If any of these things happen, there won’t be a second date.
By Michelle Toglia — Last updated on Oct 09, 2023
Photo: Syda Productions | Mix and Match Studio | Canva / kieferpix | Getty Images
You know the basic first-date don’ts by now: checking your phone, talking about politics, bringing up your ex, etc. But a survey from Match revealed that these aren’t even the rudest things you can do on a date. The number one first-date killer? Lighting up a cigarette.
According to the 2014 survey, 51 percent of single men and women said that smoking on a first date was the ultimate dealbreaker. And, it’s not just non-smokers that don’t want you taking a puff. Turns out, 60 percent of smokers don’t even want to date someone with the same habit.
This got me thinking about the other behaviors that have instantly destroyed first dates. The immediate mood-killers. The moments where you go from ‘This is going so well!’ to ‘I want to go home. Now’.
The behaviors that you may have not realized were dealbreakers, but when push comes to shove, and he just freaked out at the waitress for not bringing him a lemon, you know there will never, ever be a second date.
Here are 7 surefire ways to completely destroy a first date, according to research:
We all overreact. But, when you’re first getting to know someone, and their response to something you say is so extreme, it can be a total turn-off. And in some cases, it’ll destroy the date.
I once went on a date with someone who couldn’t get over the fact that I was a vegetarian. I didn’t think it was a big deal because we were at a restaurant with plenty of options. And, I wasn’t complaining, I just mentioned it when we started talking about food. He suddenly became noticeably stressed and started asking things like, “What do you even eat?” As many times as I tried to change the subject, he repeatedly brought it up.
And it’s not just our food choices that have our dates acting irrationally. “I once mentioned to a girl that I was thinking of moving back home (30 minutes away) for a year to save money, and she first showed utter disgust and then almost broke down in tears,” says James, 26. Her reaction to his news was a red flag, and he never did move back — or call her for a second date.
2. Being rude to the waiter
Sure, no one wants their date to be rude to the waitstaff, but for a lot of people, it’s the very thing that takes the date from decent to disaster.
Sarah, 26, says she knew it was time to head home when her date snapped at their waiter. Alex, 27, agrees, “yelling at a waiter or waitress is 1000% a dealbreaker.”
Duncan, 24, says if he’s out to dinner and his date doesn’t like her food and takes it out on the waiter, it’s a major turn-off. “It makes her seem like a shallow control freak.”
3. Keeping the wine to yourself
Being a bad sharer has been frowned upon since pre-school, and on a date, it’s not any different — especially when there’s wine involved. Dino, 26, knew it wasn’t going to work when his date ordered an entire bottle of wine for herself, drank it, and didn’t offer him a drop.
4. Being self-centered
Of course, you don’t want your first date to feel like an interview, but you have to ask the other person questions.
As nice as her date was, Elizabeth, 24, knew it wasn’t going to work when she couldn’t get a word in. “He started telling me about his job, and I was asking him all kinds of questions about his employment, where he lives, etc. Well, there never really seemed to be a break in the conversation and he just kept going on and on about himself.”
5. Being clingy
Sometimes it’s the behavior that happens right after the date that ruins the whole thing. It’s the first time you’re hanging out, but somehow several men and women have had their share of stage 5 clingers.
Lindsay, 22, went on a blind date with a guy her brother set her up with and then had a difficult time getting rid of him. “He talked about marriage and what he would do if I dated another guy. The night after, he sent me 20 texts. He said he loved me. He was psycho!”
A few months ago, Mahwash, 25, went on what she first considered a good date. Immediately after, her date wouldn’t stop calling and texting her. “When I asked him to stop, he called me again asking to talk because he thought we were ‘distant’ and he never has ‘real connections with women’ but I was ‘different’. I literally had to yell at him and ask him to stop contacting me.”
6. Revealing too much, too soon
It’s important to feel comfortable on your date, but there’s a time and a place for everything, and revealing something too personal, even if it’s not a big deal, can be a big mood-killer. Andrew, 27, said his date was ruined after five minutes when his date mentioned she had only an ovary out of the blue.
Sarah knew there would be no second date when her date complained about how broke he was. She didn’t mind that he wasn’t loaded, but talking about money problems on date one was a major don’t.
7. Lying about something big
On the other side of oversharing, there’s straight-up lying about a major part of your life, like having children. And when you’re caught in a lie during your first date, there’s really no going back.
Christina, 29, met a man at the grocery store and spoke on the phone with him for a few weeks before going on a date. She asked if he had children and he said he didn’t … and then their date happened. “While we were at dinner a ticked-off woman walked into the restaurant, looked around, and headed straight for him.
She yelled at him about being a deadbeat, dropped a kid in his lap, and left. He tried to tell me that it was his little cousin and that he forgot he was supposed to babysit but I had seen enough and left. I later found out that his ex had gone to his mom’s house (yeah he still lived at home), his mom had told her where he was because she was tired of always watching his son when he was supposed to have him, so the girl came and dropped the kid off so she could go out.”
Have any first-date dealbreakers to add to the list?
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Michelle Toglia is the Executive Editor at Elite Daily, overseeing the site’s entertainment, news, style, dating, and experiences coverage.