Maintaining healthy boundaries about who you choose to date is a natural part of the mating ritual. When roaming amongst the pride, being selective in who you partner with is a protective instinct. By today's standards I would say that means the protection of your self-identity, your emotions and whatever it is in your life that you cherish most and have worked to achieve.
So let's be honest about something -- there will always be certain qualities about someone that you find incredibly attractive and others that may be quite repulsive. That's why we date. To figure out what we want, change it a few times and repeat. Some qualities, though, may be generally accepted as deal breakers or red flags that definitely stop a potential partner from calling you the next day.
Take a look at this quick list of some of the more common deal breakers in the dating safari.
All I'm saying here is that it doesn't hurt to take a shower and brush your teeth daily. We're not asking for much. Two socks (no need to be from the same pair), clean pants (maybe worn one day and "aired" out for 3), and the word soap is in your vocabulary. Everyone gets busy throughout the year, but if you're planning to impress someone on a first date, unless you're going to yoga or the gym together, sweatpants are not a good call. Everyone has quirks and it's the people that appreciate those quirks that you want to keep close in your life. But on a first date, putting in a little bit of an effort may pay off in the long run.
"Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" -- Philo of Alexandria
Everyone has a bad day once in a while. The biggest turn off, though, is being on a date with someone who decides it's fun to puff up their ego unnecessarily. There's a difference between having sexy confidence and just being inappropriate. Throwing a mini-fit when you choose to go to the busiest restaurant in the city on a Friday date night and your dessert is taking a couple minutes too long is just not attractive. Things may not go as expected, but showing off your ability to be calm, cool and collected will undoubtedly pay off in the long run and cause you less stress in the short term.
Talking about past relationships
Those people are in your past for a reason, so why would your trusting date want to relive those memories with you? Dating is the conscious effort to put yourself back on the market and maybe meet someone new who sparks your interest. Hearing about how you and your blonde ambition both enjoyed churros every summer at the festival is not my idea of lubing up this raven diva. Live in the moment and enjoy your company. If you're struggling to get over your ex, be upfront about this and be clear that you need to take things slow. But no one wants to date the Debbie downer at the derby. If you're holding onto outdated expectations about what dating is like, or if some pretty strong feelings are still resonating, that might be a sign that you need some "me" time before trying to get into some "we" time again.
Being overtly sexual when it's uncalled for
Stop. Think about it. You know when the situation has switched from "I want to get to know you" to "let's just get it on." Reciprocation of feelings occurs naturally when two people are attracted to one another. At times you will find that you begin parroting each other. On your next date, notice small things like if you both take a sip of your drink at the same time while teasing each other with eye contact. If after the appetizers you realize that you're not feeling the relationship going any further than breakfast at their place (with breakfast optional), just be honest about it. That moment when you figure out your attraction level, and how far you are willing to take things, is the moment you should be informing the other person. Groping the other person without explanation because you've already decided for yourself that this is a physical-kind-of-thang may leave you going home solo instead of scoring. Allowing things to flow naturally and being honest is your best bet when trying to make a positive impression on your potential mate, even if it's just for the night.
Flirting with other people during the date
Flirting with others when you're on a first date is just simply a turn-off. If you want to be the star of the party, then wait for the weekend and head over to Jack's; don't try to grab the spotlight while your date is just getting into their entrée. Maintaining eye contact, engaging in the conversation and maybe throwing in a laugh or two will be a sure way to communicate that you're into the date and ensure a good time is had by the both of you.
Follow Carlen Costa on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@drcarlen