Ask Ada: Am I Being Too Picky On First Dates?

Welcome to “Ask Ada,” a weekly series in which we answer all those burning questions you’d rather not share aloud. Buckle up for some brutally honest advice!

Why do I get bored and lose interest in my new dates so quickly? Am I being too picky?




Without context, I can only assume what you’re like on dates. Since you worried about being too “picky,” though, I bet the people you dated just didn’t match you well.

This happens to everyone. You meet someone shiny, new, and full of possibilities, maybe build them up a little in your head, only for them to turn up and say something insensitive before you even order coffee. Or, worse, they just sit in awkward silence while you desperately try to make conversation. 

Bad luck works that way sometimes. I was on a dating app for 5 years before I even got even one remotely interesting message; my current partner was on the same app for all of one day when we connected. (Even then, I almost said “no” because they suggested our first date take place in the woods.) 

Here’s a question for you: Are you worried about the conversation stalling? Or is it more a lack of chemistry? I’m guessing if the problem was incompatibility, you’d have said so in your message.

If the lack of conversation is the problem, you could look up some question ideas online. It doesn’t have to be anything excessive, but you can peruse a few articles on the only first date questions you need and pick a few that you’re genuinely interested in. You can float some of them while you’re still messaging with your date, and have the others in your pocket in case the first date jitters get the better of you. 

This advice comes with a caveat, of course: Don’t let the whole conversation hinge (har, har) on you. If silence feels more natural, then be silent. See if you two can sit comfortably without chatter. See how the other person responds to the quiet. You can learn an awful lot about someone when you give them a big enough silence to fill. 

Also, a big mood for the rest of 2020 and beyond: Let’s take the word “picky” out of our dating vocabulary. Seriously — gather it up with all the stupid gendered expectations it comes with a launch it into the sun. This is your life, your heart, and your health on the line, so damn right, you will seem “picky” about the people you let in. You don’t have to do extra work just to say you gave someone a “fair shot” and you shouldn’t stick with someone just for the sake of being in a relationship. 

Let’s be real here: People often use “picky” as a negative. It’s a means to guilt-trip someone to stick with a relationship that isn’t worth their time or effort. The faster we let go of the idea that we have to be fair in dating, the faster we will find people we actually like and click with. 

And that’s what I wish for you EDS. 

Good luck.


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Photo by Sangria Señorial on Unsplash


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