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Is there such a thing as a bad date?

Is there really such thing as a bad date? If you’ve just nodded or screamed out YES in your head, have you ever wondered what causes you to feel this way? Furthermore, have you considered whether you contributed in making it a bad date?

Expectations - are you expecting too much?

If you go on a date with the expectation that this person is going to be ‘the one’ you’ve already set yourself up for a fall. The likelihood is that they will not live up to your expectations and may perceive it to be a bad date. Unnecessary pressure would have been placed upon yourself and on your date. The excitement that you have built up (in your head, all by yourself) means that you will probably start the date on a high note, which will rapidly decline as you start discovering that this person is not meeting your expectations. The vast majority of couples didn't realise that their partner was the ‘one’ on their first date, so setting your expectations too high is destined to end in disappointment for you, more often than not. Whilst you may chalk it down to being a waste of time and a rubbish date, if you take a step back and think about it, was it really a bad date? Or did you simply set the bar of expectation so high that the chances of someone meeting them were extremely slim?

Are you just going through the motions and expecting the date to be bad before you even get there?

Many of us lead busy lives, trying to juggle work, friends, family and those boring chores, which you can’t always put off. Therefore, fitting in your quest to meet someone into your busy schedule can be challenging. But the reality is that the more opportunities that you explore, the closer you will get to meeting the right person. Just to clarify, I’m not talking about going on dates with people who are highly unsuitable from the outset, just for the sake it. But if you do go on a date with a negative mindset and from the stance of just going through the motions, the other person doesn’t really stand much of a chance. For example, if you’re in a happy & positive mood and you spend time interacting with somebody who is in a negative & low mood, chances are that a conversation with this person will not bring out the best in you. So whilst you’re on your date and your inner voice starts chatting “I knew it would be a waste of time, why did I even bother, I’ve got lots to do, I could have finished off my paperwork, this date is awful...” Ask yourself honestly, was the date really awful, or was it down to an ‘awful’ attitude?

Are you letting your past experiences influence your opinion of the person in front of you?

You may genuinely have had bad dating experiences but going on a date with someone new and pre-judging them based on your past experiences is unfair. You’re not going on a date to test someone, or to try and catch them out because of a past experience. You’re simply there to find out whether there is any attraction and interest to warrant a further meeting. Imagine how you would feel if someone treated you as ‘guilty’ when they do not even know you! This can also equally be applied to judging someone based solely on their physical appearance, without even taking the opportunity to get to know them.

Location, location, location - is it really that important?

If you have asked or agreed for the other person to organise the date and they have selected a venue, or location that you do not like, at that point you have two choices. You can make the best of the situation and try to not let it overcloud what you have gone to do – to get to know the other person – or you can let it ruin your date by letting it bother you to the point that you come across as moody, at which point the date is pretty much over before it has begun.

Just like we all have good days and bad days, we all have good dates and bad dates. But the key is to do everything that is within your control to have the best possible experience. So here are some tips:

  • Go with an open-mind and a positive attitude so even if you do not ‘click’, you will not experience it as a ‘bad date’ but a learning experience.
  • Remember that you do not have to make any life changing decisions on your date, cast those expectations aside and focus on the here and now and whether you want to get to know this person.
  • Going on dates is never a waste of time. It often helps you to clarify what you are looking for in a partner and brings you closer to meeting that special someone. But if you really feel like you can’t be bothered, or are simply going through the motions, then consider taking some time out until you feel motivated and positive about dating -  otherwise you’ll be doing both yourself and the other person an injustice. 
  • When you meet someone new, go with a blank canvas. Give them an opportunity to paint a picture about themselves; this is the only way to truly get to know someone. 
  • If you do find yourself in a venue or location that you do not like, remember your primary objective is to find out whether you would like to date this person, rather than the lack of choice on the drinks menu.

In life we are regularly faced with situations that we do not necessarily like, we can choose to make the best of it and try to achieve what we set out to do, or we can sulk and blame others. Either way, how we respond is a choice that we consciously make. Happy Dating!

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I used to be like this - have these really high expectations and blame the other person, but eventually I realised that the common denominator was myself in the string of bad dates! So thank you for this article and the reminder as we can all lose our way in the dating process!
I really enjoy reading your blog and I have just sent this to a friend of mine, she always goes on dates with high expectations and then wonders why she still has not met someone!


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