1. You’re not good looking enough
Look. I’m not going to lie to you and say that looks aren’t important. You already know that they are, because they’re important to you, right? But you have to remember that looks are very fluid. You rarely see yourself when you’re laughing, when you’re curious, when you’re talking about something you’re really passionate about.
More often than not, you see yourself in the mirror when you’re worried about how you look. Trust me. You look better than that.
2. You don’t know anything about anything
You’re convinced that all your date is going to want to talk about is contemporary art/the implications of Exxon’s recent deal with Russia/indie heist films of the 90s/which hot new startup has a real shot for success/fall fashion trends and you don’t know anything about that stuff.
Well. So what. It’s your date too, and if your date can’t be bothered to find out what you’re interested in, that’s not your fault. Don’t feel like you have to smile and nod all night — you can just change the subject. Or if you really are interested in what they’re saying, listen and and then ask informed questions. The neuroscientist sitting across from you doesn’t expect you to know already know everything about neuroscience, and may enjoy talking about it to someone who doesn’t get it.
Related: Dating With Your Brain — 5 Tips From a Neurophysiologist
3. You’re awkward
One of the top qualities cited by all genders and sexual orientations as important in a potential mate is confidence. So, fearing that you’ll be penalized for your tendency to stumble over your words and knock over salt shakers isn’t crazy.
Please remember, however, that confidence is not the same as flawlessness. It’s easy to be confident if you’re Mr./Mrs. Smooth, but confidence despite the fact that you’re not the ideal specimen? That’s impressive.
Take for example, say, the President of the United States. He routinely stammers and trips over his words, but still comes across as confident and commanding. The point is — how you rock what you got is as important as what you got.
4. You’re inexperienced
Maybe you ended a long relationship or a marriage and you haven’t been on a date since The Real World was worth watching. So what? The only mistake you can make is to apologize for your lack of experience.
The best dates are the ones where you’re both able to forget the rules, anyway. So you’ve got an advantage if you don’t know them to begin with.
5. You’re going to get something stuck in your teeth/spill on your shirt/have bad breath/do something else that will traumatize you forever
More importantly, if someone really holds something like spinach in your teeth against you, despite all of your other wonderful qualities, then forget them. A minor dating accident is actually a great litmus test for shallowness. If someone reacts badly to a little thing like that, consider yourself lucky that you found out early.