The Match Lab

10 Reasons Why You Keep Having Bad First Dates

Are you tired of having bad first dates?

You’re not alone. Most first dates suck. In fact, only about 20% of first dates lead to a second date.

Here’s why…

Why You Keep Having Bad First Dates: 10 Mistakes to Avoid

10 Most Common Causes of a Bad First Date

1. Being inauthentic

One common first date killer is inauthenticity.

It’s tempting to try and impress your date by presenting a polished version of yourself. We get it.

But if you act in a way that’s different from who you truly are, then you’ll prevent a genuine connection from forming.

Your date will likely sense that you’re not being genuine, leading them to lose interest in a second date.

Being authentic is key to connecting with anyone in a meaningful way.

2. Unrealistic expectations

Step back for a minute and consider your dating mindset and what expectations you have.

Unrealistic expectations and a long list of criteria can set you up for disappointment on a first date.

It’s important to remember that no one is perfect, and a first date is just an initial impression. Many mediocre first dates can lead to a great second date if you give people a chance.

Plus, putting too much pressure on yourself or your date can create unnecessary stress and anxiety, making it hard to truly get to know each other. That leads to bad first dates that could have otherwise gone well.

Be open-minded and be willing to accept imperfections.

Read: 4 Reasons Why Confidence is So Attractive

3. Bad dating patterns

Your dating patterns and tendencies may also be spoiling your first dates.

Are you consistently choosing the wrong type of partners, or ignoring red flags?

Reflecting on your dating choices and patterns can help you identify any recurring mistakes that may be hindering your first date success.

4. Poor communication

Communication is a vital aspect of any relationship, and it plays a significant role in first dates as well.

Common communication mistakes on first dates include dominating the conversation, not actively listening, interrupting often, or failing to express yourself clearly.

Practice active listening and allow your date to speak without interrupting. Show genuine interest in what they’re saying and ask open-ended questions to encourage meaningful conversations.

5. Oversharing (TMI: too much information)

While it’s important to be open and share information about yourself on a first date, oversharing too much personal information too soon can be off-putting.

Sharing overly intimate details or discussing past relationships, family issues, or personal problems can be overwhelming and create discomfort for your date.

Remember that trust is built gradually over time, and it’s okay to keep some aspects of your life private in the early stages of dating.

Read: Creating Chemistry on a First Date: 7 Tips for Feeling a Spark

6. Being distracted or checking your phone

Constantly checking your phone, responding to texts, or being distracted by phone notifications can send a message that you’re not fully present or interested in your date.

This can be taken as rude and disrespectful and create a sense of disconnection and even resentment.

If you’ve taken the time to meet up with someone for a first date, then go the extra effort to be fully present with them. Otherwise, you’re almost guaranteed to have a bad first date.

7. Being late to the date

Being late to a first date is a crucial mistake that starts the date off on a negative note.

It sets a tone of disrespect and lack of consideration for your date’s time and effort in planning and preparing for the date.

It can also create anxiety and frustration for your date, who may feel stood up or unimportant.

Being late can disrupt the flow of the date and make it difficult to establish a connection later on in the date, even if things are otherwise going well.

8. Being too negative

Constantly complaining about work, life, or other people can create a negative atmosphere and make for an awful first date.

While it’s good to express yourself authentically, it’s best to at least mostly positive, keeping the focus in the present moment.

9. Being judgmental

Being close-minded, judgmental, or dismissive towards your date’s opinions, beliefs, or interests can create a negative atmosphere and tear away at any possibility for meaningful connection.

It’s important to be open-minded, accepting, and respectful towards your date’s perspectives and interests.

Read: 12 Tips for Having a Great Coffee Date

10. Poor body language

Avoiding eye contact, crossing your arms, fidgeting, lack of smiling, and poor posture can create an image of low confidence, defensiveness, or closed-off personality, which can signal discomfort or disinterest.

It’s best to practice positive body language: keep your arms relaxed, maintain an open and welcoming demeanor, smile and nod gently in conversation to show active listening, and hold an upright posture.

Why First Dates Are So Hard

The reality is that first dates are hard, and if you’re dating, you may find yourself going on tons of first dates — tons of bad first dates that feel awkward, boring, and maybe even uncomfortable.

Social Pressure

One reason why first dates can be challenging is the pressure and expectations that people may place on themselves to be liked, to be interesting, and to make a good impression. This pressure can lead to nervousness, self-doubt, and anxiety, making it difficult to relax and be oneself during the date.

Fear of Rejection

Another common challenge during first dates is the fear of rejection. Opening up to someone new and putting oneself out there can feel vulnerable, and the possibility of being rejected or not being liked can be intimidating.

Lack of Familiarity

First dates typically involve meeting someone new, and this lack of familiarity can create discomfort or awkwardness. When you don’t know much about someone’s likes, dislikes, interests, or sense of humor, it can make conversation and connection more challenging. It takes time to build rapport and develop a level of comfort with someone new, and this can be a hurdle during first dates.

Read: Which is the Best First Date? Coffee vs Drinks vs Dinner

Past Experiences

Past experiences and emotional baggage from previous relationships can also lead to bad first dates. People may bring fears, insecurities, or unresolved issues from their past into a new dating situation, which can affect their ability to be fully present and open during the date.

How to use dating apps to land better first dates

Hopefully these tips give some insights on why bad first dates are so common.

If you’re on dating apps and want to improve your dating profile so you land better first dates, we have you covered.

We at The Match Lab offer professional services to create dating profiles that attract high-quality matches.

If you’d like to find out which are your most attractive photos to use in your dating profile, give our dating photo analyzer a try. Just upload some photos of yourself, and our algorithm will reveal which photos you should be using in your profile and the ideal order they should go in.

If you’re looking for help with writing your dating profile, then check out our professional dating profile writing service.

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