Dating expectations


You know what they say about expectations… if you don’t have any you won’t be disappointed. It is as true for dating as any other activity.

But really, there should be a few standard expectations, for both parties.

Common courtesy, essentially. If you agree to meet someone, turn up on time, make sure you are well-groomed and appropriately dressed, ignore distractions like your mobile phone, and give your date your full attention.

Not too much to ask, is it?I took a straw poll among friends, male and female, about what they expected from a date. There’s a lot of common ground. Only chemistry will tell you whether your next date will turn out to be the love of your life or a fruitless encounter, but that’s the nature of dating, online or otherwise.

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The key is to make all your interactions enjoyable, so think less of what you expect of the person you’re meeting, and more of your own courtesy and kindness. It takes nothing to put someone else at ease.

Here’s a summary of what women expected on a date:

  • That he is courteous and arrives on time.
  • That he doesn’t go on his phone.
  • That he can hold a conversation and knows how to ask questions.
  • That he doesn’t speak negatively about previous dates – or if he does that it’s light and warm-hearted
  • That he doesn’t big-note himself.
  • That he pays attention.
  • That he suspends judgement (So what if she hasn’t left the country since 1992 or thinks Barnaby Joyce is hot, that is not for you to pass comment on).
  • That he doesn’t size up your chest (we spot it every time and we think you’re a looser for doing so).
  • That he doesn’t get nasty if she politely says after one drink: “You seem lovely but I’m not feeling a connection, so I think we should leave it there.”
  • That he doesn’t spend the time boasting about how much he earns or how much stuff he owns.
  • That his profile photograph is a fair semblance of what he looks like now.
  • That he doesn’t invite us on a date involving his kids.
  • And here’s the last one, which several women reported, so it must be a thing – guys are saying they are giving online dating one last try, and you’re the lucky lady. That also spells loser.

As I said, much of the above applies the other way too.

Here is a list of things that specifically apply to men:

  • That she at least offers to contribute to the bill. Most men have no problem paying for the date, particularly if they have done the asking out. What they despise is being expected to pay for everything.
  • That she contributes to the conversation, showing some interest in more than just how much you earn and what car you drive.
  • Ultimately, being curious about humanity should see you through any date. After all, it is just networking with an ulterior motive.

If you go in thinking other people’s lives are interesting whether they’re a cop or a dancer, you’ll enjoy yourself more and enrich your human understanding in the process.

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