The Single, Key Ingredient That Will Dramatically Improve Your Dating Life
While a good back-and-forth banter may be fun when you're swiping away on Bumble, this matchmaker suggests it may not be such a good idea: "I encourage my clients to take the conversation offline as soon as possible," Dekeyser says. "There's so much that can be misconstrued via text and your impression of one another is probably going to be different in person. It's better to meet in real life soon before you fall for someone or write someone off before you've even met."
Don't dive into a date with your political flag flying high. "This year's election has been particularly brutal and emotions are still running high," says the matchmaker. "Take time to enjoy the date and conversation before wading into potentially troubled waters. If you're clicking with this person and having a great time, think about whether their political views—if different from yours—is a deal-breaker."
"There's no doubt that meeting someone for the first time, especially in a date setting, can make even the coolest customer a little nervous," Dekeyser says. "While you certainly want to put your best self forward, rattling off a list of your professional and personal accomplishments is a serious turn-off. Whether it's the one who name-drops or the other who casually throws in their grad school alma mater and the kind of car they drive, it comes off as really superficial. Bragging about who you know and where you went to school isn't what makes you interesting or attractive. Sharing conversation naturally is how you'll really get to know someone."
The opposite of the braggart is the date you can't pry a conversation out of. "Are you the one answering all the questions? Are they giving one-word answers?" asks Dekeyser. "In post-date low-downs, I've heard this a lot, 'they were so shy, I couldn't read them at all.' Dates are nerve-racking enough as it is, so don't leave your date guessing what you are thinking—be open, honest, interesting, and fun."
We know, attention span in short in this day and age, but a date is not the time or place to be looking out for other fishes in the sea. "When you take time out of your schedule to go on a date with someone, show them that you are excited to be spending that time with the person sitting across from you, not someone else," Dekeyser says. "One of the biggest turn-offs on a first date is if the guy is looking around and checking out other women. Same goes for ladies checking on the fellas!"
While it's absolutely true that part of the fun of a new relationship is the chase, this push and pull could go to the extremes and instead be interpreted as mean. "Playing a little hard to get isn't just about games, it's also a good general rule for anyone on a first date," Dekeyser says. "However, there's a definite point when what you think is mysterious comes off as just plain mean. Don't be afraid to have some fun, laugh, and tell a self-deprecating light anecdote."
"Asking someone out to dinner for the first date may feel like a smooth move, but you may want to reconsider. "Placing a table in between you and your date shuts down a lot of room for flirtation that can be done when sitting side by side at a bar," Dekeyser says. "Since you don't know each other, committing to a full dinner can be great if you hit it off, but it can also be the longest meal of your life if the conversation isn't flowing so well. Go for drinks, keep it casual, and if things go well, you can always order food at the bar."
"That comfortable neighborhood place where the bartender knows you like the Pinot Grigio, not the Chardonnay, and everybody knows your name—don't go there," warns this matchmaker. "On a first date, it's natural that you'd be most comfortable at a place where you're a regular, but chances are the other person isn't going to feel as at home as you are. Try to meet somewhere neither of you have been before, it'll add a bit of adventure to a typical date and if the relationship evolves, it'll be your special place."
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