As a dating coach, I hear numerous re-enactments of my client’s dates. Some are normal healthy dating practices while others make you want to say “Did he/she really do that on the first date!” For the purpose of this feature, I will focus on the 3 most commonly made dating mistakes I hear about in my practice. I will also follow each up by coaching you on 3 better dating practices to implement.
- Alcohol and drinking too much: Although alcohol at times can give us liquid courage, it’s a bad habit to use alcohol as a crutch when getting to know someone. Meeting a date for the first time can be awkward and nerve-wracking, however alcohol will only cloud judgment and doesn’t leave a good first impression either.
Better Dating Practice: Limit your drinks to 1 or 2 when first meeting someone. Also, remember to drink water and eat prior if it’s not a dinner date. This way, you can engage in conversation and be more yourself instead of having regrets; which can often occur after too many cocktails. You’re also able to make better decisions and maintain healthy boundaries without the consumption of alcohol.
- Late/Tardiness: Most of us have been late to an event or a date and make a ton of excuses on why it occurred…traffic was heavy, got out of work late, my friend called, or just lost track of time. When dating (and usually for other events), there is a 10 minute grace period that is given to account for things that weren’t planned for. This grace period can be especially needed when living in a big city. However, if you’re later than 10 or 15 minutes for a date then it can be viewed as careless or even selfish. Your date is waiting around to meet you and it shows a lack of consideration and priority on your part.
Better Dating Practice: Prepare for your date. Know where you’re going in advance and plan ahead. Yes, it’s that easy. Try to not schedule a date across town 20 minutes after work. You will be stressed out and more than likely late getting there due to circumstances out of our control. Being late isn’t the first impression you want to make. Emergencies happen however tardiness can be fixed with a little effort and planning.
- Disclosing or oversharing information regarding ex-relationships: Let’s face it…we all have baggage. But the last thing you want to do is bring that baggage into a potential dating relationship. I’ve heard and experienced too many times that a date was fixated over their past relationship and ex that there wasn’t an opportunity to share or even get to know each other. Oversharing can stem from anxiety and nervousness however it can appear as bombarding the other person with information that should initially be kept private. As you get to know each other this private information regarding past relationships etc. can then be disclosed. But the first initial dates isn’t the right time or place.
Better Dating Practice: Conversations will naturally come up within dating relationships. So, there will be an opportunity to explain or further discuss topics that should be kept private in the beginning. The idea is that when the conversation comes up about a difficult subject or an ex relationship, there is a natural give and take. Listening and reflection occur and there is a natural balance when sharing more personal information with your dating partner.
If you are still hurt from your last relationship, angry, jealous, insecure, fearful, etc. then I encourage you to process what happened and move forward. Talk to a friend, see a dating coach or counselor, journal. The idea is to recognize what happened in the past relationship, process the emotions, learn from it, let it go, and move forward. You will be happier and your dating life will greatly improve. In dating, we always want to put our best self out there and truly be seen for the person we are.