Let’s talk about the differences between a first date in the movies or television and a first date IRL. In the movies, it’s super romantic. The girl and guy both look amazing (and are probably wearing designer clothes). They laugh, they chat, they get along like crazy, and it’s impossible to imagine that they didn’t know each other before this evening. They kiss goodnight (and it’s epic) and that it that. We just know that they will totally stay together (well, after some obstacles and confusing situations, since this is a story that we’re talking about).
IRL, first dates are so different. We show up with our game face on and hope that things go well… but instead, we often find ourselves on a very strange, surreal first date that makes us wonder what is even happening. Instead of epic romance and a magical goodnight kiss, we’re trying to figure out why this date is so bad. The truth is that sometimes, all we can do is say, “That was a bad date” and try to forget about it.
There are a lot of things that can make an evening go in the wrong direction. Let’s take a look at them. If he does any of these 20 things on a first date, run for the hills.
We can all agree that we want a guy to be on time when we have a first date with him. Of course, we’re going to be on time, too. Okay, okay, we’re going to be 15 minutes early because we want to get the lay of the land and find the best possible table (and maybe use the bathroom before, too).
It’s pretty rude when someone is late. While we might tolerate that from a good friend because that’s just the way that she is and we don’t want to argue with her, we don’t have to take that from someone we could be dating. It’s even worse if he’s late but doesn’t apologize or seem to care.
Do we really want to sit across from someone who can’t stop telling us how amazing they are? How good they are at their job? How they’re going to run the company someday? How everyone that they know adores them?
That would be a no. If a first date is an opportunity to get to know each other, then that definitely means that we have to talk equally. It’s a conversation, after all. There would be no way that we could call it a good date when he keeps talking about himself so much. We would assume that someone would be turned off if we did this, too.
The flip side of a guy who talks too much (and about himself) is someone who doesn’t talk at all. This can also be the sign of a bad date because if he’s not talking, then we can’t get to know him.
It’s hard when we keep trying to make small talk and ask him questions and he just won’t budge. Maybe he’s shy and, sure, we can understand that, and first dates are definitely nerve-wracking experiences. But at the same time, we can’t really do much if someone doesn’t want to talk to us. If any of our attempts to start an actual conversation don’t work, it seems like the date is a flop.
We’ve long heard that texting or checking our phones in any way is a no-go on first dates. So it’s pretty nuts when we realize that people still do this… a lot.
There is no way that this should be happening on a first date. We should be paying attention to this guy and learning about him, and he should want to do the same thing. When that’s not the case, it makes us feel like he cares more about his phone and whatever is happening there than talking to us, and, well, he’s given us no reason to believe that’s not true.
We know why we’re single — we haven’t met our one true love yet, dating is tough, we’ve had some seemingly promising relationships fall apart — and we know that people are single at various times and it’s all good. We don’t have to feel bad about it (in fact, we totally shouldn’t because we’re amazing people and we need to feel good about ourselves).
Do we want the guy that we’re on a first date with to ask us why we’re single? No. No way.
If he asks us why we’re single, that’s going to make us feel really strange and uncomfortable… two things that we should never feel on a first date (or anytime in a relationship).
He says that we’re single because we’re too confident or too into our career or guys just don’t want to be in relationships. Whatever his reasoning, it’s not that much fun to hear why this guy that we just met thinks that it makes sense that we don’t have a boyfriend. We would never even think about telling him why he’s single…
We can agree that it’s rude or insulting if this is where the conversation goes on a first date. It’s not what we want to happen at all, and it’s a sign to run for the hills and forget about this guy.
Gut instincts are important and that couldn’t possibly be any truer when it comes to a first date. Are our instincts telling us that we feel weird right now? Well, that’s all that we have to hear. It’s enough to make us run for the hills (and go home early).
We don’t need to have a reason beyond how weird we feel. Maybe this guy makes us nervous for whatever reason or he just makes us feel uncomfortable in general. That’s okay to admit. We’re allowed to feel a certain way and we don’t have to feel guilty about that.
Even if we can admit that it’s nice to hear that we look beautiful or that we’re wearing a nice dress, having a guy make comments on our physical appearance can be tricky and complicated. Some of us might have no problem with that and like hearing it, whereas others are offended automatically. It’s not an easy subject.
If a guy does comment, how do we know that it’s for real and he doesn’t just say that to every girl he goes on a date with? Many of us would probably agree that we would rather just not hear any comments on our appearance on a first date.
Yes, there is such a thing as coming on too strong when it comes to romantic words, gestures, and actions. Even the hopeless romantics among us know when it feels like way too much and when the romance feels forced and fake.
The first date is not the time for romance… at least not super intense romance. Sure, it sounds all well and good to imagine our eyes locking across the table and violins playing in the background and maybe this guy pulls a gorgeous bouquet of red roses out of nowhere to give to us. But, come on, it’s a first date. If he’s trying this hard, it’s just too intense for us.
