It’s natural to make some dating faux pas but some mistakes are less forvigeable than others. Men’s Health speaks with a panel of women to find out what instant date turn-offs will automatically cross you off her little black book.
Avoid these deal-breakers and maybe, just maybe, you’ll stand another chance.
1. Just as you won’t be late for a work meeting, be punctual for your date.
After all the hard work you put in to set this up, being late signals to her that you’re ill-disciplined and you don’t care enough about her. Isn’t that a fun first impression to make?
You don’t have to be an eager beaver and turn up an hour early; at least 10 or 15 minutes should be fine. Take the time to freshen up and perform last-minute grooming checks to see nothing’s stuck in your teeth or if there’s a stray booger. You can even recce the area for shops or things that may interest her.
2. If you do end up being late, at least tell her in advance why.
Like there’s a major traffic jam somewhere, the NorthEast Line stopped in the tunnels again or you had to rescue your neighbour’s cat.
As stylist Fazillah Abdul Gaffa puts it, “I don’t mind if you turn up a couple of minutes late for a date, just drop me a text to let me know. I don’t want to be waiting 20 min in the humidity bubble that is this island and end up looking like a drenched rat.”
3. For guys, preparing for a date means a shower, a shave and a dash of deodorant.
For women, getting ready for a date could entail a new haircut, waxing, buying a new dress, manicures, pedicures…it’s a week-long affair that may involve her entire network of BFFs.
Obviously, she will not be happy when she turns up looking like a million bucks and you look like Phua Chu Kang on an off-day. Fazillah says, “I don’t need you to look like 007 when you come and meet me, but please don’t also come sauntering looking like you’ve just returned from Survivor: Fiji – and lost.”
4. Wearing inappropriate clothes is a big no-no.
Marketing manager, Xin Hui, complains, “For example, he wears a nice polo tee and jeans but he’s popped the collar and paired it with flip-flops. Do guys think they can pull off Havaianas with everything?”
If you’re concerned about being under-dressed, a crisp pressed shirt should be a fail-safe option, and you can even pair it with jeans if you don’t want to be overly formal. (Related: Underdressed For An Event? These Style Tricks Will Save You)
5. Meeting her after work? Keep a grooming kit handy in the office.
Here’s 6 products to keep in your drawer—or, at least, a deodorant and a refreshing face wash to erase the day’s tension off your face.
Don’t forget the breath check and keep some mint handy with you at all times.
6. Women love guys who are in control.
Anisa says, “There’s nothing sexier than being with a man who knows how to be in charge.” Be prepared with a mental plan for the night so she knows that you’ve planned some thought into the evening’s itinerary, even if she suggests a different activity.
Angela Lau, account manager, laments, “I hate it when guys don’t know what or where to go for dinner and goes ‘anything you want, I’m fine,’ or they try hard to please or agree with whatever I say.”
Studies concur. According to Paul Eastwick, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Texas A&M University: “If you agree with everything she says, you come across as submissive and weak. You’re not her best friend yet; you’re still trying to establish yourself as someone unique and interesting.”
7. Unless you possess the charm of Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, try to keep a lid on how wonderful you are.
A date is meant for two-way conversation so the both of you can discover more about each other’s interests.
Leave your personal elevator pitch for the recruiters. She doesn’t really want to hear about how fast you’ve risen up the corporate ladder or how fat your bank account is (unless she’s the sort of company you pay by the hour).
As writer Lisa Twang shares, “I hate it when guys brag about their high-flying careers, that doesn’t make you interesting! I’d rather a guy be genuine and talk about his dog than try to impress the socks off me.”
Eastwick’s research shows that both men and women agree that 60:40 is the ideal conversation split on a date. That means you speak about the other person 60 per cent of the time and spend the remaining 40 per cent on yourself.
8. That 40 per cent should not include your sex life.
Jo-Ann Huang, corporate communications manager, says, “Bragging about sexual prowess makes me roll my eyes, no doubt. And don’t talk about your ex-girlfriends.”
Anisa Hassan, managing director of It’s Just Lunch Asia, advises, “There’s no need to impress her with your achievements on a first date. Find common interests on a first date and this way, you can mentally make plans to meet her again based on the information you have gathered.”
9. Tempted to check your Instagram feed? Can’t stay away from reading emails? Not tonight, dude.
Lili Tan, an online producer, feels it’s rude to be surfing on the phone during the date. “Hello? Am I boring you?”.
Don’t make her feel as if you’re not interested by her company.
10. If you must check your phone, do it discretely.
Either when she’s touching up in the ladies (because she may be doing the same) or if you’re expecting an important message, tell her that you really need to reply to that text or take the call. She has to be the centre of your world, at least for that couple of hours if things don’t work out.
11. Another common mistake is letting your eyes wander.
While she’s fine with you noticing other attractive women (she does it too), staring is frowned upon. As Fazillah says, “While I may get a little jealous, I really like checking out other women too. That’s just how we’re made.” It’s okay to point out a pretty girl once in a while but don’t go, “Check out the rack on that one”.