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The 7 sins of modern dating

May the demon of bad dates take your soul if you commit these dating sins!

· Dating Advice

by Alicia Watanabe - resident dating expert

Let's make one thing clear - no one is perfect (unless you're Ryan Gosling of course. And Ryan if you're reading this... why aren't you returning my calls?)

We all have made mistakes when meeting people for the first time. First dates can be nerve-racking, causing even the most well prepared to do the most deeply embarrassing things, (like that time I accidentally mixed up the chili and soy sauce bottles, ending up with me not being able to talk for 15 minutes while a raging fire engulfed my tonsils. My date thought I was about to die and started dialing emergency services.)


But as my boss cleverly says, mistakes are only such if we make them twice - otherwise they can be lessons. Lucky for you, we have compiled the most common dating mistakes that you can learn from - a list of 'deadly dating sins' that can kill romance quicker than revealing your google search history. Dating demons, your days are numbered!

Sin 1: Being late

Why is this a sin?
We all know one of these people. I actually used to be one of these people. I am not talking about being 5, even 10 minutes late with an acceptable reason. I am talking about the people who leave people waiting for 30 minutes or more because they couldn't decide which shoes to wear. I ended up dropping the 'late' habit when I was given a dressing down by an angry friend who was said to me plainly that being late meant you thought your own time was more important than theirs.

If the first impression you make is that you're inconsiderate, then you're already off to a bad start. 

How to counter this sin?
Just do a little preparation in advance. Know what you want to wear and know how you want to get to your destination. If you are always late, leave earlier than usual. It doesn't take much effort to be on time.

Sin 2: Talking about your ex

Why is this a sin?
Nobody wants to visualise their love interest being with someone else, which is what you're helping your date do when you talk about your ex. Ex-talk isn't always bad, but if the feelings are still raw conversation can get to awkwardsville fast. It makes it clear to your date that you haven't moved on.

How to counter this sin?
For those that have recently broken up with someone, or that have come out of a long relationship, it may be difficult to separate stories about yourself with stories involving your ex. That's OK. Just don't dwell on the emotional aspects of the relationship - just deal in the fact's, ma'am.

As a good example:

Date: Oh, so you love bouldering? Who do you usually go with?

You: I actually used to go with my old partner but now I'm trying to find some new climbing groups to go with. I'm really trying to build my confidence with it and get better.
D: Maybe we can go together?
Y: That would be great!

Now a bad example:
Date: Oh, so you love rock-climbing? Who do you usually go with?
You: Firstly it's called bouldering. And secondly my ex absolutely loved it, which is why I got into it. We used to go to all the bouldering gyms together, it was amazing. It's weird going without him now, but yeah, I still want to keep doing it.
D: Oh ok. Awkward silence.
Y: Did you just saw 'awkward silence' instead of actually just being awkwardly silent?
D: Umm... (actual awkward silence) yes.

Sin 3: Phubbing

Why is this a sin?
Phubbing is apparently not as I once thought, a sexy new dance craze sweeping South Korea, but the act of snubbing someone sitting in front of you by looking at your phone. It is also the height of rudeness. Yes, I know it's important to keep up to date with your Married At First Sight news, but can't you wait until after your date for your bad TV fix? Phubbing is a cardinal dating sin because it makes your date feel like you aren't engaged in the conversation.

How to counter this sin?
It may be tempting to check your phone when a notification comes in, but try a little self control and keep your phone in your purse or pocket. If you really need to, you can check that notification if they go to the bathroom otherwise leave the phone alone. If you are getting a thousand notifications a minute, then politely excuse yourself from the conversation and see what the emergency is. Anything less than 'zombies are taking over the city' can wait.

Sin 4: Checking out other people

Why is this a sin?
Actively checking out other people while on a date with someone says to them that you will always have one eye out looking for something better. All trust is completely destroyed if you're caught ogling someone else.

How to counter this sin?
It's pretty simple, just focus your attention on your date. Look into their eyes when you are talking to them. They are the reason you're there in the first place.

Sin 5: Not being honest about your situation

Why is this a sin?
If you aren't honest about what you are looking for, people can get hurt, especially if your date has told you they are wanting something serious and you just want to have fun. There is a word to describe people that partake in this dishonesty - assholes. Don't be one of them!

How to counter this sin?
If you're looking for something casual, then in a nice way, say so. If you're looking for something serious, it's OK to mention this if things aren't heading in a good direction for you. Being honest not only means that it's less likely people will get hurt, it also means you aren't wasting their time and yours if you both want different things.

Sin 6: Playing 'the waiting game' after a date (or worse, ghosting)

Why is this a sin?
There is a myth that you must wait 3 to 5 days before contacting someone after a first date. That myth used to make sense for when messaging apps didn't exist (you know, when the only phones around were rotary phones with huge dials that made those satisfying clicking sounds when you dialed a zero.) Calling someone right away can be a bit intrusive - but a quick message the day after can be a nice reminder of the magical night before.

With regards to ghosting, if you aren't able to face your responsibilities and end things in a respectable manner, then maybe you need to learn how to adult.

How to counter this sin?
If you had a great time the night before, simply send a short but sweet messaging telling your date so the next day. If the date wasn't great, just politely say it was nice meeting them but maybe they weren't right for you.

Sin 7: Hesitation (or sometimes... laziness)

Why is this a sin?
When it comes to dating, I have a lot of friends who ask me why they are still single. Digging deeper I always see that they aren't actively trying to meet new people, often because they do not have enough time, or can't be bothered with meetup groups or dating apps. They complain about their love life but don't take the steps to change it.

How to counter this sin?
Sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone. If you really want to change your relationship status, you need to make changes in your routine. Meet people with similar interests in meetup groups, or if you are game, try a few online dating apps. The PIK team have created one that you may like (yes it's a plug - but I think relevant in this case.)

Even if dating apps aren't your thing, if you want to meet new people you need to get off the bench and get in the game. The more people you meet, the more chance you have of meeting someone you click with.

Check out the PIK app here, now with over 200+ activities in Sydney!

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