First Date Mistakes To Avoid To Make The Right Impression

Dating experience | | , Journalist & Editor
Updated On: December 28, 2023
first date mistakes

A lot has been said and written about things one should do on a first date, but have you ever been told what you should steer clear of when meeting a potential romantic interest for the first time? First date mistakes could cost you dearly.

You may have really liked the person you went out with but they ended up ghosting you. Now, you may be racking your brains over what went wrong. Well, you may have unwittingly driven them away without even realizing how.

Your first date might be a blind one. Or one set up via Tinder or even some other social media platform. You meet, you hang out, perhaps grab a bite together and you talk. At the end of it all comes the crucial part of deciding whether you want to take this forward. This is exactly why the impressions made on a first date matter.

The red flags that you notice on a first date could be deal-breakers. But if a person can keep these first date tips in mind, he/she can surely look forward to a second date. What not to do on a first date is equally important as the list of to-do’s. One wrong move and you could really mess it up,

If you keep going on first dates that never turn into a second or a third, you might be doing something wrong or off-putting. It is time you analyzed your first date behavior to understand where you are going wrong. Fret not! We are here to give you a list of things not to do on a first date to make a strong and lasting first date impression.

15 Things You Should Never Do On A First Date

A first date evokes excitement, apprehensions and nervousness in most people. That’s because the pressure to get it right looms like a heavyweight on your chest. After all, it’s the first chance of getting to know a person you’re attracted to.

Being open and talking about yourself is great as long as you are not being exposed as a narcissist or a self-absorbed individual. At the same time, you need to focus on the other person and getting to know them too. It’s a tentative playground of wooing skills and the way you come across on a first date can make or break your prospects with a potential partner.

So, keep in mind these 15 first date tips to make sure you don’t make a bad impression:

1. Arrive on time

This is an extremely important first date rule. You simply can’t afford to be late. Imagine this; you have decided on a place and time with this person like a hundred times already. You two like each other and are anxious to meet.

Then, that person arrives extremely late and gives a lame excuse for their lackadaisical behavior. How would you feel? Well, your date would feel the same way too. It shows slack and lack of interest and can put off your date.

Moreover, your date might have something else planned for the rest of day or evening. If you are late, their other plans might get affected and then there surely won’t be any second date for you. Being late is a first date mistake that can leave the wrong impression of you on your date.

There is an acceptable waiting window – fifteen minutes, maybe five more if it was an important meeting you are coming from. If there’s an emergency, make sure to update your date. Don’t just leave them waiting alone. That’s just rude and the worst among what not to do on a first date.

Related Reading: Mistakes Men Should Avoid When On A Date

2. Do not scratch different body parts

The first date do’s and don’ts are not limited to how you treat the other person. It is also how you behave and what your body language is like. Scratching your hand or neck (once in a while) is one thing but don’t go doing that to your crotch. It is rude and your date would not want to see that at all. In any case, if you have a problem like this – go to the washroom and deal with the matter, away from your date’s sight.

Clean your hands and go back to your date. The same goes for biting your nails. Although it’s not as outlandish as crotch scratching, it is an irritant. Besides, it reflects nervousness. Even if you struggle with dating anxiety, your date doesn’t need to realize that so early on.

3. Do not be self-obsessed

Yes, talking about oneself comes easily to most people. When there are moments of awkward silences, telling your date more about yourself and your life can seem like the better alternative. However, if you only keep talking about yourself, it can leave your date feeling invisible and unheard. Don’t break into a monologue on how much you love surfing on the weekends or that you don’t believe in charity and think it is just a hoax. This not only makes you seem conceited, but the other person might get bored of you on the very first date.

You may have a great job, a swanky apartment, traveled the world, but you don’t have to put it all out there in one go. That would put off your date instead of making them interested. What not to do on a first date — don’t be a megalomaniac.

4. Do not be overdressed

Some people have the tendency to do that. Both men and women want to put their best foot forward on a first date. In that pursuit, they often end up overdoing their clothes, make-up, accessories, perfume, etc. Remember that you don’t want to end up looking like a mannequin in the shop window.

This is an important dating tip for the first date. If you are wondering what to wear on a first date, choose something that is comfortable, casual yet accentuates your body at the right places. Keep your makeup and accessories minimal. That mascara looks good on your fluttering eyelashes, but too much also creates ugly clumps. Remember that. Your first date first impression is riding on your physical appearance too.

5. Do not be giggly or silly

First date behavior requires you to exude a bit of confidence and charm. It is normal to be a bit nervous on your first date, which can translate into a tendency to smile more, laugh more and giggle more. Ever thought about how unnatural you look when you do that?

You should avoid that put-on laughter and the constant giggle on the first date. This is among the common first date mistakes people make — laughing or smiling too much, without realizing that it might come across as creepy or silly. You don’t want your date to think that you are being fake or trying too hard. So take it down a notch and be your normal self.

Related Reading: 7 Amazing First Date Ideas

6. Do not try to force a sense of humor you don’t have

Some people have an inherent sense of humor and your date would absolutely dig that. But, if you are the kind who believes that humor is a must because that’s what relationship advice articles say, then it is the cardinal first date mistake you are making.

