Mixed Messages In Dating

Jumping to conclusions can prove fatal to a first date.

The human mind (ego) can play some pretty nasty tricks on us at times. Very often I will give a gentleman info on a new match with her phone number and he will call her, excited to meet a new lady and hoping that she will finally be “the one.” A day or two or three will pass, and I get a phone call from him notifying me that his match has not returned his phone call.  He will go on and on with possible scenarios as to why she did not return his call. “Maybe she got back with her ex, or she is not serious about finding a relationship, or she probably did not like my voice on the phone or my description.” I sit there patiently listening, then give my usual response, “ The fact is, you don’t have any idea why she hasn’t returned your call, so why make-up these elaborate reasons and stress yourself out? Let me call her and find out -- and I will let you know.”

More often than not, I will call or e-mail the lady and ask what is going on.  It usually turns out that she was just swamped with work, had family in from out of town, or she herself was out of town and was planning to call him as soon as she had a free moment to relax and talk to him. She did not go back to her ex, dislike his voice, or any of the hundred reasons he came up with.

It is very important to get out of our own way and not to listen to the ego -- the voice in the head that is constantly creating drama and scenarios that may or may not be true but for sure will drive you crazy.


Below are some examples of situations with my clients that illustrate how people often jump to conclusions.  This mindset only perpetuates the frustration and negativity around dating in general, the very last thing you need!


This feedback was written after the couple had gone out on 2 dates:

Hi Marla,
Update on Marissa. Believe it or not, I never saw her again. We had a fantastic first date. I mean it really clicked. I tried to play it cool, but she grabbed my hand to hold it while walking to her car. She told me to kiss her. We then made plans for our next date. Over the next two weeks, things came up with her, for example at work, with family and then sickness. But she kept insisting how much she wanted to see me again. We were all set to see each other last Sunday but then she called and told me she had the chicken pox. I said something like, “I’m sorry you are sick, lets try to do something when you are feeling better. Midweek I phoned. She never returned my call. I have not talked to her since. I don’t get it? I feel like I got teased. I am asking you to contact her and get feedback for me.
Thank you.

I did get feedback from Marissa, she told me that she really likes Nathan but she has been very sick and planned to call him as soon as she was feeling better. So Nathan jumped to his own conclusions and felt teased and frustrated when, in fact, there was nothing wrong, Marissa was just ill. If someone does not get back to you right away, keep yourself busy with other things. Don’t jump to conclusions, because you really have no idea what the other person is thinking.

Was this next couple even in the same text message conversation or on the same date?


Hi Marla,
I finally was able to go out with Andy last night. His age was great, he was really nice and fun, but he was not my type physically at all… his looks and slicked-back hair. I go more for a rugged or pretty boy. He was nice at dinner… but a little self- absorbed with his talk on music and the band, but really a gentleman. The only issue I had is that he texed me this evening and told me he had a great time and I let him know that I did too but would like to be friends and he was quite rude in his response… kind of put me down… not a graceful loser so to speak. I am just telling you this in case you give the guys guidance about how to date because that is definitely a put off and I wouldn’t even be friends with him at this point. You are very close…. just someone a little more with a sensitive spot perhaps? I am interested in meeting the right guy. Thanks sweetie and take care, Judy

I e-mailed Andy and gave him her feedback. He was totally confused and sent me this e-mail:

Wasn’t rude, just honest. Here is the exact texting:
Me: Nice meeting you last night!
Her: Thx. U2! Would love to be friends
Me: Thanks anyway, didn’t really feel a connection either. Good luck 2 you though…
Her: Glad we’re on the same page. Take care!

Don’t think that was rude, right? Again, she was just so into herself, talked about herself and her business the entire time, not really asking me any questions or even caring Anyway, just wanted you to know how the text went so you can judge for yourself.
Thanks, Andy

So while Judy felt that Andy talked too much about his music and the band, Andy felt that Judy was self- absorbed talking the whole time about herself.  Judy interpreted Andy’s good luck text as being a sore loser.  With this couple the chemistry was clearly lacking, but I do find it very interesting that they both felt that the other spoke mostly about themselves.

This feedback below from Gina is interesting. She went out with Paul a few days before Valentine’s Day.

He was nice, but talked mostly about himself. Asked for a Valentine’s date 20 minutes after I met him. Tried to hold my hand under the table. It was really uncomfortable. And he tried to kiss me on the mouth after dinner. He’s nice but for me that is a bit too much. If he had been more interested in me and less touchy-feely I would have felt more comfortable. He seems a little in a rush to hop into a new relationship. I hope this feedback helps.

When I gave Paul this feedback, he was surprised and said that Tammy was the one who grabbed his hand from across the table. He did ask her if she had plans for that Thursday, it just so happened that it was Valentine’s Day. And as far as trying to kiss her on the lips, he said that she kissed him on the cheek while waiting for the valet to bring the car. I hear this type of feedback quite often -- the woman feels that the man was too touchy-feely, and the man says that she initiated it. Men can often interpret a touch on the arm, revealing clothing or sitting very close as an invitation for more intimate contact.  Set your boundaries from the beginning if you are not sure about chemistry by being sweet and friendly but keeping an appropriate distance and your hands to yourself.

Do you notice a common thread that runs through so much of the feedback from both the men and the women? He/she talked mostly about themselves. They didn’t seem interested in me. I hear this so often -- especially when alcohol is involved. That’s when  people tend to really spill their guts about their past, flaws, doubts and fears and take over the conversation. But vino aside, a seeming lack of interest is one of the most common  complaints I hear. Everyone wants to feel important, interesting, captivating, attractive and noticed. Listening and really showing an interest in the person who is sitting across from you is crucial. Even if you know that you have no romantic chemistry and do not plan to see this person again, why not go ahead and practice your listening skills? You just might learn something as well!