You’re dating a man you really like.
He’s just your “type” and seems to be into you, too.
But…you also want to make sure he’s right for you. You don’t want to make the same mistakes you’ve made before and end up excited about a guy who’s emotionally unavailable or who has different life goals than you do.
You’ve already been down that road, only to have your heart broken.
So, on your next date, you have your list of questions ready, because you want to make sure to remember to cover all your bases.
What is he looking for in a relationship right now?
What was his longest relationship?
Why did it end?
Where does he see himself in five years?
Does he want kids? Does he have kids? Does he mind if you have kids?
As you listen to his answers, you’re more and more smitten. He’s handsome, smart, witty. And he’s got all the right answers.
You hope you’ll see him again, and you hope he feels the same way about you.
But guess what? Despite your best efforts to connect with this man, you’ve already made a blunder that is making him wonder if maybe you’re not a good fit.
Chances are good that you’re probably not going to hear from him again.
Or if you get in touch with him, he’ll be distant…unenthusiastic…stand-offish.
If you’ve ever experienced this, keep reading, because, in this article, I’m going to explain how to avoid making a dating mistake that’s so common and yet so easy to avoid.
But first, here’s why the first few dates are so notoriously tricky.
With the popularity of online dating, the actual first time you’re meeting someone you’re still total strangers.
That puts a huge amount of pressure on first impressions.
Forming a truly intimate connection the first few times you see each other is impossible when both of you are focused on sizing each other up. Or when you’re so nervous that you can’t stay present and just enjoy yourself.
Or if you’ve had so many bad experiences in the past, that you want to skip over the chit-chat and get to the important stuff, like whether he’s even interested in having a real relationship, or emotionally available.
All this fear, expectations, nervousness, and focus on an agenda can lead you to make some fairly common blunders on a date.
It can lead you to come across as pushy, closed-off and too intense.
That may not be at all how you feel, or what your intentions are. You’re just trying to be a good conversationalist, and at the same time, trying to determine if he’s right for you.
Instead, your attempts at keeping the conversation flowing while learning more about him are backfiring.
But they don’t have to.How to Date Successfully
It’s normal to have a little fear and nervousness, especially if it’s someone you’re attracted to, physically.
That’s why it’s helpful to have some tactical guidelines for a date. What to do, what not to do, in terms that are simple to remember and put into practice.
One of my favorite tips for my single clients for the first few dates is to pace yourself and stay in the moment.
Of course, that is easier said than done when you’re sitting across from a handsome stranger and you know they’re sizing you up.
That’s why a simpler way to pace yourself and stay present is to remember the rule of 3:
When you ask more than three questions, the date starts to feel more like a job interview or an interrogation than a date.
You think you’re just communicating curiosity, but your date feels overwhelmed.
Depending on what you’re asking, it could also come across as you having an agenda.
The key is to ask a question or two, then let him ask his own question—or better yet—reflect more on what he said. That will communicate to him that you’re a thoughtful listener. For example:
“Have you been in any long-term relationships since your divorce?”
“Yes, I dated a woman for three years.”
“Oh, that’s a long time.”
“Yes, it was. We were very much in love. It didn’t work out because she accepted a job offer in another state. It was her dream job, and a difficult decision for her.”
“That must have been heartbreaking, nonetheless. You didn’t want to move with her?”
“No, because I want to be close to my kids, and if I moved, I’d only see them a few times a year.”
“I can see why you made that choice, but I’m sure it wasn’t easy.”
And so on…
Notice how you don’t just ask the question and move on to the next question, but take time to listen to the answer and reflect on what he’s saying and feeling.
If you had an agenda, and just wanted to know whether or not he’s capable of a long-term relationship or commitment, you may have stopped after he answered, “Yes, I dated a woman for three years.”
And you’d have missed so many important details…
In the example above, think of how much information you’d have missed if you hadn’t stopped to reflect and listen, but instead just kept mentally “checking off each” question on your list of things you wanted to know.
You wouldn’t have learned that he had been very much in love with an ex-girlfriend (meaning, he’s probably emotionally available).
Or that he has children, or that they’re a big priority to him. That he was willing to give up love to be a more involved father to them.
You wouldn’t have known that he wasn’t bitter about his breakup.
When you allow a conversation to flow naturally, without pushing a bunch of questions at him, you’ll be surprised at how much is revealed—organically.
When you slow things down and reflect on what your date said, instead of rushing to ask the next question, there’s a good chance a lot more will be revealed that you didn’t even consider.
