Was it really a date if you didn’t get a second one?
In today’s dating landscape it seems that singles don’t want to invest in one another. You get one chance, and one chance only to impress the stranger before you. In only a few hours, or less if you meet for coffee, both of you are supposed to be sure that love is imminent. Pressure much?
So you had a date, and it didn’t go well. Was it just a case of incompatibility or was there something that you could have done to sway the decision to go out again. Not to be harsh but it was definitely you. The luxury of absolution doesn’t apply in dating. If someone doesn’t want to see you again, it’s likely there is something that you did to turn them off. On the rare occasion a second date was circumstantially impossible but that typically isn’t the case. So what did you do wrong?
Most of the time the way that singles should date is counter-intuitive to who they are. Naturally, the body wants you to bond so it makes sure that you do if a good sexual match for mating is presented. Unfortunately, who you want to mate with and who will make a good lifetime partner aren’t mutually exclusive. For this reason, it makes dating a battle between you head, heart, and hormones. Your success or failure is reliant on which part of the body you let make the decision.
1. You Felt Insecure
It isn’t a crime to be unsure of yourself but you have to admit it. False confidence is almost as bad as no confidence at all. It’s said that you can’t do the wrong thing in front of the right person, meaning if someone likes you then they will see past any faux pas. While this is generally true, your date doesn’t know that they like you because they don’t know you. Your job on the first date isn’t to vet for lifelong compatibility. The purpose of the first date is to have fun. You have to rely on your instincts, something insecure people have a hard time doing.
Your date likely failed because you were insecure and got into your own head. Instead of focusing on having a good time, you censored yourself, watched your every move, and let your nerves get the best of you. Dating is nerve wracking but if you want to conquer your insecurities, you have to identify what makes you feel insecure and address them beforehand. The purpose of the first date is to have fun. Focus on how much fun you can have, and if second date is planned, as it should be, you can always decline.
2. You Weren’t Paying Attention
A good date can feel like someone took a spotlight, a microphone and said, “Tell me about yourself.” As good as it can feel to have another person’s full attention, if you get distracted, and you don’t pay attention, you can ruin your date. So how does this happen? Your date is a great listener, they ask great questions, they touch your hand slightly and smile just broadly enough. You feel such a connection, right? While your date is mastering the subtle art of seduction, you are missing all of the signs and falling for the game – hook, line, and sinker.
Reading the signs means noticing the nuanced ways that you’re beginning to feel at ease. Is your date sitting a little closer? Is your date avoiding questions to keep you talking? Is your date taking long pauses between the conversation to build tension? Well, you’ll only notice when you are paying attention.
Dating is a made up game. If you naively refuse to take part then your love life will feel like a bounce house of lottery balls, totally unpredictable. When you are on the first date you should pay close attention to the following; who is doing the most talking, who is asking the most questions, your dates body language, your dates pace of speech, and eye contact. It sounds like a lot but the first date is like breaking in a new car or bicycle, tread lightly until you’re sure how it handles. Your first date will fail if you aren’t in tune with what is actually happening on the date.
3. You Didn’t Take Control
Some people are naturally influential while others learn to be influential. Anyone can master the art of influence, which is mostly just building rapport, but it has to be done intentionally. Your last date failed because you didn’t take control of the date, or the outcome. If you refuse to believe that dating is game and love just happens then you will suffer unpredictable outcomes. Consider this: some people are born athletic but those who train and hone their skills make it to incredible levels of their sport. If you want to improve your relationships, with everyone, it’s as simple as taking control of the outcome. First, you have to know what you want to achieve. The goal of a first date is to get a second date but maybe you want more. Maybe you want a real relationship, all the more reason to be intentional.
Taking control of a date means altering your reactions to ones that build strong rapport. It means not rambling on negatively about anyone or anything, it means mirroring your date’s behavior so they feel at ease.
Would you rather be the passenger or the driver? It’s far easier to just let loose and let go. Unfortunately, when you are trying to negotiate attention with a stranger, you have to be strategic. The competitive nature of the dating market makes it hard to judge for quality, so do you part. By taking control of the date, you can control the outcome of the date.
4. You Were Impatient
Agreeing to go on a date is a sign of interest but for some people that isn’t enough. Chemically, when you bond with someone your hormones are ready to charge ahead. This is why a strong connection excites you the way that it does. You’re getting a shock to your physiology that you haven’t felt in a long time. This is nature’s way of signaling that you’ve found a good sexual match. If you assume this means that you should be together forever, you might be moving a little faster than your date is ready for.
Being impatient can translate into wanting too much from the other person too soon. And too soon isn’t dependent on your judgement. Too soon relies on when your date is ready to give you what you are asking for. Physical touch is one way that singles rush in dating. Being impatient means asking for closeness, like a kiss or more, before your date is ready. Being impatient can also look like wanting to make plans too far in advance too soon. Sure, you may be ready to commit to more but asking your date to give more than they are ready to give doesn’t respect the fact that their pace is different than yours.
5. You Were Too Guarded
Dating is dangerous, or at least that is what you think. The marriage market is competitive and everyone wants someone who is not only impressive on paper but attractive in real life. The options or at least, access to options seem endless. How can you get the good-looking people of Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and even Instagram to give you a shot?
Having a good time is about making a connection and that can’t happen if you feel guarded. That’s like having tape over your electrical outlet. Being guarded is natural and can manifest in many singles in ways that they don’t even realize. How can you tell that you are not letting someone in? You can tell by how you feel. If this person wanted to hug you, what would you do? If you were asked a personal question would, you answer it honestly? Only you know the ways in which you protect yourself on a date. Being too guarded keeps hurt out but it keeps love out as well. Sometimes we don’t want to look silly, or feel embarrassed so instead of being an open book, you might have seemed more like a padlocked diary. Full of juicy, interesting secrets but completely inaccessible.
If you feel like dating is taking a toll on you then you likely aren’t dating the right way. Because dating was made up, there are specific rules that single people should follow if they want to be successful. Pay attention to what you want to happen, and how you make it happen and your dates will change for the better.