10 Things Men Shouldn’t do on a First Date

10 Things Men Shouldn’t do on a First Date

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Article updated: April 26, 2023

How often have you heard women say:

“Men are pigs.”

“He just wants to bang.”

“Men are all the same.”

“He’s just trying to hit it and quit it.”

“Men only want one thing.”

“Are there any real men left?”

It’s no mystery that us guys get a bad rap. That’s especially true when it comes to dating.

As hard as we may try, it often feels like the odds are stacked against us.

Even if you are lucky enough to have a woman agree to go out with you, there’s a lot that can go wrong on a first date – meaning the margin for error is thin.

If your goal is to impress a lady or maybe you are just trying to bang, you need to put your best foot forward and learn how to date like a champ. Or at least learn how to avoid fucking shit up.

Okay, so you got yourself a date with a sexy little thing and you want to know one of two things:

1. How do I impress her and earn a second date?


2. How do I get laid tonight?

The answer to both questions is essentially the same and it all starts with how you navigate the first date. Or to be more specific: The 10 things you absolutely shouldn’t do.

Man signaling stop with his hands

Don’t Be Pathetic

Whatever your intentions might be for your date, coming off as pathetic is a surefire way of fucking it up.

Okay, don’t be pathetic.

Got it.

But what does that mean exactly?

Women are attracted to men that exude confidence, passion, and positivity. What they definitely don’t want to see – especially on a first date – is someone who’s depressed, regretful, or clearly at a rough patch in their life.

That means:

Don’t talk about past relationships.

Don’t mention money problems.

Don’t talk about dating problems.

Don’t tell her you have no life.

Don’t discuss your lack of friends.

And don’t tell her you cry yourself to sleep most nights – even if it’s true.

And if you are currently at a shitty place in your life – it happens – remember it’s important to radiate positivity and prosperity if you intend to entice your potential suitress.

Stop Trying To Impress

I get it – you want to make a good first impression.

But if you’re constantly trying to impress, your date will get the feeling that you’re shallow, insincere, and fake.

Allow the conversation to flow naturally and let your finer qualities come to light organically. Your date will be far more impressed with your: Great job, awesome car, six pack abs, and giant dong if she discovers it through natural interaction than if you’re awkwardly forcing it into the conversation.

Don’t Focus on Yourself

Man looking at himself in the mirror

This is a common mistake. Nobody likes interacting with someone that only talks about themselves and their interests. It’s no different on a first date. Yes, your date wants to learn about you but it’s important to diversify the conversation.

Express interest in her by shifting conversation away from yourself and asking her questions. If she’s worth the effort she’ll naturally return the favor and express interest in you.

The dialogue needs to be back and forth. If you notice that you’ve been dominating the conversation for a long period of time, stop talking, and ask for her opinion or take on the subject.

Don’t Be a Douchebag

I’m not saying you’re a douchebag – although I theoretically can’t rule out the possibility – what I am saying is you shouldn’t behave or dress like a douchebag on the first date.

Have you ever been mislabeled as someone you’re not based on something you were wearing or doing?

Although I’m sure you’re not a douchebag; first date nerves, jitters, and a desire to look your best might cause you to make ill advised behavioral and stylistic choices that could be perceived as “douchey.”

Everyone’s heard the phrase: don’t judge a book by its cover. But since most people love to judge others that adage is conveniently ignored. On a first date expect to be judged and judged fastidiously.

When it comes time to fine tune your ensemble avoid these trademark douchebag looks:

  • A popped collar
  • Sunglasses at night or indoors
  • Leaving 3 or more shirt buttons undone
  • Spiked hair
  • A tank top

Being a douche doesn’t end with physical appearances though. You know how to avoid looking the part, here’s how to avoid acting the part:

  • Be considerate. Douchebags are notoriously self centered so don’t forget to open doors, hold doors, and pull out chairs. Basically all that cliche, cheesy crap you probably wouldn’t want your friends to see you doing.
  • Compliment her. Douchebags tend to be hung up on their own appearance so be sure to let your date know that you think she looks great.
  • Be kind to others. Typical douchebags are arrogant, ignorant, and generally unpleasant towards others. Be friendly to your server, bartender, or anyone else you interact with while out. Your date will place stock in how well you play with others.

Avoid Controversial Topics

This is a tricky one. Discussing controversial topics like religion and politics is an important aspect of getting to know someone, but my suggestion is to keep it out of first date conversation – especially if you’re an open minded individual and don’t mind dating someone with differing beliefs.

