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Dating is a crazy business.  It often involves putting oneself in the awkward position of having to make meaningful and engaging conversation with a virtual stranger while trying to assess if future encounters will be emotionally/physically/spiritually satisfying on any level.  And you usually have to do this over dinner or drinks while trying desperately not to say something totally embarrassing or spray your date in the eye with lemon juice meant for your salmon, ice tea or Corona.  

Of course you know the things you  try to avoid to keep a date running smoothly (and impress a guy, if indeed, you have any interest).  But how about the gaffes, blunders, and faux pas that men make on dates (while optimistically imaging themselves in your naked embrace)?  The following is a list of ten dating mistakes men make that quickly send your hope of a possible ongoing relationship into the crapper (Sadly, you'll probably recognize more than a few of these from past dates-gone-wrong).  

1) Trying to move things along too quickly
Very few things are as much of a turn-off as a guy who’s discussing plans for dates seven, eight and nine, as the appetizers are being served on date one.  He is likely to be perceived (often correctly) as desperate, controlling, stalker-ish or all three.  

2) Not making definite plans or having a specific idea where he wants to go on a date
Especially early on in the dating process, suggesting a specific time, date and place for a romantic rendezvous is very important.  Planning indicates a man cares enough to put a little thought into his date.  Failure to do so is likely to be interpreted as lack of genuine interest or inability to get his act together – neither of which bode well for a long and happy relationship.

3) Talking about his ex's
We all have baggage.  Some, just a small carry-on – others, a steamer trunk.  Speak glowingly of an ex, and it sounds like he’s not over her.  Slam her, and he’ll likely reveal anger issues that aren’t particularly flattering.  They‘re "ex’s" because they‘re part of one’s past.  Best to leave them there.

4) Offering to split the bill
No law dictates that a man, simply by virtue of his sex, is required to pay on a date.  That being said, a man who invites a woman out for dinner, then plunks down the cash to cover his share, expecting her to pony up the remainder will likely not endear himself to his dinner partner.  

5) Treating wait-staff poorly
How a guy interacts with others is a strong indication of how he will eventually interact with you.  Treating a waiter or waitress in a demeaning, condescending, or disparaging manner is a big old red flag.

6) Being a know-it-all
Confidence is attractive, arrogance...not so much.  And an obnoxious, dogmatic, windbag is about as appealing as ringworm.

7) Not listening
Very few non-physical qualities are more appealing to most women than a man who actually listens to them.  And conversely, nothing is quite so off-putting as a guy who doesn’t.

8) Insisting on discussing topics not of interest to his date
One of the key elements of successful dating is establishing a rapport.  A guy blathering on endlessly about subjects that are fascinating only to him, will most certainly assure his first date is also his last.

9) Being a "yes" man
Being overly solicitous and agreeing with everything you say may initially be quite refreshing and appealing.  Soon, however, a man's refusal to offer an opinion of his own and reluctance to demonstrate he has a backbone, will cause you to lose respect for him, and without that, the relationship is dead-in-the-water.  

10) Regaling his date with stories of his wild past
A guy's buddies may be infinitely amused by his tales of drunken debauchery, but confessing his ill-advised exploits on a date, no matter how ‘hilarious,’ is a crap shoot at best.  While you may be entertained, you may just as easily question his character and judgment.  The smart guy keeps his liquor-soaked nostalgia to himself.  

The above is by no means a comprehensive list.  There are virtually hundreds of things a man can inadvertently do to alienate his date.  On the other hand, if a guy is really attracted to you , there are only about two sure-fire ways of throwing cold water on his "fire:" 1) Tell him that under no circumstances will you ever have sex with him; or 2) Tell him you're a dude.

If you have any questions about men, relationships, dating or a related topic, please feel free to email them to me at: I will try to answer as many as I possibly can here in my column. If you are interested in a more comprehensive compendium of musings on the male mind, check out David's [Link Removed] 

(C) 2009 David M. Matthews.  All Rights Reserved.

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