What am I doing wrong during first dates? How do I improve them?

So, I only recently started dating again, specifically meeting girls at match.com for now, until I can meet some at school or bars and clubs. Anyway, my last 2 dates were nearly identical and ended with the same result.

Let me give you the details of what we do at these dates. In both of them we met at a Starbucks close to where I live, for the first girl, I chose what to do, the second girl suggested meeting for coffee right off, so I just chose the place I knew well. Anyway, we meet, sit down together, and talk. It almost feels like an interview sometimes, and there are awkward silences here and there, but it's not that bad. We ask questions about each other back and forth, talking about things going on in our lives now, our interests, family, friends, and even past relationships and experience on the dating site. In both instances I complimented the girl's appearance, the first girl had a unique dressing style (kind of like a 50's housewife) and I said just loved her outfit (which I did). The other girl, well, I kind of just blurted out 'You know, you are really nice', and that seemed to get a smile out of her, and then I said I liked her t-shirt. Again, I was being honest, I thought she was nice and did like her t-shirt. Anyway, the date drags on mostly with more questions and answers... I try to flirt a little (more so in that date with the 2nd girl), basically making strong eye contact and smiling at her.

The only abnormal things our conversations digress to (I'm the one doing the digressing), is talking about a problem I have with anxiety, and these philosophical ponderings about what makes a really good relationship, what makes a really good career, how deeply involved in my faith I am, etc. Oh and some othe digressions that probably did not work for my benefit were answers to her questions about what I do when I'm not at work/school (which I had to stick with honesty and tell her 'watch movies, surf the net, and play video games... because my knees are busted and can't play sports for now), and the question about do I have any friends in the area which I had to answer that I had only 1 friend... and that I was a bit of a loner.

Anyway, that is the jist of it, I want to know what things I am doing wrong, and what I should be doing instead to improve these type of dates in the future. Both of these girls did the old 'cold shoulder' after our date, and just ignored all text messages and such until I actually asked them to clarify if they were or were not interested. They weren't interested. It's discouraging, I didn't used to have problems like this in my earlier 20's. Am I just plain repulsive to women or something? I just don't know. All I want is a great girlfriend. Once I have one I'd spoil her and treat her like a princess and be all romantic like, because that's what I do (in past relationships) and enjoy doing. But they never get a chance to find that out, I'm shut out after the first date. Help?

Updates:
Note: To clarify, after the second date, the girl ignored me for a while then I asked her if she is interested or not and she said "I don't think it will go past friendship between us"... after one date she knows this? I imagine she is covering up for a reason that is likely more hurtful.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • The issue is that you're trying to prove to them they're good enough for you. That attitude generally doesn't attract women. So it's not that you repel them - it's that you're not drawing them in. You seem like a perfectly good guy and there's clearly nothing wrong with your appearance that I can see. I do a LOT of online dating and my general advice is to lower your expectations. Women on those sites are bombarded with messages from every kind of guy imaginable and they have their pick. There's always going to be a hotter guy or a richer guy or a funnier guy or whatever. You can't win at that angle (nor can I or most other guys). You've got to accept that it's basically at least a 1 in 100 shot that there will be even a casual relationship happening and 1:1000 at least for a real relationship. Many girls are just on those sites because they want to get messages from guys just to make themselves feel pretty.

    It sounds like you've got nice guy syndrome too. I'm in the same boat. Since I've started acting like more of a d*** on first dates, I have a lot more second dates. Some tips:

    1. Don't compliment her on a first date. She is the one proving herself to you, not the other way around. If you give her the impression that you are the one trying to show you're good enough, then that means she's already above you and will gain no social value out of being with you.

    2. Eye contact is good but so is acting distracted. The key is to use these behaviors as subtle rewards and punishments. When she does something you like, smile and give eye contact. When she says something you don't like or that creates distance between you two, act distracted and get a little distant and change the subject. But whatever you do, do it confidently and with purpose.

    3. The question about friends is very counter-intuitive. On a first date you basically can't tell if she expects you to have a lot of friends or not, and anyway, it doesn't matter what she expects. The right answer is whatever you say as long as you say it right. Try saying, "I don't make friends, too much of a hassle. I've been so busy with work lately I haven't needed them. Doesn't work for everyone though - how about you?" (Confident answer and a slight put down because it assumes she has friends and is going to talk about them, implying she either doesn't have much going on in her life or that she needs other people to feel whole).

    4. Don't let them know what you've been like in past relationships. Don't ever mentioning anything about spoiling her or treating her like a princess. Do women say they want this? Yes. But women rarely mean what they say in this department.

    5. You have to get rid of the "this girl could be the one" mentality that we all start with. No single girl is that special. There are always better ones, and there are better ones who will value you more. Wait until you are in the relationship before you care about her.

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    • This is some great stuff man, I appreciate it. It's really disappointing how being a nice guy essentially repels women, but I definitely see your logic there. You imply that women are out there to "gain social value" in terms of who they're with, I didn't realize that kind of thinking was still in affect even after high school years. Thanks again bro, I'm gonna commit this stuff to memory

    • Show All
    • (con't) Experience through years of relying on that basic instinct to select the right guy, yet ending up with guys who truly are jerks and will hurt them; thus they opt to find more traits that suggest the guy will treat her right. It's like... food, if we relied on our basic instincts we would eat anything and everything (until we're obese), but the long-term hindsight (which only humans have) reminds us that if we eat that food excessively we will end up fat and unhappy, and so we ignore it

    • 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. The bottom line is that no one should make the mistake I made for years which is listening to what women SAY they want. It's BS. Rationally and intellectually, yes they want a nice guy. Do they get attracted to nice guys? NO.

What Girls Said 1

  • I wouldn't overanalyse the situation too much. You've only been on two dates. My advice would be:

    1. Be yourself, be nice.

    2. Try to get to know her better rather than spending too much time talking about yourself.

    3. It's not necessarily a bad thing to reveal a lot about yourself (being a loner, anxiety), but only do so if things are going really well and she's sharing personal things too. Don't do it if you're still in the small talk phase.

    4. Don't take advice from other single guys.

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    • Ahh, thanks, I already know and practice #1 there, being myself (cause I don't want her to fall in love with some mask), number 2 is something I also know but tend to forget during dates, usually when the girl asks question after question and I get carried away with details, but I'm pretty concious of this and start asking her questions... and number 3 is a very good point I'll take home with me, good tip, thanks!

    • Welcome :)

What Guys Said 1

  • @update - Girls won't give you any helpful info. They don't think like guys. They think they look nice and are making a clean break by just disappearing, whereas we're left thinking we didn't do anything wrong and have no idea what happened. Many times I've had great dates where she was laughing and having a good time and said "Call me later this week" and never got back to me. Some are just flakes too. Oh and the "friends" line is SUCH BS! They have no desire for that. Luckily neither do I, lol.

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    • Oh ya, that is definitely something I know by now, and I'm sure most guys find this out fairly quickly, it's all an avoidance of confrontation, they figure if they can just ignore the guy and hope he gets the hint, that will amount to the least confrontation (though this is the worst thing to do for girls when the guy actually likes them); the 'we can be friends' line is simply translated to 'I don't want to have anything to do with you, bye' lol

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