A lot of people think they are excellent daters; after all, more often than not, they are getting asked out on a second date. However, the real question is this: Are they getting asked out for that second date by the people they are really interested in? Or are they sabotaging their chances with "the one" without even realizing it?
I am a professional matchmaker and here's some of what I know about how to be a good dater. Take my advice so you don't get you kicked to the curb before you even have a chance to get to know the other person:
- People are attracted to people who smile. Smiling makes you seem light, fun and more youthful. If you always have a frown on your face, chances are your date isn't going to want to see you again
- Don't be negative. I can't tell you how many times I hear from people that they are turned off by bitter and negative people. If you feel the need to complain, just close your mouth and think it to yourself. Your date doesn't want to hear it. Trust me.
- Don't be a gossip. I know that it's fun when realize you know a host of people in common with your date. That connection makes you feel more at ease and makes you feel like you have known this person for longer than you actually have. However, resist the urge to immediately start gossiping about the people you know in common. You might wind up crossing the line here and offending the other person without your even knowing it.
- Don't order water when the waiter asked you what you want to drink. When you order water, it's like saying to the person I am not interested enough in you to even order a beverage. I understand you might be thirsty for water, but at least order something else like a seltzer or a juice in addition to the glass of water. And even if you don't drink, just order something other than water so the person feels like you want to be there with them.
- Don't act too comfortable too quickly. I know that if you feel chemistry with someone, it's nice to get comfy quickly, but sometimes the other person might get scared off by this. Keep in mind that your date doesn't really know you and might not understand your brand of sarcasm, so it's better to give them time to catch up and get to know you, rather than inadvertently scare them off by a joke that they didn't find funny.
- Don't wear black. I know you think you look sexier and thinner in it but you also look harder, older and more severe and men generally don't like this. It's summertime, choose a flower print or pretty colored dress -- you will seem younger, more feminine and fun and the men will be more attracted.
- Don't talk about how much you have been dating recently. I know that it is tempting to brag about how popular you are with the opposite sex in hopes that the person sitting at the table with you will want to get on your bandwagon. However, most of the time, people are not attracted to someone who has so much going on in their dating because they don't want to have to compete. Also if you are dating too many people, it appears as if you just want to have fun and you are not serious about getting into a relationship. You are better off staying closed-mouthed when it comes to talking about what you are doing on other nights of the week and just acting confident and interesting on the date you are on.
- Don't come to the date looking disheveled and all out of sorts. I don't care if you were running late or if you lost your blackberry. You need to stop and take the time to make yourself look presentable. If you do not, it seems like you do not care what the other person thinks and this is not a good way of making a great first impression.
- Don't be on your blackberry or iPhone. If you really absolutely need to pick up a call, then tell you date that in the beginning. You do not want him to think that you are answering a call because you are not interested in him. And with texts and emails, get up and go to the bathroom and look at them there. Keep in mind that as soon as you look at a text or starting typing in your date's face, you are basically saying to your date that this other person is more interesting or more important to me than you are. Is this the first impression that you want to be giving to a potential love interest?
Samantha Daniels is a well known professional matchmaker, president of Samantha's Table Matchmaking and the author of Matchbook: The Diary of a Modern Day Matchmaker (Simon & Schuster). You can read more from Samantha on her personal blog, Matchmaker in the Know. Follow Samantha Daniels on Twitter @Matchmakersd. And follow her on Open Sky.