7 Innocuous Things Guys Say That Will Instantly Ruin a Date

7 Seemingly Innocent Points to Avoid When Meeting Someone New

Words can be incredibly powerful. 

That’s the idea behind “the pen is mightier than the sword,” the concept of spoiler warnings and the reality that every day, somewhere on Earth, someone is on a first date. Unfortunately, that someone is probably saying something that’ll immediately convince the other person to end things at the end of the evening (if not sooner). 

And while anyone is capable of saying rude, stupid and gross things regardless of their gender, the phenomenon of a date-endingly bad sentence escaping someone’s lips is one that feels … pretty gendered. Think about it — how many guys do you know who’ve decided a date is a dead end simply based on one thing the other person said? Regardless of what your friend group looks like, probably not too many. 

Women, on the other hand, have oodles of stories about this kind of thing. In order to get a sense of how guys stick their feet in their mouths, we spoke to regular people out with the hands-on experience to help get an idea of some seemingly innocuous things guys say that leaves their dates with zero desire for a second date.

1. “I’ve never felt super compelled to travel far outside my hometown.”

Why? It sounds like you’re close-minded

Lots of people don’t feel compelled to do stuff, but laying down that you think one of the most interesting things a person can do with their life isn’t for you in the very early going is going to function as a red flag for tons of people. It’s basically up there with saying you have zero interest in listening to any type of music, or you just hate food. A turn-off, right? 

Pro-tip: Save revelations about your unique opinions for the second date, or later. As first dates are for establishing a connection, unless you hate travel so much that you can only possibly date fellow non-travellers, you might want to keep your hot takes stowed away for a little longer. 

2. “I review a lot of sex toys for a living.”

Why? You sort of sound like a creep who is obsessed with getting it on

Look, sex toy reviews are important. Without them, the world wouldn’t know which sex toys to buy. But early on in a first date? Yeah, that’s not the best time to bring up your relationship to sex, even if it’s part of your job description. 

You have no idea how the other person feels about sex stuff, and many women are likely to be on guard for guys getting overly sexual early on as a warning sign that they’re focused on one thing only — sex. 

Don’t be that guy — hold off on getting sexual too early, and it’ll be extra nice later when your date brings it up before you do.

3. “I have to get home soon, my kids are waiting for me.”

Why? You immediately come off as a liar (and a bad father)

Unlike your thoughts about sex, your parental status is something you should reveal in the early going. Specifically, you should reveal it before the date — if not on your actual online dating profile, then at least between your opening message and when you set up the date itself. 

Whether someone has kids or not is a huge factor in determining what it would be like to date them. Think about it: Would you love to find out the person across the table from you has two kids midway through your first date? 

Dropping the kids bomb like that means you’re either a terrible dad, or the kind of guy who thinks revealing he has kids too early will scare people off of random hookups. Neither is good.  

4. “Your eyes are beautiful … just like my mother’s.”

Why? You sound like you have serious mommy issues

Our brains are hyper-competent at recognizing human faces, meaning we can easily recall facial features of those we know that remind us of the ones we’re looking at. 

But just because you notice something doesn’t mean you should reveal it immediately, especially if that means revealing you noticed your date looks like someone else. Especially if that someone else is someone you shouldn’t be attracted to in any way … like your mother.

5. “Oh, we’re not splitting it? I figured you’d be paying for yourself.”

Why? You sound like a selfish cheapskate

Due to the relative financial parity between women and men now as compared to past decades — women still make less than men by a fair amount, but they’re closer than they’ve ever been — certain straight guys might feel less compelled to pay for a date, whether that’s a few drinks or dinner and a movie.

Besides how rude it is to tell the person to pay for themselves on a date you likely invited them on, refusing to treat someone with politeness and generosity isn’t exactly a promising sign for what you’d be like as a more serious partner. 

Sure, you have no guarantees on a date, but treating it like a battle zone is only going to make for a lot of failed dates. If you want the other person to like you, you have to be likeable yourself, starting with offering to pay for things. If your date wants to pay their own way, that’s their prerogative, but foisting the cost on them when you took the lead is going to be read as an insult every time. 

6. “You must eat a lot of soy sauce, right?”

Why? You’ll most definitely come off as a clueless racist

If you’re a non-Asian man hitting on an Asian woman, assuming they consume one of the common sauces on the planet as a point of conversation isn’t exactly panty-dropping material. Not only is it an incredibly weak-sauce brag (literally), it reveals that your assumptions are way off base, and that you probably know little to nothing about Asian women. 

That principle applies more broadly regardless of who you’re dating. If you approach a conversation about something they’re more familiar with than you are by attempting to play up your relative competence rather than by asking them questions about their experience, you’re quickly going to be dismissed as a brainless blowhard. 

7. “Yeah, I have a sibling, but they’re disabled so I don’t really bring them up.”

Why? You sound like a soulless monster

Discussing how many siblings you have and what they’re like is a time-honored first date conversation. It’s not particularly interesting in and of itself, but how someone talks about their siblings can reveal interesting things about them. Do they have a chip on their shoulder from being the youngest? Are they loving and caring and gentle souls? 

In the case of this example, do they literally view a close family member as lesser than simply because of something out of their control? That kind of tell is less of a red flag and more of a straight-up deal-breaker

If you genuinely think certain people “don’t count” because of their gender, sexual preference, race, mental health, or any other category they belong to, you need a date with a therapist, not a Tinder match. 

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