Are your dating habits helpful or harmful?

It’s Friday night and you decide to send a text to that guy you’ve been dating for a couple of weeks.

In your head things have been going well. He seems interested and you’ve spent your week staying busy and living your best life while he flitters in and out of your thoughts.

Your heart skips a beat when you press send and wait for his response.

This feeling when you start to like someone is one of the best and worst parts of dating.

While you should never be completely "outcome focused" (I always have those words on repeat thanks to Russ) your next moves can really make or break how things progress.

While I’d like to think my dating and flirting skills have improved, the truth is I’m human and sometimes despite my best intentions, I mess things up/get things wrong.

Here are some of the unhelpful habits I’ve made the mistake of doing in the past and the more helpful alternative you should do if you find yourself in the same situation.

1. You’re being too generic

The other day I went on a date and talked about all these stereotypical things. Like how much I loved travel (c’mon everyone loves travel), how great the weather was and the fact that I didn’t want summer to end. While there’s nothing WRONG with saying these things, they are quite superficial.

Getting to know someone means scratching beyond the surface and talking about the things that matter to us more. You know those topics you are totally passionate about, which could be as simple as your family, or as complex as brain neuroplasticity (hint - I’m a science nerd).

Talking about those things shows depth and intelligence, which when paired with your love of adventure or general sexiness, show how much of a well-rounded woman you are.

Helpful habits:

If you truly want to get to know someone, ask them more than just ‘what’ questions, ask them ‘why’.

For example, if he loves playing the guitar, ask him why he started. And when he asks similar questions in return, don’t be afraid to show what you’re passionate about too.

2. You text too much

You meet a guy, have a great date, and all of a sudden you can’t WAIT to get a text message from him. Your whole face lights up, and butterflies swirl around in your stomach as you text your way through conversations about your day, the weather, and anything else. You might think this constant contact is great because it means they are thinking about you, but sometimes less is more.

Sending daily texts establishes a precedence early on that you’re super keen and available. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it sets you up for the inevitable freak out when texting becomes less frequent because, let’s be honest, that volume of communication is literally unsustainable.

Helpful habits:

First of all stop catastrophising about where he is and what he’s doing when he doesn’t reply instantly.

Yes he got your message, and no you shouldn’t send another one to check. Texting should be like the Parmesan cheese on top of your spaghetti; just a little sprinkle is enough.

Instead of using texting to constantly check-in with your date, use it to tell a funny anecdote, create a bit of comfort or throw in a few playful texts to spark his interest. At the end of the day, this type of communication should eventually lead to setting up the next date and not be never-ending chit-chat. Make plans and then leave the conversation on a high.

3. You give him benefits he hasn’t earned yet

I bet you think I’m talking about sex, don’t you?

While sleeping with someone early on can change the dynamics of the dating game, it’s actually creature comforts that he needs to earn. You know the cosiness of being cared for when you live together, and the reassurance of having emotional support.

These are the benefits that come from being in a committed relationship, not ones that are a guarantee in the first few weeks of dating.

Helpful habits:

Avoid falling into the fast-forward relationship trap by going on real dates instead of just hanging out at each other’s houses.

While a ‘chill out’ date is fine from time to time, you want to get to know someone in different contexts (at a bar, on a weekend walk, or a BBQ with friends) so attraction and comfort builds at a slower pace.

4. You’re too god damn nice

Do you ever feel like you’re the one bending over backwards to make plans and see him?

Maybe you’re the one always coming to his side of town or changing to accommodate his schedule at the last minute? Yeah I’ve definitely been guilty of this.

Making sacrifices to see the other person is fine, but not if you’re the only one doing it.

Helpful habits:

Self-respect is one of the sexiest traits a person can flaunt/have.

Make sure there’s a bit of give and take when it comes to making plans.

Always keep doing the things that make you feel good like going to the gym, seeing your friends, and kicking ass in your career.

Putting all your eggs in the dating basket sets you up for failure if things don’t work out, so aim for a balance of the two.

A good way to do this is to invite your date along to plans you already have with friends, like casual Friday night drinks.

5. You don’t 'let' him chase you

I will be the first to admit I am god damn impatient.

I’m highly ambitious, run my own business, and want my to-do list done yesterday.

I’m kind of guilty of applying this to my dating life as well. I suck at sitting back and letting someone else take the reins, but I’m slowly starting to realise how important it is.

Everyone’s dating pace is different and there’s no reason to rush. Remember dating is a screening process - take is slow and steady instead of hot and heavy.

Helpful habits:

Stop playing games (seriously if you have a 2 hour text back rule, let it go) and just meet him where he is.

Invest as much time and energy as he is investing in you.

Be cheerful and excited about life when he gets in touch to make plans, but don’t waste your precious days waiting around if he doesn’t.

Go on dates with other guys, live your beautiful life, and the men who are truly interested in getting to know you will keep in touch.

So there you have it! 5 dating habits that were actually hindering your chances of meeting an awesome man.

Hope this helps

Sarah x


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