You didn’t think to ask if he’d been in love with anyone since his divorce.
You didn’t think to ask how much his children mean to him.
But you found out anyway.
That’s why, if you follow the “rule of 3” when it comes to asking questions, you may get a lot more than you bargained for—in a good way.
Not only will you learn more about him, but you’ll project a more confident, relaxed, open attitude that’s HIGHLY attractive to a man.
In summary, you want your date to reflect back on the time you spent together as relaxed, fun, and engaging.
Not as probing and uncomfortable.
That’s why you want to limit the number of questions you ask, and let the conversation goes where it wants to go, without attaching an agenda.
You want to imagine your first date like dancing together with someone for the first time:
He steps forward, you step back. You step to your left, and he steps to his right. You listen to the music and pace yourself accordingly. Not too fast, not too slow. You’re in tune with each other and enjoying the moment.
This may describe dating in a very different way than you’re used to, now.
And it could be the very reason why you haven’t been able to connect with anyone special for very long.
You’re afraid to waste your time.
You’re afraid to have your heart broken.
You’re afraid of getting attached to someone who can’t make you happy.
You’re afraid of making the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.
And therefore, you tend to unconsciously do things—like asking too many questions—to combat this fear. You think that by getting all the information up front, you’ll somehow be less likely to get hurt.
But the more questions you ask, the more uncomfortable he will be, and the more likely it is that you’ll be disappointed anyway.
It’s a negative cycle that only gets you more of the same negative experiences (ghosting, rejection) that drive that fear.
There’s a way out of this negative cycle, and it involves approaching dating in a radically different way, before, during and after your first date.
I understand how disappointing and frustrating dating can be. You’re certainly not alone if you feel this way, too.
I’ve been counseling singles of all ages and from all walks of life in my private practice for more than 40+ years.
Many come to me because they’re lonely and confused. They want me to help them shed light on why they’re still single. What are they doing wrong? Why can’t they seem to connect with anyone? Why are the people they feel attracted to, not attracted to them?
What I’ve come to understand is that modern dating makes it harder, not easier, to find the right partner. It doesn’t foster the conditions to create a true, deep connection with another person or set the stage for a fully committed, unbreakable, soul-satisfying partnership.
What’s more, most singles make the same dire mistakes on the first date that almost guarantees they won’t get a second date with the same person.
I want to show you how to prepare yourself for that first date so that you’re not making those common blunders. I want to put you ahead of the curve because you know what you want, what your strengths are, and what to look for the first time you meet a prospective mate.
That’s one reason why I created my program, Dating Rehab.
Dating Rehab is a program that teaches you how to create real intimacy and connection from the beginning, and how to prepare yourself in a way that will naturally attract the RIGHT partner to you.
In Section 4 of Dating Rehab, you’ll learn how to make a great first impression while also learning what you want to know about him. You’ll get tips on how to phrase questions and build intimacy without overstepping his boundaries.
You’ll learn the other rule of 3: what else NOT to overdo on a date, especially if you are super attracted to him.
You’ll also learn 7 more tactical strategies for first dates: what to do, what to avoid, including where to meet, what to never talk about, and what to always be honest about.
You’ll get pointers on communication and getting the conversation flowing, especially when things get quiet and awkward.
You’ll learn how to answer personal questions that seem too probing, how much to reveal about yourself and your past, and more.
Later in that section, you’ll get 6 tips on how to produce intimacy without invasion.
And you’ll get my insight on how to know if he’s truly curious about and interested in you, or just pretending in order to be polite.
And more importantly…how to tell if he’s good enough for YOU! Dating Rehab will reveal the 12 characteristics to look for in a “keeper.”
There’s so much more in this program that will help you enjoy dating again and increase your odds for finding true love at last. It’s all here:Make Dating Enjoyable
Sometimes the most subtle thing can make all the difference the first time you meet someone.
Maybe it was a question you asked, or how forthcoming you were about something or the way you kept a little bit of mystery about you when you refrained from sharing too much.
First dates can be magic, or they can be completely forgettable. Let me help you create the former, and watch your love life take off.
P.S. There’s a reason why things “cool down” after the initial honeymoon period of the first few weeks of dating. Do you know why this happens or how to respond to this phenomenon in a way that makes your relationship stronger?
In Section 5 of my Dating Rehab program, you’ll learn why this happens, and how to get through this touchy stage of your relationship more in love than ever:Why Things Cool Down