Albert Einstein said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” This seems especially true when it comes to dating. You may accidentally call your date Bob when his name is Bill. You may spill a glass of red wine on his nice, new suit. You might get a glob of spinach stuck in your teeth (which you’ll notice two hours after dinner).
Blunders and bloopers happen—that’s life. But some women make mistakes by not thinking ahead and not being aware of what they’re doing at the moment. Here are some of the most common ones:
1. Talking about long-term commitment too soon
Although it is untrue that all men are afraid of commitment, most prefer to ease into the subject slowly and after plenty of time spent getting to know their partner. It is a mistake to fish around for clues as to how your date feels about “your future together.” The first weeks and months of dating should be devoted to getting acquainted and enjoying each other—without the pressure of “what lies ahead.” If dating is destined to grow into a long-term relationship, you will both know when the time is right to bring it up. No need to force the issue or try to foretell the future.
2. Unloading past relationship baggage
By the time you begin dating as an adult, you have probably had your heart broken a time or two. It is painful. We vow to learn from past wounds and never let it happen again. But dating is a chance to meet someone new. Talking about past relationships, and all the ways in which you were mistreated, invites old ghosts to join you on your date. What was supposed to be a quiet, romantic dinner can suddenly seem very crowded. The time may come for you to discuss your past experiences, but be judicious and cautious about sharing too much too soon.
3. Conducting a “job interview”
A friend of mine joked that he was going to take a copy of his resume on future dates, since several recent ones had seemed more like job interviews than conversations. It is natural to want to know as much as you can about your date: his tastes, experiences, career, and hobbies. You may want to know about his family and past romantic relationships. But probing too far too fast can come across as nosy and intrusive.
4. Being ungrateful and unappreciative
Some women don’t realize that planning and pulling off a date can cause lots of anxiety for a man. It takes guts to ask someone out, and it takes careful consideration to orchestrate a nice evening. Show gratitude for the effort. The words “Thank You” go a long way.
Mistakes come in all sizes. Some dating fumbles can even be charming. A little awareness can help ensure that yours won’t be so big as to rule out future dates.
Read on for similar articles in our Stages of Love road map!