There's nothing quite like the anticipation of a first date. Excitement is in the air, and it's hard to shake the feeling that — if things go well — this could lead to something more serious.
But sometimes, things go terribly wrong, and you're left with the big question, why? If you've been guilty of any of the below, you may have scared your date off without knowing it.
Read on, and don't repeat the following:
1. Being The Late Date
This is a guaranteed way to put yourself behind the eight ball from the get-go. Leaving your date loitering alone is very poor form. Everyone can understand being five minutes behind, but if you're showing up half an hour after the agreed time, it's game over.
Even if you're habitually late, set a reminder in your phone and be on time. It will set the right tone for the remainder of the evening, and your date will appreciate you made the effort. It is literally the least you could do.
2. Messy Eating
Nothing evaporates sexual tension like a date who devours their meal like it may be their last. The “eating” part of the courting process is crucial. Chew with your mouth open, and you may as well head home because this date is done.
The same goes for loud eaters and food spillers. Do yourself a favor and order something that isn't too complicated. No one wants to be cracking crab claws on a first date. One more hot tip: Don't drink too much. If you booze, you lose.
3. The Awkward Outfit
Outfit choice is another part of the dating process that causes a lot of anxiety. Your best bet is to find the right balance.
Lads, don't go overboard in a three-piece suit, and ladies, now is not the time for the ball gown. However, showing up underdressed is a surefire way to scare off your date. Rocking your oldest track pants, a stained tank top and a pair of Crocs is a big deal-breaker. Athleisure may be "in," but there's a fine line between looking trendy and looking lazy.
4. Not Offering To Pay
Ah, the age-old issue of splitting the bill. Money has a magical way of ripping the romance right out of a date and making things super awkward. It could be the most spellbinding evening of your entire life, but the moment that bill arrives, everything can change.
The reality is, we live in a modern society, and both parties should at least offer to pay. If one person is happy to foot the bill, great. But if you don't even make a move for your wallet, it comes across as a little presumptuous. No one wants that.
5. A Messy Or Tackily Decorated Home
If you're lucky enough to convince your date to head home with you, it's crucial that your house is in the right state. Dirty living spaces and messy bedrooms will put a big question mark over your '“significant other” status.
So, do the due diligence and clean if you're crossing your fingers for a romantic "Netflix and chill" session. For safe measure, ensure none of these eight interior turnoffs arise when you're inviting a date home.
6. Anti-Social Media
The moment you pull your phone out and check your Facebook on a date is the moment you relinquish any further chance at romance. You're basically saying to the person opposite you, “I am so bored by your company that I'd rather see what people are doing online.”
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat are all no-go zones when you're trying to kickstart a real-life love story. Be present in the moment, and respect your date. Your Snapchats will still be there afterward.
7. The Ex Factor
Last but not least, this is the cardinal rule of courting: Do not mention your ex. Your date will immediately assume you're still hung up on them. And that's exactly how it will seem if you're banging on about your last bed buddy.
To be fair, it they ask you about your last relationship, you'll have to answer. But take it from us: Make a polite remark about how that's in the past, and move on. There's nothing more unattractive than a potential love interest pouring their heart out over the one that got away.
While you're at it, avoid these terrible early dating questions, too.