“You Go On A First Date With Someone, What Habit Or Characteristic Is A Deal Breaker?” (70 Answers)

If you've ever been on a date, you know how stressful and straight-up scary they can be. Besides the first-date anxiety, which can make you sweat and act crazy, we're all afraid that something we might say or do will scare off our potential soul mate.

Of course, as we know by now, this is pretty much unavoidable. No matter how hard we try to be on our best behavior, saving our biggest pet peeves for that third date, you can't know if some of your quirks won't be a total deal-breaker. Pondering the same question, u/h8raide88 decided to pose it to the Ask Reddit community, amassing more than 20,000 responses. From people obsessed with their date's credit scores to gents who are convinced mansplaining is a surefire way to woo ladies, this one sure is a doozy.


They only want to talk about themselves.

I once had a 2-hour blind date. By the end, I knew everything about this girl. I knew all of her cats by name, *and what their favorite movies were.*

She asked me literally nothing, and just kept jumping from topic to topic.

At the end of the date, she wanted to trade numbers, and I couldn't help but ask "What's my name?" and she didn't know. So I just paid for my meal and left.

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Heavy breathing, open mouth chewer or close minded

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Constantly talking about their exes

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Being a know it all. I had lunch with someone who called the table salt “sodium chloride” and used the bread as a way to tell me everything he knew about complex carbohydrates (some of which wasn’t even correct) and their connections to evolutionary theory. Just felt like he was compensating for something

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If a person tells you they are IN LOVE WITH YOU after one day together.

They might try to move into your house, then try to attack you when you ask them to leave!

But that's a story for another time...

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On their phone the whole time. If you can't disconnect for an hour or so to engage with me then it's not going to work.

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Lying. Even, if not especially, about small things.

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Hygiene, in general

Edit: yes, you guys.. "lack of hygiene"

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Anyone who doesn't understand why a first meeting in public is best for women

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When she puts her smoke out in her baked potato.

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If they call me "exotic." If they make repeated remarks on how *BeAuTiFuL* my skin tone is. Even worse when they point out that they've never "been with" anybody of my ethnic heritage.

Or, when they've *only* dated women of ethnicities with a similar appearance to mine. Feels a bit fetishizing.

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their drinking manners. if they insist i drink, or suggest drinks/shots after i've declined multiple times, i'll either think you have a problem, or you're trying to get me drunk. both of which i don't want.

men who insist you come over, or they come over. i'm all about prolonging a good date, and would love to go to another spot, but i really hate when men invite me over to their place, or suggest coming to mine at the end of the night. even worse when they get super pouty when i decline.

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I know a girl who asks every guy she goes on a date with what his credit score is. She wants to make sure they’re financially stable. Also she’s 23 and doesn’t know how to pump gas.

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Referring to going to the restroom as "going make tinkles", I wanted to leave on the spot.

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If they order shots.

I always do brunch as a first date because it places zero expectation on what happens after. So, if you order f*****g shots at 11:30am on a Saturday, we probably aren’t going to work out.

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If she has kids or wants to have them, I'm out. I want nothing to do with parenthood.

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Too much discussion about money.

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reminding me of my dad. I love my dad, honestly, but I don't want to date him :D

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They talk over me and spend the conversation giving me unsolicited advice about how to live my life

Edit: I feel like I need to specify that I was thinking of one specific first date that did not become a second date When I answered this, lol. The guy didn't like that I had dyed my hair blond at the bottom and Spent a lot of the date telling me about the dangers of bleaching your hair and how I should learn to make better choices. I just wanted to have a good dinner man.

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That she doesnt accepts my racoon pet named Stuart

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O ?

How about when I was invited out with a guy I met online to a nearby sushi place. Wed texted and chatted for about a week til I finally felt comfortable meeting him.

Date picked me up. The conversation on the drive there was great. Seemed like we were connecting.

However, while at the restaurant, he proceeded to order about $100 worth of sushi, while I ordered maybe a roll and some appetizers. My total would have been about $30, at most. I tried to engage him, but quickly realized the conversation was lacking, because he was... uh. busy.

