Matchmaker Reveals 5 Horrible Dating Behaviors That Make Men Want To Run

Don't burn the bridge before you have a chance to cross it.

Last updated on Dec 25, 2023

Man running away from woman Rémi Jacquaint | Unsplash, George Frewat | Pexels

If I asked you the top things to never do on a first date, you'd probably guess a few of the big no-nos.

So, why do so many people keep telling me woeful tales about lousy first-date behavior?

Can you promise me something?

Promise me (scout's honor) you'll never do any of these five disastrous behaviors on a date.

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Here are 5 horrible dating behaviors that make men want to run:

1. Sharing your first date battle stories.

Yes, you've had dating disappointments—you've been lied to, misled, and taken advantage of. You've got war stories, but who doesn't?


As funny as you think your tales of woe are, retelling those tales to a new love prospect sets you up as the victim and makes your date feel like your personal garbage dump. So, rather than "go there," just zip it! This is just a first date. Keep things up-tempo and bring the conversation back to the present and future.

close couple beach date


Photo: Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

2. Acting distracted or not focused on your date.

Always arrive on time, collected, calm, and silence your cell phone. Here's a critical dating tip: practice being in the present and give this new person the gift of your focused, undivided attention. Narrow your peripheral vision to lock in on the person in front of you. Awaken your natural curiosity, tune out the noise around you, and listen attentively to every word this new person shares with you.

One of my clients just shared his post-date feedback from a first date with a lovely woman. He said, "What was so delightful about being with her is that she made me feel like I was the only person in the room ... and the only man on her mind, which was a rare and delightful experience."



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3. Digging up your relationship history.

Some folks call it baggage, but I like to call it "history." Whatever turbulence you've experienced in your past, both with your previous relationships and dating journey, find playful, short versions of the stories if you must share. Always frame the stories so you present yourself in a positive light.

When one of my clients started dating after losing her husband to cancer, rather than dwell on the tragedy, she said, "There were gifts along the way. I got to experience enduring love; I learned that I DO have enough patience and compassion to hang in there when things get tough; I discovered strength I never knew I had; I found that I can bounce back, and I value every day of my life."

4. Deciding too quickly that your date is a dud.

Refrain from that knee-jerk reaction to categorize, define someone, veto, dismiss, and the tendency to criticize, judge, and look for flaws. Picking someone apart is not the way to go.

If the thing you pick isn't one of your top three critical criteria, please overlook it and let it go. Instead, see if the three things that matter to you are present in this person. Resist the temptation to dismiss someone for something of minor importance to you.


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5. Acting like a downer.

Practice being pleasant and positive. Especially when something unexpected or troubling happens on the date — there's a wait for the table promised to you, the person you're meeting gets caught in traffic and is late, the waiter serves you the wrong drink, or there's an annoying draft or a crying baby invading your space.

Practice letting the little things go and finding a positive spin on life's mishaps. If you determine this person isn't for you, leave them with dignity. Be kind and courteous, and have the courage to communicate with honesty and compassion. And don't burn your bridges; make a new friend, no matter what.


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Julie Ferman is a personal matchmaker, consultant, dating coach, media personality, professional speaker, producer of dating industry conferences and events, and a blogger. She's been a guest on countless television shows including Good Morning America, The Today Show, Dr. Phil, and Fox News.