9 First-Date Disasters To Avoid

Going on a first-date can be a harrowing experience for even the most confident of people. Here’s 9 first-date disasters you don’t want to make. Many are taken from the Match.com 2013 Singles in America survey.

1. Bad Grammar, Bad Teeth and Low Confidence

According to the Match.com survey most singles judge their dates by the big 3: grammar, confidence and teeth. To make a good first impression and hit it off on a first date, make sure you use clear simple language. Don’t mumble, swear or complain. Don’t use words that you think make you sound smart but you don’t know the meaning of.

Express confidence. It’s normal to be a little nervous and you can do some mental or breathing exercises to calm yourself. Being prepared will boost your confidence. If you’ve got bad teeth you are starting on the back foot. The best thing to do with bad teeth is get them fixed.

2. No Friends Allowed

This should come of no surprise that there’s no ‘them’ in date. According to Match.com, only 14% of women and 16% of men consider casually meeting up with friends as an official date. An official date is one-to-one, no guests allowed.

3. Major Turnoffs at the Dinner Table

There are certain unwritten rules of etiquette that should not be broken on a first date. That’s if you want to set a good impression. According to the Match.com study almost everyone is turned off

  • when a date is rude to wait staff
  • by bad table manners
  • off when their date is a picky eater

Be on your best behavior on a first date. You may want to tip the wait staff beforehand to make sure your get extra special service. Be polite and refrain from using crass language. If you are a picky eater, make sure beforehand there is food on the menu that you’ll eat. Even better, be bold and try something new and you will have a memorable, maybe wonderful, experience.

4. Don’t Wait Around

One of the saddest things is seeing single people waiting around for a no show. Don’t put yourself through this misery. Confirm with your date before you leave your house, perhaps before you start to get ready. Tell them to contact you if they are going to be late. Don’t wait around longer than 15 minutes and tell your date that. Being stood up is not your fault. If it happens, don’t dwell on it and move on to the next date.

5. Don’t Be Late

If you want to set a good first impression it’s best to be on time for your date. Don’t be too early and definitely don’t be late. If you are early you can circle the block or wait nearby until it’s close to date time.

Give yourself plenty of time to make sure you’ll be on time. Make sure you know exactly where the venue is and make allowances for bad traffic or something going wrong. If you are going to be late make sure you inform your date before the date is supposed to begin.

6. Turn Your Phone Off

Make sure you turn your phone off or at least mute it. It’s saddening to see people in restaurants hooked into the ‘mobile Matrix’. There’s no real communication going on. Give your date the courtesy of your full attention and you’ll make a good impression. If you need your phone for emergencies tell your date. This may apply to an on-call physician or someone who is expecting a very important call.

If you must get on your phone, excuse yourself and do it in the bathroom. If the date is not working out have the guts to say so. You don’t need to use your phone as an excuse to cancel a date. It shows low character to point to your phone and say something like, “oh something important came up, I’ve got to go”.

7. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome

According to the Match.com survey 52% of singles think a good first date should last between two to four hours. It can become claustrophobic if you spend too much time on the first date. Spending several hours with someone you’ve never met before is mentally and emotionally challenging. The longer you stay on a date the more likely you are to get tired and slip up.

8. Don’t Talk About This

The main thing you should not talk about on a date is your ex. Focus on the now and the future. Politics and religion are other areas that you should also steer clear of on a first date.

9. I Don’t Like The Way You Look

The Match.com survey revealed some very interesting differences between men and women. Women are more likely to judge a guy’s attire than his ride. Guys are more likely to judge a woman’s tattoos than her shoes. Gents make sure your shoes are clean, polished and well-presented. Get a lady to help you if you are not sure. Men you don’t need to hire a Porsche to make a good impression. Ladies, don’t fret over your shoes. Men place much less importance on shoes than women.