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How Not to Date: Ways to Screw Up Finding Love and Meeting Men

Updated on February 13, 2013

Everyone wants to find love and everyone wants their dates to go well. Whether it's men meeting women or women meeting men, both parties want to leave that situation feeling good and proud of how they behaved. In the world of online dating, it's tempting to alter the facts just a little to make oneself seem more appealing. This approach is guaranteed to backfire.

Although I've written about bad first dates for men, the protocol for women on a first date is different because of who usually does the asking and who usually sets up and executes the date. Generally, this is the man. The man is the asker and the woman is the askee. While this might be considered a sexist take on modern dating, it's most often the case. So while the man chooses the location and the manner of the date, it's up to the woman to show up and react. Effectively, the man is the active party in the dating game and the woman is the passive party. However, these roles can lead to calamity sometimes and below are a variety of ways a woman can kill potential on a first date.

  • Using an old photograph - This refers mostly to online dating. Sure, you want to use a good photograph of yourself, but if you're 35 and your photo is from when you were 25 and you've changed your hair color and gained some weight, the guy is going to notice. Use a recent photo. That being said, don't use a photo that's too good. The best thing you can do is show up and have the guy think that you look better than your photograph.
  • Inaccurate physical details - Be honest about yourself. How much do you really weigh? How active are you really? If you're chunky and you describe yourself as thin, the man is going to meet you and be disappointed. Much like the last point, if you can undersell yourself just a little bit, you'll show up to the first date and the guy will be like: "this chick is way better than her description!" That's a lot better than: "this chick is way lamer than her description!"
  • Too much perfume - Despite what a lot of women seem to think judging by how much perfume they use, men are really turned on by a woman's smell, so destroying it with too much perfume is likely to make a man thinking about barfing. If you're under 50, you should be dabbing whatever perfume you're using so that it mixes with your natural body odor and requires the slightest effort to smell. A man should wonder what kind of perfume you're wearing. He shouldn't want to douse you with a firehouse to stop his nose from burning.
  • Being too passive - Men put a lot of effort into the first date. Even if it doesn't seem like it, the man probably feels like he put a lot of effort into it. Even if he put no effort into it and he's paying, he probably feels like he's making effort. A woman on a first date has got to project some interest. Forcing the guy to initiate every conversation, ask every question, make every move, is going to result in a bad first date and a man that feels defeated.
  • Not playing it cool - Women don't like a guy who's too eager. Generally, it scares them. Believe it or not, men don't like women who are too eager either, unless you're super hot. However, most of us aren't that hot. And if you're that hot, you're not reading this. Anyway, even if you've been lucky enough to get Brad Pitt on your first date, you need to play it somewhat cool. You've got to make the guy work a little, and give him positive reinforcement on a semi-regular basis during the date.
  • Getting too familiar too fast - This is a subset of the previous point. Then again, maybe it's just me. Actually, it's not. Women who give off desperation do so differently than men, but no matter, desperation reeks no matter the sex. Women who are desperate get touchy-feely way too fast. They lean over and expose themselves. They laugh at bad jokes. There's a thin line between appropriate and inappropriate, but desperate women always cross it. The first date has to be a casual dance. Sure, it can be a physical melee too, but the signals have to be read correctly. Desperate people always read the signals wrong. It's better to be calm and play things cool. Clingy, annoying, cloying - never works.
  • Ordering the most expensive thing on the menu - Even if you're going out with the richest bachelor in the world, acting like a gold digger is going to give off a bad impression. Be respectful of a man's wallet. Even if you plan to offer to pay for half the date, the man is going to see a red flag. It might go away when you offer to pay, but it's going to be in the back of his mind. Unless you don't give a crap about a second date, don't go crazy spending somebody else's money.
  • Drooling - Keep your spit in your mouth, unless you've had a stroke or something, which is certainly an item that should be discussed prior to the date. Barring strokes and other drool-inducing conditions, dropping a big pool of drool while in the middle of a conversation is not likely to be overlooked.
  • Belching - It's common knowledge that guys love belching, but they just enjoy it with other guys mostly. Belching on a first date as a way to show you're hip to a guy's code is going to make him look at you as he would another guy, not somebody he'd like to ask out on a second date.
  • Flatulence - If you're gassy, take something before your date. And I know, you're a woman, you can let them go without anyone hearing anything, but men know that women's farts are of the "silent but deadly" kind and when that dead skunk smell wafts into his nostrils, he's going to suspect you if he didn't hear anything or do it himself. Flatulence just isn't romantic.


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  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Drooling? Really? I am assuming this information comes from a date gone wrong. That is just scary!

  • wonderful1 profile image

    Sheila Varga Szabo 6 years ago from Southern California

    OK, the last three were intended as a joke, right? Please say "yes," cause it scares me to think any woman would actually DO that on a first date. Another great hub, thanks!