Going on over 250 Tinder dates in my lifetime, I've picked up a thing or two about dating IRL and offline.
If you’ve found yourself in an odd string of shitty dates, need advice on how to get out of one, or how to avoid either of the two, I have some secrets for you.
Think about how you can improve your vetting process
Whether you meet your dates through friends, family, blind dates, or online, it’s important to think about your vetting process and maybe your lack thereof. When you're talking to a potential partner, do you know what your red flags are? Define them. Own them.
If you’re consistently going on shitty dates it’s time to reevaluate your top line filter. There’s a difference between matching up with the wrong personalities consistently and simply not having chemistry.
Is this person having just as a bad time as I am?
When you’re on a shitty date, it’s easy to forget that the person you’re suffering next to, may be hating the date too.
Understand that everyone isn’t for everyone.
In the dating scene, it’s normal to talk to someone, go on a few dates and have a blast, but find that something is missing. What’s missing is chemistry, and that’s ok. Stay friends or not. But most importantly, be nice, let it go, and move on.
Am I really giving this person a chance?
Have you noticed that how quickly people are to highlight the negative? How many times have you judged another girl at school or work just to discover she was super nice? Take the same concept and apply it to finding a partner. Give them a chance and some respect. If the date goes poorly, there's no need to bash them publicly or privately.
Am I comparing this person to a previous partner?
If you’re comparing your potential partner to a previous relationship, someone else’s relationship or even worse, someone else’s ideal version of a relationship, it’s time to stop what you’re doing and think about what is best for your happiness.
Am I even ready to date?
If you’re noticeably going on shitty dates, there’s nothing wrong with taking a step to reflect on yourself and your situation. Are you too busy? Are you currently going through a lifestyle or career change? Is this really a good time for you to be dating? The answer to your shitty dates could be hiding right in front of you.
It’s also important to think about your needs. Are you making your needs clear clear? Are you aware of what you’re looking for in the dating space? Are you looking for love? Are you looking for sex? Are you only going on dates when you’re stressed or bored?
Even though this isn’t working out, I’m glad we discovered this on our first date.
Even though it may suck at the time, discovering that you don’t have anything in common with someone on a first date is actually a good thing. It saves the both of you time and energy to use finding an ideal partner.
Does this feel routine?
Are you continuously finding that you’re doing on dates with different guys with the same flaws? Think about why you’re attracting those people? Is it what you talk about when you first meet? Where you meet them? Pay attention to the trends and avoid bad moves at all cost.
Use the first few minutes of messaging or talking to someone as a means of filtering out matches that aren’t a good fit. Does the conversation you’re having come naturally? Is it forced? Are you having a good time? This is a preview of what your first date will be like.
Be authentic, talk about whatever you want to feel comfortable talking about on a first date, this will help you weed out partners that are not ideal for you.
Am I on autopilot?
Are you literally just going on dates to go on dates? Are you even paying attention? Is this thing on?
Am I looking too hard?
In my dating experiences, when looking for one thing, I always found the opposite. It made me frustrated and sometimes made me feel lonely and alienated.
Whether I was solely chasing the D or looking for love in all of the wrong places, I quickly realized it was my state of mind that was causing my pain. I needed to chill the F out and focus more on having a good time vs finding my person. You know what? I accidentally found my current person.
Do I need to focus on myself and take a break?
Sometimes we all need a time out. Do you?
Safety tips for meeting up with a date for the first time
Trapped on a horrible date? Think you're at risk? Here are some tips.
When meeting up with someone for the first time, it’s important you meet them in a public place regardless of whether you met your date online or at a party. Get there first. Tell your waiter or bartender before hand a safety code or gesture just in case your dates going poorly.
Get up and say you’re going to the bathroom or for a smoke and leave. This may sound mean or immature but sometimes dates can go sour or feel uncomfortable and it’s a smooth way to leave. Call an Uber and peace. Be sure to have enough physical cash to cover your tab in the event you need to make the great escape.
Schedule dates during a time block. For example, agree to meet from 6-8pm or 1-3:30pm, that way if the date is going poorly, you know when it will end.
Find a way to tell your date you don't have chemestry in a polite way.
Have someone call and fake an emergency. Tell your friends that if you don’t hear from you to call your phone. That way, you can pretend something important has come up at work and that you need to go or a friend need help.
Share your location with a friend who lives in the neighborhood, have a friend run into you by surprise who lives in the area of your date.
Keep calm and happy dating.