Five Ways to Scare Off Your Date

Written by Rachel Burnham on . Posted in Advice Columns

Nobody goes out planning to scare their date ... or do they? Could it be they don’t realize how they come across on a date? Could there be a better way to present themselves?

Maybe they are going through the motions, but are not fully invested in the process. Maybe they are trying to scare off our dates so we don’t have to face our greatest fear — the “M” word!!! People self-sabotage so they don’t have to face fears of commitment, marriage, losing independence, having children, and sharing finances.

Of course, we can’t expect marriage to fix our deepest fears and anxieties; it is imperative that these issues are worked out beforehand. Pretending to go through the motions of dating when we are not ready for dating, engagement, and marriage is unfair to all involved.

So, assuming that you have worked out your past and are ready to face your future, here are five tips to avoid scaring off your date:

1.) Save some for later. Don’t overshare on early dates. Aside from being too personal too fast, it comes across as too eager. It leaves nothing to the imagination. You want your date to get to know all facets of you, but pace yourself. Healthy relationships progress slowly and steadily.

2.) Be present. Acting distracted or not actively participating in a conversation sends a clear message that you are unavailable. Body language, eye contact, and verbal engagement speak louder than your thoughts. If you are interested, make sure your actions match what you are feeling and be present. On the other hand, even if you’re sure your date is a dead end, don’t check out. Your date deserves to be treated with respect and not feel ignored, or worse, like a waste of time.

3.) Consider your personal hygiene. It’s uncomfortable to have to mention this, but experience tells me it’s best to put it out there. Body odor, dandruff, unkempt or disheveled dress, and general lack of preparedness for a date shows disinterest either in your date, or in dating overall. It’s insulting and a sure way to kill the chance of a date’s success before it’s even begun.

4.) Remember there’s a difference between showing interest and playing detective. You may be tempted to pry into private areas of someone’s life because of something you’ve heard or sheer curiosity. Either way, nosiness is not attractive. Wait until your date feels comfortable making personal disclosures.

5.) Enough about you. The best dates are not about you flaunting your achievements, but about being a good listener and learning about the other person. Active listening is ideal. When you can listen, and ask pertinent and appropriate questions, you’re invested in hearing and learning about another. This quality is not only extremely valuable in marriage, but also shows your date a high level of respect, which is extremely attractive.

By presenting ourselves in the best possible dating light and making a strong first impression, we open possibilities that may not have been available to us previously.

I hope these tips help you find the shortest route to your longest relationship!

By Rachel Burnham

 Rachel Burnham earned her bachelor's degree in psychology and master's degree in occupational therapy in New York City. Currently based in Silver Spring, Maryland, Rachel coaches Jewish singles to successful marriages, helping them find clarity and peace of mind as they navigate the path to love, connection, and lifelong companionship. You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .