How Not to Ruin a Date: Eight Tips

Categories: First Look, Rants
flickr: coreyu
"Table for two, please!"

It's finally happened, you got a date with the cutie you've been dreaming about for months. You made dinner reservations at a nice restaurant, in hopes to woo your date. Now's your chance to not to blow it.

If you have a history of never securing a second date, you may want to check out our tips after the jump to help ease you through your dinner. Follow these simple guidelines and romance may come your way.

8. Sports Fanatic Fail

Instead of engaging in a steady conversation with your date, you interrupt the flow by saying, "I have to keep my eye on the score." Then you proceed to check the Miami Heat score on your smartphone every two minutes. Yeah, that's not going to get you to date number two, buddy. Forget about scoring the heart of the person sitting across from you.

7. Don't Get Sloppy Drunk

Having five martinis before the appetizer arrives to the table is a sure-fire way to blow it. There is nothing sexy about a lush who slurs his speech while slurping on soup and then having to take a bathroom break every 20 minutes. If you can't stay sober throughout dinner, you may want to go on a date with AA before trying again.

6. "You Remind Me"

Usher once sang about breaking up with a girl because she reminded him of a girl he once knew. This made for a great song for Usher. But during dinner, never, ever talk about your ex on a date in any way, shape, or form. Or worse, saying "You remind me of my ex" will not warrant a following date but a bitch slap to the face. Leave talks of your lame ex to your friends and family, and most likely they are sick of hearing about it too.

5. Snap! Snap!

The server is not your servant, so don't treat him like one. Showing rudeness to the wait staff while out and about says a lot about one's character. It's called douchebaggery. On the other hand, treat your server with respect, but don't go overboard with the niceties and come off like you are flirting. Avoid saying things like "Baby" and "Hot stuff" toward the wait staff. Then you are being rude to your date, and no one wants to compete for your attention. Keep your eyes and sweet compliments reserved for your date. If you can't do this, you are a douche.

4. Dress to impress

First impressions mean a lot, especially on a first date. If you show up to dinner dressed like Kurt Cobain's biggest fan with dirty fingernails, scruffy shoes, and wrinkled clothing with holes in it, topped off with a greasy bed-head hairstyle, your overall appearance screams to your date, "I don't give a damn, man." Leave the grunge where it belongs -- in the '90s. If the thought of looking polished gives you the hives, consider moving to Portland, Oregon. But outside of there, take the time to clean up and look nicely put together. This is South Florida, after all.

3. Your date is not your roommate

Women have come a long way. But it is still silently expected that the man pays the bill on a date. Call it unfair, sexist, old-fashioned, whatever. If you are the dude and asked the lady out to dinner, pick up the tab. In the case of same-sex couples, follow this rule: Whoever did the asking out pays for the dinner. Don't say, "Want to split the check?" Yeah, you can split the bills with your roommate, but when it comes to romance, show some generosity/chivalry. And if you are the recipient, don't order the most expensive thing on the menu if you know your date isn't banking it. Show some consideration to his wallet by ordering a reasonably priced entrée. No one wants a gold digger.

2. Mind your manners.

This should be obvious, but for some, it's not. While you are cleaning off your plate, if you do any belching, talking with your mouth full, or sneezing on your date's food, you may need to reconsider dining out. If your table manners resemble that of a barnyard animal (oink oink), you may want to take a course in etiquette, because you are not going to get a second date, ever.

Susan NYC.jpg
flickr: Susan NYC
"These shakers remind me of a guy I once...."

1. Mister TMI

The basis of dating is a chance to get to know someone better. It's great that you found someone to join you for a meal and you want to tell them everything about yourself. But revealing too much too soon could scare off your date -- for good. Some topics to avoid: as mentioned, the ex, life stresses, and health problems. No one wants to hear about your bipolar disorder, "Oh, crap, I forgot my meds!" And nothing kills romance faster than the sound of a whiny voice. The moment you complain about work life, financial problems, the sloppy roommate, and how much your dog hates you, don't be surprised that your date runs away from you. The same goes for making sexual references too soon. Don't share any info about how you are "like a machine" or have a penchant for foot-fetish videos. OK, weirdo. Keep the conversation light, and stick to neutral, less personal topics for at least the first three dates.

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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