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Top 5 common dating mistakes and how to avoid them

23 June 2015

Here’s how to steer clear of the most common online dating mistakes to ensure you don’t mess up something before it’s even begun.

The most common dating mistakes

Whether it’s spilling food down your front in a restaurant, or spending too much time texting your friends, we’ve all been guilty of at least one dating ‘don’t’. Here’s how to steer clear of the most common mistakes and make sure you don’t mess up something wonderful before it’s even begun.

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1. Don’t accept a last-minute date

Of course if you’ve already gotten to know someone, accepting a last-minute date can be spontaneous and fun, but with a stranger it’s probably best to avoid saying “yes” too soon. Remember, you’re a busy person with an active life and social calendar. Accepting something at the last minute can send out the message that you’re a little desperate. You have many prospects and plans and your time needs to be booked in advance by at least three days.

2. Don’t act too friendly on a first date

Sure, you like him/her and you’re feeling relaxed enough on your date to talk about pretty much anything, but this isn’t always a good idea. Sometimes, being too open in an early encounter can be off-putting. No one needs to know about the spat you just had with your neighbour over the bins, or how your retirement plan isn’t quite working out. Instead, practise witty banter and fill any awkward silences with questions about the other person, rather than facts about yourself. Remain elusive and you’ll always be attractive.

3. Don’t jump in too soon

What first burns brightly can soon fizzle out completely. Jumping into anything too quickly after that initial spark can often end in disappointment as one of you realises the other isn’t quite what they were looking for. Try not to spend too much time together too soon. Once or twice a week is good, and if your new love interest wants to talk on the phone, make them short, interesting conversations that leave them wanting more. Pace yourself, let love blossom at a natural, normal pace, and you’ll find it will probably last longer and have much more depth.

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4. Don’t live in the past or the future

One of the biggest mistakes we can make on a date is forgetting to live in the ‘now’. Tapping on your phone to your friends in an effort to update them on all romantic happenings is drawing you out of the moment, away from your date, creating a barrier you often don’t intend to create. So too is talking about the past; past relationships, break-ups, let-downs. Focus on the gorgeous, glittering present and make the most of every second.

5. Don’t waste anyone’s time

Time is precious. If you’ve been on a few dates and you’re not quite sure if you like the other person enough to begin a romantic relationship yet, chances are you never will and you’re simply procrastinating over how to admit it – to them as well as to yourself. Sometimes we keep saying yes to invitations because we’re afraid that nothing better will come along, but it never will if we don’t free ourselves up. Wasting someone’s time means you’re also wasting yours. It’s better to let go completely so you both have a clean slate and an open door, with the chance to find somebody who sets your soul on fire. Remember what you want, what you’re really looking for, and go after it.

For more information about online dating over 50, check out our online dating tips, and advice for how to win at online dating.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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