Picture this: it’s Saturday night, you’re out on a date with someone who actually looks like they do in their profile photos, you are wearing something you like and feel pretty cute, and from an outside perspective, it looks like this date is going very well. Nevertheless, you don’t want to be here.
What’s happening here? You were genuinely thrilled when you planned for this evening, and that person really *is* charming and exciting, so why are you not enjoying yourself?
Well, I might have some answers.
reason 1: You didn’t make your expectations clear
Maybe you were anticipating a few drinks in an exciting place with a DJ, and you ended up in a dull restaurant; perhaps you hoped for your date to sweep you off your feet with a fine diner and ended up sharing nachos in their favorite pub.
You could easily make it your date’s fault to not have guessed what you wanted or pretend that your unspoken expectations are something that “everybody knows.” But does everybody really knows what you want, and why not just ask for it instead?
Take responsibility for your heart’s vision; make sure to make it a night you are excited about. It is empowering AF to be able to ask for what you want and to get it. I feel I should add that it is an important skill to know what’s important to you and what’s not and be flexible on the unimportant stuff.
Know what has meaning for you and what does not and be clear about it.
In fact, I find that negotiating activities is an excellent way to get to know someone better. Think of this as an opportunity for everyone to offer suggestions, say what they don’t like, and make room for the other’s desires. Maybe you’ll find yourself creating an outing even better than the one you had in mind or making plans for the future if you can’t do everything in one night.
“Let’s try that Italian place you like first, and next time, I’ll show you my favorite cocktail spot!”
It might also be pleasurable. After all, who doesn’t like to have someone agree to their requests?
reason 2: You are not being yourself
Maybe you’re a little bit impressed by this gorgeous, successful human sitting in front of you; maybe you tend to be a bit insecure. Maybe society told you the appropriate attire and attitude for a date look one specific way, and you’re doing what you think is acceptable on this special occasion. But the fact is you are making so many efforts to be on your best behavior and to come across as a desirable match that this doesn’t really feel like you.
It’s normal to want to invest a little extra energy in the beginning or for a special occasion, but presenting yourself as someone you are not will only attract and retain people that are not interested in, well *you*.
If you’re not being yourself, this is not about you.
And it may be fun sometimes to play a role and try to be someone else just like we try a new outfit. But date after date after date, this is going to get boring, like watching a movie with characters you don’t really connect to or don’t like.
Remember that no one is “too good for you,” connecting with someone is not about looks, wealth, or status; it is so much more profound. Like, your dating patterns, your hormones and immune system, your beliefs around gender roles and relationships, your energy, how outgoing you are, your attachment style, your sense of humor.
Nobody can predict with certainty what will come out of a first encounter, so relax! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself because eventually, this is not about you as much as it is about compatibility.
reason 3: You don’t have in-person chemistry
This is unfortunate, sure, and you’d rather know about that sooner than later. I find that I am very disappointed when someone I love to write to is making me feel uneasy. I had some of those virtual crushes disappear on the shores of reality, and none of them were ever resuscitated, however hard I tried.
So I advise you don’t wait too long to meet someone you find yourself fancying, at least you’ll know.
Trust your body, trust your intuition. You pick up on dozens of unspoken signals, including body language, scent, energy, and much more. It doesn’t matter if they “check all of your boxes” if you don’t feel good in their presence, that’s a hard no.
But how do you manage that on the spot? That’s why I prefer something activity-based for a date. At least you’ll have something to talk about and you can gracefully exit once said activity is over.
Don’t lie about how you’re feeling and ghost your date afterward. It is rude and insensitive.
You don’t have to lie to someone to make them feel good, especially if you plan on disappearing later. Just let that person know you didn’t feel a spark and wish them well.
Reason 4: you don’t know what you are looking for
Perhaps you got on a dating app one night you were really bored, or to forgot someone, or because you wanted to enjoy the attention. Maybe you agreed to meet a friend’s friend to be polite. Or possibly someone flirted with you at an event, you got their number because they were friendly, and ended up on a date with no real plan nor expectations. Any reason to be dating is okay as long as you’re clear on your goal.
And to achieve that, you’re going to need to be clear with yourself.
Are you looking for a spouse or for something more short-term? Are you looking for someone to go out with or someone to come home to?
I know many souls go on dates on the assumption that “I’ll know what I’m looking for when I see it”. It might work for ordering food or looking for an outfit, but I don’t really recommend it when it comes to spending time with someone. Asking someone to meet you and not knowing what you want is like asking them to audition for a part that might not exist in a play that may or may not be played, ever.
So in the spirit of both efficiency (for you) and respect (for the others), I encourage you to know what you are looking for and to be able to say it.
If you have doubts, you could try my Love magnet toolkit. It’s free and extremely beneficial to get clarity on what you want and then attract it.
Reason 5: You are not in the right state of mind
Some days are just not ideals to meet someone new and connect. If your work is taking a lot of space in your mind today, if you are really invested in some project, maybe reschedule and be sure to have your date night at a time where you’ll be able to pay attention to your partner.
If you really want to go, maybe try meditation or some light Yoga to come back to your body and to the present moment. Remember that this should not feel like work or something to check out of your to-do list. Have fun!
Bonus : that person might not be right for you.
Okay, okay, it can happen. If she’s telling you in details all about her recent travel to Costa Rica and not paying attention to you, if he’s checking his phone or texting with his friends while you try to revive the conversation, maybe there is something to adjust in your framing process or maybe t’s just sheer bad luck.
I have a few questions I like to ask on a date to show interest and make my partner feel appreciated but if it feels like I’m interviewing some celebrity (meaning, this is not mutual) I’ll just end the date and come home to a bubble bath and my comfiest pajamas.
How was your worst date? Let me know in the comments, I’ll send compassion and maybe we’ll laugh about it together.