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If you're over the age of 25, there's a pretty good chance that you've either witnessed or had a date from hell. It could have been the guy who sat you down and told you he's "married, but looking for fun." It could have been the girl who started crying in the middle of a restaurant over her ex.
Chances are that you probably want to cringe thinking about the worst dating mistakes you've seen. But, did you know these dating mistakes are actually really common? Did you know that there might be a chance that you have committed one of the worst dating mistakes people make?
Believe it or not, we're all guilty of at least one of these dating mistakes. If you're tired of dating, relationship experts like myself have some advice for you. Here are the worst dating mistakes people make, and how to avoid them.
Being a jerk.
No one likes a jerk, even if online forums tell you otherwise. If you actually agree to meet up with someone, the least you can do is be polite to them – even if you're not into them.
If you have to ask what the most common of all the worst dating mistakes people make, it's being a jerk. It happens too often, and it ends up hurting everyone. Being a jerk includes any of the following:
- Insulting your date. Telling them why you won't date someone of their weight, height, race, or income is a good way to make someone feel horrible. Going out of your way to do this is heartless. You never know how it will affect them.
- Bailing mid-date. Assuming that they have done nothing insanely embarrassing or mean to you, bailing mid-date is not acceptable.
- Expecting sex on the first date, or trying to coerce or manipulate your date into something physical. This is sexual assault. This is how people get traumatized on a date, and how people end up in jail.
- Talking about how much you hate other people. Not a good look, bro.
- Being totally selfish. There's something to be said about dates that do nothing for the other person. If you can't even find yourself willing to buy a date a drink or meet a date at a halfway point, you're being selfish.
- Being glued to your phone. Really? Do we have to explain why this is rude?
- Embarrassing your date or blackmailing them. Not acceptable, no matter what your perceived slight from them is.
The fact that there are relationship experts who have to warn against this dating mistake is sad. This means that some of the worst mistakes are also some of the most common.
The reason being a jerk is a dating mistake is because you never know who you'll end up running into. It's a small world, and networks get bigger and bigger every day.
That date you may have had fun fat-shaming may end up being the guy who reads your resume. The girl you had fun ditching in the middle of the club? She might end up being your crush's best friend – and make no mistake about it, she'll tell her all about how nice you were.
Manners don't cost anything, except maybe that first round of coffees. If you can't find it in you to be a decent human being, don't date. This way, you won't shoot yourself in the foot.
Dating while hating your target gender.
One of the worst dating mistakes people make is to try to find love or a partner when you view the opposite sex as the enemy. The problem with this mistake is that it's hard to prevent, because many people are in denial about their attitudes being a problem.
This in turn makes it one of the most insidious dating problems in the scene right now, because many people don't even realize they're doing it until someone points it out to them. By the time that happens, damage has already been done.
Sadly, this is actually really common – particularly among men.
Simply put, you can't have a good relationship with a partner from a gender you hate. This makes it both a dating mistake and a relationship mistake that makes any kind of relationship you try to make dead on arrival.
If you're a man who hates women, nothing a woman will ever do will give you the love and satisfaction you want to feel. It will be a case of being "guilty until proven innocent," without any proof of innocence ever being enough.
Moreover, people who hate the opposite sex will always have that hate show - even if they try to hide it. If you think your dates aren't picking up on those vibes, you're wrong, and that may be why your love life sucks.
If you can't honestly feel like you see your targeted gender as a group of people, or if you feel like the opposite sex is your enemy, you need to take a time out from dating. Sort yourself out, and hopefully, you'll be ready to find love again.
Doormatting is what many relationship experts call the tendency of people to "roll over" and do whatever it takes to keep someone interested. This comes in many forms, and it's one of the worst dating mistakes people make.
It also happens to be the most common dating mistake women make as a whole. Wondering if you're doormatting? Look at some of the ways this dating mistake happens below:
- Settling for an almost-relationship when you really want a commitment. A lot of women will settle for less, just because they want to have something and are hoping they can convince guys later on. If he's said he's not interested in a relationship, believe him and move onto the next.
- Making everything too easy. Guys don't respect girls who do everything for them. If you spoil him with presents, have sex as soon as he wants it, and do everything for him, he will end up dumping you. Is it fair? No, but that's men for ya. (To be fair, women do the same, too.)
- Not standing up for yourself when you notice that he's being rude. This is one of the worst dating mistakes people make. There's a difference between being assertive and being rude. If someone calls you rude for being assertive, that's on them - and you have every right to call things off right then and there.