He proceeded to text on his phone the entire time at dinner, ignored me and took pics of his food, posted that the place we were at was amazing. He. Ate. Everything. In. Front. Of. Him. Ok. Gotcha.

At this point, I knew what was going on.

And... when the bill came, he was still on his phone, posting, texting, laughing at the response to his posts. He ignored the waiter, plus the bill. The waiter politely left it on the table. I looked at my date, then the waiter. Date never looked up from his phone.

I then quietly, and politely asked the waiter to split our bill (since date was so consumed with his phone, he didn't notice). Waiter retrieved the bill, adjusted it, then came back. With separate bills this time.

The look on my 'date's face when he was handed a $100 bill for his food was priceless. I paid mine with my card, plus a hefty tip. Date asked me 'uh, oh c**p, I forgot my wallet! Can you spot me?'

I just pretended I was on my phone and left him there, and walked out the door.

I'd already ordered an uber at this point (since he drove us there).

(And yes, don't worry, the waiter got a massive tip, about the amount of my bill - it wasn't his fault that the date was an a**hat).


Lack of trying. If I see the person is poorly dressed or chose a s****y place, I know they're putting the least effort possible. That tells me all I need to know.


Someone who makes me read their bad poetry. This has happened to me more than once...

I don’t hate poetry, I very much like it. Especially Vogon poetry. However, on a first date, there is a HUGE difference between; “Have you read this poem by x? What do you think of this bit...” and “Here is my notebook, read it all and tell me what you think.”

Story bits for those who asked:

The first time this happened I was 18 and we met through mutual friends. While it wasn’t great, it wasn’t emo angsty levels of bad. Unfortunately he then started sending me poetry he had written about me and calling me his muse. This after having met once. He then went full stalker. So yeah... nope.

Second time was some years later. It was bad, but I was not mean about it. We continued chatting then said goodnight politely and parted.

The next day he went from “I had a really nice time, give me a call.” To, “I am sure you are busy, but please reply.” To, “Clearly you are ignoring me so let’s never speak again” in the space of a 3 hour barrage of text messages. I was at work so I didn’t see the messages till lunchtime.

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Repeatedly interrupting me when I’m talking, especially when I’m answering a question they asked. It tells me they’re not actually engaged in what I’m saying.

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They end up being 3 badgers in a trench coat.

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Getting so drunk on the first date that you can't figure out Uber and I have to drive you home. No, you can't stay on my couch, I don't know you.

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Someone who doesn’t ask about me. It shows that they don’t actually care.

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I was once set up to go on a blind date with this girl. We were given each other's email addresses and so I hit her up, we exchanged a few pleasantries, then set up a date/time to finally meet. The day of, I get an email from her in the morning with an attachment. I open up the attachment and there is a questionnaire with like 25-30 questions on it. She requested I kindly fill out the questionnaire before we meet. I quickly reviewed the questions before sending her a reply saying that it's probably best we don't meet.

I don't know what characteristic she embodied, but I'd say that was a deal breaker.

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I don't hate people who smoke particularly but my parents smoked so much that I promised myself to never date someone who smoked.

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Sloppy table manners.

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Why has no one mentioned “they litter”?


If you smack your lips, or chew with your mouth open it's game over. Not sure I could even make it to the end of dinner.


"Ah, women and their...."


Dirty clothes. Not showered. Dirty car. Loud booming voice so everyone can hear your conversation. Bad tipper. Being rude to servers


I was on a double date with this one girl. She seemed really cool and I was having fun on the date. Then she stuck her pinky in her ear to scratch and pulled out some ear wax. That was a little gross. But then she ate the ear wax. I decided right then to not go on a second date.


For me. During at least some point during a first date I think hobbies or passions are brought up.

I really dont care what hobbies you have. You could be into the dumbest s**t ever. As long as you are into something. Anything.

My red flag is when she says she goes to bars and clubs. And thinks thats a hobby.

I nope the f**k out.


Unidirectional people.

Only talks about work.

Only knows about sports.

