In the beginning there is the first date. You and said companion may not know each other well, if at all. It can be hard to break through the barriers of small talk, get past the interview-esque awkwardness or gain a sense of what the person sitting across from you is really thinking.
Start off on the right foot. Go through our checklist of first-date deal breakers to avoid if you want to get past "Go." These may also come in handy if you're not feeling the love, or lust, vibe on your date and seek an easy way out. Turning the other person off will definitely extinguish any possibility of a second date.
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Turn Off #1: Repeat Mode.
Yes, we know that first dates are by nature akin to interviews. You have to ask a lot of questions to find out about a person. This ping ponging can be a tad surfacey and boring, but you have to start somewhere. When a date asks a basic, let's say, "So, you like music?" and then repeats the same exact question an hour later that's a tell-tale sign that he or she is not listening. That's a turn off.
Turn Off #2: Distraction Syndrome.
While it's true that there are many wonderful, exciting and enticing things to look at when you're out on the town, the truth of the matter is that a date likes to feel that he or she is the most captivating person in the room. If a prospective suitor's eyes are roving (from date one) and he or she is remarking about everything from the uncannily long bathroom line to the bartender's tattoos or the rowdy group of party-goers at the back of the restaurant, that's a sign your date has tuned out. He or she is not paying a lick of attention to a word you're saying (you could always test this theory with a pop quiz, or by rattling something off in a foreign language). Exceptions to this turn off: painters, and maybe reporters, whose jobs involve making observations, or people who have ADHD/ADD.
Turn Off #3: No-plan Stan.
There's nothing hotter than a suitor who takes time to make date plans. And, we point out, it doesn't always have to be the man who's charged with picking the activity, place and time. A dash of creativity spent generating and researching ideas goes a long way to show that a suitor genuinely wants to be out doing things together, taking a few risks as he or she gets to know this new person. Hiking, biking, cooking, dancing, walking, adventuring, daytripping, running, horseback riding, kayaking, going to events, eating cuisine with your hands at an Ethiopian hot-spot: Recommend it; impress your date. Don't and, well, you know the rest.
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