As we start to approach the end of a year, it's always a good time to take stock and see if things could be improved in the coming year, including your love life. Whilst no one likes to be criticised, or think of them self in a negative manner, the reality is that there are many people who are 'hard to date'. These people blame their lack of success on everything under the sun but fail to reflect and see if they could actually be doing something that is off putting. If there's one thing that both men and women look for in a potential mate, it is someone who is easy to date and spend time with. Here are some common tell tale signs that you could be someone who is 'hard to date':
You're inflexible with your diary
The first available date that you have in your diary is in 3-4 weeks time and you're not willing to make any compromises. You believe that you're worth it and if someone is genuinely interested they will just have to wait. Whilst you may be a good catch with lots to offer, they don't know that, you're just a stranger. They can only base it on their experience of you, which is likely to come across as you are too busy to have a relationship. Next please!
Date venue & location
It's all about you, and sorry ladies but you're generally more guilty of this than men. The venue and location has to be on your terms. You're not willing to travel half way, it has to be somewhere that you can drive to, or you cannot be bothered to go into town. Furthermore, if you're a woman who believes that a man should travel to you, then you need to remember that this man is a stranger, he owes you nothing and you cannot pick & choose when equality applies. If arranging a first date with you is such a headache, it's not really an appealing advert for a potential relationship.
You're unreliable/try to be non-committal
When it comes to setting up the date, you take your time to confirm because potentially there may be a family, work or friends thing happening. However, the reality is that you do not want to commit until the last minute in case you get what you perceive to be a 'better offer'. Similarly, although you may commit to a date in advance, it does not mean you will make it. You have a tendency to cancel at the last minute because something better has come up with your friends and you know you will have a good night versus a date, which could go either way. Alternatively, you simply can't be bothered to make the extra effort to get ready and travel on the day. Sounds selfish doesn't it? It's because it is. Everyone's time is important to them and when you mess people around, they don't stick around!
Treat them mean, keep them keen
No one wants to appear too keen but there's a fine line. You ignore calls, rarely return them and take ages to respond to texts and emails. Treat them mean, keep them keen - the novelty soon wears off when you're dating someone who is serious about meeting someone. Your lack of communication is interpreted as a lack of interest, they have no reason or desire to hang around, there are plenty more single people out there.
You constantly sing your own praises on dates
I'm so wonderful, I'm successful, I have a great job, I'm always busy and have a hectic social life. Whilst you should be proud of your achievements and your aim may be to come across as someone who is interesting, in demand and has a great life, you're likely to have the opposite effect. That is, someone who is conceited, leads a far too busy life, with potentially no room for a serious relationship. Cheque please!
Love the sound of your own voice
You think you've had a good first date but the other person is not interested in a second, why surely you were on the same date? It's because (potentially unaware) you love the sound of your own voice. You monopolised the conversation, rarely asked questions and interrupted your date when they spoke. Is it any wonder the other person can't get away fast enough?
It's a fast buzzer round on Question Time
Your busy, you feel that you do not want to waste any time so it's better to cut to the chase so you conduct your date like a job interview for a spouse. Nine out of ten times you conclude that this person is not for you, they are far too clinical, no fun and defensive. Really? Could it be something you said?
You're too intense and serious
Every conversation that you have, you come across as too serious. Rather than participating in a light-hearted manner, you escalate the topic to provide a deeper and analytical explanation. Whilst intellectual stimulation is great, consistently steering every conversation in this direction can be mentally draining and exhausting for your date.
You over analyse everything
You struggle to accept things at face value and question everything that your date is saying, as though you're in a court of law, trying to catch them out for a guilty act. It does not make for an engaging or enjoyable conversation. No one wants to go on a date and be interrogated about every word coming out of their mouth, especially by a stranger that they hardly know.
High & unrealistic expectations
You expect too much from a first date - instant attraction, chemistry, sparks, romance, grand gestures and the list could go on. However, these things gradually materialise as you start to get to know someone and are heading towards a committed relationship. Having unrealistic expectations from a stranger who does not know you, makes it hard to be on a date with you. It can manifest itself as you losing interest during the date - the conversation runs dry, your attention wanes, you don't listen so when you do zone back in, you ask your date the same questions, or to repeat them self. You may then wonder why you're not getting pass the first date despite being proactive on the dating scene. It's because it's difficult for anyone to live up to these expectations on a first date.
Did any of these signs resonate with you? If so, perhaps it's time to re-evaluate how you go into the dating game in 2014 and who knows, you may just get a different result...Alpa Saujani