Anyone who’s strolled down the relationship aisle of a bookstore knows that dating manuals disproportionately hold women accountable for how a date turns out. If the guy never called again, it’s the woman’s fault. If he asked her out again only to act like a jerk, somehow the woman’s to blame for that, too.
While some men would certainly like to believe they can do no wrong on dates, the reality is that men can and do screw up with women all the time. Their behavior on dates can cause a budding romance to wilt or bloom. A man may improve his chances of nabbing his dream woman by avoiding the dating mistakes below.
Seeking Approval: While a man shouldn’t treat a woman badly on a date, he shouldn’t be too eager to get her approval either. Kissing up to a woman is the kiss of death in relationships, according to AskMen.com. “You will never succeed by looking for approval. Women actually get annoyed at men who seek their approval,” the website asserts. Approval-seeking signals that a man is insecure and looking for a mother figure rather than a mate.
Being Too Passive: As “Mars and Venus” author John Gray says, women like a “man with a plan.” It’s important for a man to not only plan outings for his dates but also to take the lead in the relationship early on, according to dating expert Jonathan Green. He says it’s a mistake for men to let their dates tell them what to do or lead them around. “Every time she leads you through a club or picks the restaurant or movie, a little part of her attraction for you dies,” he says. “Women like men of action; decision-makers, trigger-pullers. If you can’t pick a restaurant, how are you going to protect her when there is a noise downstairs in the middle of the night?”
Hiding His Intentions: If a man wants to ask a woman out on a date, he should be clear about his interest in her. Women often complain that a man has invited them somewhere, but they’re not sure if it’s actually a date, how they should dress or who’s paying. Just like women like a “man with a plan,” they appreciate a man who’s confident enough to be direct. If you want to take a woman out on a date, don’t beat around the bush. You don’t actually have to use the word “date,” but if you say you’d like to take her out to dinner Friday rather than, say, “an after-work thing,” the message will be loud and clear.
Talking Too Much: Women gripe that men on dates hardly let them get a word in edgewise. It’s not only that certain men talk too much, it’s that they spend most of the date bragging, thinking their accomplishments will impress a woman. Instead, men who rattle off their accomplishments tend to come off as needy, according to DatingBullet.com.
Being Too Messy: Many women are turned off when they visit a man’s apartment for the first time and discover it’s a disaster zone. Green advises men who want to take a date back to their home to make sure to clean their digs first.
Being Cheap: No one likes a cheapskate. If you’ve invited a woman on a date, don’t hint that she should order from the kiddie menu to save you money or that she can’t buy anything from the concession stand when you take her to the movies. If you’re really that broke, suggest that you all meet someplace where money’s a non-factor, such as a free concert in the park or an art opening.
Talking About the Ex: Discussing the ex is a lose-lose move. YourTango.com says that if you speak nicely of an ex, your date will suspect you’re not over her. However, if you trash your ex, your date might think you’re a jerk who has problems with women. Avoid this dilemma by not mentioning your ex on early dates.