What Not to Do on a First Date: 17 Date Destroyers

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When people ask what not to do on a date, I can’t give one answer for everyone because each date is different.

If this is a tinder date with the intention to hook up, you should have no problem talking about sexual stuff, being more romantic and even kissing!

On the other hand, if this is your first date and you’re in 8th grade, don’t even think about doing things like that!

That being said, take each “rule” with a pinch of salt and always calibrate to whatever is happening in the moment!

1. Not preparing for the date

If you don’t know how to prepare for a date, how can you expect to have a fun date? Preparation is everything and here are some examples of what you must avoid:

  1. Having yellow teeth
  2. Bad breath
  3. Showing up to the date too early
  4. Showing up to the date too late
  5. Not taking showers
  6. Wearing some old, smelly clothing
  7. Having your hair all over the place
  8. Wearing dirty clothing

All of this is common sense, but it’s good to have a list that you can always refer back to so you never miss a thing. And besides for all of these examples, make sure you’re in a good mood!

2. Being weird about paying for the date

Everyone wants to know “who pays for the date?” and “should the man pay for the date?”

So the answer is that men pay most of the time. That’s just the way it is…

By the way if you’re a guy and you can’t even afford to pay the 10 bucks for your little coffee date, maybe it’s time you start your own online business?

But never:

  1. Order a whole bunch of food and then demand your date pay for all of it
  2. Force a girl to accept your money when she wants to pay herself

It’s kinda simple, just don’t be weird about it.

3. Being too needy asking for the date

My first rule when it comes to asking a girl out is: don’t be needy. Being needy ruins all attraction and makes you seem like a creep.

Continuously trying to convince a girl to date you in desperation will freak her out and you will end up alone.

This is the exact reason why I wrote How YOU Can Stop Being Needy In 9 Little Known Ways. you cannot succeed in dating before you overcome this challenge.

Here’s a great online therapy that I highly recommend you try (it’s free of charge) because it’ll help you understand your neediness and what triggers it so that you can release your inner pain.

It’s based on CBT (Cognitive Behavior psychology). CBT therapy will help you to identify, challenge and overcome your dysfunctional thoughts, behaviors and emotions.

Try it out! Plus It’s 100% anonymous.

4. Going to the wrong places on your first date

This might be the most common thing people get wrong while dating: going to the wrong places.

It’s so simple, yet so many people trip up with bad dating ideas, so here’s a list of places you should avoid for a first date:

  1. Hiking in middle of the forest (way too frightening for any normal girl)
  2. Skydiving (you know why this isn’t a good idea!)
  3. Long dinner (too long and expensive)
  4. Movies (you don’t get a chance to talk)
  5. Bowling (boring and too competitive)
  6. Paintball (painful!)
  7. Rock climbing (too difficult)

And never forget that getting stuck in one venue can be just as bad as going to the wrong places. Don’t be afraid to visit different places on one date.

For more information read my posts titled Where to go on a Date: The Top 19 Places and 11+ Best Places to Go on a First Date.

5. Flirting with other people

Flirting with another person while you’re dating is never a good idea whether you’re a guy or a girl. It’ll make them feel jealous and it shows your insensitivity. For example,

  1. Complimenting
  2. Teasing
  3. Winking
  4. Being touchy

Side note: sometimes this can be used as a seduction technique to deliberately make them feel jealous so that they try harder to impress you. But I’d be careful with it because it can easily backfire.

example of what not to do on a date

6. Treating your date like an interview

Guys especially have this problem. Some guys just don’t know how to seem playful while dating.

And let me tell you from experience, being too formal and not relating to your partner is the fastest way to end a date before it’s time…

So avoid being too formal, don’t brag about yourself and instead focus on connecting to the girl you just asked out.

7. Over complimenting your date

When you approach a girl at the bar and you ask her out, you should absolutely give her a compliment. It’s a great way to create an instant emotional connection.

But when you start over complimenting a girl and you can’t stop talking about her Facebook picture, she feels absolutely creeped out. She feels like you are trying to buy her with flatter and that never works!

Additionally, weird compliments should always be avoided on a first date, for example:

  1. Your butt is looking good today
  2. Your hair looks as perfect as my mothers wig
  3. You’ve got albows like nothing else

You see what I mean? (Don’t ask me how I came up with these in the comments!)

8. Talking about exes

Once you start talking about how your partner is better, worse or just like your ex, you are making your partner feel very uncomfortable.

Your partner does not want to feel pressured to impress you and frankly probably doesn’t even care about your exes.

Bottom line: talking about exes is something you don’t bring up. Period.

9. What not to talk about on your first date

Here is a general list of topic that you should never talk about on a first date:

  1. Talking about other girls (do you have a sister?)
  2. Religion (will get too intense)
  3. Talking about your weird conspiracy theories (your partner doesn’t care)
  4. Talking about your weird talents
  5. Politics (again, will get too intense)
  6. Discussing kids (although as a joke it’s fine)

If you don’t know what to talk about on a date or you always end up having weird awkward conversations, read my post 14+ Things to Talk About On a First Date.

