First impressions are everything. No matter how polite your head might be or how successful you seem, even the tiniest mistakes can throw a spanner in the works.
“First dates are really important and often only give you the one chance to set the right impression and make an impact that will help you to progress to a second date,” says Australia’s leading matchmaker and introduction consultant, Yvonne Allen.
Unfortunately, we don’t even realise the errors we make and “while we all try to be on our best behaviour, sometimes, we can do off-putting things without even realising it.
“Ideally a dinner date should be unhurried and over a few hours. Much can happen in this time, a lot of getting to know each other, building rapport and developing a sense of each other. Unfortunately it also means a lot can go wrong. “
With that in mind, Allen has put together a list of eight things men do that can ruin their chances of a second date.
1. Dress code
This one is crucial.
“Avoid dressing inappropriately,” says Allen.
“This is a big turn-off for women. If it’s an upscale restaurant, wear a smart suit with a well-ironed shirt. Take the time to check your accessories, ensuring cufflinks, ties, watches and belts match and look the part. Wear matching shoes that are clean and well-shined.”
2. Checking your wrist
“Don’t check your Fitbit for calories burned and heart rate,” continues Allen.
“Women don’t like being monitored or feel like you are monitoring the progress of your date, food intake or other metrics.”
3. Interrogating her past
It’s not uncommon for people to have a bad dating past and for many, revisiting those memories can dampen the mood. So don’t “ask about her dating history. Everyone has a history and has had relationships. This should never be raised on a first date.”
4. Answering the phone
Dates are supposed to be one-on-one time where you can find out the finer details of your potential partner. That means your attention should be just on them.
“Don’t take a call from someone. Interrupting a date to take a phone call is rude and disrespectful,” says Allen.
“Phones should be off the table. Unless you have to be on call because of your occupation, you have no excuse.”
If you end up on a phone call during a date, the other person will know they’re not a priority.
5. Don’t top-note yourself
This one is obvious but it’s sometimes easy to forget that you’re doing it.
Sure you might have a six-figure salary or think you’re saving lives as an investment banker. But if you need to rave on about, there’s a good chance you lack personality outside of your 9-5.
“Avoid what I call ‘The Peacock Phenomenon’ – talking too much about yourself in order to impress. On a first date a woman has the opportunity to get to know more about you but she also needs to feel that you are interested in her.”
“Don’t talk at length about your occupation or disrespect her industry or job. Show your interest in what occupies her day. Like you, a woman wants to feel valued.”
6. Rude to staff
This is a no-brainer. It’s not impressive to treat the waiter poorly.
“Avoid insulting people and speaking badly about others. Someone who speaks badly about others is likely to do this behind their back. This is a red flag for a woman. It erodes trust and respect.”
7. Being too pushy with alcohol
Sure there’s nothing wrong with a bit of social lubrication. But if she’s not in the mood to drink, there’s nothing more off-putting than making her polish off a glass of wine.
“Don’t pressure her to drink. Women like to make their own drinking decisions and don’t like being pressured to drink,” explains Allen.
“Women need to feel safe and know you are taking care of them. Attempting to force her to drink is a turnoff and is a warning sign.”
8. Talking about exes
If you’re trying to sweep someone off their feet, the last thing they want to hear about is your past, failed relationships. Talking about your ex-partners shows that you’re probably not over them and that you’re still bitter.
“So don’t mention previous girlfriends or partners and discuss at any length past relationships.
“This is a big no no on a first date. It is important that you are genuine, interested and focus on being with her in the present, Sharing respective views re current news items or talking about preferred pastimes will help the conversation to flow.”