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A lack of authenticity might be keeping you from that second date

Dating can be extremely confusing. You try to put your best self out there and do all of the right things, then you don’t get a second date and you have no idea why.

More: What I learned from a year dating outside my comfort zone

Before overanalyzing your every word and action, first let’s have a quick reality check: If you’re online dating the fact is that most people date multiple people at once online dating. So if you went on a first date last night and it went really well, but the guy you went out with is going on a third date tonight with another girl he’s interested in, and that relationship progresses faster physically or emotionally than your freshly seeded romance, chances are you’re going to be cut through no fault of you own. Chalk it up to being a couple of dates late to the party.

That being said, dating is extremely nuanced, delicate, and covered in easily triggered land mines, so even the littlest of mess ups or misunderstandings can break the potential relationship before it even gets the chance to begin. Below are a few surprising mistakes that you might be making that jeopardizes your potential of a second or third date.

You were ‘perfect’

It has been ingrained in your mind, attitude, and therefore conversations and actions that you must publicly embody perfection at all times. You are interesting, intelligent, successful, easy going, and strong. You don’t have a strong opinion about where to go, what to order, or really anything. You’re easy to be with and easy going. You are the type of woman a man would love to bring home to his mother and show off to his boss. You are constantly asked why you’re “still” single. And just as often receiving offers to be setup with your friend’s brother, nephew, or colleague. And despite how “perfect” you are on a date, you can’t get a second date. Why? Because perfect is forgettable. Perfect is boring. Perfect is not relatable. Perfect makes others feel like they have nothing to add and they are therefore not needed. Perfect lacks humanity.

Being imperfect and authentic is scary, but essential. Be quirky, silly, deep, even vulnerable. That’s what makes you “sticky” and makes you memorable and them wanting more.

You were aiming to please

You love doing things for others, and have a hard time doing things for yourself, and an even harder time when someone does something for you. The problem is that in an attempt to please others, you have lowered your standards when it comes to what you deserve. You are a do-gooder with an “I can help you” attitude that attracts men who like the attention and enjoy the fruits of your labor. When “selflessly” trying to please others, you are also showing off as someone who doesn’t deserve to be pleased. You have to know your worth and act like it. Because if you don’t treat yourself like the priority, why would he?

More: Why sushi and drinks is the best way to guarantee a second date

You were too “fun”

You are always busy and super fun. You talk about “fun” things like music and travel and friends and food. You shy away from areas of depth like passions, what inspires you, core values, exes, and what you are looking for in a relationship. While you desperately want depth, your attitude of “fun” turns off the guys who are looking for something real. So you attract the guys who are looking for just fun and just “for tonight.” Why did you stick to fun and safe subjects? Because you thought you should and you didn’t want to scare him away, or you didn’t want to appear to be too dramatic. You were also being fake, because, reality check – you aren’t really always happy and perky and fun. You’re real. So if you want to attract something real, if you want a second date, then get real and get raw. That is what makes you sticky and makes him want more.

You didn’t follow-up afterward

A guy needs to know that he did a good job and that you are interested in seeing him again. If you don’t text the next day to say “thank you,” he doesn’t know. And because the “rules” have us so screwed up, you are both sitting there wondering who is going to reach out first that neither of you do because you are waiting for the other to make the first move. Stop following the “rules” and doing what you think you should. Send a text the next morning to say, “Thank you for drinks. I really enjoyed hearing about your trip to Peru and, you were right – best negroni in town! I would love to see you again.” In saying “I would love to see you again” you are letting him know that you are interested and if he asks you out again, you will say yes.

More: Why wearing sweatpants can be a sign your relationship is over

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