First dates can be a communication minefield.
On the one hand, you want to present the best version of yourself to someone who could potentially be your boyfriend or girlfriend. You want to get past the awkward “small talk” and figure out whether the two of you are compatible.
But on the other hand, you don’t want to get too invasive. While there’s no set rulebook for how to act on a first date, there are some questions that could give your potential partner the wrong impression.
Here are the seven worst questions to ask on a first date:
- What’s your relationship like with your parents?: stay away from overly personal questions on the first date. I get it, you want to skip the “small talk” and get to a deep conversation, but you must ease into these topics so the other person does not become uncomfortable.
- Why did you and your ex break up?: bringing up past relationships can also ruin first dates. What happened in the past isn’t relevant to the date that’s happening right now. While someone may have had a rocky relationship with their last partner, you could bring out a completely different side of them.
- What’s your favorite position?: avoid talking explicitly about sex on the first date; its too much, too soon.
- How can you work in a job like that?: avoid judgmental comments and questions about what someone does, wears, hangs out with, etc. You don’t want your date to feel like you’re keeping score and auditioning him or her for the future.
- Why weren’t you a better friend?: along with judgmental questions, avoid asking things that would make your date feel guilty about a personal story they revealed to you – remember, the point is to feel good.
- Do you always wear this much makeup?: avoid asking a question about someone’s appearance. In fact, don’t say anything about your date’s appearance unless it’s a direct compliment.
- Do you want a relationship?: don’t inquire about a long-term relationship on the first date. While you should be upfront about whether you just want to hook up or would like something more serious, getting too serious too soon turns your date off.
Being yourself is important.
But if you want a successful long-term relationship, there are two qualities that are even MORE important: being an open communicator with your partner, and being open to change.
In a recent study, scientists surveyed over 5,500 singles and revealed their list of the top “relationship dealbreakers”.
Here’s the top 11 – work on avoiding or improving as many of these as possible, and you can INCREASE your chances of a lasting relationship:
Disheveled (unclean appearance).
Lacks sense of humor.
Lived more than 3 hours away from me.
Too much TV/video games.
Low sex drive.
Talks too much.
Have you ever been on a date where things went wrong, but you couldn’t figure out why? Or a date where you thought things went great, but when you called your date the next day they told you they weren’t interested in seeing you again?
Well it happens. Sometimes chemistry happens for one person but not the other. But sometimes, just sometimes, there are warning signs. Learn how to read these 8 warning signs, and you may just turn a bad date into a good date, and on to a second date and beyond:
- Re-scheduling: in life, particularly for a busy person, things sometime come up last minute, forcing you to re-schedule. But if your date is constantly changing plans last minute, it may be a sign that they’re not really that interested.
- Late, not great: if your date shows up late without a good excuse, it’s a sign that they’re probably not that into it.
- Disengaged: if your date is not really engaging in conversation, or simply seems to be distant – it’s likely that they are just not into you.
- Distracted: when your date is spending more time chatting to the wait staff, or worse yet checking them out, it sends a message that they’re more interested in the wait staff than they are in you.
- Not listening: if your date keeps talking over you, or clearly isn’t listening to what you’re saying, it shows they’re not really interested in you.
- No questions: if your date is happy to talk about themselves, but doesn’t ask you even one question about yourself, it shows an overall lack of interest.
- Yawning: a yawn is nature’s way of showing that someone is bored.
- Arguing: if you find yourself in heated arguments with your date, particularly on a first or second date, it’s pretty much a given that things aren’t going well.
When you dream about your perfect partner, what do they look like? I’ll bet they’re very attractive – exactly your physical type, right?
Physical chemistry is important – who are we kidding – but what happens when your dream relationship runs into real-life problems?
Well, physical chemistry alone won’t save you. But this essential relationship quality will:
What is it?:
- An ability to rise above the day to day issues (job, health, family, stress, etc.) and see the relationship as a whole.
- An ability to discuss the overall state of your relationship, without getting dragged down into minute details and petty grievances.
- An openness to seeing things from your partner’s perspective & being open to change & compromise for the sake of your relationship.
- An ability to say you’re wrong.
How can you spot it?:
- Is someone open to new ideas, or are they close-minded in your early conversations?
- When discussing past relationships, do they blame their past partners or do they accept some of the blame themselves? Do they say they’ve learned from past relationships?
- Do they anger easily & yell at restaurant staff, other drivers, etc.; do they constantly criticize others but never their own actions?
- Do they value relationships with friends, family, co-workers, etc?
Dating – it is sometimes said – comes down to one thing: “Chemistry”.
