Whether you are already acquainted with the other person or not, first dates are never easy. They usually follow a heavy handful of outfit changes, quick text pep talks from your best friends and the hope that maybe this time, you'll meet someone who holds promise of becoming "the one."
Though you should always aim to have zero expectations for first dates, there are a series of nonnegotiables that should top your no-no list.
Of course, every person has individual deal-breakers and deal-makers, but there are consistent qualities and situations that tend to keep people on the fence about their dates.
Remember the following 10 realities so you will be able to differentiate between someone who is worthy of your time and a second date, and someone with whom you will never willingly contact again:
10. He is unsure of himself.
Characteristically speaking, this is someone who is insecure and unclear about the correct next step to take within certain romantically-oriented situations. For example, I once went out on a date with someone who said, “I am going to kiss you now” before he leaned in to take action.
Not only did that announcement remove all potential magic from the situation, it also really turned me off. Even if you are shaking on the inside and nervous that you won’t be perceived in the right light, go with your gut and just do it. What’s the worst that could happen?
9. He has poor hygiene.
Bad breath, uncombed hair and wrinkled clothing, to name a few common personal maintenance issues. First impressions are everything. Let’s be honest: Someone's looks and grooming usually come into play early on.
If you won't put your best foot forward on the first date, your date will assume you have no regard for how you look and carry yourself.
8. He doesn’t know how to make conversation.
Nothing is worse than having a first date with a one-sided conversation (with yourself). It’s one thing to initiate topics about which you can talk, but when you’re anchoring the tête-à-tête throughout dinner and dessert, it’s a problem.
Maybe he’s self-conscious or simply has nothing to contribute. Still, if you are witnessing a true lack of response after a variety of attempts to put the ball in his court, you know your final conversation will end in “goodbye.”
7. He pays more attention to his phone than to you.
Put away your phone! Unless a family member is in serious need of your help or your pet is in critical condition, put your phone on vibrate and keep it out of sight. If he is answering texts, sending Snapchats, updating his Facebook status or Instagramming a pic of his dinner, it is not okay.
Paying more attention to technology than the person across the table is a violation of basic dating mechanics and a complete lack of tact. He might as well be wearing a sign on his forehead that reads, “I am not into you and can’t wait for this to be over.” Rude, rude, rude.
6. He brings up the past.
Any guy who tells you about his previous relationships, his sexual history or anything remotely having to do with an ex on the first date is definitely not over his past. You can’t waste your time on anyone who isn’t emotionally ready to move on from whatever previously held him back.
You definitely don’t need any extra baggage and shouldn’t have to succumb to hearing about this guy’s personal life in which you clearly have no interest. Run away, fast.
5. He thinks you’re “the one.”
This might be the cardinal sin of first dates and the best possible way to scare the hell out of someone. Even if you are completely enamored with him, anyone who says he thinks he could marry you after meeting on a first date is off his rocker.
This guy probably seems completely desperate and will leave you feeling uncertain as to whether he is truly that into you or is just content on settling down with anyone who seems like a good catch. Run away, faster.
4. He looks nothing like his pictures (if you met online).
This is where online dating can turn into true tragedy. He looks amazing in all of his pictures, but in person, it’s a completely different story.
A lot of people use online dating as a “foot in the door” type mechanism, by which they woo the person through a phone or computer and get the person to agree to a first date.
The whole thing is mad sketchy, regardless if he’s unattractive in person. It shows he’s really not secure enough, physically and emotionally, to post recent pictures; nobody cares what you looked like five years ago in July, when you were on vacation in Miami.
3. He shows up drunk.
This may just be the most disrespectful way to ever meet someone in person. It’s okay to have a drink or two on a first date, but showing up already drunk is completely unacceptable.
When this happens, it is suitable (and suggested) to make up an excuse and bow out early. If you can’t meet someone and be your sober self, you have issues.
2. He doesn’t offer to pay the bill.
I wholeheartedly believe in the 50/50 split, but I also believe that on the first date, the guy should pick up the check before I have the chance to go for it.
If you are both sitting there, awkwardly staring at the bill, or if he decides to initiate that you go “halfsies,” you know where you stand.
1. He pays the bill, but expects you to "pay" later.
He is the epitome of suave gentleman and has no qualms about paying the check. But then, you get in the car and he expects you to get it on with him right away in return for the great (and free) dinner. I have encountered slimeballs like this a handful of times, and it is the ultimate turnoff.
No girl wants to go out or hang out with a guy and feel obliged to cater to his sexual needs in exchange for cappuccinos, a movie or whatever it may be. You can't build relationships using the barter system.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It