As many of you know, I am back on the market after an enlightening six-month sabbatical. You will be happy to know that I actually survived a date last night! As I walked to the subway after two beers and a kiss on the cheek, I was feeling pleased with the evening. I had kept it simple and relaxed without compromising myself. I was single me, just a more grounded, secure version. Last night proved that I really have changed the way I’m approaching dating. In fact, I was feeling so good about the new single me, that on the subway ride home I brainstormed a list of dating mistakes I intend never to make again. Check them out after the jump. Add yours in the comments.

  1. Sending mixed signals about the way I feel. Clear messages yield clear results.
  2. Giving a second date to someone I know I have no future with. Pointless.
  3. Giving a first date to someone who creeps me out before we even meet. If you think he is a stalker, he probably is.
  4. Staying on a date with someone who is clearly nuts just so I don’t hurt his feelings. When he tells me he’s wanted by the po-po, I give myself permission to excuse myself and quickly.
  5. Having more than two drinks on a first, second, third, or fourth date. You know why.
  6. Lying to myself or him about how I feel to remain in control. This is something I was doing way too often. If I’m too scared to tell him how I really feel, then he’s not right for me.
  7. Ignoring glaring dealbreakers and red flags because someone is hot. A cute alcoholic is still an alcoholic.
  8. Continuing to date someone who doesn’t want the same thing as me. If he wants something casual and I don’t, I need to walk away ASAP.
  9. Apologizing for/being ashamed of the way I am. This sounds stupid, but it has happened many a time, I’m ashamed to say. Oh wait, I just said I was going to stop that.
  10. Making dinner plans on a first date. Salad and first dates don’t mix.
  11. Eating food I don’t like so as not to be rude. I hate Chinese food even if I’m eating it with a charming man.
  12. Becoming Facebook friends before we go out or exchanging too many emails before we meet.I’ll wait and see if I even like him in person first.
  13. Asking about past relationships on the first date. Too much too soon.
  14. Inviting someone up to my place or going up to their place on the first, second, third, or fourth date. That’s like buying a pint of ice cream if I’m on a diet. Self-sabotage.
  15. Saying yes to another date, a kiss, or more because I feel guilty. Lame!
  16. Going on a date with someone I know is still entangled with another person. Messy, messy, messy.
  17. Continuing to date someone who won’t come to my neighborhood. Selfish bastard.
  18. Discounting younger men. Sometimes they are nice and mature enough to date me.
  19. Leading with my sexuality in my dress, conversation, or demeanor. This is a big one. People will treat me according to the way I present myself. While my sexuality is part of me, it is something I’d rather reveal over time.
  20. Wearing something I’m not comfortable in. I don’t care what Patti Stanger says, spiked heels and a tight cocktail dress is not my style. And my hair is naturally curly and it’s staying that way. If a guy doesn’t like it, tough s**t.
  21. Responding to late night text messages asking me to meet up at a bar. A date in sheep’s clothing.
  22. Texting/emailing/Facebooking while intoxicated. When did this end well? That’s right. Never.
  23. Staying out past my bed time on a school night. I’m too old for that.
  24. Continuing to date someone I know I have no physical chemistry with. ‘Tis what it ’tis and it ain’t what it ain’t.
  25. Denying a date with someone because I don’t think there will be physical chemistry. I have been surprised many times.
  26. Going out with a guy who doesn’t contact me after our date to say he had a good time. This shows me a lot about the kind of person he is. If he tells me he had a good time, I will tell him back. But I don’t want to be the initiator.
  27. Going out with a guy who cancels on me more than twice for reasons that seem less than legitimate. I dated this guy before — turns out he was a flake with poor time management skills. Imagine that.
  28. Sharing too much before I’m ready. I am an open book once you know me. But you don’t know me, so let’s take this thing one page at a time.
  29. Getting excited about someone before I know they are worth getting excited about. I will no longer count boyfriends before they hatch.
  30. Contacting someone who is clearly blowing me off. This is just embarrassing.
  31. Putting time expectations on someone I just met. People have different communication styles and move at different paces. Just because I hate talking on the phone and prefer hanging out in person about once a week, doesn’t mean they will.
  32. Dating someone I wouldn’t want to introduce to my friends and family. If that’s not a bad sign, I don’t know what is.
  33. Taking the lead in suggesting when/where to hang out. I’ve noticed that dudes like making the plans. I make suggestions, but I don’t take the lead anymore.
  34. Thinking that dates have to be at night. Brunch or a day trip to a museum make for a great date too. And the atmosphere is more laid back. Win-win!
  35. Focusing on a guy’s resume. Just because he’s good on paper doesn’t mean he’s good for me.
  36. Attributing too much meaning to kind gestures. Just because he makes me a mix CD does not mean that he wants to make babies with me.
  37. Continuing to date someone who doesn’t call me on the phone every once in a while. I prefer to hang out in person but that’s not always possible with busy schedules. I am the first to admit that I HATE talking on the phone. But it is really hard to get to know someone if we only text and IM.
  38. Dating someone I wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing me with no makeup. Sometimes, no, lots of times, I don’t wear makeup. Deal with it.
  39. Continuing to date someone who isn’t sensitive to my feelings. I am super sensitive. It would be impossible for me to date someone who doesn’t care about my feelings.
  40. Continuing to date someone who doesn’t think I’m the cat’s pajamas. If he is not aware that I am freaking amazing, then I’m not gonna try and convince him.

This post originally appeared on The Frisky. Republished with permission.

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