Since I started writing this dating column a few months ago, the topic of relationships has been a constant topic of discussion. People approach me on a weekly basis and say, “Oh, Nate. You should totally write an article on (insert bad dating habit here). It drives me nuts when people do that on a date!”
Ironically, there is an overwhelming consensus on the dating deal-breakers that will upset a potential partner faster than Bill O’Reilly at a Barack Obama Fan Club meeting. Here they are:
1. Texting – Hello phone addicts! You know who you are. You’re the people who suffer from text-induced carpel tunnel at age 19. You can’t go through a 50 minute class without conspicuously holding your phone under your desk, irritating those around you with the tickity-tack of your cell phone keys.
If the vibration of the phone in your pocket (or purse) is so overwhelmingly important that you just can’t help reaching for it mid-sentence to respond to your roommate’s message with a big “OMG! LOL! I know!” you have a problem. That problem is called “You have no class.”
Once, I left my phone at home when I went on a date. Guess what happened. My head exploded. No, not really. Nothing happened and the date was great. I dare you to do it.
2. Talking about past (or present) relationships – We’ve all been hung up on an ex before. Breakups are rarely enjoyable. Getting over a past love is hard. However, a date is not the place to look for sympathy, therapy, or whatever else it is that you need.
The best way to get over an ex is to move on. That means leaving them behind, not bringing them along as the conversational third wheel on your date. The last thing I want to hear about as we chat over a plate of Gnocchi and unlimited breadsticks at the Olive Garden is how your ex just didn’t appreciate you for who you are, and that’s why you had to break up with them and put yourself back on the market. SHUDDER.
3. The Marathon Date – Get it out of your head that a date has to last longer than six hours! If your date ends before midnight, it’s not a failure; it’s actually quite refreshing. Not only that, but it leaves your prospect potentially wanting more of you, and not less. Remember, less is more.
4. Talking about yourself – You shouldn’t be dating to prove to others how awesome you are. If you are, you’re a tool and nobody likes you anyway. Get over yourself. Ask your date questions that require more than a yes or no answer. Then, more importantly, listen to their answers! It’s amazing how far this little gem of advice will get you.
5. Personal grooming and appearance – As Mason Jennings puts it, “it’s the little details that derail your dreams, as simple as it seems. The separate little things that you should have done define your life, honey, one by one.” Fellas, if your nose looks like the latest addition to the Chia Pet collection, and the back of your neck looks like it could benefit from a couple passes with a lawnmower, you need to take five minutes and do some man-scaping.
Likewise, ladies, if your outfit leaves very little to the imagination, it’s likely that you’ll make the dude so nervous he won’t be able to be himself around you. It’s not cool to put a guy in a situation that becomes a literal physical and mental battle to keep his eyes above your collarbone.
People, it’s really not that hard. And quite frankly, this isn’t really even dating advice, it’s just common courtesy. If you can’t handle these five easy pointers, you are most definitely not ready for a relationship, especially a quality relationship. So cut the crap and get your act together.