Did you know that everybody wears a price tag? Yes, everybody has a market value that influences whether or not they fall in love with you. You can’t see it, but it’s always there, swirling at the back of their mind. When you pull back the mask, you’ll grasp this one essential question pulling people towards each other:
What can you do for me? Are you rich, smart, kind, polite, pretty, tall, powerful?
That thing about love being blind, well… isn’t entirely true. Not when the attraction is still a tiny spark. The blindness happens much later, long after two people have dipped their feet in the sweet waters of love.
Here, all judgment, preferences, standards are tossed out the window, leaving nothing but you and your special someone — in their raw, unfiltered, cracked, and flawed selves.
Here’s the twist: Most people expect to get to this magical, selfless love space at the onset. But that’s not how the magic of love happens. In fact, the slightest chance of romance usually gets snuffed out on the first date — before it even starts. Scratching their heads, disappointed romantics are left wondering:
Didn’t I keep it real? Didn’t I wear my confidence hat? So why isn’t the phone ringing three days after the first date?
Here’s what they don’t realize: on a first date, what fans the flames of attraction isn’t how confident you are but how competent. Confidence will get you to the door, but competence will ensure you get a second, third, all the way to the eleventh date.
In love, competence develops by understanding the reasons that keep it from blossoming. If you never get a second date, here are a few reasons why.
You Enter Into the Mode That Snuffs Out the Spark.
We’re all driven by a syndrome called WITFM. When we engage in actions or conversations with others, the question what’s in it for me? floats at the back of our minds. We’re inherently wired to look out for ourselves. And while we aim to paint the perfect picture of ourselves as we approach relationships, we often don’t realize that the WITFM attitude seeps into our dating life.
We ask our potential love partners too many questions about themselves without giving anything back. Although doing this may seem harmless, it doesn’t create a connection. Instead, it transforms the date into an interview session. There’s talking, and there’s connection.
In a talking mode, the air feels dense and uncomfortable to sit in, so you attempt to fill it by nodding fast and asking “hot air” questions like, “What’s your favorite color?” But in a connection mode, it feels as if the clouds have parted and the gleam of sun rays penetrated. You’re both relaxed, breathing easy, hands resting, and your neck moves naturally.
A connection evolves when you share a personal truth (but not too deep). Your potential lover gets vulnerable and then unveils some insight into their life. With this, the masks we don when we first meet a potential lover start to come off. Over time, that initial connection spark is what morphs into a blazing flame of a relationship.
You Bury Your Date in a Dark Tomb.
Contrary to what many people say, showing your real self on a first date isn’t the best advice because you never get a second chance to make a first impression. It can be the beginning of a mind-blowing romance or, your date can run and never look back. One disastrous way people ruin their first impressions is by disclosing deeply personal information.
Steer clear of this on date one. Save the hashtag keepingitreal attitude till much later in the relationship. But no one is perfect! I can hear you say. Sure, no one is, but burying your potential lover in the darkened tomb of dirty secrets is shooting yourself on the foot because they’re left wondering if you’re so upfront with such raw information, what how crass is whatever lies beneath the iceberg?
Sure it may be a thing of the past, and you may have dealt with it, but to your date, this is new information that they can use to judge your character. And once the dark shades of your personality are emblazoned in their minds at the very start, it’s almost impossible to wipe it off.
It’s not enough not to reveal deep personal stuff. You should also steer clear of the murky waters of past relationships. All our pasts have fangs and claws, and admittedly, it can be hard to let go of.
Isabel’s relationships die prematurely for this very reason. She weaves such tales endlessly.
If you were her date, wouldn’t you feel squeezed in a tight wedge of awkwardness because you a) you wouldn’t know the right thing to say — which means you’d lose the natural feel of communication? And b) Drama about her past relationship is the last thing you want to talk about.
You’d rather be home chilling over Netflix and munching a burrito. Right?
Your scars make you human and pave the way for others to relate with you naturally. This is what makes love such a beautiful force because it covers your rough edges, but until you’re sure of how the other person feels about you, keep your linens in a tightly shut closet.
Remember, your date isn’t interested in the drama of your ex-lovers; they’re after someone who can add some pizzazz and spice in their life. And the only way to convince them this is to showcase your alluring side. This is how you pull them in like a magnet.
Your Conversations Lack Pizzazz and Flavor.
With studies proving that 39% of couples meet online, it’s hard to verify the authenticity of the person you intend to go on a date with. If you’ve ever dipped your feet into online dating, you’ve likely experienced the following scenario:
Despite having a striking face and a killer profile, all your match could say was, “Hi” (Two minutes after you’ve been staring into “….typing…”
Hi! Hi! Really? Dude, why on earth are you Tinder?
In online dating, most of us show fake versions of ourselves while others hold back completely. Mr. Striking falls in the latter category. But before you condemn him, let’s be clear on one thing; small talk is no mean feat — whether on dating apps or one-on-one hook-ups. Most hopeful romantics overthink it, which inevitably forms a maze in their minds and creates obstacles in the flow of the conversation.
For fear of repelling the other person, they try to say impressive words but only achieve the opposite outcome because the conversation quickly becomes unnatural. Nothing screams boring, like small talk with no substance. You know, like bland jokes and flavorless topics.
In an experiment referencing chat-up lines, a guy approached a lady, and the raters judged whether she would continue the conversation. The conclusion:
Openings involving jokes, empty compliments, and sexual references received poor ratings. Those revealing, e.g., helpfulness, generosity, athleticism, ‘culture’ and wealth, were highly rated.
If small talk feels like walking on eggshells, simply find out what your date cares about. It’s no secret that we love talking about ourselves, everyone has something they enjoy doing and can talk about till the cows come home. When you go in that direction, you throw a bait and prompt them to open up, stirring an exciting conversation.
Talking about conversations…
Do you have a question you’ll do anything never to get asked? Mine is: “What do you do?” It gives me a rash. I see it as a way to gauge someone’s status. In the past, if my date ever asked this, my interest would plummet instantly. Because hello! There are so many ways one can ask this without using those exact painful-to-hear words.
Like, How do you spend most of your time? This question ditches the boring awkwardness of small talk and opens a channel to make the conversation interesting. Be different, avoid cliché questions, and wow your date with engaging first date questions.
You Drain the Well of Surprises Too Soon.
Talking about pizzazz and spice, you want to leave the date on a high note no matter how smoothly it’s going. Scratch that, especially if it’s going smoothly. Give your date something to look forward to next time. A first date is like flipping through the pages of a new book.
If you read it in one sitting and unwrap all the surprising twists and turns, you eventually put it down with a yawn. When the well of surprises runs dry, boredom takes over. Always leave when there’s still much left to discover about you. This longing will make them eager to see you again.
- Dates under one hour leave you longing for more.
- If your date is going well, it can change, especially if you stay longer.
- Because you’re never sure if both of you will hit it off, it’s wise to schedule a shorter time.
It’s why coffeehouses are the perfect spots for first dates.
For Your Memory:
Getting a second date is about competence. You gain this by avoiding the following habits on the first date:
- Entering into the mode that snuffs out the spark. Build a mutual connection, not an interview session.
- Burying your date in a dark tomb. Avoid disclosing deeply personal information.
- Initiating conversations without pizzazz and flavor. Consider using engaging first date questions.
- Draining the well of surprises too soon. Consider leaving some juicy topics for the next date.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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The post Four Hidden Reasons Why You Never Get a Second Date appeared first on The Good Men Project.