How To Be Bad At Dating

Suck at follow-through. This one is obvious, and kind of a no-brainer. This is what happens when you get someone’s number and just never text them. Or they text you, and for whatever reason, you don’t respond. Or, despite the fact that you guys went on a few dates, you refuse to take the next steps and turn it into something more. This is just stupid. What’s the point of doing anything at all if you’re not going to follow steps A, B, C and D to logical conclusion Z where you guys are doing it?!? 

Have opinions that are completely set in stone. Don’t listen to anyone else’s point of view. Be absolutely convinced that you’re right about everything, all the time. Sure, okay, a hardcore Obama fanboy is not going to end up married to a Mitt Romney supporter (are there Mitt Romney supporters??), but they theoretically they could have amazing hate sex and at least get into some, um, stimulating debates. One of them could learn something from the other. Strongly held biases could change over time. And all because Obama Fan didn’t immediately swivel back around on his bar stool because he found out his first choice voted Republican in the last election. (Sometimes, of course, having completely unchangeable opinions and extremely strongly held beliefs brings people together. But unless you’re at a radical feminist bookstore in Portlandia or at a Tea Party convention, the other way is better. This also means you’re probably bad at not being an unsufferable twat.)

Stop caring about what you look like in public. Leave for work/ funemployment activities/ assorted errands without paying attention to what you’re wearing and the situation on your face and with your hair. I’m in no way advocating following the Oprah always leave your house looking your best!!!! dictum to the letter because I am far too lazy, but you can’t fall in love or even momentary lust on the uptown 2/3 express when your greasy hair is slicked to your scalp like you just got out of a pool, you haven’t even attempted to cover up the archipelago of stress zits on your chin and you’re wearing what is essentially a burlap sack. (And if by some miracle you do, marry that person immediately, because that stuff is true love.) Everyone knows or Facebook-stalks someone who actually does roll out of bed in the morning looking amazing, but if you know that person, you aren’t that person, if you get what I’m saying.

Play a character. The Mysterious One, the Quirky Indie Dreamgirl, the Flighty Trustafarian, the Policy Wonk, the One-Man Comedy Routine, the Perpetual Straight Man. Unless you’re a sociopath, no one can pull off being another person for longer than a night or two. You come off as inauthentic and everyone can see right through you. When your friends hang out with you and your boo, they will immediately pick up on how off you’re behaving and, if they’re good friends, call you out on it. In the best/worst case scenario, the person you’ve attracted that night truly believes you’re XX Archetype and you’ve only succeeded in snaring a drinking/ friends with benefits you would never speak to when you’re not pretending to be someone else.  This never lasts.

Follow too many rules.  Everyone knows a Rules Girl. Never ever ever pay on dates—if he lets you pay, he obviously doesn’t have romantic feelings for you. Never initiate anything; you’ll come off too forward and he’ll be turned off. Don’t have sex before the third date [an extreme example: one of my former roommates wouldn’t sleep with a guy for three months—total nightmare]. All of those rules are, frankly, crap. I dated a guy for four years after meeting him wasted at a bar and going home with him the first night we met. And I think it’s been pretty well established that if you expect your date to treat you every time you go out, even three years down the line, you’re basically walking around with GOLD DIGGER tattooed on your forehead: major turn-off.  Rules are for the scared, and fear is the enemy of success in the dating world. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Nima Badley

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