Do you feel it, do they have it, what creates it, will I ever find it?
Although chemistry sometimes feels like magic, it’s actually far more basic than that – a connection you feel with someone that goes beyond the physical.
Here are 5 facts you need to know about dating chemistry:
- Oh yes you can: you can’t change the way you look, but you can change they way you act on a date. By creating more positive dating habits, you’ll make a better impression on your date, and increase the chances of a real connection even if there’s no immediate ‘wow’.
- Two kinds of chemistry: short term and long term chemistry aren’t always the same – the short term kind works well for while (ie. extreme physical attraction), but the long term kind (which can grow over time) is more important in lasting relationships.
- You need it, eventually: successful relationships need chemistry, but it doesn’t have to happen right away, and it doesn’t have to be ‘knock you off your chair’ chemistry (which can fade quickly anyway). If you’ve met someone interesting, give it enough time (ie. more than one date) to see if chemistry will develop .
- What’s inside matters: if you find yourself growing more attracted to someone over time, its unlikely that you are just finding them better looking (although that’s what it feels like); you’re likely connecting at a deeper level which makes the person seem more ‘attractive’ to you.
- Not all connections need to be ‘the one’: of course meeting someone special is the ultimate goal for most singles, but that’s not to say it’s the only desirable outcome from dating. If you do meet someone great, but just don’t feel that special ‘spark’, then consider friendship as a possible option. Although there may only be room for one ‘special someone’ in your life, you can never have enough friends.
In dating, as in life, there is such a thing as trying too hard.
Yes, making an effort on your date matters – but when you try to over-complicate things, you can end up being a ‘turn-off’ for your date.
Your best bet is to keep things simple on a first date – here’s 4 questions to make you more likable and, therefore, more successful on your date:
- How’s your day?: everyone likes to talk about themselves, and that means your date does to. Asking easy, open-ended questions gives them the chance to start a conversation about something they feel comfortable about. It also shows that you’re interested in them, which is exactly the image you want to project on a date.
- What do you think?: having a two-way conversation on your date is an essential part of getting to a second and third date and beyond. Instead of just talking about yourself the whole time, find a fun subject that interests you both (movies, music, travel, etc.) and ask their opinion about it. This shows you respect their opinion, and respect is a very sexy quality.
- Why?: asking follow up questions shows you’re date that you are listening to them, and actively interested in getting to know them better. Why do they love travel? Why did they choose their educational or career path? Why did they love that movie? Avoid more personal questions like ‘why are you single’ – there’ll be a time & place to ask that, but a first date is not that time.
- Would you like to catch a movie next week?: the single biggest reason why first dates don’t go anywhere is because one or both people don’t ask for a second date. Don’t be that statistic. If the dates going well (even if it’s just going okay), ask them if they’d like to go on a second date. You’ve got nothing to lose but your single life.
The end of summer has arrived, so what does that mean for YOUR love life? Basically, you have two options:
You can keep the fire burning with your special someone, even as the temperatures start to cool down.
Or, your romance can fade along with the backdrop of sandy beaches and starry skies that came with it.
Here’s 5 signs your summer relationship is built to last past Labour Day:
- You’re planning events for the future: when people see someone as short-term, they deliberately keep all plans within a 48 to 72-hour window, in case something better comes along. If your partner is making plans to spend post Labour Day time with you (and time thereafter), it’s safe to say they see you in their future. Bonus points if you’ve bought [future] concert tickets or invested in any type of prepaid date.
- You’ve met their family and friends: being introduced to your significant other’s loved ones is a sign that things are serious. If your partner regularly brings you around their friends and family, then there’s a chance they see you in their immediate future. When you see someone as a long-term option, you want to make sure everyone in your life gets used to them being around.
- There’s a healthy amount of communication about your relationship: if your partner is willing to discuss both the good and bad aspects of your relationship, all signs point to them being in it for the long haul. It’s easier to ignore real issues as long as you’re not concerned with how long your partner will be around.
- You survived your first argument: having a healthy argument is completely normal in relationships, as long as you both are willing to compromise. The first argument says a lot about where you are – if you’ve argued and made up, this shows your partner isn’t the type to run at the first sign of discomfort. This means they understand arguing is a part of relationships, and they’re willing to work through it in order to stay around.
- Summer lovin’ happened so fast?: if your relationship has remained consistent and you’ve become even closer after being intimate, its a strong indicator your relationship will last beyond summer. Yes, your summer fling just might be the real thing.
