Check Out Other Women
The easiest way to get water thrown in your face is to get caught checking out another woman. Hey, we get it, it can be hard to tame your wandering eye (thousands of years of evolution and all that) but for the sake of the possibility of future dates, limit your field of vision to her face, the menu, and your server.
You can even turn this to your advantage. Do you think your date doesn’t notice the knockout in the skimpy dress bending over to adjust her shoes? She does, and she’ll be looking extra hard at you to determine how you handle it. Keep your eyes on the prize and you’ll score major points.
Prematurely Use Terms Of Endearment
Nicknames, pet names and other terms of endearment are great. They help you develop intimacy and give your relationship character. They’re also sickening to other people and will scare off women faster than a visible cold sore if they’re used too early in a relationship.
Look, we’ve all dropped a “babe” or “pookie” or “shnookums” before, even if we wouldn’t be caught dead admitting it to our best buds. But do you want to be that guy who made “pookie” meaningless by dropping it too early in the relationship, thereby cheapening its meaning? I didn’t think so.
Spend Time On Your Phone
Smartphones are incredible, aren’t they? In fact, they can be more interesting than the majority of your dates, and yet, from the time you pick her up to the time you say goodnight (or good morning), keep your phone in your pocket, on silent. It’s just plain-ol’ being polite, and even a bad date can be salvaged if she goes around spreading the good word about what a good listener you are and how polite you were.
Talk About Your Ex
The very fact that this rule needs to exist, that some bozo needs to be reminded of what is painfully obvious to anyone else, makes us wish we could reach out of this page and slap you. Nobody wants to be reminded of your romantic past or held up for comparison to your previous lovers. Keep that information to yourself, unless you want to hear about how wealthy or how “well-endowed” her last boyfriend was. Fair is fair, right?
Make Crude Jokes
I love crude jokes, and so do many women. Sarah Silverman makes more men blush than erectile dysfunction. But the first date is for getting a feel for the other person’s sensibilities, discovering what they like and don’t like, and how much of that you have in common.
The right way to do this is to begin slowly, making light jokes and getting a sense for her character. Eventually you’ll know if she’s the right audience for your latest joke about Catholic priests. The wrong way to figure this out is to begin with the joke and test her reaction. Best-case scenario? You get lucky and get a laugh out of her. Worst-case scenario? You offend her by mocking something she holds dear, and end up with a slap to the face and an empty seat across from you in the restaurant.
Have Bad Manners
You may not have to stand when she enters the room or put your coat on a puddle of water to prevent her feet from getting wet, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with chewing with your mouth open and treating her to the sight of your half-masticated food. Or letting a door slam in her face. Or interrupting her. (don’t interrupt her.)
Basic manners are a must, because any breach of them will get you booted from future romance. Act like someone she can take home to her parents and she might just do that; act like a slob and you’re going to find yourself with no one to interrupt.
Talk About Money
This is a no-win scenario: Either you’ve got lots of money, in which case talking about it will make you look arrogant, or you’re penniless, and talking about it will make you look pathetic. Worse still, consider what message you’re sending. If you spend all dinner talking about your new Audi and your robust stock portfolio and the girl manages to stay awake, and even seems interested, is she picturing herself with you or with your money? Whatever your financial situation, it’s not something you should be sharing on a first date.
Compare these two openers: “Hey, we should grab a coffee some time” vs. “Hey, would you possibly want to grab coffee with me, or maybe dinner? We could even see a movie.”
In the first, you’re basically asking her on a date, albeit phrased in a way that makes it seem like a foregone conclusion. This is good, because it projects confidence, and it gives her only one thing to wonder: Do I or do I not want to date this guy?
The second question, on the other hand, not only puts her in the position of wondering whether or not she wants to go out with you, but forces her to consider the venue, too. This is bad: Now you’re burdening her with irrelevant extras and, worse, making yourself look indecisive. Stick to one point. If she’d rather do dinner than coffee, she’ll let you know.
Correct Her On Little Things
Nobody likes a know-it-all, and, in general, if your behavior is something that would upset a male friend, it will upset your date at least twice as much. It’s a good thing to project confidence and intelligence, but if the only way you can do this is at her expense, you’re going to make her feel bad, and she will associate those bad feelings with you and with the date.
Keep things light and playful; your goal should be to make her smile and show her a good time, not improve her grammar or knowledge of basic geography.
Be Too Confident
There’s confidence, and then there’s arrogance. The former is attractive to women. It makes you seem at ease with who you are and what you represent. The latter is a Band-Aid covering up insecurity and is about as transparent as cellophane. The chest-thumping swagger of a frat boy might get you laid in college, but on a real first date, it will make you look childish and uncomfortable with yourself.