How to avoid the #1 mistake women make on a date

Have you ever had a date with a great guy, yet he didn’t ask you ANY questions? Well, if you did -- you are certainly not alone. There are thousands of women in every city who feel the same. We know from our coaching work with amazing executive women that this happens ALL the time. The most successful, beautiful and charming women have shared this unspoken phenomena with us and wonder to themselves - What is wrong with me? Did I do something to turn him off?

Just imagine -- you met a fantastic guy at a friend’s event last week, and you’re going on your first date. You are dressed to the nines, and are feeling gorgeous. He picks you up, and takes you to a hot restaurant you always wanted to try. Since you are getting to know him better over cocktails, you naturally ask him a lot of questions. After all, you are quite interested and curious. You start to realize by the end of the evening, that you effectively have carried the conversation the entire date. You asked him about his interests, his family and his friends -- even pretended to be interested in his triathlon training regiment. And -- he asked you hardly anything!

He drops you off, and gives you a friendly hug --- almost like the one your brother gives you -- with absolutely no romantic gesture from him AT ALL! Worst of all, he doesn’t mention getting together again soon. You graciously wave goodbye, yet deep inside you feel “not so great” about your date and wonder -- what the heck just happened? Did I say the wrong thing? Drink too much? And you stop to think -- “Gosh, why didn’t ask me one single question about me!?” You binge watch your favorite show way too late and wake-up feeling disappointed and wish it was a bad dream.  

The next day, you talk to your girlfriend, Laurel, and complain about your date and his incredibly self-absorbed behavior. Laurel can relate too, since the same thing happened to her on a date with a guy she was really excited about. Laurel advises you to quickly forget about him, given the way he acted.

What if I told you that you blew it? What if you learned that you had a major role in sabotaging a future date with him? What if he truly was a great guy, and not self-absorbed?   

Now, imagine if you could know the mistake you made and avoid this common mistake forever! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know you are putting your best foot forward?

The #1 mistake we see - time and again - is playing the game of 20 questions. 

We know, it may feel SO right at the time given the awkward pauses in your conversation to ask him about his life, his interests and his background. You really want to connect with him. And since he isn’t asking you any questions, you figure if you start asking him questions, he will get the hint and do the same. Being a successful woman, you are use to taking control and making stuff happen, right?

Here is the problem - playing 20 questions backfires... EVERY TIME!

There are 3 key reasons why.

Reason #1 - Your date must have the opportunity to get to know YOU!

When you ask the questions, he doesn’t get a chance to get to know you. You are amazing, and have so many interesting stories and experiences to share. He wants to connect and learn about you. This is how he gets to know you, and ultimately bond with you.  

Since it’s critical for him to get to know you to bond and connect, when you ask him a lot of questions, he just learns more about himself - not you! You stand in the way of him getting to know you.

So many professional women fall into this trap of carrying the conversation during the date. Yes, you are a master at keeping the conversation flowing in almost any situation, yet you have to remember -- you are on a date. It’s NOT your job to make him feel comfortable or smooth out the awkward getting-to-know-you moments that are bound to arise. It’s his responsibility to get to know YOU.  

Reason #2 - Men need to experience making you happy.

It may surprise you, yet men really want to make a woman happy. They want to be appreciated and make a difference in your life.On a date, a man gets the chance to “experience” what it feels like to make you happy.

Let HIM lead! When you let him lead the conversation, he may try to make you laugh, smile or feel connected. Let it happen! Enjoy!  Let go!

Reason #3 - Men have very different conversation rules-of-the-road than us.

When you ask a man questions on a date, you are expecting him to ask you some questions back -- right? That is just common courtesy, right? Nope.

As a woman, you have perfected how to give one another “air time” in a conversation and to make sure everyone has a chance to talk. You also make sure you reciprocate asking questions. All women know this and play by these rules.

Not so in the male world. Men don’t work that way. A man knows that if another man has something to say, he will say it -- even if he needs to rudely interrupt. Men are very simple in that way -- if a man has something to say, he will say it. A man knows that if he asks a question, the other man isn’t expected to ask a question in return. It just doesn’t even occur to them to reciprocate a question with a question, like it would between two women. Epiphany, huh?

When you ask 20 questions, it backfires. Here is a recap of the many reasons...  

  • When a man talks about himself -- he doesn’t get to know you.  

  • A man can’t build a bond with you if he doesn’t get to know you.

  • You may play 20 questions to feel in control, yet you end up losing control. It’s unlikely he will want to go on a second date.

  • Men already like to talk about themselves! If you don’t direct the conversation to topics that you can tell him about you, it’s unlikely he will leave the date knowing anything about you.

Now that you know why it backfires, what do you do?

Be the interviewee, not the interviewer.  

Imagine yourself in a high stakes interview. You really want the job, and you know you’re qualified. You get into the conference room, and there is an awkward pause. You let the interviewer get ready, and ask their first question. You know that from years of interviews, that the interviewer takes the lead and you follow. Towards the end, you will have a chance to ask your questions. This is designed to allow the interviewer to get to know you, not the other way around. If they can’t assess your skills, they can’t hire you

Same applies to a date. Let him take the lead. Expect and allow the awkward silences -- yes, this is absolutely going to happen with most men. You will be tempted to step in and carry the conversation. Resist. Just smile and relax. Remember -- he asked you out - you aren’t responsible for the date -- he is. Let him work on keeping the conversation flowing. Of course, you aren’t going to be a snore -  you’ll be an engaging, charming conversationalist, yet you are giving him the room to lead.

Now, go out on your next date and enjoy being taken care of by your date. Remind yourself that you aren’t responsible for making the date a “success” and enjoy the experience.

For more strategies on how to attract Mr. Right, check out our free guide, How to attract Mr. Right: 12 entrepreneurial secrets you must know.