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  • Writer's pictureElise Braunschweiger

In Dating, Sometimes You Get What You Give

As a date coach, I often see the same issues come up for different clients since many of them are struggling with similar situations or feelings, and in today’s blog I’m going to discuss one of the most common blind spots I encounter while helping people navigate their dating journey. 

Time and time again, I see clients who show up in conversations or on dates with people who they aren’t that interested in. They drag themselves there because they think they “should” (either because their friends have told them to be less picky, they’re feeling time-sensitive in regards to their dating goals, or any other number of reasons) or because on paper, this person checks some of their boxes. But they say that deep down, they knew from the start that they weren’t excited about them.

So what happens? They go on this date and that lackluster, unexcited energy comes with them. Unlike dates where sparks are flying, their body language reads as disinterested and disengaged. They don’t show up their best, most flirty, playful self. Instead, they show up reserved, low-energy, and critical of the other person. They take an evaluative approach to the date, aiming to get the info they need to confirm their initial suspicions, instead of an experiential approach, where they focus on connecting and enjoying their time, regardless of outcome. 

And what are they met with in return? Probably someone who can easily read that they're not exactly in a warm, open-hearted state of mind. In part, my clients’ suspicions are confirmed because they’ve created a self-fulfilling prophecy - their lack of openness to get to know someone based on snap judgements or intuition (which I have to say, with love, does not seem to be working for them) makes it harder to connect with them. 

If you don’t flirt while on a date, if you don’t inject a certain playful energy, or use language which makes it clear that you’re seeking to explore a romantic connection with them, how are they supposed to know it’s worth showing you that side of themselves? Someone has to make the first move, and in my experience people are often unaware of the energy they bring to the date and how it changes the ways the other person interacts with us. 

I’ve had clients who show up to dates so kind and warm-hearted that regardless of attraction, they charm most people they meet. Because of this, they have some of the best (and surprising!) dating experiences. These clients have done tremendous work to remain open-minded, open-hearted, and to not allow their previous dating experiences close them off emotionally. Does that mean that every person they go on a date with is romantically exciting to them? Absolutely not. But they’ve learned to make the best of every interaction, to lean in wholly, and to see where it takes them. Sometimes, if we give someone the chance and we show up kindly, they can surprise us. Or maybe they have a friend you should meet!

We’re not always in control of where a date goes, so be careful not to internalize lack of success as an indication of your self worth. But I find that bringing awareness to how we show up on a date can have a significant impact on how our dates are receiving us. One client of mine used to schedule her first dates via video call and in-between work meetings. Unsurprisingly, her dates kept reporting feedback that she was lackluster and professional, making it difficult to connect emotionally or stay motivated to move things offline. 

Set yourself up for the best possible outcome by ensuring that you’re well-rested, as relaxed as possible, and above all else, focused on connecting with the people you’re meeting vs. evaluating them for compatibility. It takes time to properly assess whether or not someone might be a good long-term partner, so on the first date I usually recommend focusing on connecting with your date, building rapport, and seeing if you two can have fun together. 

If you feel like this blog resonated with you, shoot me a message at or submit an inquiry to hop on an introductory call. I’d welcome the opportunity to discuss the many ways we can help you not just optimize your dating experiences, but make them more enjoyable.

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