The Top Ten Turn-Offs on a First Date

By: Robin Nicholson
There are loads of things you can do which would put your date off, but if you worry about everything you'll never muster the courage to make a start. That said, if you don't take notice of the main reasons that people are put off, you could find you are wasting your time. Here are our top turn-offs:

- Dressing too young or too old. If you are late 40's, it is going to look totally wrong if you turn up looking like a teenager. The phrase "Mutton dressed up as lamb" springs to mind. But equally, if you turn up dressed like your parents would be, you're hardly going to convey the right impression.

- Dressing wrongly for the venue. Just as people say there is no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing. So you could almost say the same thing about your dress sense. Right for the occasion is what matters. What you might wear to a smart restaurant, could be totally wrong for an informal meeting in a coffee shop. For both genders, spend a little time consciously observing what people generally think is right. If you are a guy and everyone seems to go to this particular place in jeans or the equivalent, you're going to look mighty out of place in a jacket and tie.

And you don't want to look or feel out of place just when you need all your confidence.

- Spending a lot of time talking about your last or previous relationships, whether good or bad. People don't want to hear about your troubles or even, your conquests.

- Being excessively critical of other people. Some folk when they split up with a partner, have nothing but bad stuff to say about them. So if you have split with someone, don't take this as a chance to tell your new date how dreadful they were. Nobody will be impressed and most will just see you as vindictive.

- Not giving the other person your complete attention. Complete attention means taking an interest in them and in what they say. Not either looking round the room, or rehearsing in your mind what you are going to say when it's your turn.

- Try to make a special effort - it will pay off as people are flattered to be listened to, and put off to be ignored. Poor eye contact is a no-no, so if you are a somewhat shy person, who tends not to do much eye contact, you will need to make a special effort. You can always focus on the space between the other person's eyebrows if you feel more comfortable. To them, it will look like real eye contact. - Off colour jokes are very high risk until you have checked out what your date is likely to be interested in. Locker-room humour can be really embarrassing or even a bit alarming, to some people. So tread a bit carefully at first.

- Arrogance is not appealing but confidence is. Know the difference.

- Recognise that the other person may be a bit nervous and make it easy for them to relax, by being relaxed yourself. Do all you can to reduce the pressure of the occasion.

- Making no effort. This can show itself in all sorts of ways. Not being clean and tidy, not being on time, failing to keep your commitments such as phone calls, taking mobile calls from other people when on your date...any one of a number of things can convey the wrong message. And as they say, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

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