10 Things That Scream “Desperation” In Your Home

Is your pooch, closet, an unfinished project or spare toothbrush actually driving away dates? Here, we explain how certain things in your home might make you seem desperate — and what to do about it.

By LaDawn Black

here's nothing worse than being excited about getting to know someone new — and then having that person's sense of desperation for love scare you off. We often discuss this as a factor when it comes to bad conversations or dating etiquette, but surprisingly, your home can also scream desperation
Make sure that dates are slowly introduced to your pets.
just as loudly as your behavior can. Here are 10 things that may make you look more desperate than date-worthy:

A half-empty (or overstuffed) closet
This one is so obvious! While showing a new date around your place, you stop and point out its many great closets — and then you mention that you can't possibly use all of this space by yourself, but hope that maybe one day someone will be sharing them with you. Yikes! Also, be wary of doing to the opposite, such as saying that while your closets are full right now, you'd be willing to trim them down for the right guy/girl. What initially seems like harmless conversation has, in reality, invited this person to consider the possibilities of living with you when he or she is still trying to figure out whether it's a good idea to stay for dinner.

You're codependent with your pets
Sadly, an overindulged pet tells your date that you not only love animals… it can also show that you're really looking to bond on a borderline-unhealthy level. If Spot has his own monogrammed bed, dishes, designer collar and goes everywhere with you, a person who's not equally indulgent or pet-averse could be scared away by your strong need to connect and be loved 24/7. Make sure that dates are slowly introduced to your pets, and that they don't become the center of all of your interactions with others.

Displaying love tokens from your past relationships
Your new sweetie comes over, and you have every gift and picture of you from your old relationship on display, front and center. It's obvious you simply love these mementos and telling the stories of how they came into your life to guests, but your date sees this differently. Many people see holding onto items from your exes as a sign that you're unable to let go of the past, so let that great picture of you in Paris, beautiful vase or rare bottle of cologne stand on its own in your home without adding your own oral history to it.

An unfinished project you need help completing
My girlfriend Cynthia actually clued me into this one. When she wants to see if a guy is really interested in hanging around, she'll introduce him to her unfinished sunroom. See, Cynthia's hope is that the dust, supplies and disorder will reveal whether he's interested in fixing it up and committing to staying around in her life. When I shared this trick with my readers and listeners, I learned that this is a fairly common trick used by women to chart a guy's level of interest. Guys know about it — and they definitely feel the pressure that women put on them when it happens. Instead of turning into Mr. Fix-It, they see you as Ms. Manipulative. Is that what you really want?

A pre-planned overnight kit for female guests
You make the move to spend your first night at his place and he presents you with a robe, the best bath products, pajamas, your own toothbrush and some specialty toothpaste. You'd think a man this considerate would automatically be counted as a keeper, but the truth is that, for many women, moves like this seem especially desperate — pulling out all of the heavy artillery hoping that you won't leave isn't a good sign. Instead, it's definitely a case of too much, too soon. Remember, men, in a new relationship, there's a fine line between being thoughtful when your lady's visiting and appearing to be overly clingy.

An empty room you're saving for a nursery
When I found out people were actually showing dates their homes and pointing out an empty room as a future nursery, it totally blew my mind. Do not do this! Even if it's the absolute truth in your case, there's nothing attractive about coming over for a get-to-know-you visit to your new guy or girl's place and leaving with a virtual target painted on your reproductive system. Let the relationship
You may just scare that person off with your obsessive attention to detail.
mature a bit before you point out your desire to start decorating a baby's room.

Your backyard wedding dreams
Be proud of your half-acre of lush, green lawn, and feel free to talk about the future pool or garden you'll soon be adding to it. But please, do not say anything about the future wedding you imagine happening there first! Yes, you may have bought your home because of its potential as a cheap, easy place to get married. However, you should never say that to someone that you've just started dating. Wedding talk early on in a new relationship always hints that you're ready to get hitched and thinking about it constantly — and for the person who's not yet there in his or her own life, it can be the best excuse to avoid another visit.

Games that show your ulterior motives
Is every game in your home geared towards getting to know more about its participants? Are you constantly trying to uncover your guy's secrets, ladies? Men, do you hope to get her to reveal her inner thoughts to see if there's possibly someone else in her life? Games can be revealing, and they serve as great tools for getting to know someone better that you really want to have in your life — but don't forget about having fun, too. People know when they're being pressured to open up just to fulfill your ulterior motives, and if someone's not ready to share his or her every secret with you yet, you'll just end up pushing this person away.

Showing off things you've been saving for "the right person"
This one is such a tip-off that you are desperate — exposing yourself as a "waiter" (no, not wait staff in a restaurant; this is a different kind of waiter entirely). This is a person who has gadgets, appliances and experiences that he or she has been "waiting" to use or share with the right person instead of enjoying right away. We all have these thoughts, but people who are quick to tell something like this to a new date are setting themselves up for the "desperate" moniker. And while you probably think it would be cool and fun to break out that wok when someone who would appreciate it comes along, your date's probably going to see you as a person who's lonely and really needs someone else in the picture before you can fulfill your dreams.

Catering to your date's every whim
We all love it when others pay attention to what we say, don't we? So when you casually mention using only a certain brand of peanut butter or reading books by one particular author, it's flattering sometimes when the person you've been seeing takes your preferences into consideration when planning something for you. However, if you get every little detail right and make a huge deal out of the fact that you not only used the right peanut butter for lunch, but made sure that the picnic basket was made out of green material, placed on the shady side of your deck that your date loves, and that you only packed the dry bug spray that your date prefers, well — you may just scare that person off with your obsessive attention to detail.

LaDawn Black is a relationship expert, radio personality and the author of Stripped Bare: The 12 Truths for Landing the Very Best Black Man. Learn more at
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