Common sense dictates that anything someone is comfortable doing on a first date, they’ll be comfortable with doing on any other date after that. There are few, if any, one-offs on a first date. That isn’t to say date number two can’t be better, but the first impression sets a precedent and people often look back after a relationship has crashed and burned to realize the warnings signs were there from the get-go.
So come, take a seat, and let’s gaze into my Sugar-crystal ball and see what each of these first-date faux pas spell for the future of an arrangement.
- He’s late
Off to a rough start, are we? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but his eventual relationship with you will likely be low on his list of priorities. That might mean he’s a busy man and just looking to have light, casual fun, or it might mean he thinks his money can compensate for his lack of basic manners and common decency. Alternately, his life in general might be a huge mess and you’re about to dive head first into the chaos.
- He called to let you know he’d be late—before he had to be there, rather than after the fact.
- He offers a tangible apology for his lateness like flowers, an impromptu shopping trip after dinner, or a gift card that’s already in your inbox by the time you get home.
- He has one of those jobs where if he told you, he’d have to kill you.
- He orders your food for you
This is an old school move and likely means he has some antiquated ideas about gender roles. He may think of himself as an ‘alpha male.’ Maybe he frequently wonders if chivalry is dead? Worst-case scenario it’s masculinity issues that require a lot of ego-stroking and reassurances. Best case? He read it in a really old book about dating and is just trying to impress you! How precious.
- He’s old enough that the last time he ‘played the field’ this was common practice.
- He’s more familiar with the cuisine or restaurant than you and swoops in to save the day as you struggle over the menu’s long list of alien offerings.
- He’s from a culture where this is the norm and manages to pull it off in a way that’s both gracious and flattering—you don’t feel bullied into ordering the rib eye.
- He’s rude to the staff or stiffs the waiter– There’s an old saying that a nice person who’s rude to the help is not a nice person at all. I’ve yet to see a situation where this isn’t the case.
- None. Sorry, he’s an asshole.
- He’s on the phone during the meal
The cultural trend of being constantly “plugged in” transcends age. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been out with someone twice my age that spends the second course scrolling through a Blackberry. POT’s that do this will likely turn into SD’s that think of your dates as “me time” rather than “us time.” He’ll be looking for a SB that can drop everything for a jaunt to the Maldives or who doesn’t mind working around his hectic schedule. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something to keep in mind if you’re looking for an arrangement that more closely resembles a conventional relationship.
There are a lot of reasons someone would need to be on a phone during a date, but the most important thing will be the apology. An apology acknowledges the behavior as rude, even if he doesn’t offer an explanation. Also note that married SD’s or SD’s with kids frequently have their phone on at all times, but a considerate person with a lot of familial obligations will be frank with you about it.
- He keeps turning the conversation to sex; tries to cop a feel
Around sophomore year of high school or so, most male human beings become at least cursorily aware of how to properly interact with and speak to the fairer sex. Lots of dirty talk and errant hands up skirts means this guy is a Grade A Creep. Even worse, he’s socially stunted; he doesn’t know how to talk to people or function in polite society. Not only will he keep at this for the duration of the arrangement, he’ll likely embarrass you in other ways as well.
- Your first date is at a swinger’s party or sex club.
- If you’ve indicated an interest in pay for play, it could be crossed signals, but he should be able to immediately tell if you aren’t into it.
- It may be worthwhile to hold off judgment if both of you are accidentally/unexpectedly sloshed—some perfectly decent people are absolutely horrendous drunks. A second chance may be in order, but even then, tread lightly, babies.