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Dating Mistakes Men Make

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John Ortved
I thought I'd respond with a guy's version mistakes WE tend to make on the first date.

1. Too many texts

"Do u like Italian food?"

"Does 7 work or do u prefer 8?"

"I'm on my way"

"Running 3 mins late"

"Looking for parking"

"Did u bring yr wallet?"

Dude, she wants James Bond, not Woody Allen with a cell-phone. Swoop by in your Jag (preferably one that's been altered to dispose of enemies and avoid capture), escort her to her seat, whisk her to dinner, and then charm her until she's only wearing her delicious foreign accent. Swoop. Escort. Whisk. Charm. There's no "text" in there. Seriously, just make a plan and stick to it. If possible, leave the phone at home.

2. Checking his manners at the door

I eat incredibly quickly. It is a terrible habit and off-putting to my dinner guests. But these aren't the only manners I'm talking about. There's his behavior toward you (his interest in conversation topics that appeal to both of you, for example) and others on your date (your friends, the waiter, strangers). Manners are just consideration for others, and he should be thinking of you first.

3. Too much too quick

"Oh, you and your mom have not spoken since your teens, and you have bad credit, and you're considering teaching in Korea for a year, and you have some skin issues wow, that's a lot. Excuse me, I need to run away very very quickly." Both men and women have a keen sense of smell when it comes to desperation and oversharing, whether it's on the internet, or on a first date, it is a dead giveaway that something major is lacking in the confessor's life.

Get a journal. Or a therapist. But leave the poor girl, who you've known for all of 70 minutes, out of it.

4. Talking too much about sex

This is a straight-up killer. Girls like a guy who's edgy right? Someone who is not afraid of sex? Um, yes, but slow down there, pervert.

A few months ago, I ran into a young woman whom I took on a few dates last year we got to talking and I asked her why things never went further. "It just sorta fizzled," she told me " And on one of our first dates you mentioned that one of your friends in college was a dominatrix, and that freaked me out." Now, I didn't spend my college years in and out of s/m dens, but I had some out-there friends, and yes, one of them earned some money on the side as a dominatrix. Is this anything to be embarrassed about? No. Is this something I should be bringing up on a first date? No!

Should you get to a second, third or fourth date, or even a date that ends the next morning, there will be plenty of time to talk about sex. Feel free to hint around the periphery, but when it comes to sex talk, save it.

5. Drinking too much

If we could see ourselves after too many drinks, we wouldn't want to date us either. Add nerves to this equation, one or two beers I think it probably works the best with charm. As well, one of my greatest flaws is my short-term memory it's terrible another factor that's multiplied after too many drinks. Not exactly a winning combination when trying to get to know someone.

John: "Oh man, you sound like you work really hard. You probably get that from studying business at Penn."

Date: "I went to Circus School. And I studied tumbling. Pass me my stilts I'm outta here."

Or something.

6. Dwelling on your job

I know. I know. Some guys work in the Peace Corps or run rehab centers for puppies or star in their own sitcoms, but the vast majority of us have normal, boring jobs, that frankly, don't make for great date conversation.

I write about TV and movies and celebrities from time to time, and yes, those things can be interesting and fun to talk about, but what I really do is spend a great deal of time in front of a laptop, staring at a blank screen, or debating whether to use the word "maybe" or "perhaps."

Your job is not who you are, it's what you do, and while it does take up 10 hours of your day, the details, past "this funny thing happened at work today" are probably best kept off the table at first.

Besides, he should be asking about you!

7. Following up too hard, fast and often.

You had a good date she was receptive to your playful banter; you guys both thought that the Where The Wild Things Are movie went nowhere; she said she'd like to see you again; you even got a kiss goodnight great. Now breathe. In fact, take two breaths. All your romantic instincts may be telling you to grab your phone and start texting.

It won't hurt to tell her how much fun you had, right? It's probably a good idea to lock down that next date, right? She'd probably want to know what you're doing later that night, just in case she wants to come over, right?


Take the phone, place it on the other side of your home, and leave it there. Do not approach the phone. Do not glance at the phone. Forget the phone exists. The phone is kryptonite and you are Superman. Touch it, and you become weak.

There's no hard and fast rule here (on how many days, hours, or weeks you wait to call), except one: Don't appear over-eager. There is nothing less sexy than the smell of desperation. Time has the power to cleanse. Wait until it feels like the right time. Call her. Magic.

John Ortved

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