Only cares about travelling.

Get a mix.

Edit: If you talk about travelling, sports and your job with passion it's definitely not a deal breaker. I'm talking about someone who can only do one of the three, not all 3 combined. Sorry maybe it came out wrong.


As a straight man the main deal breaker for me is when they are also a man


Being too shy. I get it you're nervous going out with a guy you like, and I'm just as nervous going out with a girl I like. But when you barely say a word to me, and your body language is all tense the whole time we're out sends some bad signals. It makes me more nervous because I cant think of what's making you so uncomfortable, and now I'm panicking that you may not want to see me again. So ladies, please just try to relax. We're s******g bricks too


Eating with their hands. I knew a girl once who would eat foods like spaghetti and fish with her hands, and if I were to go on a date with someone similar, I would end it as soon as possible.

Have you ever seen someone, a grown adult, eat spaghetti with their hands??? It's disgusting!


Guys who make you feel bad about not going home with them. I was really excited to go out with this one guy, had excitement/jitters all day because we had initially hit it off super well, and then the date came around, but I decided not to go home with him *because I liked him* and wanted to prolong the courting stage a bit longer.

Not even 30 seconds after I drove away he sent me "?" When I asked him why, he started pushing me to turn around and come over to his place.

Noped the f**k outta that one real quick.


Trump supporter.

Seriously. It means their moral compass is so diametrically opposed to mine. their is 0% chance we would work out.


I've seen "being rude to wait staff" a dozen times in here.

Are that many people rude to waiters?

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If they are hard to talk to. Might not make them a bad person, but obviously there is no chemistry if all I get are one word answers where they also don't reciprocate questions.

"So you're a teacher right?"



"Well that's cool what grade?"



"Aw what a great age! That's like the perfect time cause kids still kind of like school!"

'uh huh'

....check please!

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If all they talk about is how bad all their exes are.

If all your exes are psycho, the chances are the problem is you.


Children. I wish all the best to all the single parents in the world but I am not signing up to be a step-parent.


Complimenting me by trashing my entire gender. "You really know your s**t, I've never met a female who knew so much about politics". Yeah Bud, you sure have you just didn't listen.


Self-deprecating to the point where everything needs to be somehow connected in a negative way back to yourself. Like literally everything. While chatting it's even more obvious, sad faces all the time, "I'm dumb", "I don't deserve what I've achieved" etc.


Here is a great story, first date in college. I drive a truck and live in a city. So spots are tight. This spot is particularly tight. So I say, “this is a tight spot so watch your door when you open it.” Girl “are you telling me how to open my door??” Doesn’t pay basic attention and slams the door into the other car.



Edit: When I lived in the Midwest it was literally just part of the culture. Telling stories and being one-upped was something you were desensitized to. I ran into a wall once I moved west where people pointed out that I did it, so I stopped. Now when I go on dates I usually get into things people are passionate about. If it’s all about one-upping experiences then it’s goals and meaning based on other people. Big turn off. There are a lot of people my age that are essentially living at a speed like Justin from Parks and Rec and it’s a shame. I learned and appreciated so much more slowing down and being present for things alone. The Midwest is also rampant with superlatives.

“It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen”
“Scariest thing that’s ever happened to me”

Really? Having your online banking freeze with the wrong balance on it was the scariest thing that’s EVER happened to you? F**k off

Don’t one up on dates. Hearing how your trip to Cali for Coachella was the best experience of your life and how Diplo was the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen is not what I want to hear when I ask about your future at Purdue studying liberal arts


you know how people joke that buying a dog is just buying a tragedy in 10 years?

that's basically how i feel about dating a smoker long-term


Honestly when the girl has a bigger dong than me, that's a real turn off.


Being more that 30 mins late - With or without an excuse.

If you're going to be that late, you might just aswell cancel


Bragging. Even worse if it's over the smallest things. A guy I was interested in kept texting me these (fake) brags about things that dont even matter e.g having a pet lizard that he brought home from his holidays??.

