Throughout my professional dating coaching and matchmaking career, I’ve noticed many bad patterns in terms of singles’ behavior, and a lot of the time, they don’t even know they’re behaving this way.
In case you keep missing the mark on your first dates, I’ll walk you through the biggest mistakes single gay men make when they initially meet someone they like. I’ll also share my top tips to avoid these mistakes from here on out.
1. Not Knowing Anything About Their Date
Do your research! There’s a reason why you want to go on a first date with this person, so take it seriously. The most desirable men are the ones who take that extra step to make positive and lasting first impressions.
Did the guy write something in his dating profile that stirred your interest? If so, remember it and bring it up on the first date. Showing that you took the time to learn about him and come up with some conversation ideas will keep the date flowing and fun.
And be prepared to share stories that show how unique — and maybe even weird — you are, too. Weird is always more interesting than you explaining that your favorite hobbies are going to brunch with friends, working out, and being outdoors. Please name a gay man who doesn’t like to do those things, in general.
What TV shows are you currently watching? What movies are you looking forward to seeing this year? What concerts do you plan to go to once things fully open up? Where is your next vacation destination? Sharing this kind of information will allow your date to get a glimpse into how you define your adventurous side.
2. Hooking Up Without Realizing Their Date’s Expectations
Gay men are notorious for hooking up after the first date. I get it. It is what it is. However, if you want to be in a relationship, but you keep hooking up on the first date and then things fizzle out, it may be time to recalibrate. Sometimes it’s best to wait at least until date number two to hop into bed with someone.
Sometimes gay men just want a sexy guy to have dinner with and sleep with at the end of the night. Sometimes this song and dance is for just one evening. Did you understand this expectation, or did you have an assumption that left you confused when you didn’t get what you wanted?
It’s important to set these ground rules even when you first hit someone up on your favorite dating app. This often keeps you more honest and feeling less defeated if some wires were crossed. When in doubt, be forward in your communication. Most gay men appreciate forthrightness rather than you playing nice or being ambiguous.
3. Being Late and/or Noncommittal About Availability
It’s never good to start off with an apology when meeting someone new. If time management is an issue of yours, address it before you start dating. There are plenty of articles on the value of being punctual you can read and online classes you can take.
When I was more single than I am now, I would rarely go on a second date with someone who was more than fifteen minutes late to the first date. I made an equal sacrifice to be on time, and all I expected was the same respect. Sure, if traffic was a little bit more than what my date expected, I totally understood. However, with so many ways to anticipate traffic these days, my issue was how could my date not know he was going to be late before he left his place? I was less forgiving then.
It was always refreshing to me when someone would suggest a specific time and place to meet. I always appreciated that gesture, and I would often reciprocate. This would normally lead me into second date territory.
When setting up your first date, be direct about your schedule. Don’t be that person who says something along the lines of, “I think I may have some time this weekend to meet, but I won’t know until the last minute.” What that really means is, “I may be able to fit you in if nothing better comes along.” You can do better.
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