Dating new people is tricky and it doesn’t help that our society has turned the “first date” scenario into an inherently high-stress situation. You are expected to feel nervous about the meeting; about making a good impression, about whether you will make a meaningful connection, about having food in your teeth and outrageous body odor, etc. Furthermore, because your date is potentially someone you are interested in spending a lot of time with (or at least getting to know better, if you know what I mean…) you are hyper-sensitive to the way he/she behaves, what he/she says and often, how he/she looks. While of course each person has his or her own comfort zone, preferences and turn-offs, I sat down with a group of dating experts to put together this list of qualities or actions that are definite no-nos for a first date. Take note! Not only do you not want to be caught in a long dinner with someone who behaves this way, but you want to take care that you aren’t exhibiting these characteristics yourself!
And remember, of course, that there are exceptions to every rule!
Deal-Breaker # 1:
Your date only talks about him/herself.
If it seems you can’t get a word in edgewise, that your date manages to flip every story/situation/comment into something about his/her own life, or your conversation is more of a list depicting your date’s qualities, accomplishments and exploits, that should be a first date red-flag. When someone blatantly brags or always tries to “one-up” your stories, the dating experts agreed that this is a turn off. On a related note, when a date shares extremely personal information too early, (intimate details about past relationships, consistency of last bowel movement, etc.) that can also be a major deal-breaker.
Your date is rude to the wait-staff/other service personnel.
There is nothing less attractive than someone who is inconsiderate, unkind to others, overly aggressive or unwilling to tip. The amount of respect he/she shows the individuals with whom you both interact on a date can indicate his/her general attitude towards other people in the world – whether they are strangers or long-term partners.
Your date doesn’t have a sense of humor that is compatible with yours.
Whether your own sense of humor is dry and sarcastic or silly and jokey, if your date doesn’t share in your style of comedy you are in for a long night and a series of awkward comments/uncomfortable misunderstandings. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to think all the same things are funny or that he/she must laugh at all of your jokes, but if you think fart jokes are disgusting and he/she can’t pick up on the subtle sarcasm that you prefer, it is unlikely you will be able to connect on other levels either.
Your date has a bad attitude.
Expert daters agree that your first date should not feel like a therapy session. You aren’t going out with this person to simply cheer him/her up or listen to all of the things they hate about the world. Someone who is extremely negative about everything, overly self-deprecating or unable to deal with a situation that isn’t going just how he/she planned will probably not be very much fun in the long run.
Your date doesn’t respect personal space.
When you are made to feel uncomfortable by a date’s touching, staring, tasteless comments, or general unwanted advances, it doesn’t bode well for his/her chances of a good-night kiss. Groping is not sexy. You are more than just a body and deserve to spend time with someone who appreciates you as the full package that you are; smart, funny, engaging, opinionated, knowledgeable and beautiful.
What else should be added to this list? Those of us who are not yet dating experts would love to hear your opinions, suggestions and horror stories! Please comment below.
Edited by Alison Stanton