After a long string of fruitless dates, it’s easy to look across the dinner table and think, “He’s pretty cool.” Meh is short for mediocre in my book. Let’s face it, most people are inherently good and at least moderately interesting, right? Thinking someone is pleasant and tolerable does not a relationship make! It’s not even just about likes and dislikes, habits and lifestyle. It’s about chemistry…

This is especially important in online dating. By the time you meet, you may already feel emotionally invested (unless you’re following The Rules). You’ve taken the time to email back and forth and get to know each other. Time and energy has been spent. It is a basic principle of selling that the more time or money a person invests in something, the harder it is to part with, say no or walk away.

For example, you’re sitting in a car dealership. You’ve been there for over four hours. You like the car and it’s a good deal… but do you really want the car? If online dating were anything like car shopping, people would not still be searching. At this point, it is especially critical to listen to what your heart is really saying. Instead of red flags, I offer yellow flags: indications that while your engine is on, it’s not revved.

1) You force a smile.
If you’re into someone, smiling is involuntary. A good date will leave your cheeks aching from a smiling work out.

2) You aren’t laughing.
Even if you’re a super-serious person, you should be able to laugh with the person you’re going to date. Would you put up with a friend that did not make you laugh or get your lame jokes?

3) You don’t picture him naked, get lost in his eyes or catch yourself admiring him at any point.
Don’t even pretend that looks don’t matter. They do. Physical chemistry is what seals the deal! Do you really want to gaze into those eyes? Do you really want to kiss those lips? Be honest.

4) Your food is delicious.
Nobody remembers the food on a good first date. They are too nervous to eat or too distracted to acknowledge it. Dessert is another story, but if your friends ask about the date and you’re excited to tell them about the food, don’t go back for seconds.

5) You don’t remember what you were talking about with your date 10 minutes ago.
Even if you have the memory of an Alzheimer’s patient, there are certain processes that real attraction triggers that are unavoidable. Namely, the adrenaline and endorphin rushes. Your body is on high alert. To your caveman brain, this is it. This is a chance to procreate and sustain your species for one more generation. This is sudden death, all-or-nothing overtime. If you aren’t paying attention, you’re not into it.

6) You’re checking your phone, running through a to-do list, thinking about an ex, people-watching etc.
See above. Warning: This can also mean dating burnout.

7) You aren’t aroused.
Even if you aren’t looking for tear-your-clothes-off-f*ck-right-here-on-the-table chemistry, you should be at least a little bit turned on. If you’re on the fence about how important chemistry is, consider reading Put Passion First by Carol Cassell. Personally, I happen to be looking for a I-can’t-wait-to-get-you-home chemistry because passion is what binds people early on and builds intimate memories to remember fondly. Even when the horniness fades, passion is what puts that sparkle in your eyes when you look at each other. If that’s not what you want, by all means skip this yellow flag!

8) You “just don’t feel like talking.”
When we’re interested, we ask a lot of questions but we are also eager to share of ourselves. If you’re not very curious or you’re holding back, there may be a good reason.

9) You’re talking or thinking about an ex.
It’s called a break-up because it’s broken. If your current date is making you think about your last lover, and your last lover was obviously inadequate or the relationship would have continued, something isn’t right. I’ve devised the following proof to best explain the concept:

If L (Last Love) = i (Inadequate)
and C (Current Date) < L
then C < i

(Translation? The person across from you is not for you. )

10) You’re not tired and don’t have other plans but you’re totally ready to go home.
You’re on the date because you don’t want to go home alone anymore, you don’t want to sleep in an empty bed anymore. Last night you felt lonely sitting at home and now you’re desperate to get back there? While I advise keeping first dates under two hours, a little lingering at the end is a good sign. In this case, you beeline it to your car because it’s a meh date. End it quickly and try not to burn out your tires in your escape.

About Author

Alex Wise is the featured publisher of Loveawake dating site, which launched in July 2009 and has been providing original free dating services and relationship advices, tips, articles, reviews, and videos to readers ever since. Follow him on the company site or on Facebook and Twitter


Published by Alex Wise