In dating, looks matter – who are we kidding? But if you’re seeking a long term relationship partner, looks aren’t the most important thing.
Matchmakers will tell you: “Beware the person you find EXTREMELY attractive when you first meet them – you may be blinded to the fact that they’re not actually a great match for you.”
Here’s 4 dating red flags to look out for on your date:
- Just not that into you: if your date is constantly checking their phone, or seems distracted during your date, it may be a sign that there’s no real spark. By all means, try and get things back on track (ask about something that interests them; or go see an event you’re both interested in), but consider pursuing other dating options if that doesn’t work.
- Not relationship-material: if you’ve got your life together (career, health, finances, etc.), its natural to want to meet someone who’s in the same place. Looking at a pretty face will only go so far; once you discover that you’re not really a good relationship fit, even the strongest chemistry can fade in time.
- All sizzle, no steak: being physically attracted to someone is great, particularly if you’re on a first or second date. But after a while, you should find that you have other things in common; and have good conversations about a variety of topics that interest you both. Ask yourself this question: does being around them make you feel good about yourself?
- Different life-goals: if you value family and want to have one of your own some day – but your partner doesn’t – it may be a sign of problems ahead. Similarly, shared feelings about education, travel, views on the world, etc. can be an important part of a relationship where chemistry GROWS over time. You don’t have to date someone exactly like you, but where there are major differences be sure to talk through them before committing to something long-term just based on physical chemistry.
In love and in life, you’ll get better results if you have a plan. No, you can’t just make the perfect person appear in your life – but you can be truly ready once they do.
The key to being open & ready to meet your special someone is to understand exactly what you want in a relationship and why.
Here’s 5 questions to help you find your special someone:
- Are you ready to spend your life with one person?: part of being ready to meet someone special, is being ready to commit to one person. Relationship minded singles want the same in a partner – if you’re not there yet, consider a change of attitude.
- What does happiness look like?: not everyone wants the same thing from a relationship – some want marriage and a family right away, others may already have kids, others may be open to having kids or not, etc., etc. Understanding what your ideal relationship looks like is a good place to start – but be open to some flexibility if/when you meet someone great who doesn’t necessarily fit all your ideal criteria.
- What are your life goals?: thinking through what you really want from life can help you zero in on the right person once you’ve connected. Once you get beyond the first few dates with someone new, having some shared goals in life is an important aspect of finding your special someone.
- What are your ‘must haves’?: are there some things that you just can’t compromise on when it comes to a relationship partner? Is having kids a must? Or not having kids? Or meeting someone with a similar background? Keep this list as short as possible, as you’d be surprised how many successful relationships are created between people who don’t necessarily have ‘all the boxes ticked’!
- What are your ‘deal breakers’?: similar to point #4, are there some qualities that you’re simply not willing to bend on – someone who smokes, someone who already has kids (or doesn’t have kids), someone who doesn’t share your relationships goals (ie. they want something casual and you don’t, etc.).
Its hard not to take rejection personally, especially when its from someone you really liked – and maybe even saw as “relationship potential”.
But here’s the truth: relationship success requires both parties to be equally committed. If that’s not the case, you’re better off finding out now (for whatever reason) than later on down the road.
Here’s 7 tips to help you move on from rejection & find your (truly) special someone:
- One step in a journey: no, its not the worst thing in the world. In fact, there’s something worse – not putting yourself out there at all. Don’t stop.
- It wasn’t the right fit for you: it may not feel like it now, but it wasn’t the right fit if both parties weren’t equally into it. Be sad for a while, but move on.
- Reach out: reach out to friends or family in your inner circle who can remind you of the bigger picture. Their support can be helpful.
- Be thankful: its probably the last thing you feel like doing after being rejected, but do your best to be positive to the other person. There’s little benefit in burning bridges with anyone. Who knows, you may even develop a friendship out of it.
- Be self-aware: if this isn’t the first rejection, it might be time to look in the mirror and see if there’s anything you need to change about your dating approach. Perhaps you’re going too fast, or too slow, or maybe you need to freshen up your look, or hire a personal trainer, etc, etc. No-ones perfect, and that means you (and me) too!
- Be open-minded: when you do get yourself back out there, try this – open up the criteria of what you’re looking for in a relationship partner. The best thing you can do for yourself is to start meeting new people again; and the more open are your criteria, the more people you’ll meet. Yes, its that simple.
- Hire a professional: the online dating game can be a grind, especially if you’re a busy single or professional looking for a relationship. Consider hiring a professional matchmaking service like Executive Search Dating to get your love life moving in the right direction again. Contact us today to find out more!