You can’t re-do a first impression, and you definitely can’t re-do a first date. Most people try to put their best foot forward when hanging out with a romantic interest for the first time, but I’ve gone on enough cringe-worthy dates to know that not everyone shares the same definition of “best.” I’m a pretty easygoing gal, but if you pull any of this nonsense on the first date with me, you’re definitely not getting a second one:
Talk about your ex I can let a brief mention slide by, but it you’re throwing out her name every few minutes, it’s going to be clear that you’re not over her. We all come with baggage, but there’s no way in hell I’m dealing with a guy who is probably just using me as a rebound or a way to get revenge on someone he’s obviously still pining over.
Focus on your phone instead of me No worries if you need to answer an important text or phone call — we are living in 2016, after all — but if you whip out your phone while I’m in the middle of a sentence or spend half our time together messing around on Facebook, that’s not gonna fly. If you don’t find me more interesting than the same screen you stare at all day, this will never work out.
“Forget” your wallet I always at least offer to pay my own way, but if you ask me out and try to manipulate your way into getting me to pay for everything, I will gladly pay that tax to get you out of my life. Even if you really did just make a mistake and forget your wallet at home, I have to ask myself if I really want to bother with a guy who is so irresponsible he didn’t bother to double-check something so important before heading out on a date.
Get too handsy I would never judge anyone for hooking up on the first date, but it’s not normally my thing. I won’t get too annoyed if you make a move and then back off if I decide it’s too much too soon, but you can bet I’ll be PISSED if you ignore my verbal and body language and keep touching me.
Arrive late As someone who is basically the least punctual human being in recorded history, I am more than understanding when someone arrives five or even ten minutes late. If you let me know you’ll be there a little later than expected, even better. But because I’m so chill about that stuff, it pisses me off that much more when a guy shows up half an hour late with no text, call, or apology. You’re supposed to try to impress the person you’re going out with, and if you can’t do something as basic as arriving on time the first time we get together, I know things aren’t going to get better in the future.
Treat service workers poorly If you’re nice to me but rude to the waiter, you’re not a nice person. I want absolutely nothing to do with someone who believes he’s above other people just because of their jobs. Go ahead and forego that tip or “thank you” if you want, but make sure you lose my number in the same place you lost your manners.
Criticize me You’d think it would be common sense not to insult the person you’re on a date with, but I’ve had guys talk down to me for my job, my hair, and my hobbies shortly before telling me they’ve “never met a girl as special as me before.” WTF? Is this some weird kind of compliment sandwich? Because it’s not looking very appetizing.
Talk incessantly about yourself We don’t need to play twenty questions, but if you can’t be bothered to ask me anything about myself, I’m going to take it as a sign that you’re not actually interested in me. I’m on a date with you because I want to know more about you, so trust me, you’ll get to answer plenty of questions about yourself. If you’re so obsessed with yourself that you don’t ask me a single question in return, I’m going to (probably correctly) assume that you’re too egocentric for a relationship right now.
Start a political debate There’s a time and a place to discuss the upcoming election any deeper than “What a disaster, right?” A first date is not that time or place. I’m not interested in discussing what you think about abortion, illegal immigration, or any other issues that have the potential to turn a friendly date into a political war zone.
Display signs of being a bigot Please let me know if you’re a racist, homophobe, or sexist right off the bat so I can peace out of there as fast as possible. I don’t care if you rehabilitate injured puppies for a living — I have exactly zero patience for that crap, and I refuse to compromise on it no matter how hot or “sweet” you are.