No-one gets through the world of dating unscathed. There’s going to be awkward moments, mismatches and somewhere in the mix some great nights you’ll remember for a long time. But what if there were a cheat sheet? A way to avoid some of the worst dating mistakes and give yourself a higher success rate. We’ve gathered the biggest dating mistakes, with some expert help, so you can score an A+ every time.
Taking every date too seriously
When you’re too invested in the date going well you actually ruin it’s chances of success. Men’s dating and lifestyle coach Chris Manak has seen this mistake time and time again.
“A common mistake that both men and women often make, is going into a date with way too much riding on this one particular date. If you’ve not had a date in a long time, and you really really need this one to work out well in order to feel good about yourself, then it’s almost certain that you will mess it up.
You’ll be so preoccupied with trying to do the right thing, say the right thing, that the real you won’t come out and no connection will be made.
You might not even do anything specifically, but you will have an air about you, a vibe of neediness – and people feel that. They feel that you need something from them, even if it’s just their approval. And that’s not attractive.
What is attractive, is letting go and enjoying yourself. But you can only do that if you’re in the right place mentally.
There is a huge difference between wanting a date to go well (completely normal), and needing it to go well. If you’re the latter, then it’s time to step back, work on yourself and your dating in general, rather than forcing this one date to be perfect.”
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Going straight for the physical
If you’re only looking for a casual fling then by all means leap into bed. But if you’d like this relationship to have a chance to grow it’s better to hold off on sleeping together straight away.
Chemistry and compatibility are two very different things and when you let desire get the better of you it’s easy to fall for someone while ignoring their red flags. The best relationships are the ones that began as friendships so skip the raunchy stuff until you think a good foundation has been formed. We’re not saying you should avoid all physical contact, it’s an adult relationship after all, but you’ll appreciate the physical intimacy more when you’ve built emotional intimacy to go along with it. In the meantime revamp your bedroom so that it’s ready for when you do decide to add sleepovers to the relationship. A king or queen bed frame is the right size for two and a comfy mattress topper adds a layer of softness for when you want to spend a day snuggling.
Being afraid to put yourself out there
‘I have nothing to wear’
‘I don’t know where to go…’
‘What if they think I’m boring?’
Sound familiar? We’re all nervous about making romantic connections so you can be sure you’re not alone. The daters that succeed are the ones who find the confidence to jump in anyway. A winning smile is all it takes to put your best self forward and research suggests smiling makes you more attractive. HiSmile’s teeth whitening solutions are quick, easy and sure to give your self-esteem a boost.
“Whether it’s a first date OR you have been dating for a while, maintaining good teeth is just as important as maintaining your relationship and boosting your confidence to continuously put your best foot forward,” says Nyarai from HiSmile.
It only takes 10 minutes to treat your teeth so it’s easy to add in to your regular date-ready regime. The whitening kit is vegan-friendly and suited to sensitive teeth which means everyone can enhance their smile and let go of their dating fears.
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The common traps
Even the most experienced daters are susceptible to nerves and modern tech. When you really like your date it’s hard to front up and just be yourself. But ask any dating expert and they’ll tell you that’s exactly what you should do. Jayson Mair is a relationship coach with over 10 years experience helping women find their Mr. Right. Here’s 3 common mistakes he sees:
“Getting too dressed up
Don’t set the bar too high or be someone you’re not. Go for a look that feels natural and comfy. That way, if something develops, you haven’t set the bar too high. Just be yourself!
Don’t talk about your ex
You're on a date with someone new. It’s a fresh new start. Make it about the two of you. They don’t want to hear it, and you’ll sound like you’re stuck in the past. Yuck.
Not being fully present
This is an instant turn off! Make your phone silent and invisible. You have one chance to listen with your whole face. Ask questions and be interested in things other than what job they have or what car they drive. Try asking about travels, concerts, music, pets or anything they might be passionate about. Real and fun. That’s what makes a great date!”
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Advice from a divorce coach
Cheryl Duffy is a divorce coach and author of The Divorce Tango who gave us her biggest mistakes to avoid:
“1. Telling them about your financial situation - Don’t let them know if you own your own home, or how much money you make else you will never know if it’s you they want or your lifestyle!
2. Complain and talk negatively about life, zapping their energy - Be upbeat, positive and let them know what you are passionate about and the dreams you are chasing so they can share theirs too.
3. Talking about your ex constantly so they question whether you are really over them! Be confident and show you are independent, capable and emotionally available.
4. Say you want to get married again! They run a mile. You can outline you are not into casual relationships and prefer a more deep and meaningful relationship.”
Find out more on Facebook or The Divorce Tango blog.
Ready to take the dating world by storm? Here’s 11 fun date ideas to get you started.