When do you question if you’re the problem? How many bad dates before you stop blaming dating apps and commitment phobes? A few months from online dating, me feeling bored on a date became routine. The dullness of some men pushed me to drink doubles (yes, I blame them).
I found myself meeting different types – the hippie, the workaholic, the artist, the corporate dreamer. All inadequate in conversation… eventually. I viewed myself as a dating victim – a hopeless romantic trapped in a date ghosting universe. One where people arrange dates as casually as they upload pics. But the more I explored this topic, the more I understood my glaring reality: I am the big problem. Through research, I identified three personal areas people can overlook when they’re on a dull date: Pickiness, choosing wrong, not being self-interesting. It’s time to face our own boring truth.
3 signs you’re creating the boredom
- You don’t feel inspired
Some of us spent our evenings with Netflix way before Covid. I wasn’t exactly off exploring and networking (unless you count hopping on a train to London and meeting a friend’s friend). If your job and outside work routine doesn’t stimulate you, you’ll struggle to make yourself sound interesting.
No one wants to hear a stranger moan about their career. Dating isn’t an excuse to let off work steam. Don’t date because you want to create excitement – date because you want to share excitement. If your life feels as though it’s lacking, write down what you can do to make changes. Read a new author, catch up with an old friend, sign up for an online course. Do something that gives you lots of positive conversation.
- Too many expectations
I’ve always said a man should choose a date location. But you know what this leads to: an overpacked, overly fancy or strangely quiet bar. I assume a perfect guy will choose an ideal setting. He’ll know the right topics to strike and how to make me laugh. If only movie love was real.
If you’re feeling bored on a date, consider what you’re bringing to the table. Do you subconsciously expect the other person to whisk you off your feet? Do you lose interest if someone brings up a topic you hold little regard for? How open are you to unconventional opinion?
- You have unbalanced conversations
Business Insider reports this as a habit of boring people. Either a me, me, me person, or an I’ll respond with one word each time I’m asked a question. If we find ourselves doing most of the talking or quietly nodding along, we can remember to focus on creating balance. Next time you have a conversation, see which side of the fence you lean towards.
Feeling bored on a date due to unaligned values
As the self-learner I am, I was listening to a podcast on values and goals. I was asked to “list my top 5 values”. No problem I thought. Adventure, health, authenticity, love, career success….
I read these values to my sister, who with bemusement, asked what I do each month to live adventurously. Silence followed… Who was I kidding? I’m the biggest baby when it comes to heights, I don’t like exploring by myself and I’m not one to spontaneously book a rock-climbing session. I’m not even one to plan a rock-climbing session. And if health is such a priority, why am I so calm about skipping a work out?
Faking my values this much ensured I faked values in my ideal partner. It sounds good to say I want a gym addict who loves travelling. But you know what I figured, I don’t care about travel or fitness. I mean, I care, but not to the point where I want a date blabbing about macros. Nor one who goes on about backpacking across an isolated island.
If we’re not being honest with ourselves on what we want, it’s easy to get bored. Certain traits seem fantastic on a dating app. Sometimes, it’s where those traits should stay.
How to be more fun and pick better suitors
Have a positive mindset
If you’ve been stuck on dating apps for more than a month (or heck, over a week), you’re likely frustrated by the constant introductions that often fall meaningless. Plus, the guys who ask to meet when all you’ve said is hello. Despite this, approach first dates with fresh eyes. No complaining about train delays and the girls who stood you up.
Ask interesting questions
Do you like your job, what do you do for a living, how was your weekend – yawn! If a guy wants to ask me about my career, I’d rather he ask what led me to my chosen industry; what inspires. Anything to cut the cliches.
eHarmony recommends asking a person if they have a “special place” they enjoy visiting. The date website suggests this can help you to understand a person’s preferences. When you want to move away from questions, share a funny anecdote. I have a couple of good stories in my head that I’ve become amazing at retelling.
Look beyond the fluff
My first online date was incredibly handsome. His green eyes and quick response time had me looking forward to spending time together. An hour in and boy did I learn my lesson: Don’t get caught up in exterior. If I had paid attention to his words, I would have realised we weren’t a match. I’m not someone who wants heavy conversation before meeting up, but I need more info than knowing a guy thinks I’m attractive.
Your three-step plan to stop feeling bored on a date
- Work on making yourself feel interesting
The end goal is to talk about yourself with such passion, people can’t help but feel intrigued. Using dating for validation or to spice up after work evenings rarely goes well. Especially if the dates dry up and stop feeling fun.
If you want to sound smarter and impress your dates with conversation away from work and day-to-day, I’ve shared 3 books I rely on to make a good impression. Click here to read.
- Keep your thoughts in check
Quick judgment, naïve assumptions and demanding expectations – a recipe for feeling bored on a date. I can get so caught up in my own worries and nerves, I forget this other person isn’t a robot. If we sense our date is nervous or struggling to make conversation (I suppose nerves are better than disappointment) it’s our job as the other date to help. This is where we whip out our interesting anecdotes and questions.
- Check your values before meeting
Everyone always says humour is crucial – laughter over a beautiful vision, right? That’s how it is with me, yet I don’t check a man’s humour before a date. I assume my incredible sarcasm will work wonders.
Once you know your values, you’re in a position to ask better questions. For instance, tell me one of your funniest memories, what’s the funniest joke you’ve told, what films make you laugh.
Not every online date turns out as expected. Some show up with rudeness and poor manners, while others reveal their display pictures as outdated. These things happen. With that said, if you’re repeatedly feeling bored, chances are you’re picking the wrong dates, not creating balanced conversation, or you don’t find your own circumstances worth listening to.