Dating is tricky.
We want to come across as interested, but not too interested – available, but not too available – ready for commitment, but not desperate for it. In trying to strike a balance, we often miss completely.
This is where stories of bad first dates and crazy ex-partners are born.
Here are 20 surefire ways to scare off a partner early on. Be honest – how many of these behaviors are you guilty of?
1. When a text goes unanswered, show up at your partner’s house.
Tell them you were worried.
2. Ask your date how they feel about having children.
Will you work or stay home once the baby’s here? What about pets? City or suburbs? Pre-nuptial agreements – yay or nay? Write these answers down, so they know you’re serious.
3. Buy a cat or dog for yourself.
Name it after them. Talk to it – and about it – like you would a baby.
4. If your date shows up wearing white, act excited.
Tell them you, too, are hearing wedding bells.
5. Ask your date how much money they make.
Act dissatisfied with the answer. This will motivate them to be more ambitious.
6. Save a small memento – like a receipt or ticket stub – from your first date.
Make sure they see you do this. Tell them it’s going in the scrapbook of your relationship that you started six months ago…before you’d “officially” met.
7. Get physical as quickly as possible.
If they seem uncomfortable with this, sulk, pout, and guilt trip them until they give in to you. Refuse to take no for an answer.
8. Text, call, and email whenever you think of them.
Keep them updated on your day in real time.
9. Mention that you opted not to renew your lease.
You just don’t see yourself still living alone a few months from now…
10. Track down their parents.
Take the initiative to introduce yourself.
11. Introduce them as your boyfriend or girlfriend to other people
– long before you’ve had this talk with one another.
12. Invite them to your brother’s wedding
– seven months from now. Start coordinating outfits.
13. Crack their cell phone, email, and social media passwords.
Use them as often as possible.
14. Check their Facebook, Instagram, and long-abandoned Myspace page on the daily.
Mention any and all new developments when you see them. “Like” extremely old photos. Tease them about something they posted in 2006.
15. While you’re at it, send friend requests to their classmates, family members, and exes.
16. Learn everything you can about their past relationships.
Ask lots of questions to reassure yourself they think you’re smarter, cooler, and better looking than anyone they’ve dated before.
17. When they text you, call in response.
You’d much rather hear their voice.
18. Ask your love interest to do everything with you.
Act hurt when they say no. Make them feel guilty. Don’t let them slip away to have even one moment for themselves.
19. Say “I love you” right away.
Do this in a public place. Make a scene until they say it back.
20. Always be willing to cancel your other plans to make yourself available to your love interest.
Drop everything – and everyone – as soon as you hear the phone ring. Life? What life? I’m only here for YOU! Always!
Yes, these are silly – but we have all fallen into these behaviors on a smaller scale. There’s no shame in learning from our errors.
What have you done to scare a potential partner away?
Related: Why Your Relationship Didn’t Work