Recognize these warning signs on a bad date before things go south.
Bad dates: we've all been on them. In fact, with 15 percent of U.S. adults having used dating apps and websites, more people are connecting than ever before. And that means more bad dates than ever before.
A bad date can feel like wasted time and energy, and can even discourage people from dating altogether. You can't avoid a date going wrong, but these ten signs will tell you when a date isn't worth your time. Recognize these and exercise your best exit strategy to give yourself a Plan B.
1. They are rude to wait staff.
It's easy to determine a person's quality through their interactions with staff. Whether it's a restaurant, movie or bar, if they're rude to the staff, that usually means they think they're above everyone else by being unappreciative of their work. This will most likely lead to a relationship filled with arguments and disrespect, or at the very least, a lot of uncomfortable nights out.
2. They are rude to you.
If someone's rude to you on the first date, that's immediately establishing the standards for relationship communication: thoughtless, disrespectful, and dismissive. Life is just too short and you don't need that kind of person in your life.
3. They can't take their eyes off their phone.
In theory, being on a date should be at the forefront of a date's mind. Barring radical unforeseen circumstances (he/she will no doubt get a pass because of sick relatives, friends and work emergencies), anyone who spends most of the night looking at their phone is a solid indicator of what their priorities are. Unless you want a partner that never talks to you, it's best to leave this date behind.
4. They check out other people.
A date is supposed to be a night about you two and you two alone. So if your date has wandering eyes, that likely means they either don't take you too seriously or have commitment issues. Either way, it's more of a headache for you, so don't invest your time or energy into it.
5. They use crass language.
Is every other word out of your date's mouth the F-bomb? Occasional (and intelligent) use of cursing can be funny and creative. When it's used after every word, you've got someone who's immature, of low intelligence, or simply can't control impulse — qualities you don't want in any long-term relationship.
6. They have bad hygiene.
When it's time to get up close and personal, do you wince from the odor? That's a bad sign for short-term intimacy, but think about the long term. People with bad hygiene tend to not view self-care as a priority, and this could lead to anything from health risks to battles with self-esteem. Let that be someone else's problem; your sanity, and your nose, will thank you.
7. They are argumentative and belligerent.
It's your first or second date. Do you already feel like you have to defend your opinions? Healthy discussion is one thing, but argumentative and judgmental attitudes can be exhausting, all while leading to destructive communication patterns. If you're fighting off the bat about small things, then bigger battles are already in the works, so end those before they begin.
8. They hold negative conversations.
Does your date have an opinion on everything, and does that opinion always have a negative slant? Negativity breeds negativity, and people who are complete pessimists live a limited, unfulfilled, and unhappy life. There's nothing wrong with a little cynicism or realism, but when everything's bad, well... everything's bad.
9. They constantly talk about their ex.
We all have exes, and recent breakups may mean they rent some real estate in our thoughts. Regardless, if your date is constantly bringing up an ex, that probably means that he or she hasn't moved on. This means you aren't getting an authentic experience with that person and may even be compared/contrasted. That person may someday be a good date, but not right now.
10. They exhibit narcissist qualities.
Narcissists can turn every topic back to themselves. When every fact, anecdote, or question leads to a self-statement, chances are you're dealing with a narcissist. And while they can be annoying in small doses, relationships with narcissists can quickly turn destructive and emotionally abusive. Stay away from them and warn your single friends as well.
Recognizing these ten warning signs can help you pull out of a bad date before things really go south. If you do so early enough, you may even have time to salvage your evening.
Remember: if it's a first date, particularly if you're meeting for the first time, there's nothing wrong with having a Plan B in mind. Best case — or worst, depending on how you look at — you'll find true love and never have to use it.