Everyone wants to be listened to. It’s a pretty logical social convention, right? If we have a friend who never seems to be hearing what we’re saying because she’s always on her phone or thinking about something else, we don’t love that. We might even stop being friends with her because of it and people would understand why we feel that way.
It’s not a good first date when it doesn’t seem like our date is listening to us. This is absolutely the number one thing that he should be doing, besides acting like a total gentleman. We’re not only going to be shocked that he’s not paying attention to us but we’re going to run for the hills.
The final thing that will totally make us run for the hills? When we’re on a first date and the guy insults what we’re eating or drinking.
Whether he has an opinion about the cheeseburger or salad we just ordered (because we can order whatever we want on a first date, no matter what convention says) or the fact that we drink rose year-round, we don’t really want to hear it. We’d rather have a nice time and a nice conversation. We would never dream of commenting on what he’s chosen to order, so we don’t understand it.
Lectures aren’t a good thing on a first date. Or second date. Or beyond. Okay, we get the idea.
We would also want to run for the hills if we went on a date with someone who lectured us in any way, shape, or form. It’s crazy to even think that this would happen and yet, unfortunately, it does.
We want a nice conversation where we can each chat about things that we care about and things that are happening in our lives, and we want to feel like we can get along with this guy and really talk to him.
At this point, we would agree that we want men to be feminists. Plain and simple, right? After all, how can they not be when this seems like such an obvious belief system to agree with?
We’re not going to be happy if we’re on a first date with a guy who straight-up says that he’s not a feminist. It’s even worse and more difficult to listen to him if he explains why he’s not. Should we run for the hills if we experience this? Definitely. If we could run to another city or country, even, we would, and it wouldn’t even seem far enough.
We don’t want to date someone who is mean. We want a nice person who is gentle and compassionate and who is polite when we go out in public with them.
No matter what we have at the top of our list when we think about the kind of guy that we want to be our boyfriend, it’s rare that we would want him to be mean and anything but polite to us or anyone who works in the restaurant. This is such a bad sign and would make it a bad evening automatically, and running for the hills would only seem logical.
We could say that second dates are a goal of a first date, and yet it’s not always the case. Sure, if things go really well, then yeah, a second date sounds like the best thing ever. In other situations, it’s all we can do to smile politely and wonder when we can leave. We don’t want a second date at all.
When a guy is pushing for a second date really hard, we should run for the hills because that’s intense behavior. He shouldn’t come on so strong and aggression isn’t an attractive quality at all. We want someone who is much kinder and gentler than that.
It’s not exactly fun to hang out with negative people. We might have a friend or family member who is going through a tough time and, therefore, a bit less sunny than usual these days, but there’s a reason so we can sympathize and understand.
When we go on a first date, we would rather not experience any negativity. At all. If the guy we’re on a date with is the most negative person that we’ve ever met, then we can say that this is a bad date and we should run for the hills. If he can be like this on the very first date, then this is clearly who he is, and we want someone more optimistic and positive.
Dating via dating apps is so tricky since we never know if the guy that we’re so psyched to finally go on a first date with isn’t excited at all because he has another date lined up after he meets up with us. This happens to a lot of people and it’s never a great experience.
It’s even more awkward when we realize that the guy that we’re on a first date with is literally on a dating app right in front of us. He could be trying to hide it under the table or he could not care if we see it at all. Either way, it’s rude and not fair to us, and we should run far away.
We should definitely run for the hills when a guy cuts our first date short. The first date is such a special, key time since this is when we’re chatting, learning things about each other, and deciding if a second date is in order.
Why does he say that he has to leave after only an hour… or even sooner than that? Does he come up with an excuse (that may or may not seem plausible) or just say that he has to bounce? No matter what he says, this isn’t exactly a great sign, and there is no grand love story happening here if we can’t even hang out for more than an hour.
Do we offer to pay on every first date that we go on? Do we wait for the guy to offer? Do we always assume that he should pay or else we consider it a terrible evening?
There are so many different ways to think about who picks up the cheque at the end of the first date. We may feel strongly one way over another and our best friend feels the opposite, so we can’t really say what is right or wrong. It’s complicated.
One thing that would make us run for the hills, though, is if the guy expects us to pay for the whole thing. It’s just not cool, and he should at least say that we should split it.
It seems like people who online date love to talk about how bad it is. Any of us who are currently online dating or who met our boyfriend online totally get it because it can be such a weird, complicated thing.
But we don’t really want to go on a first date and listen to the guy complain about his online dating experiences and how hard he has it. It’s a turn-off for sure and it doesn’t make for a very positive evening… plus there’s the fact that we want to focus on the present and whether we click with each other.
Hopefully, none of these things take place on our next first date… but if they do, we know that this isn’t the person for us.