How To Ruin A Great Date

A client recently went on a great first date and left feeling hopeful and happy. Until she got home. Her date texted her asking if she got home safely, which was nice. But the texts didn't stop there. Shortly after she fell asleep and woke up to several messages from him asking her if he should come over to her apartment or maybe she should head over to his. He ruined the entire date experience by texting incessantly afterwards. The worst part, after she read the texts the following morning, she decided to be nice and respond, laughing off the whole situation. Do you think he ever responded? No. Clearly he is not a serious guy. 

I was on the phone earlier with another new client and she mentioned that it was difficult to get past the first or second date with someone she liked. She had absolutely no idea why. While I'm not going to perform exit interviews with any of her past dates (although I would love to!), I have a few theories on why that might be her pattern, based on extensive research I have done with men in New York. 

The first possible reason why she might not be getting asked on second dates is maybe she is coming across too negative or jaded. The men I surveyed were unanimous that the most common way to make a guy run for the hills on a first date is to come off too jaded. Assuming the guy will be a jerk just like the last 15 guys you've met, allowing past negative experiences effect your date with this guy. Of course we have all been hurt and we have all been through ups and down in dating but seeing that baggage sitting across from you at drinks doesn't make you want to jump in with both feet. Meeting someone new should be fun and exciting, not heavy and depressing. Think about the kind of person you want to meet - is that person happy and hopeful about life or sad and pessimistic? You need to be the person you are hoping to attract. If you want to meet that happy person, think about if someone like that would want to meet someone like you. You know the saying, "misery loves company," well happiness loves company too. 

Another reason you might not be getting asked out on another date is that you didn't stand out. Think about how many first dates New Yorkers go on. I went on maybe 12 first dates while I lived in San Francisco in the four years I was there. Let's just say I've gone on a few more than that in New York... a month. We meet a lot of people and we get asked a lot of the same questions. "Where do you work?" "Where do you live?" "Where did you grow up?" "Do you have any brothers or sisters?" Of course these are all questions you would want to ask someone you are getting to know but that person won't get to know the real you. I ask my clients to write an extensive list of qualities they are looking for in a partner. How does this person spend Sunday? Are they more interested in snow sports or water activities? Do they want to stay living in the city or maybe get a house in the suburbs one day? Do they get involved with helping their community? Have they practiced meditation? Write out your passions and find ways to integrate those topics into conversation. These are the topics that light you up when you talk. Your face changes when you talk about something you care about. Maybe you gesticulate more with your hands. You might even hop in your seat a little. That kind of energy is contagious and you remember that person. Connecting on a deeper level is what guarantees a second date. If you both volunteer once a month with children, that is something the other person will remember and connect to. If you both visited a Buddhist temple while traveling, that person will feel closer to you than if you both happen to work in advertising. 

Have your list of topics that "light you up" handy before your next first date. Be open and optimistic and let go of the demons from your past. Don't text anything crazy after. That's your formula for an outstanding first date. Good luck.



Anna Morgenstern