In the age of dating apps, ‘ghosting’ i.e. a date mysteriously disappearing off the face of the planet is (sadly) all too common. But what if you’ve had a first date and got on famously, but then she’s flatly refusing a second date. Baffling, right? Maybe not if you committed one of the classic first date offences. There’s a long list and we’re here to serve it to you straight. Ultimately, we’re women and we can be fickle, so even bad shoes might just strike you off getting to first base (sorry).
Making a real effort shows on a first date
When it comes to bad first dates, 32% of women make an excuse to leave the date prematurely, while a bold 2% flee out of the nearest exit, according to a survey by zavamed.com.
“Be memorable for all the right reasons,” says Coralie Jo, matchmaker on Channel W’s The Ultimate Matchmaker. “Making a real effort shows on a first date – even something as simple as holding doors open.”
These reasons for first date fails come direct from the women who have been there and not bought/worn the guy’s t-shirt… From double denim to Instagram stalking, read on to see what could secretly be turning her off…
The Ex Obsessive
She says: “Within half an hour, he went on a 45-minute rant about his ‘crazy ex-girlfriend’. I didn’t want to waste any more of my time finding out exactly what it was about him that made her ‘crazy’.” – Shona, 32.
“Guys should avoid taking about their ‘psycho’ ex on the first date at all costs,” warns Coralie. “Sure, everyone has stories from past relationships but remember this is a date – not a counselling session so save that baggage for your therapist. If the subject of ex’s does comes up naturally, talk about them respectfully and politely. Don’t pollute the night with negative energy.”
It’s a total turn-off and has the opposite effect…
She says: “My date somehow turned the whole conversation into a game of “never have I ever…” All of his questions were about sex. Then when I said I was going home, he suggested that we play strip poker – twice – before I ran (literally) for my bus.” – Kelly, 36
“Another thing guys tend to do is talk about how amazing they are in the sack. It’s a total turn-off and has the opposite effect,” Coralie warns. “Remember guys, you are not selling your sexual skills, it’s a date. The first date is more of a get-to-know, not a get-to-feel.”
The Creepy Snooper
She says: “About ten minutes into conversation, he told me that I lived close to his favourite railway station – and then went into lots of detail about exactly why he loved it.” – Amy, 29
Train spotting is one thing but openly stalking is another. Social media gives us free reign to do some digging on somebody before a date (hey, we sometimes do it too). The key is not letting on you know where she lives and what she had for lunch on Tuesday at 1.16pm. Or, worse, asking how she enjoyed that Tenerife holiday in 2014.
The Canadian Tuxedo
She says: “The minute I clapped eyes on his double denim, I knew it was a ‘no, thank you’ from me. The only person I think I’ve ever seen pull off ‘jean on jean’ was David Beckham and even that was questionable.” – Rebecca, 27
Serious crimes against fashion can leave women looking for the nearest escape route. Jeans, yes. Denim shirt/jacket, yes. Together? Just don’t. Also on the crap outfit list? “Shit jeans”. If in doubt, ask a personal stylist or a pal with great taste in denim.
The Booze Hound
Women can decipher boozy breath within 10 paces
She says: “I met with a guy around 4pm once and he turned up shitfaced, spilt his beer over my dress, looked everywhere except my eyes (but mainly my boobs, tbh) and then started burping. Actual hell.” – Jenny, 31
We get that a spot of Dutch courage can help with first date nerves but make it one drink/shot and not a brewery’s worth, please. Women have sniffer dog capabilities and can decipher boozy breath within 10 paces. Coralie says: “Drinking too much is a big no-no – have a two drink rule and stick to it. No woman wants a sloppy, over-confident guy on a first date.”
The Witchy Nails
She says: “I once went on a date with a super-hot guy but couldn’t go beyond a first date because he had really long finger nails that made me cringe every time he gestured or reached for his gin. Ick.” – Heidi, 28
“Grooming is so, so important on a first date – guys should know that being clean and smelling great counts for a lot,” says Coralie. “That means no dirty or long fingernails, freshly shave or trim your facial hair, and keep your hair tidy but not over-waxed or gelled.”
