The 5 Most Common Mistakes Single Women Make on the First Date — and What to Do Instead
If you wish to find your life partner, you have to date! The first date can feel like a minefield.
In my 15+ years of experience coaching and matching elite singles, I’ve discovered there are a slew of common mistakes singles make on the first date. Today, I want to share the top 5 mistakes for you to avoid—and what you should do instead so you can actually enjoy the dating process and have fun during your pursuit for the right partner for you.
Mistake #1: Leading with “negative information.”
Say you have some information about yourself that you worry may be perceived as negative or potentially a deal breaker for a new partner, like for example the fact that you:
- May have to move the next month
- Have 3 young children, one of which has learning disabilities
- Are caring for your father who has Alzheimer’s and taking care of him is very intense
- Have always been struggling with your weight
Now, you might think that sharing this information up front is the right thing to do. You don’t want to waste the other person’s time, and you certainly don’t want to waste your own time so you lay it all out on the table right up front. The truth is: doing this is NOT helping you be more successful in dating.
Now do not get me wrong, being honest and transparent are excellent qualities to possess in dating and life. However, if you are making disclaimers about yourself and drawing attention to something “negative” upfront, before the other person has had a chance to know you, this is all they will ever know about you!
What to do instead: Let them get to know you better first.
Do this before you share any information that may potentially be perceived as negative or a “deal breaker.” They may end up loving everything else about you and may just think, “This woman is sooo wonderful and amazing, she may have x, y or z challenges, but I want to give this a serious chance.”
The right man is going to love all of you—your pros will far outweigh the cons. You are a package and so much more than whatever or whichever problem you think you may have.
Again, I am NOT saying that you have to lie, you should not, but you should not lead with what you think is “negative” information.
Mistake 2: Asking the wrong questions.
Another trap I see single women fall into is spending too much time talking about the wrong things. There are two parts to this. First, they typically only ask surface level questions like, “Where did you go to school?” What did you study?” “What do you do professionally?” or “What do you do in your free time?”
Second, they often talk too much about past relationships, exes, and why they or the other person are still single.
While dating is a filtering process, it shouldn’t feel like a stiff interview with predetermined questions.
What to do instead: Ask questions that help create connection.
A simple way to do this is by asking, “why” questions. For example, instead of just asking, “What did you study?” ask “why” they chose to study that. Instead of only asking, “What do you do in your free time?” ask them “why” they do that and “what” they like about it. These questions help create a deeper connection.
Mistake #3: Not giving the other person a chance.
Many relationships never start because people filter each other out prematurely.
Just because you don’t have instant chemistry with someone on the first date does not mean you should write them off and not see them again.
I’ve been with my husband for 29 years. Although, like most couples, we too have had some ups and downs, we have a strong marriage and a beautiful family together.
But let me tell you a secret. When I met my husband it was not “love at first sight” at all. In fact, I found him slightly annoying!
He did not look like “my type” in terms of dress style. He wore pants that were way too short with suspenders! He came from a progressive, socialist family of academics. I came from a conservative, christian family of farmers. He loved hiking, cycling, camping and other outdoor activities but, in order to enjoy them, they had to be strenuous. I liked “light” leisure outdoor activities, but the lunches, dinners or coffee stops were the parts I enjoyed most. He was analytical and a planner. I was intuitive and spontaneous.
And those were just a few of our differences!
However, the more time we spent together, the more I started liking him. I discovered a very smart, interesting, fun, reliable, guy with a strong character, a (different) sense of humor, very strong family values, and someone who always wants to learn or do something. After being “just friends” for several months, we did start dating, and this year we celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary.
We do not always magically know that someone is “the one” when we first meet him or her.
What to do instead: Use this filter to determine if you should go on a second date.
There are times when a second date is not needed or advisable. But, more often than not, you simply need a chance to get to know the other person better.
Not sure if you should go on a second date or not? Check out my “First Date Questions” to see if you should go on a second date.
As a professional matchmaker, I have seen that having different personalities, views, or interests does not necessarily mean you cannot build a happy fulfilling relationship.
What is important is having similar goals and values, and being committed to making it work by prioritizing the relationship and growing and evolving as a team in the same direction. It is all about respect and a willingness to make it work both ways.
Mistake #4: Sleeping with someone too soon
When I work with clients, they must commit to giving themselves enough time to get to know the other person and see if their relationship goal and vision and the qualities they need to be happy and fulfilled in a long term committed relationship are aligned before having sex with the person.
The reason for this is simple science. During sex, women have a hormonal reaction where oxytocin, the bonding hormone, is released, which raises trust levels and creates a bond with whomever we have sex with. When a man has an orgasm, the main hormone released is dopamine—the pleasure hormone.
When women in particular have sex too soon, they may risk bonding with someone who is not actually a good fit to be their partner. This is often how women start relationships and then after a while when the pink colored glasses come off, they realize some things aren't working but they’re already in the relationship so they try to make it work. They often try for a long time to make it work with someone they shouldn’t have been with in the first place.
What to do instead: Make sure they’re a good match first.
Do yourself a favor and get to know the other person before you have sex with them to ensure they are a good match with your values, vision for your future and don’t possess any of your deal breaker qualities.
Mistake #5: Not asking for help.
While it is true that single women are more likely to reach out for dating and relationship support than single men, many still don’t.
Why is that? I believe it is because too many of us believe love is something that should “just happen.” Love, like anything else in your life that you want to succeed at, requires time, attention, effort and commitment.
What to do instead: Get support if you haven’t achieved your goals yet.
Just as you have invested in your education, career, health, and so many other areas, so too you must invest in your love life if you want to get different results from the ones you’ve been getting.
If you want results in this area of life, you must prioritize finding your partner and put in the work to make it happen.
Love does not find you by chance. You must choose it.
At SuccessMatch, I help successful single professional women find life partners. I help you transition from where you are today—widowed, divorced, separated, single, serial dater, or not having dated in years, etc.—to being in a happy, fulfilling, lasting relationship with the right partner.
I can boast exceptionally high success rates in helping my single clients find the right partner.
So, whether you have not done anything proactively to reach your goal of finding the right partner, or you’re not getting the results you want in dating, click here to learn more about my group matchmaking program for single ladies.
To finding your Success Match,