If you don’t have a sense of humor, let it be. You don’t need to look up jokes on the internet and try to be funny. Nothing backfires worse than a joke that’s not funny. Save yourself and your date awkwardness by steering clear of jokes if humor isn’t your strong suit.

things not to do on a first date
Constantly sipping on water makes you look nervous and fidgety

7. Do not keep on drinking water

We are not asking you to die of thirst. However, first date do’s and don’ts include being mindful of how much you eat and drink, which also includes drinking too much water. It will just make you want to pee and the frequent trips to the washroom may send out the signal that you’re probably not having a good time and using it as an excuse to get away from your date. Plus, you can’t really talk to a person if all your attention is focused on bladder control.

And downing glasses of water might make you look fidgety and nervous. One of the simple, but important first date tips we have for you is to ration your water intake.

8. Do not hog on the food

One of the most vital what not to do on a first date tips we want to give you is this — whatever you do, do not eat like a glutton. I have heard people complaining that their date or some person at their table was stuffing food in their mouth as if it was their last meal and the only thing that mattered to them.

You may be a food lover, but that is not what you are there for, right? Enjoy the food, yes, but try to enjoy your date’s company more. Don’t eat like it’s your last meal.

9. Do not ask private or personal questions

Wondering what not to do on a first date? Well, personal questions are a definite no-go territory. Avoid that by all means. Understand what constitutes good first date questions and what are some topics that you shouldn’t broach. It is absolutely none of your business whether they are a virgin or how many girlfriends they have had.

Asking such questions reflects a blatant disregard for the other person’s privacy while displaying a poor sense of boundaries. So beware and don’t let curiosity get the better of you.

Related Reading: Dating Etiquette- 20 Things You Should Never Ignore On A First Date

10. Do not look down upon them

If your date orders pasta and you don’t like it, order something else instead. Don’t judge them or keep asking why they like pasta so much. It is sad, shallow and shows bad character. Even if they are wearing a bold color, don’t form an opinion on their fashion sense. While first date first impressions matter, do not make it the final impression of your date.

Try not to be judgmental about their choices, be it in food, music, movies or life. If something makes them happy, you have no business interfering with it.

11. Do not go on talking about your ex

One of the dating tips everyone should take note of is steering clear of the ex-factor on first dates. Your date is going to be so put off if you do this. Talk about your childhood, the cities you have visited, favorite television shows or movies — anything other than how amazing your ex was. (or how pathetic your ex was).

If you do keep talking about your ex, it’s only going to portray that you aren’t over them or that your past relationships are still affecting you in the present. And after that? No chance of a second date. No one wants to get into a complicated relationship. So, be careful and don’t go too far down memory lane.

12. Do not bring out a questionnaire

We know you want to ask a lot of things and it’s good to be ready with a few interesting questions to know your date better. But we know of people who have actually jotted down questions to ask on a first date and turned it into a full-blown quiz.

Put yourself in their shoes and see how you’d feel about that. Not too great, we bet. There’s your reason for why this should be avoided at all costs and is one of the things not to do on a first date.

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13. Do not ask how much they earn

You may be curious about your date’s pay package. After all, it would tell you a lot about the kind of life you can envisage with them if things go right. But don’t blurt it out on the first date. Asking how much they make in a year or what kind of money they come from is actually offensive.

It would say a lot about you though and not very complimentary. Any chances of a second date would actually go down the drain.

14. Do not keep asking for a second date

Don’t keep asking, “When are we meeting next?” It will make you come across as clingy and needy. Enjoy the first date while it is on. If things go great, your date will be the one to call or text you later and hint at the possibility of meeting again.

In case they don’t, you can always touch base later to make plans. Hold your horses on the first date.

Related Reading: 20 Valuable Tips For A First Date After Meeting Online

15. Do not avoid splitting the bill

Your gender notwithstanding, don’t expect the other party to pay the whole damn bill. You both wanted to meet, so it’s only fair that both parties pick up their share of the bill. It’s going to show that you are a woke, no-nonsense person. The best approach to who should pay on a first date is to split the bill. If they insist on paying the entire bill, that’s a different matter.

Armed with these first date tips, you can hopefully make a favorable impression on your crush/potential lover. Calm down, take deep breaths and go for it. First date do’s and don’ts are not to intimidate you but to help you have a good time and avoid making mistakes which blow off your chances at love. So go ahead and use this list to make a perfect first date impression.


1. Are there strict rules to follow on first dates?

Though there are no stringent rules, some basic etiquettes need to be maintained so that you can both have a good time. Be punctual, keep the phone away, be courteous to your date.

2. Can I kiss on a first date?

There’s no rule to say you can’t, but do it only if your date consents. A soft peck on the cheek is always a safer bet than a full-blown kiss if you are not 100% sure that the other person wants it too. Also, the kiss (if any) should come at the end of the date, definitely not as soon as you meet.

3. How long to wait after the first date?

Ideally, a person might take 2-3 days to think over your interactions on the first date and eventually decide if they want to take this forward. If either of you hinted at plans for a second meeting on the first date itself, then feel free to take it up, but only after a short wait.

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