The Far-Fetched Pics
Please don’t use editing apps to make yourself look better
She says: “Not looking remotely like their profile pic is just annoying. I thought I was meeting a clean shaven guy with dark eyes who was about my age. Instead, he had greying hair and more wrinkles than my granny.” – Gemma, 29
This isn’t a blind date. If you’re dating via an app/website, it’s kind of a prerequisite to display pictures that, er, actually look like you. So that means within this decade (and preferably within the last year or two). And please don’t use editing apps to give yourself a blurry face/better hairline. If all else fails? Try adding a pooch to your pic. Dogs in profile pics can increase your chances of finding love on Tinder by 117%, according to a survey by Pet Wingman.
The Wallet Dodger
She says: “We met in a bar and when he saw the drinks menu, he asked me to leave with him and relocate to a place down the road as the wine was 50p cheaper. WTF.” – Harriet, 29
Stingy bums with a calculator in their back pocket can be first date fun sponges. It’s worth noting that 51% of women would consider a second date if the guy offered to pay on the first meet (zavamed.com). That’s not to say we have any issues with going Dutch, but an offer is always nice instead of doing Pythagoras’ theorem to work out who had the portion of wedges.
The Obnoxious Waffler
She says: “I had one guy who didn’t buy one single drink and literally didn’t ask me anything about me and what I liked doing. The one question he did ask: ‘so, why do you think you’re still single?’ Doh.” – Sarah, 34
“The biggest mistake many guys can make is focusing ALL the conversation on themselves,” says Clarissa Bloom, dating and relationship expert for www.vonza.co.uk. “Yes, you want to learn about them, but you didn’t sign up for a live performance on their future autobiography. Both parties should be hugely interested in getting to know their potential OH.”
The Shower Shirker
Cleanliness should be paramount… also, take a quick look in the mirror
She says: “I once went on a date with someone who proudly told me he’d come straight from the gym. He hadn’t showered… and it was during a heatwave. I could only tolerate an hour with him and his horrendous sweat patches.” – Vicky, 28
“If there is B.O, then they might as well walk straight back outta there,” Clarissa says. “You’re trying to convince someone you should be closer, so cleanliness and grooming should be paramount. Also, take a quick look in the mirror to make sure there’s nothing stuck in your teeth. It can be so hard to concentrate if they have a bit of broccoli wedged in there.”
The Height Fudger
She says: “Why do guys swear they’re several inches taller than they actually are? There was one who said he was 6ft on his profile but was more like 5ft 6 IRL – I ended up with a stiff neck! I’m 6ft 1 in heels so it’s always a bit of a giveaway when you meet!” – Annie, 37
Short of wearing some Simon Cowell-style Cuban heels, embrace your height and be honest about your, ahem, inches. Many women don’t care, but some do, so whether you’re vertically challenged or lofty, just own it to avoid awkward moments when you both stand up at the bar.
The Mummy’s Boy
Stay schtum and tone down the motherly love a bit
She says: “Him saying ‘wow, you really remind me of my mum when she was young’ and then showing me a pic of her. Disconcerting/alarming to say the least.” – Manuela, 34
“I ran a survey on worst things women had been told on a first date and there was a resounding answer… TMI on their mum,” says Clarissa. It’s fine for a guy to express their love for their mom or share stories but when it goes too far and he’s talking about her still making his bed (aged 32-and-a-half), it’s time to stay schtum and tone down the motherly love a bit.”
The Bad Shoes
She says: “I’ve had so many bad shoe experiences on first dates. There was the guy wearing really ugly slip-ons that made me feel nauseous. Then another guy was wearing white sports socks with black leather shoes that looked like he’d come straight from tennis practice.” – Jess, 25
“For women, shoes (and even socks) can give away a huge amount about the guy, therefore this should be the starting point when you’re dressing for a date,” Clarissa advises. “Go date appropriate and make sure they aren’t too scruffy so it looks like you’ve made an effort. You don’t need to go overboard in Oxfords but brogues can look great.”
The Keen Bean
She says: “My blind date was older, and wouldn’t stop talking about how much he wanted kids. He had names for them, their future school, and reeled off which sports and activities they would do… Then he asked if I’d push or do C-section.” Kate, 33
“We might love a rom-com and dream of being swept of our feet and falling in love at first sight, but actually saying the ‘L’ word or naming your future kids is a massive no-no. If they’re moving 1000 miles-per-hour this early, it seems disingenuous and quite creepy,” Clarissa says.