- Begging for a date. This is more of a guy thing than a girl thing, but I've seen it happen with girls, too. It's unattractive, and it reeks of desperation.
- Lying about what you like, want, or do, just to be more attractive. This is a good way to set up a relationship for failure. In terms of dating mistakes women and men both make, few can have as much fallout as this one. At best, they'll love someone you're not. At worst, you will be living a lie that they picked up on.
It's so, so tempting to just want to be as agreeable as possible - and we totally get it. But, the reason this is the most common dating mistake women make is because a lot of women tend to believe that being "nice" or just lying about your needs upfront will make men like them more.
No matter how you look at it, this move reeks of desperation. Desperation is a major turn off, which makes it one of the worst dating mistakes people make when they want to impress someone.
You may want to consider teaching yourself to say "no" and also learn how to respect yourself. Sometimes, just being firm is what will get you to the next date.
Spilling your guts on the first couple of dates.
Have you ever seen a date that wouldn't stop talking about her exes? Or, have you seen a date who started talking about what a weirdo they were, right off the bat? Or, worse, witnessed a date that wouldn't shut up - or even ask about their date at all?
It's cringe-inducing, and the reason why it's so painful to watch is because it shows so little social awareness. Depending on how bad the gaffe is, you might even end up scaring away the date by making them think you're mentally unstable.
That's why it's one of the worst dating mistakes people make.
People love a little mystery, and also want to talk about themselves. If you don't offer mystery or give them a chance to be in the spotlight, then you are definitely not going to be dating that person for too long.
Spilling your guts is about as sexy, flirty, and fun as it sounds. Remember that.
Keep all the weird sides of you in for at least four dates. Ask one question for every question they ask you. Consider reading up on how to be a better conversationalist - and when in doubt, just listen rather than talk.
Going 0 to 100.
Have you met someone who instantly demanded sex before the first date even happened? It's horrifying, isn't it?
Nothing quite is as offputting as a guy who goes from just meeting a girl to asking for sex, nudes, or something similar. It comes off as a sign that the guy doesn't actually see the girl he's talking to as human - and that's pretty awful.
On the same page, there's nothing quite as bad as seeing a guy who has a meltdown and starts to get mean, threatening, and violent when a girl tries to politely reject them. Girls are guilty too - often asking a man's views on marriage right off the bat and getting angry when they don't respond in the "right way."
Generally speaking, any time that you have people who go from acting sane to getting overly sexual, violent, or mean, it looks bad. It makes the person in question appear unstable – and in many cases, that's often true.
At best, it shows zero social awareness. At worst, it could get someone calling the police on you and ruin your life.
Additionally, these kinds of 'sudden personality switches' are the worst dating mistakes people make when it comes to their reputation. Many netizens actually will "name and shame" guys who do this. Do this too often, and you may end up staying single for a very long time.
People who are on the receiving end of this also will end up recognizing this as behavior is a key sign of a potentially abusive person. As a result, they would be wise to avoid you.
If you have a tendency of acting this way, you shouldn't date or flirt until you sort yourself out. It will damage your reputation, and it's just not a good look.
Whether you may realize it or not, this behavior is indicative that you have issues that you need to address. It may be that you are unaware of how dating is supposed to go, or it may be because you have deep-seated issues dealing with the opposite sex. Either way, you might not be well, and talking things out may help you figure out why that is.
One of the worst dating mistakes people make involves the pity date –namely, having them. You can't build a good relationship out of pity. You have to be attracted to that person.
That being said, pity dates also have the bad side effect of ruining relationship dynamics.
When guys get girls to agree to pity dates, that means that they know they can guilt women into things - and that's a dangerous precedent to set in a relationship.
When girls agree to pity dates, they're making a series of bad dating mistakes. They're wasting time they could have used to talk to someone who they're into. They're wasting money.
Moreover, when women date someone, a lot of expectations tend to come along with that issue. Guys tend to think that they can "woo" the girl to want them, and when the girl says that it was a pity date and they're done, it causes a blowback.
Don't date people out of pity, and never push a pity date on others.
Assuming that they'll pay the tab.
From a more logistics-based standpoint, one of the worst dating mistakes people make involves money.
Don't assume anything about who will pay for a date. Many men have "forgotten" their wallets on a date after promising to pay. Many women have ended up doing the same - and threatened to make a scene if the guy doesn't cover their tab.
Unless you're okay with potentially spending the night washing dishes, you will not assume they'll pay the tab.
Bring enough money for your tab, their tab, and a cab ride home.