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Toxic Dating Strategies

Normally I go with the positive. But there are destructive things you can do on dates---and we are all here for a second date, yes? So, let’s knock out these behaviors and get down to some fun and successful dating.

Michael*(my client) went on an awesome lunch date last Monday with Layla---it lasted 2.5 hours and he told me they’d both laughed so hard and just clicked. He happily paid for the date. She did not follow up and thank him. She did not respond to his text the next day saying how much he enjoyed the date and invited her to dinner on Friday.

Instead, she waited until Sunday---that’s 6 days. If it was one of your best friends, you’d think how rude, right? Well, sad ending. By the time she texted him back, he thanked her and said he’d met someone the night before and he’d get back to her. She responded back with an invite to a concert. He declined.

Think Michael ever will get back to her? The answer is no. Here’s what Michael said to me: “I’m confused. We had fun. She waited nearly a week to follow up. She’s flakey. Do you think that’s rude?”.

I do. (Especially since he had specifically asked her out on another date for Friday). Now, had there been a reason for a delayed response (a family emergency, last minute travel), she still should have texted in a timely manner and told him that.

Layla lost out on a good man here.

So here we go on the toxic dating conduct:

1. Three Day Rule

So, let’s lose this one. There is no 3-day rule. Pretend this is in screaming caps. No 3-day rule for contacting someone. Online dating moves fast.

2. Playing Games/Playing Hard to Get

Absolutely no one wants a game player or mind games. Be honest, forthright, graciously direct and have good manners.

3. Time Limits in your head

Geez, if you read ramblings on the internet, you may think time limits are real. For example, after 6 dates, we are exclusive. Nope. It varies in every single dating/relationship---You are not in an exclusive relationship until it’s been discussed or happens naturally. Based on my 25 years as a dating coach, I’d say it’s 50-50. 50% it happens just naturally in any given time frame; the other 50% happens in a more proactive discussion.

4. Men have to make the first move

Oh, I feel for you guys! Why should they have to do all the work? My latest engagement (Trina and Tim), Trina reached out to every single man on two dating sites/apps first. Tim told her that’s one of the reasons he liked her right off the bat----she messaged him and asked him to meet for coffee on the first date. And they did.

5. Talking about important things on first date----why?

Ok, down the rabbit holes of the internet again. The toxic issue here is why would you jump into deep waters---such as what happened in past relationships, that you’d like to get married, that you hate online dating? No, no NO!

Subject matter for a first date, a first meet: Interests, where you grew up, movies, music, maybe a little bit about family (not too much about your children/grandchildren), favorite restaurants and hiking trails. Yes, there’s a school of thought (guaranteed to ruin 95% of first dates) that you be direct about what you want. “What are you looking for---I’m looking for a long-term serious relationship”. Again, these statements/questions in general do not result in 2nd dates.

6. Men should pay for first date

Ok, here we go again. Now, what I tend to see is very regional on this matter. For example, men in Texas, Midwest and South tend to insist on paying. But that does not mean you should not offer! Other parts of the country I do see much more splitting the bill---unless it coffee.

My client Max told me yesterday that last month he spent nearly $600 on first dates---yes, he takes his dates to nice restaurants for lunch. Now, he was not complaining one bit---he said just a reality of dating in Atlanta.

7. Staying until end of the date

Time is precious. I agree. But if a first date is for a coffee or a one-hour lunch, you’ve committed to this time, right? So, yes, it is ungracious to leave after 15-minutes. I’m trying to think what could be so bad---the only behavior I can think of is a woman who went on a date last month and the man told sexist, racist jokes.

Luckily, that’s the only time I’ve had something like this happen in the last few years. We’ve gotten pretty good at screening dates via the beforehand messaging, thank goodness!

Phew, I got the word toxic (a word I rarely if ever use) off my mind.

Happy Dating and Have Fun!


Text me at 702-494-7344 for a free 15-minute chat to see if I can help!

Dating Coach/Dating Counselor Https://

*Names of my clients are always changed.

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