He also was a big fan of his own eyes? They were blue, but nothing out of the ordinary. He'd send photos saying they were unique and blue/grey and pretty. IMMEDIATE turnoff

EDIT: people werent getting the lizard thing. He did not have a pet lizard, I managed to get as far as being in his room at a party (a few days after saying he had the "pet lizard") and he was bragging that he managed to capture one whilst on holiday in Spain and bringing it home on the plane and keeping it. Which he did not.


I've shared this recently, but one time I was out on a first date with this girl I met online. I thought she was very attractive and we seem to hit off well through texts.

We're at this bar and she suggests we play a people watching game where we try to make up back stories for the other people there. I thought it sounded fun, especially since I played a similar game with friends on the train sometimes. Plus it felt like a good ice breaker to get us talking.

Well, she managed to take all the fun out the game by being ridiculously cruel in all her assumptions for no real reason at all. It felt like she was projecting issues she had onto these people. Like one guy was sitting at the bar alone, could have been waiting for someone, you never know, but because he was alone he was a f*****g loser with no friends that hates his life.

Completely killed the mood and I lost interest in her after that. Couldn't see myself going on a second date with someone like that.


The amount of guys who think negging is a good flirting technique is ridiculous. Contrary to what you read on WikiHow, insulting a girl doesn't make her want to impress you, it just makes her realize you're a d**k.


Fake laughs.


Treating service people poorly. You're rude or dismissive to a waiter or barperson, yeah, it's over before it's started - I know the kind of person you are.


Asking me zero questions about myself while talking incessantly about themselves. It's alarming how many dudes do this. Why bother going on a date with another human if all you want is to hear yourself talk?!


If they're going out with me, that's the deal breaker right there. Shows severe lack of judgement on their part.


Had a first date with a guy from tinder. He wanted to play the “what celebrity do people say you look like?” Game. He told me, “Daniel Craig.” Uh no. Then I replied, “yea some people have told me Katy Perry but I don’t think so.” He said, “No! You know who you look like...BEN AFFLECK!!!”
I’m a woman btw.
Needless to say, there was no second date.


Mouth-breathers... or when they constantly have that foaming piece of saliva at the corners of their mouths.


One of my best friends casually began to date one of my ex girlfriend’s friends.

He was really starting to like her and took her out on consistent dates, a few sleep overs, etc.

My ex girlfriend told me this girl was texting her about her date with my friend later that night. My ex asked her if she was into him as much as he was, her.

Her literal response was “no, but free food is free food.”

I was hurt for him. Devastated. I didn’t want him to feel what I felt and I wasn’t even the one dating her.

I took my friend (roommate at the time also) aside that afternoon and asked him to please delete her number and never talk to her again. I didn’t say why. I just asked him to trust me and to please stop seeing her. It’s for the honest best.

Knowing me for years & years, he politely accepted my request and deleted her, without question. He knew I knew something and understood I was helping him avoid emotional pain & disappointment. He is too nice of an individual to experience that..

Trust goes a long way.


The type of guy who needs to flirt with the waitress or just be heavy


* Poor personal hygiene, or any other lack of basic self respect.
* Disrespectful to service workers (waitstaff, janitors, etc...)
* Harsh generalizations about different races/genders/nationalities/etc without verifiable evidence to back them up.
* Seems constantly annoyed or angry over little things.
* Victim mentality, or any other sense of entitlement.

EDIT TO ADD: Most of us who've been around a while might have that ONE "crazy ex," but if someone claims that most or all of their exes were "crazy" then that's your cue to run far the f**k away and never call back. THAT PERSON was the crazy one, nobody's luck is actually THAT BAD.


I went on a date with a girl, this date was a disaster. She got food in her hair and all over the place, she wouldn’t get off her phone, and she stabbed herself in the cheek with her fork because she wasn’t paying attention. I’ve never seen her since


Flat earther believer, anti vaxxer, rude to staff, tries too hard to look quirky or talks like an anime character.
Also waterboarding conversationalist. Like you have to torture them to hold a conversation.


Telling them you only wanted to date them because you recognize them from their GW posts.