My clients range in age from around 48 to 78 years old. I’ve heard many first date encounter stories, and I’d like to share some behaviors that you should absolutely watch out for. Because, let’s face it, if it happened early on, it will only get worse. I like to say, “The best behavior is in the first month(s) of dating.”
Daniel, a successful 59-year-old attorney and client of mine, recapped this story for me yesterday. It was his second date with Anna, a pretty, 61-year-old doctor. They’d just had a pleasant tapas/sangria fueled dinner, and he was driving her home.
She took a phone call from her ex-husband in the car, something to do with one of their children. (That’s ok, right?). Well, the small incident was resolved in 5 minutes, but suddenly she blasted into a story with her ex, “Remember when we……” and for the next 20 minutes of the car ride home reminisced with her ex in front of Daniel.
Think there was a 3rd date? And she texted him surprised he never asked her out again.
If it’s not an emergency or a very important call, it can wait. Otherwise, it’s a red flag for disrespect.
Sure, you can allow a general question about how long you’ve been divorced. But the buck stops there. It’s none of their business at this point why you divorced, was it acrimonious, are you getting alimony, etc.
Mark, 65, told me a woman asked him if he ever cheated on his wife – and this on the first date. He was new to online dating and asked me if that was normal. Heck, no!
Maria, 49, had a date last week with Mark over a coffee. Within 10 minutes he had already told her he was estranged from his children as he was never present in their lives. Maria reported to me, “As he began launching into his dysfunctional childhood, I drained my latte and told him this wasn’t going to work, in a gracious manner. And he looked confused.”
He texted her the next day asking what he’d done wrong – and while tempted to tell him, “You need a whole lot of therapy,” she just said she felt no connection. Smart. There is absolutely no reason to stay for an hour when someone launches their issues on you. (Oh, she blocked him on her phone too). Things like this – you just move on!
Regardless of a person’s day-to-day life and habits, foul language – in front of you, on an initial date – is a red flag.
Many people comment in online profiles that they enjoy a sense of humor. But that can range from silly, goofy, quirky, to a jokester. You either click on this – or don’t!
On a first date? You don’t even know this person. Now, I’m not talking about telling funny stories, I’m talking about a mean-spirited way of describing people. Talking bad about others does not resonate with the majority of people, so take it as a red flag.
Laura, a very positive and happy-go-lucky person (and client of mine) shared this story with me. Her date’s first question was, “Are you finding these dating sites as awful as I am?”
She was surprised, and I liked her answer: “Wow, really. I’ve met some fantastic men – just not the right one for me yet.” And guess what? Even after her comment, he wanted to continue on about all the unattractive women he’d met. She immediately tossed him out of her line-up of potential second dates.
Christopher, 64, had invited Louisa on a first date to a wine bar for one drink. When he arrived, she was on her second glass of wine and busy ordering not one, but three appetizers. He gave her the benefit of the doubt, but when the check appeared, she left to make a phone call.
Now, Christopher is a gentleman who always pays the check, but he was perplexed when she didn’t even bother saying thank you. And, she had scarfed down most of the appetizers and ordered a third drink too.
Why I’m noting this? Some men do that too.
One drink is enough for a first date. More than that? No!
This one definitely shows one’s true colors. Laura, 66, met Thomas, 62, for a second date at Mastro’s, a nice steak house in Newport Beach. (Prior to that, they’d had a pleasant coffee meeting). First, he complained about his salad. But the denouement came when he angrily chastised the waiter about the temperature of his steak and asked to speak to a manager.
Keep in mind that most of the time I hear fun, heart-warming stories about first dates. Sure, not everyone has chemistry, nor is it usually love at first sight. But if you spot the above “red flags” on the first few dates, chances are it will not get better.
My clients who do best and add to my 65% success rate of developing relationships tend to be positive, well-mannered singles. So, keep in mind it only takes one and don’t give up after one bad experience. With 128 million singles alone in the US, I promise he/she may be right around the corner. Chalk it up to experience – and move on to that next date!
Two of my clients announced their engagements last week. I can’t tell you how happy I am for both of them and their new partners.
Have fun, chin up and just think, you could be next!
What are some first date red flags that you’ve dealt with? How do you feel about dating sites? You’re your attitude hurt your chances of finding real happiness? If you think you’re better off alone, consider if this is because of past experiences – and maybe give yourself a chance!
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