Controversy and disagreement are toxic to a first date’s mood, especially when it’s someone you don’t really know. Once you let anger and animosity penetrate the conversation it’s unlikely you’ll be able to turn the date around.

On the flip side, if you’re someone with with strong, unwavering political or religious views that have the potential to make or break a relationship, I actually am open to the idea of bringing it up respectfully in first date conversation. In my opinion it’s better to discover irreconcilable differences on the first date than on the 2nd or 3rd…

Don’t Be Negative

Don’t be this guy.

Nobody likes this guy.

This guy doesn’t even like himself.

It’s important to maintain a positive vibe during first date interactions. Not just towards your date but anyone you interact with.

Servers and bartenders have feelings too. If a mistake was made or you just don’t like the food, kindly and respectfully let them know. Or better yet, let it slide and eat the food anyway. Be a man for crying out loud.

Your date will notice how well you play with others and it’s important to project a positive, friendly persona if your goal is to earn a second date or if you intend to score later in the night.

Don’t Be Weird

Man being weird with date looking annoyed

So you got yourself a date and you’re completely nervous. I get it. That’s totally normal.

Just try to remember that nerves make us do strange things. Things under normal circumstances we would probably never do. No matter how nervous you get it’s important to maintain a level head and keep these things in mind:

Don’t be a fucking weirdo.

Is that too vague?

Okay, let me clarify. Be normal.

Still confused?

Basically you need to behave like a respectable human being – even if you aren’t. Your mannerisms should gravitate towards the side of “normal person” and less to the side of “possible serial killer.”

Maintain a healthy amount of eye contact but don’t overdue it. It’s okay to blink. Also don’t be afraid to break gaze first.

Avoid topics that are odd for first date conversation such as: marriage, children, and meeting your parents.

Also don’t get too personal with your questions. This includes any of the following and variations thereof:

  • “What’s your bra size?”
  • “What are you like in bed?”
  • “What kind of underwear do you wear?”
  • “Have you ever been in a threesome?”
  • “Would you ever consider dating a guy with a micro penis?”

Even if there is a slew of these questions rattling around in your head – there will be – you need to practice restraint and refrain from expelling them from your mouth.

Don’t Be Offensive

I’m not just talking about natural bodily functions here. I’m referring to offensive language and behavior.

Be sure to keep the conversation light. Refrain from saying socially unacceptable things that are racial, insulting, or demeaning in nature – even within a joking context. The fact is you might not know everything about your date’s background or what she considers funny or appropriate.

Back in my younger days I was out with a female and stupidly made a joke using the word retard. I immediately sensed disapproval from my date even though she didn’t make any particular comment. It wasn’t until days later that I discovered she had a sibling with downs syndrome. She never responded to my inquiry for a second date.

Don’t Look Like a Slob

Man lifting weights above his head

So this one is fairly obvious but you’d be surprised how often women have this complaint.

Let me make one thing clear. You don’t have to show up looking like James Bond but it’s important your appearance shows that you put thought and effort into your ensemble. Because I can guarantee you this: Your date most definitely did.

Women are detail oriented. If you think she won’t notice the hole in your shirt or stain on your jeans – guess again pal. If it’s dirty, stained, wrinkled, or just plain raggedy – don’t wear it.

Equally as important as clothes – maybe even more so – is your footwear. A recent survey by Allen Edmonds indicates that women are more than twice as likely as men to say shoes reflect their date’s overall fashion sense.

Avoid footwear that is dirty, stained, or just plain beat to hell. This includes: work boots/shoes, gym sneakers, daily kickers, and any footwear in your repertoire that looks like they double as your dog’s chew toy.

Don’t Be a Liar

If you’re looking for a second date or more tell the truth on the first one. I’m not saying you need to divulge your deepest, darkest secrets, but if you’re asked a direct question, answer it with honesty and integrity.

If you have to lie about your job, age, personal life, or history, she’s probably not the right one for you. Sure a lie might get you another date but you’re just delaying the inevitable, and I personally don’t condone wasting time.

Remember woman typically don’t think highly of liars. A discovered lie might spell doom for a budding relationship, which would be unfortunate considering the lie might never have been necessary to begin with.

In summary, if you’re looking for first date success:

Don’t be an ass.

Do be a respectable human being.

A first date can be a nerve wracking experience with potholes and pitfalls galore. If you read this article and only manage to retain one tidbit of information let it be this: Simply try to be the best version of yourself you can be.

If you do that and she still flat out rejects you? Give her the double bird and call it a night.

Got a funny or weird first date story? Share it in the comments below.