1. Trying too hard.
Listen, you don’t need to make him/her fall for you on the first date. That whole ‘love at first sight’ thing is super cute, but let’s be honest, it’s not very realistic. Don’t feel the need to impress your date with all the random facts you know. Don’t feel the need to be suuuuper flirty when you still don’t really know each other. Don’t feel the need to toss your hair over your shoulder dramatically or flash your most expensive wallet when reaching for the check. First of all, when you’re trying too hard, it’s totally obvious. And second of all, it makes things uncomfortable. Dates are awkward enough—there’s no reason for you to be over-the-top. Trust me, the right person will like you for you. So take a deep breath, smile, and be a normal human.
2. Being someone you’re not.
This and trying too hard to hand-in-hand. It’s one thing to try too hard, it’s another to try to be something you’re not. That in come in many forms—wearing clothes you don’t normally wear, rocking your BFF’s heels just to look taller and more presentable, taking her out to the most expensive restaurant in town, the list goes on. When you meet someone, you want them to like you. That makes total sense. But how are they going to like YOU if you’re acting like someone else or trying to fit into someone else’s shoes (literally or metaphorically)?? The answer is: they’re not. Either they’re going to think you’re super fake, or they’re going to start liking this façade you put up, and then you’re totally screwed because you’re not even that person…so, just don’t do it. Be yourself. Your weird, fun, funky, strange self.
3. Getting too excited too soon.
I get it. You went on a date and it was awesome. Maybe it was the first one in a while, maybe it was the first good one in a while. Whatever your situation, you’re pumped and can’t wait to see him/her again. So you start calling, texting, borderline harassing this person about the next time you get to spend some time with them. NO NO NO. DON’T DO IT. It’s one thing to show a person you’re interested—aka, “I had an awesome time last night, let me know what your weekend looks like, I’d love to see you again.” Or something along those lines. It’s totallyyyy another thing to start texting them non-stop, asking them to hangout with you. Not only do you sound a littttlllleee desperate, but it’s going to be a total turnoff. It’s okay, even great, to be excited. Just tone it down a little, until you can see how that person’s feeling or if they’re into you in the same way.
4. Sharing too much.
Do not. I repeat. Do not. Share. Everything. About. Your. Life. On. The. First. Date.
Getting to know someone is awesome, but that’s not just something you do in one night. Sure, you can talk to your date about something important, real, or deep—but don’t overload them with your entire life story the first time you meet. Take time to get to know each other. Don’t be too guarded, but allow yourself and this person to take things slow. Slow is good.
5. Not texting him/her back.
If you are into him/her, by all means, let that person know. Not too crazily (refeer to #3) but please, please, please let your date know you had a good time if you had a good time. There’s no reason to be confusing.
6. Waiting for him/her to make the first move.
I don’t care who you are—life’s too short to wait for other people to make the first move all the time. You like her? Call her up and ask her out again. You had an awesome time with him? Text him telling him and see if he’s busy this weekend. There’s no reason to hold back (within reason, see #3) how you’re feeling about someone. Enough with the weird, millennial confusion and avoidance. Life’s too short for all that nonsense. Go. For. It.
Stop. Just stop. There’s no reason to replay the date 139234 times in your head. If he/she doesn’t return your texts or calls, maybe they weren’t feeling it for whatever reason. Don’t beat yourself up. Get back out there.
8. Putting people on pedestals.
We’re all imperfect. Don’t put yourself or your date on a pedestal. They’re not your entire world, and should never be. Plus, being up so high freaks people out, not to mention throws off the relationship balance. Don’t glorify people—treat them like humans and enjoy them for the awesome humans they are.
9. Settling for crappy dates.
If you weren’t feeling it after the first few dates, there’s no reason to continue. You won’t magically start falling for him/her, and you can’t really change your mind or heart, as much as you might want to. Sometimes people just aren’t compatible. And this is okay. Not cutting someone off when you know it’s not going to work not only hurts them, but hurts your chances at finding something real, too.
10. Not communicating.
When you don’t tell people how you feel or what’s on your mind, you can’t expect them to understand or for anything to change. So simple, but so real.
11. Not being honest.
This goes back to being your true self—be honest about everything. If you don’t like Mexican food, then don’t agree to going out to eat there. If you aren’t looking for something serious, then by all means, DO NOT LEAD SOMEONE ON. Be upfront. Be honest. Be truthful. Be a good person.
12. Being too hesitant.
You can’t be afraid of dating. You can’t be afraid to talk to someone, to ask them out, to text them, to lean across the table when you really, really want to kiss them. Stop being so afraid of every little thing and enjoy the moment. You don’t always have to drive with both feet on the brakes.
13. Not actually dating enough.
Maybe you’ve been nervous. Maybe you didn’t feel ready. Maybe you are one of those people who’d rather complain about their singleness than actually do something proactive (Hint hint.) Wherever you fall on the scale, this is your year to do something different. Without expectations. Go out and meet people. Maybe you’ll find the one, maybe you won’t. But you’ll never find love if you don’t actually go out on some dates! Live a little.