11 Bad Habits That Tank First Dates

First dates are challenging for many people. There’s the nerves, the unknown, and the excitement. It’s OK that first dates are tough, but please don’t make them even more so. There are certain habits that are almost guaranteed to ruin the experience for the other person. Here are 11 of them.

  1. Showing up late. This one is a given. Don’t be late on a first date (or ever)! Of course, extenuating circumstances happen to the best of us, so it’s OK if it’s for a good reason. Still, being late sends a bad message. It often sends the message that you don’t care enough to be on time or that the other person isn’t worth it to you. If you care about your date and any possible future, just show up on time.
  2. Talking too much but not listening. If you find that you’ve been talking so much that your date hasn’t said a word, you’re talking too much. Don’t be a conversation hog. Sure, you’re an interesting person and all, but don’t you want to be learning about your date, too? Be sure to ask them some questions, open your ears, and close your mouth. They’ll feel like you actually care about what they have to say because you do, right?
  3. Checking your phone repeatedly. Unless you have an emergency going on, you can put your phone down for an hour or so. Tell your friends where you are and put that thing on silent. You don’t need to be checking it while you’re on the date. It is OK, however, to check it in the bathroom or if your date goes to the bathroom. Checking it any other time sends the signal that your date isn’t very important. And who wants to send that signal?
  4. Oversharing. Being vulnerable and sharing some stuff is cool and all, but you should reign it in on the first date. They shouldn’t know all about your past woes just after spending an hour with you. This will likely freak them out and they’ll feel like you have no boundaries. Instead, keep boundaries on what you are and aren’t willing to share. Intimacy is to be built slowly over time… not all at once.
  5. Continuously scanning the room. This may be a nervous habit, but you’ve got to break it. I understand that eye contact is intimidating to make and sometimes you want to look away. A glance down or to the side works just fine, but don’t let yourself look all around the room. It’ll leave your date feeling like you definitely aren’t interested or you’re bored as heck.
  6. Talking too much about the future. There are few things as weird as when someone you hardly know starts talking about your future together on a first date. Don’t be that person. You can talk about the potential for a second date, but don’t speak a ton about the future, assuming that you’re even going to see each other after that night. It leaves you seeming a bit off-center and crazy.
  7. Giving one-word answers. A conversation is a back and forth between two people. Your date is going to get wildly turned off if they’re the only one keeping the conversation up and asking questions. Don’t just respond with a one-word answer, then expect them to keep the ball rolling. Instead, go ahead and ask them questions, too. Like I said, this is a two person thing, not a one-man show.
  8. Pretending to be someone you’re not. This one shouldn’t even have to be talked about, but unfortunately, here we are. Be very careful not to pretend you’re someone you’re not. This means not pretending you know something more than you do. For example, maybe your date is a mega Star Wars nerd. Don’t pretend you are, too, if you’ve never even seen the movies. Your date will see right through you and that’ll be the end.
  9. Talking about exes. If you’re so recently out of a relationship that one of the first things you talk about while on a date is your ex… maybe you shouldn’t be on the date. It’s a huge turn-off when you talk about exes. I’m not saying it should never happen because sometimes it’s relevant to a story, but for the most part, exes should be avoided entirely. It’s for the good of all.
  10. Drinking too much. It’s important to keep it low-key if you’re drinking on a date. One or two drinks is fine, but once you start to have more it’s a slippery slope. Especially when you start drinking beyond your limits. This can lead to being sloppy, saying too much, or getting handsy with your date. Save both of you the trouble and just drink a little or not at all, everyone will thank you.
  11. Mentioning stalking them online. It’s OK that you did this, just keep it to yourself! Otherwise, you’re sure to freak your date out. It’s a whole level of crazy to let them know that you figured out their last name and now you know the company they work for. They’re going to wonder how much you stalked them and why you did that. They don’t know you yet, so they’ll only be turned off.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.