. “Hi” + a greeting “kiss” on the cheek). But everyone’s anxiety, including mine, convinces us that they are. This is what makes us painfully aware of anything that doesn’t go smoothly.
My solution has always been to keep them simple, but accept it if they’re awkward. Sometimes it’s my fault, sometimes it’s hers. Either way, the reaction is the same.
Keep the date and conversation moving forward. Head towards the venue (i.e. the bar) and keep the small talk going before you get into other stuff.
In other words, if the start is awkward – ignore it and keep moving forward.
As I said at the start, dates are about getting to know one another, flirting with one another, and connecting on an emotional and sexual level.
With that in mind, it’s best not to talk about US foreign policy, the differences between Abrahamic religions, and/or the plight of the impoverished.
Sure, all of these are great, stimulating things to discuss – but when it comes to flirting and connecting on an emotional and sexual level, they’re next to useless.
In terms of flirting, they aren’t particularly fun. And in terms of connection, they pretty shallow.
When people talk about serious topics, their emotional experience is usually something orbiting eyebrow furrowing seriousness or anger. Not exactly aphrodisiacs.
Instead, it’s best to talk about things which open up the person as an individual, and allow you to know what emotionally motivates them and what they feel – relationships, life decisions, traveling etc.
The less serious you take dates the better. Connect with them, but make sure you have fun.
Keep things lighthearted and playful. This doesn’t mean you have to be a standup comedian. You don’t, and I’ll address that soon. But you should keep things light.
If you both aren’t smiling on some level, this is usually a sign you’re not on the right track.
Dates aren’t about impressing her, and with that in mind: you don’t have to overthink the venue.
It doesn’t have to be the latest cultural hotspot that serves Nicaraguan coffee whilst you lounge in a ball pit. Unless you have an irresistible desire to go there, why would you go to all this special effort for someone you barely know and don’t even know if you actually like?
The answer, in most instances, is that you want to impress her, so you choose the venue equivalent of a bouquet of flowers.
This is needy behavior, and inherently unattractive. Go somewhere simple instead.
A huge component of dating is sexuality. Specifically the sexual connection between the two of you. If your date is going to go anywhere, in any form of relationship, there’s going to have to be a sexual connection.
Otherwise, you’ll just be friends.
To do this you have to (read: HAVE TO) break the physical barrier between the two of you. Sex is a completely physical, completely naked act after all – if you’re not even touching each other, it’s going to be one hell of a big jump to get there.
This means you have to break the physical barrier between you. Obviously, she has to be receptive, but you’ll never know unless you try. You have to risk rejection.
This is even more important if you’re complimenting her all the time. If you can’t back it up, you’ll just end up weirding her out.
An easy way to create a spontaneous vibe between the two of you (and within yourself), to develop more confidence, and take the lead of the date is to change the venue multiple times.
Been at a bar for an hour? Go to an ice cream store. Been at a restaurant? Go to a club and spend some time dancing.
Switch the venue three times and you’ll create a fun, spontaneous sense of adventure between the two of you – and you’ll set off a “switch” in your mind that gets you into exactly the kind of mood you should be in.
Recently I was eating lunch with a friend of mine when a couple sat down to have a date next to us. Throughout the lunch, the man on the date spoke loudly and endlessly to the quiet woman with him. He psychoanalyzed himself, talked about his work, and kept referring to his own achievements.
He never once asked her about herself or talked about anything else.
When the date ended, she said she’d take the bus home, despite his insistence to drive her.
I’ve seen many dates go like this. Some guys go their entire lives doing this and never realizing it. Hell, I did this sort of thing when I was younger, and still catch myself lapsing into it today.
In many ways, this sort of thing is normal. We’re all narcissistic and vain to some degree, and we all, as I’ve said earlier, have a desire to impress the other person.
That’s always there, all the time.
The skill comes in learning to manage it.
The first reason you want to do this is that talking about something other than yourself doesn’t make you come across like the narcissistic, vain dumbass that you may very well be.
The second reason is that talking about something other than yourself allows you to discover who the other person actually is.
Which in turn means you can figure out if she’s actually worth your time, if you actually like her, if you have anything in common, or whether you’re just sat there for an hour chasing a pair of boobs instead of something better worth your time.
The third reason is that you should probably spend that time flirting with her, connecting with her, or maybe saying nothing at all.
Let me explain…
I get it, dates make people nervous. They make me nervous. Over time, we all learn to handle this, but when you’re just starting out, it sucks and can turn you into a blabbermouth, desperately avoiding any confirmation (by way of silence) that your date is currently entering a nose dive.
But here’s the thing:
Silence is a good thing.
Every worthwhile date has an element of sexual tension that has to embraced and played with. When you keep speaking, you undercut that tension.
Our body language communicates far more than our words, and if we cut out those words entirely, our body language conveys it’s message pretty clearly.
Our eyes, our expression, even the position of our body itself – this is all speaking for us.
And if that message is sexual attraction, then that’s just sitting there in silence, with nothing else being said. If she’s attracted to you (which if you’re having a great date, she probably will be), this is extremely arousing.
It’s also usually a good time to kiss her.
Learn to spot when you’re using conversation to avoid or get in the way of sexual tension, and then shut your mouth.
There are three key elements you want to be aware of and cycle if you’re on a date with a woman. These are:
The latter two account for 80% of the success of your interaction. The former accounts for 20%. Yet in Western cultures, we tend to focus on flirting as the most important element. We try to be funny. We treat dates like standup comedy routines. And we attempt to express our interest through flirting “techniques” or lines.
And our dates are shallow and/or unsuccessful as a result.
Flirting is all well and good (and necessary), but it’s also the safest way of expressing intimacy. Even a woman who isn’t into you will entertain your flirting for attention’s sake (provided you’re not over the top and creepy).
Emotional and sexual connection on the other hand actively risks rejection. They require you to expose yourself, your values, your intentions, your feelings – all of which some women might not like and reject you for.
In the short term, this sucks. In the long term, this develops your confidence and makes your successful dates much better.
You also start learning to meet women who are already into you a lot faster.
A lot of guys will read this and think “but I do know what I want… I want to have sex. I want her. Etc.”
But in reality, this isn’t quite the case.
If you’re honest with yourself, a lot of the time you want to not be rejected, to be liked, to loved, to not be embarrassed, to not be ashamed.
What you want is swept about by your emotions. Specifically, your negative ones.
Because of issues with neediness and insecurity, your ‘wants’ aren’t as concrete (or rational) as you’d think they are. And because of this, your actions are all over the place.
Unmasking your actions and the true motivation behind them helps you manage yourself and get to a place where you just “want her” and you act on it.
My number one tip for a great date?
If it isn’t going well, always be willing to get up and leave.
This entire article has been dedicated to tips that you can use to take responsibility for your dates and make them better. But here’s the thing:
Dating is a two person sport. You can put in all the effort in the world, and it can still blow up in your face.
Some women just aren’t right for you. No matter what you do. And some women just suck.
Learn to recognize when the quality of your date isn’t down your mistakes and is, in fact, a fault with her.
And when you recognize this, leave. Go and find a better woman to date. And watch as most of the advice in this article starts taking care of itself.
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About John Matich John is a writer from the UK who splits his time between travelling the world and trying to find unconventional solutions to dating and personal development. You can find more from him at www.lifeuncivilized.com.