Into getting inked? You may want to sit down for this one.
Singles are an interesting breed. Even if you're single and don't think you're all that intriguing, online dating sites like Match.com will argue you on that. To them, you are the most fascinating group of people, and a crowd of which they can't get enough. Through studies and surveys they get to the heart of things, and from it we learn more about ourselves and our dating patterns. Then we can become better daters, see?
For the fourth year in a row, Match.com conducted their annual "Singles in America" study so that, you, the singles of the world, could see exactly where you rank amongst your fellow singles.
One of the biggest things about being single is the whole first date. It can be so nerve-racking even for the most seasoned dater! Will he like me? Will she want to see me again? Do I have food in my teeth?
While the study delved into how people met their most recent first date (31 percent met online), what topics to avoid (past relationships, politics, and religion, respectively), and appropriate behavior at night's end (just a kiss, thanks), it also found that people can be very, VERY judgmental when it comes to their date. It seems 62 percent of men will judge a woman by her tattoos, and 25 percent of them will judge a woman by her shoes. I had no idea that men were so shoe conscious!
When it came to the ladies, their judgment focused on the clothes of their dates (68 percent), and then cars (40 percent). Dudes, if you're driving an older clunker, just give up now and go home.
We decided to crowdsource some men and women to see what they judge most.
Responding as if he'd been plucked right from the pool of survey participants, Carl, 32, said, "Honestly? I look at shoes first. I probably read way too much into people's footwear choices. Music is a close second."
Tricia, 26, also went with the grain and admitted to judging her first dates on their clothes: "I feel like I'm too old to date a guy who can't put together a good outfit, but too young to date someone who wears Dad Jeans, so I'm really picky. If I could make every guy dress like those boys on the J.Crew site, then I'd be really happy."
"Because I have quite a few tattoos, I will definitely judge a guy for his ink work. If it’s cheesy or some tribal armband sh*t, I'm out the door," says Leigh, 30. "No tattoos are better than bad tattoos —I don't care what their stupid excuse is for the Tweedy Bird on their forearm."
"Since I live in the city and we don't have cars, I can't really be concerned with that. But I am concerned about his shoes. Shoes say a lot about someone,” says Mandy, 31.
But what about physical things that maybe your date doesn’t have much of a say in? (Good or bad.)
"Hair. Definitely hair. I just can't with bad hair or no hair," says Jennie, 32.
Autumn, 25, was in agreement on the hair thing, but had a few other items to add to her judgment list: "I judge their sparkling personality, good looks, our immediate chemistry, and their hair."
"He has to have a great smile. If he doesn't, I judge him for that and immediately lose interest. It's a must for me. Besides, who doesn't have perfect teeth in 2014?" asked Mattie, 29.
Then of course, there will be judgment about the surroundings.
"I'll judge him by the location for the first date if he's picking the place. Olive Garden bar for example … say what?" asks Kim, 39.
"I judge based on how they treat the wait staff,” says Colleen, 30.
Finally, and although Match.com found specific topics that people should avoid discussing on a first date, the stuff they didn’t list, can be up for judgment as well.
Becky, 29, was also concerned about how the wait staff is treated, as well as some more political topics: "Their comfort level with the LGBT community, with me, my life, and my opinions."
"Maybe this presumes it's not exactly a first date, but my #1 judgment? His friends," says Matthew, 31.
I think it's safe to bet that no matter who you are, what you wear, what you say, where you choose to meet up or how you style your hair, you’re liable to be judged. But since judging each other seems to be inevitable, if you're feeling judged, just judge right back. How else are you supposed to make the playing field level in this crazy thing called dating?
What's on your first-date judgment list? Tell us in the comments below.