By Kelly Seal
Maybe you’re a single man who’s hot, successful, or some form of a great catch. However, you can’t seem to make it past the first date or two, and can’t understand why. Instead of assuming the problem is with your dates, maybe you should consider the possibility that it’s with you.
Allow me to explain.
None of us is perfect. We all have bad habits, maybe even some that we aren’t aware of. While you may think you have a lot going for you, sometimes the one bad habit can instantly kill any attraction between you and your date. For instance, do you pick your nose without thinking? Are you reluctant to leave more than a $5 tip? Does your car smell like an ashtray? I’m not naming names, but following are a few examples of romance killers from my own personal dating history. My regret is that I never had the courage to tell these men that they turned me off because of a habit I found particularly disgusting or annoying. So likely they went on to the next date and repeated the same thing, wondering what the hell they were doing wrong.
(And by the way, it’s not that guys are the only ones to criticize…women have some equally disgusting habits. But my experience is in dating men, so I’ll talk about them.)
If you see yourself in any of these scenarios, a word of caution: keep the habit, and you’ll have a hard time getting past the initial date, no matter how great you are otherwise. Trust me on this.
I once dated a man who was tall, good-looking, and athletic. I was smitten. For our first date, he picked me up to take me to dinner. Strewn across the floor and seat of the passenger side of his car were half-empty bottles of Naked Juice and congealed smoothies. We tried to pick them up and toss them in the backseat, but that was full, too. There was an odd, sickly sweet smell that permeated his car. “Sorry about that, I didn’t have time to clean my car,” he said shyly. Needless to say, I didn’t return his texts after that. I couldn’t even eat dinner.
A man who seemed nice, attractive, and charming took me out on a first date to a little Italian restaurant around the corner from my apartment. I was impressed that he’d made the long drive to my part of town. But when the waiter came to deliver the check, my date slipped a half price coupon into his hand. “I’m glad I got that in the mail last week,” he said, smiling at me. “This is an expensive place for a first date.” The total bill before the coupon? $34.
A man once picked me up for a date sporting a mullet, acid-washed jeans and bright white Addidas. He took me to the mall. We ate at Baja Fresh and then headed to the movie theatre, where he attempted to buy our tickets with his expired AMC gift card. Note: if you remember having the same date in middle school, don’t do it now.
This is a standard but worth pointing out. I’ve dated several men who chew food with mouths wide open. Bits of salad and mashed potato go flying from their lips into my nice glass of Pinot Noir. I back away, but then they lean in closer to talk to me as I watch bits of their food floating in my glass. So please, if you’re a messy eater don’t come closer. And say it, don’t spray it.
If you feel the need to clean your ears, please do so prior to the date. I don’t want to see your waxy finger while I’m eating. Also, for the man whose roommate liked to swab his ears with Q-Tips and leave them lying around their apartment: that’s the reason I never came back.
Maybe you like Cosmopolitans or dessert wines, but please don’t order them in front of me. Be a man and have a beer or a normal glass of wine. This gives you more credibility. I have to wonder about the sexual prowess of a guy who likes candy cocktails.
I hope you found this brief list helpful. And if you catch a date doing something equally disgusting or annoying, please be sure to let him or her know. We’ll all be better off for it.