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Deal-Breakers on a First Date

By HERWriter
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Sex & Relationships related image Photo: Getty Images

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.

Deal-Breaker #2:
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.

Deal-Breaker #3:
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.

Deal-Breaker #4:
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.

Deal-Breaker #5:
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

Add a Comment9 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Here's my dating horror story:


August 27, 2011 - 5:17pm
EmpowHER Guest

I'm just so glad that I am perfectly content and happy all by myself! LOL And these days, it's just too much work! LOL

July 15, 2011 - 8:11pm
EmpowHER Guest

I think its better to call off before you go any further because that nasty person will never change or become worse that is his attitude better not to tolerate and leave for good before its too late

July 15, 2011 - 2:32am

Another thing that I find to be a HUGE deal-breaker and would like to add to the list: When a date isn't honest about his/her sexual history and health.

I'll admit, I probably don't want to know RIGHT AWAY on a first date about how many sexual partners you have had and exactly what your most recent herpes outbreak felt like, but if you lie to me about your health, withhold information or wait until we are already unwrapping the condom to suddenly remember your status, not only is that a deal-breaker, it is dangerous!

July 15, 2011 - 12:01am
EmpowHER Guest

I'll add this.... If I have to pay MY way, AND HIS.... and then put GAS in his CAR so that HE can make it HOME..... AND when I PUT the gas in his car, instead of just putting enough to get home, he takes the opportunity to FILL IT TO FULL... you better believe that when his sorry butt walks me to the door, he AIN'T getting a kiss....and he can expect to hear "don't call me again" before I go inside and shut the door in his face.

July 14, 2011 - 3:14pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

@ Annonymous: OMG!!! Did that really happen? TOOOOO FUNNY! I agree, with you there. This list is growing by leaps and bounds...LOL

July 14, 2011 - 7:47pm

Nice piece. I have to admit that I agree with the entire list.

MY number 1 is not respecting personal space; followed by being rude to waitpersons, etc. I once was out having breakfast (the only free time we each had at that time) with someone I had just met in person from an online forum and he was just downright nasty to the restaurant help and then left an insulting tip. I was mortified. As we left, he went up to pay the check, I apologized to our waitress and added to his puny tip.

Needless to say, I never met him in person again. I have a female friend who is the same way. I don't understand why people feel the need to feel superior over others. That's how I perceive such poor behaviour/manners.

Drinking to get drunk is tied for number 1 also.

July 14, 2011 - 11:23am
HERWriter (reply to Lynda F)

Thanks for your comment Lynda - there is nothing worse than being embarrassed on behalf of someone you don't even know!! And I agree with you that when someone is rude or withholds tip it is an indication of some larger issues that I am certainly not interested in being involved with!

The drinking point is a fantastic addition and definitely a deal-breaker that made my personal top 10 list.

Best of luck!!

July 14, 2011 - 11:43am
(reply to Hannah Cutts)

Thank you Hannah! Having grown up with relatives who were nasty drunks, I cannot tolerate drunks. In my opinion a first date, in particular, is when you make your best impression. IF someone feels their best impression is to drink enough to get silly, stupid, arrogant or even mean................then that is someone I don't want to know even casually as a distant friend......LOL One or two drinks is fine, I see no need to consume more than that, especially over the course of just a couple of hours.

I'm sure I can find others to make my top 10, but this was as good a place as any to start. LOL

Thanks for sharing.

July 14, 2011 - 12:09pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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