This was a question I was asked a couple of weeks ago by another blogger. And interestingly it was a guy who was asking me the question, not a girl.
As I said to the guys at The Male Stylist, this isn’t a question I can easily answer, or one I really think about too often. It’s something I would normally equate with a very different kind of dating blog. More of a ‘man hater’ blog.
I like to think the reason as many guys read 30 Dates as women, is because I think we’re all just as bad as each other. I wouldn’t necessarily say there are specific things which men do wrong, which women do any better at when it comes to the old dating game! We’re all bumbling along making the same mistakes and successes … and that’s what makes it so enjoyable!
The more I thought about it, the harder I found it to isolate things which men specifically do wrong. But then maybe I’m too easy going … you see I’ve gone on an awful lot of dates, and yet I very rarely go on what I would call ‘bad dates’.
The Traditional Idea of a ‘Bad Date’
I think one of the worst things daters often do is equate whether a date is bad or good simply on whether they fancy their date. I don’t know about you, but that’s something I can normally work out within about a minute or two. And so it’s pretty sad if 5 minutes in you decide your evening is ruined. And this is coming from someone who voluntarily went on 30 blind dates, so essentially set herself up for 30 experiences where it was unlikely she was going to be attracted to the person she was spending the evening with.
As I’ve said time and time again, if you make the focal point of the evening the activity or the venue, so the enjoyment factor is coming from what you’re doing / eating or drinking (and not just reliant on the person you’re doing that activity with), then whether you actually fancy the person you’re on the date with then becomes the extra icing on the cake, and not the overriding make or break factor of the night.
When Things Don’t Go To Plan
A lot of dating comes down to your attitude.
I always try to approach dating with as easy going and open a mind as possible. It’s my spare time after all. And we all know that things don’t always go to plan. So even if you don’t fancy your date, and the activity you have planned goes completely wrong, you can still have a really fun time. Some of the best dates I’ve been on have been ones where everything went badly. Why were they so good? Because my date appreciated things were going wrong, and we had a laugh about it! Shared disaster is still a shared experience. Being able to laugh when something goes wrong is an attractive quality.
One of my favourite moments of the 30 Dates Challenge was standing in the torrential rain, on the abysmal Toilet Tour of London, looking over at the Fresh Prince and realizing he thought it was as awful as I did. At which point we literally ran for the nearest pub.
When Things Really Are Bad
So if not fancying my date doesn’t bother me, and I can ride even the most mislaid plans … what constitutes a bad date for me? When I look back across the last 15 or so months, and over a hundred first dates, the ones which stand out were a matter of attitude.
Enthusiasm goes a long way. And a lack of enthusiasm is sadly infectious.
Manners are huge for me, and not just when it comes to the way my date treats me. In fact I think it’s far worse if a guy is polite to me, then rude to everyone else, than if he’s just rude to me. You can tell a lot about someone from the way he or she talks to waiters and other service staff.
Pervy comments stick out in mind (which is quite impressive, as I have a pretty wry sense of humour, and a lot of lad mates) so it’s quite hard to offend me.
Personally I’m not a fan of anyone who takes himself too seriously. We’re all human. One of the least attractive things a guy ever did on a date with me was counting every calorie he ate on an app on his phone, and posing for photos several times over. Suddenly a guy who appeared extremely attractive was anything but.
Personal hygiene is really important when you’re dating. That might sound like a given, but no one wants to be remembered as ‘the smelly guy’ or the ‘girl with the bad breath’.
And being tight-fisted is also something someone will remember. If you’re trying to make a good impression on someone, don’t quibble over the pennies or send someone an IOU!
Finally I need to be treated with respect. If my date repeatedly cuts me off when I’m talking, tries to order my food for me, or is really rude about my opinions, he’s not going to get too far.
So Where Do Men Go Wrong?
Genuinely – when I look back at those reasons for bad dates, none of them are things that more than a handful of the guys I’ve dated have done.
And I know they apply just as much to female daters.
I have male friends who have complained about most of the same things I would. Perhaps with the exception of the pervy comments! Even the tight-fisted comment applies – yes, it might be the done thing to let the guy pay on your first date, but even the most chivalrous of gentlemen still expects the girl to offer or at least motion for her purse!
As I told the Male Stylist, I don’t think ‘men’ in general do anything wrong.
Where Do We ALL Go Wrong?
So if those bad date scenarios are isolated incidents, and things which women are just as guilty of doing … then where do we ALL go wrong? What can we all do to make the dating game a little bit easer?
If there was one thing which would improve the world of dating, it would be communication. Men and women communicate completely differently, and as a result have very different expectations for communication.
Did you put one x or two at the end of that text message? As a guy you might not even notice, but as a girl, you might read immensely into the additional character.
Are you being open about the fact you’re still seeing other people? Have you had the ‘exclusivity conversation’ yet?
Does the other person actually know how much you care about them?
From my experience, in general women read far more into things than men do. And most men will take things on face value. If you’re ever in doubt about how something you’ve done has been interpreted, remember those two facts and you can’t go too wrong!
Still in doubt? Communicate more clearly and more honestly. After all … we’re all meant to be adults! 😉
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx