First dates are awkward by nature. And while that can be nerve-wracking, a lot of your anxiety is self-inflicted. You don’t necessarily need to be dressed to the nines, you can leave the flowers at home and, no, you don’t need to order the most expensive menu item at the Michelin-starred restaurant you picked out.

Most first dates cost less than $50, according to Coffee Meets Bagel. And you should really just be trying to get two things out of one: a strong enough vibe that you connect, and clarity that you are physically attracted enough to move beyond the friend zone. Oh and probably also a kiss.

That being said, you’ve also got to not shoot yourself in the foot right off the bat by making a buzz-killing blunder. We asked 15 women for their biggest first date turnoffs. Avoid the following and you just might be ready for Round 2…

1. Kendal, 25: “When they never shut up about themselves and forget to ask anything about me.”

2. Taryn, 26: “I don’t like when dudes are too touchy off the bat. You need to feel it out first before you dive right in with the hand on the knee.”

3. Grace, 28: “If they wear something weird—like one time I went out to dinner with a dude who showed up to a decent restaurant in a Star Wars tee-shirt.”

4. Kate, 25: “I hate when they expect me to pay the bill if they’d asked me out. I don’t mind splitting it, usually, but if you asked me out, ordered for me and insisted we have another round, you shouldn’t expect me to pay all of that, too.”

5. Emily, 30: “Put the phone back in your pocket.”

6. Laura, 24: “If you get there before me, text me and ask me for my drink order.”

7. Carrie, 27: “I went on a first date with a guy last week and, when I showed up, he was there with friends. I thought I was meeting him for a drink, but I was actually meeting him and his friends who were already out for a drink…”

8. AnnaMarie, 25: “Don’t ask me out, be super indecisive, give up and then ask me what I feel like doing. Have a plan if you ask me out.”

9. Alyssa, 25: “I hate when guys pick a super loud bar where you can’t hear, or the movies where you can’t talk. Pick a place where we can actually get to know each other.”

10. Kelly, 23: “No, I don’t want to split a dish. I want my own food, and keep your fork off my plate.”

11. Tessa, 27: “If things are going well and they don’t kiss me, it’s confusing. You need to test drive the car before you buy it, so kiss me, goddamnit. If it’s a good kiss, it’ll seal the deal. If it’s an atrocious, unfixable kiss, we don’t have to waste any more of our time.”

12. Sara, 26: “Please have some understanding of social cues. I can’t stand when I’m out with a guy in a quieter spot and everyone around us can hear our entire conversation because he’s talking so loudly. It puts even more pressure on things when everyone else knows we’re on a first date, too.”

13. Josie, 25: “Being rude to the staff at a bar or restaurant is such a turn off.”

14. Sydney, 25: “Don’t be late.”

15. Lanie, 28: “It’s not fun to walk around to a million places before we can find a table somewhere. Make a reservation.”


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