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Worst First-Date Moves For Ladies

A guy’s-eye point of view on the 10 most annoying things you can do on date #1. Read up, and reform as needed!

By Dan Bova

or the single guy, first dates can be so many things: magical, exciting, romantic, or in some cases, really, really annoying. Ask any dude who’s out there in the romance trenches, and he’ll give you a litany of misdeeds perpetrated by the dating women of America.

But lucky you, you don’t have to actually ask them anything
Don’t give him a cutesy nickname 15 minutes into the date…
because I did it for you. I spoke with single guy friends, relatives and complete strangers who overheard our conversations and couldn’t help but chime in about what drives them wild (in a bad way) on a first date. And good God, did I get answers.

Sure, we men know that we’re not exactly perfect (feel free to object), but there are a number of things you may not even realize you’re doing that can inadvertently put you on the Do Not Call list for life. Here are the top ten first-date crimes.

1. Blabbing about your ex
He would never order the steak rare like you just did! OK. He would never think of driving a car like the one you do! Great. He would never wear a jacket like yours! Fascinating. Listen, we guys want to go out to dinner to get know you better, not the loser you broke up with two months ago. The more you talk about him, the more we’ll think that we’ve got “rebound” stamped on our forehead. And here’s a weird little guy trait you might not know: Trash the dude too much, and we might start to mentally take his side. Nobody could be that bad, we’ll think. You’re just being too critical, we’ll think. And worse, we’ll wonder if are you going to be this harsh on us! Because if so, what the heck are we doing splitting dessert with you? Why aren’t we out having fun like that dude who escaped before you henpecked him to death?

2. Asking too many finance-based questions about our job
It’s one thing to take an interest in what we do, but save the “Does your company give you stock options?” questions for a little further down the road. Like after you get engaged.

3. Not eating anything
My buddy Colin put it best when he said, “I have no desire to date Gandhi.” Going on a one-night-only hunger strike is just silly. It makes us feel like slobs when we’re plowing through a steak and you’re
Drop the overly polite act, and give us a peek into what’s going on in your brain.
picking through a mixed green salad with the dressing on the side. Plus, they say that if you want to know how a person will be in bed, watch the way they eat. If you show no signs of enjoying sinful indulgences at the dinner table, it doesn’t exactly get a guy’s heart racing to imagine what’s to come a few dates from now.

4. Picking really expensive restaurants
On a birthday, sure, we can totally blow a paycheck on dinner. But on the first date? Not so much. Using men to take an unpaid tour of the Zagat’s guide is right up there with “running over my dog” as one of the suckiest first date misdeeds a woman can commit.

5. Acting like we’re boyfriend and girlfriend too fast
Guys get just as excited as you when they meet someone cool and fun who doesn’t appear to have any weird quirks like, say, being on the run from the law. But definitely leave him wanting more. Get too clingy too fast, and you’ll scare him off in a hurry. Nothing screams “psycho girlfriend” like giving him a cutesy nickname 15 minutes into your first date.

6. Whining about how hard it is to meet people these days
“When a girl is going on and on about how hard it is ‘out there’ in the dating world, I can’t help but think, What’s wrong with this person that no one wants to be with her?” says my cousin James. Plus, it doesn’t exactly make a guy feel special if he knows he’s number 11 in the line of guys you dated that month.

7. Using us like a therapist
One of the great things about being in a long-term relationship is having someone to talk to when you’re down, a shoulder to lean on when you’re stressed out of your mind. But save discussions of unresolved issues with your mother for a little further along then minute 12 of your first dinner date. You want to leave him thinking, “Man, that girl was a blast!” and not, “Man, that girl was a drag!” First dates are all about having fun, right?

8. Acting flirty with other guys at the bar or, worse, with our friends
As I said, First dates are all about having fun… But not too much fun. There’s a fine line between being outgoing and being on the prowl for anything that moves.

9. Not having an opinion
Would you like to go see a movie or go for drinks? It’s up to you. Do you like Italian food? Whatever you want to eat. One of the major goals of a first date is to find out if two people are compatible. We want to find out what you like, what you think. So drop the overly polite act, and give us a peek into what’s going on in your brain. Now we’re not asking you to turn into Bill O’Reilly, but please, give us an opinion! How can we enjoy our rigatoni special if we’re afraid that you actually hate garlic and are allergic to red wine?

10. Acting too motherly
Oedipus dated his mother, and we all know how that turned out. Never mind the first date, keep the “You need a haircut” and “Button up your jacket” comments in check for the first year!


Dan Bova is the editor-in-chief of Stuff magazine.

Want to know the other side of the story? Click here to read about guys’ first-date fumbles.

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