10. Talking too much about your past

I’m talking to guys here: first of all, girls don’t care about your past. If you think she cares, it’s because she’s just being nice, but she’s not actually that interested.

Second of all, telling her all of your childhood trauma stories is completely inappropriate for any date. As a general rule: leave any intense emotions or trauma out of dating, wait till you get married 🙂

Although if you have kids and you’ve been through a messy divorce, it would be weird if you didn’t bring it up at least once, so don’t be afraid to mention it, just don’t let it take over your date.

11. Not having what to talk about on the date

Anyone who’s ever said “silence is golden” has never been on a date. Not having what to talk about on a date is not good and it all starts from a lack of confidence.

Think about it, have you ever seen anyone with a high self-esteem that has trouble starting conversations? Probably never.

You should absolutely do whatever works to improve your confidence, but from all my years of experience helping out 100’s of guys, I’d recommend you get one specific course:

The Collection of Confidence by Hypnotica.

This is the one course that has quite literally saved the lives of many of my close friends and I doesn’t even matter if you have social anxiety that makes you sleep all day because this course will get you laid faster than you could ever imagine.

It’s about building your confidence until girls find you irresistible and by the way, after finishing this course, every little moment of silence on your dates won’t be awkward anymore!

12. Not being polite

For the guys out there I sympathize with you, eating chicken with your hands is the only way to eat chicken, but on a first date, try to be a little more polite.

Here a list of things you should not do:

  1. Ordering messy food
  2. Eating like a slob
  3. Eating too quickly
  4. Being rude the waiter
  5. Eating too much
  6. Getting drunk
  7. Nail biting
  8. Farting
  9. Burping
  10. Cursing
  11. Eating with your hands
  12. Picking your ears
  13. Eating with your mouth open
  14. Spitting

Some of these things are fine for later dates when you already know your partner, but they are definitely a no-go on a first date.

13. Not caring about your partner

If you don’t show interest in your partner during the first date, it’s gonna be impossible to get a second date. Here are some things to avoid:

  1. Being on your phone all the time
  2. Teasing her about the way she’s eating
  3. Making fun of her for the food she ordered
  4. Being too aggressive and argumentative
  5. Not listening
  6. Always talking too much

Just be a good human and you’ll do fine!

14. Never kiss at the wrong time

It’s totally fine to kiss a girl on your first date with her as long as you see the signs that she wants a kiss. But a badly timed kiss can ruin a first date like nothing else.

You also want to avoid getting too intimate and touchy before your partner is ready. Take your time! There’s no reason to rush.

If you want more informations about kissing girls on the first date, read my post titled How to KISS a Girl on The First Date In 8 Irresistible Ways

15. Asking for a second date on your first date

This one is not so clear cut because it really depends on how your date is going.

If you are having an awesome time, you can tell that she’s having fun too and even flirts with you a little, then there’s no problem asking for a second date on your first date.

On the other hand, if you’re having a mediocre time and you aren’t seeing clear signs that she’s attracted to you, don’t bring up the second date. Instead give her a day or two to think about it and then ask her for a second date.

16. Dragging the date on too long

This is something guys that don’t have confidence do: they drag on the date forever and don’t know how to end it which ruins most of their dates.

It’s actually quite simple: once you feel the conversation is dying down, tell her that you have things to do and wish her good night.

Bottom line: there is no excuse for a 3 hour long first date.

17. Confessing your feelings on the first date

It’s your first date, take it easy! Dating is supposed to be lighthearted, especially a first date! Confessing your feelings is a no-go. Here are some examples:

  1. Telling her how much you love her
  2. Talking about getting married
  3. Buying too many things for her
  4. Talking about how you are ready to move in
  5. Kissing before you even get to know her
  6. Trying to get a selfie

You get what I’m saying…


I’ve messed up so many times while dating! You’d be surprised, but many of the things that I’m telling you not to do, I’ve done too many times!

But that’s OK because at the end of the day the only way we ever really get better is with experience and learning what doesn’t work.

So I encourage you to keep dating and when you mess up, don’t beat yourself up. Just realize that it’s part of the process and keep improving!

Your friend,

Colt Smith

  • what a cool article, man, I’ve done too many of these things things, but now I can date better because of all my bad experiences and reading guides like this, so thanks!

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    About the author 

    Coach Colt here, the founder of Dating Armory, your go-to source for no-nonsense, practical relationship advice. I'm a bisexual male in a same-sex open relationship and a researcher in sex, love, and relationships with 7+ years of experience. I specialize in helping both men and women navigate the crazy world of dating.

    Don't miss my other guides packed with practical dating advice (no bullshit repeated Platitudes) and tons of real life examples:

    My Top 57 First Date Ideas That Always Work (As a Dating Coach)

    100 Flirty [And Cute] Questions To Ask Your Boyfriend

    55 Tried-and-True Steps to Get a Girlfriend at Middle, High School and College

    How You Can Get a Gay Boyfriend: 25 Tips That Work