Dating should be fun. But, most people view it as the equivalent of a job interview for a potential relationship that might work you too hard and not give you enough in return. When everyday life floods your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and other social media with screengrabs of awkward OKCupid and Tinder interactions and profiles, a less than optimistic attitude might feel justified. This leads people to feed into negative dating culture and just spam messages like “wanna f*ck?” hoping there is a hit-it-and-quit-it soulmate on the receiving end.
A successful date isn’t necessarily the result of serendipity or matching star signs (Although, it can be, so watch out for Scorpios… sorry to put you on blast, Scorpios); like most other endeavors, you can prepare. You don’t have to build a vision board or buy The Secret and try to use the “law of attraction.” You don’t have to get a dating coach (but you might want to because fun, duh). Start simple and make wise choices. Steer clear of the following behaviors on your next first date and you will at least minimize negative consequences while maybe enhancing your chances for a second, a third, a fourth, and… you know how numbers work.
Don’t Declare Your Love
Slow your roll. Even if you believe in partners completing each other and love at first sight, it is a rare date who will welcome a declaration of abject worship. Most will feel that a heavy expectation is being placed upon them to both return that level of affection and be worthy of it. Wait to explore a potential love until you are more than two cocktails into a relationship.
Prominent exceptions to this rule are famous people. Model Elaine Irwin married John Mellencamp 10 weeks after they met and Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon eloped after a month of dating. Those marriages spawned a couple of kids and ended in divorce (make of that what you will). So, if you are famous and you date another famous person, you can ignore this and fall in love immediately.
Don’t Focus On The Negative
Love is available to everyone. You can be bigger than you want to be. You can be less than conventionally attractive. You can be an introvert and have a hard time putting yourself in a social situation. But, you can still find people that appreciate you, enjoy your company, and want to develop a loving relationship with you. You are literally only as single as you are picky. That doesn’t mean you should drop your standards, but you should take comfort in knowing there are people in the world who want you. Probably a lot of them.
Enter a dating situation believing it could lead to something. To do otherwise is to set up a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thinking “I suck at dating and this person will hate me” leads you to protect yourself by remaining distant or getting weird or detaching from what’s happening. You can’t connect with another person when you are busy beating yourself up. You also don’t want to Seinfeld it and concentrate on all of the superficial things that are wrong with your date. Give them a chance.
Don’t Jump On The Agreement Bandwagon
Everyone wants to be liked. That’s natural and there is nothing wrong with presenting your best self as a way to get an affirming response. There is something wrong with letting it turn you into a Stepford date. You should be getting to know each other, not recreating the “Whatever you want” scene from Coming to America. If you remember, that’s why he didn’t choose her to be his bride. Reveal who you are; share your opinions. Don’t be afraid to voice your views politely and without doubt. It’s generally appreciated.