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John's Top 5 First Date Deal Breakers

Tuesday July 2, 2013

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You’ve met someone who appears charismatic, intelligent, is good looking and – this is important – likes you. You’ve taken the significant step of swapping numbers and arranged a first date. This is of course a fraught outing. So much is a stake and so much could go wrong.

But most folk are polite and understand that nerves can get the better of people. Those worth their salt will generally take any small screw ups in their date with a pinch of, um, salt?

But sometimes a date will say or do something that seems borderline wrong. At what point do you take it on the chin, or run screaming to the hills?

As a guide, here are my top 5 absolute deal breakers:

1) Your date is aggressive and rude to waiters/bar staff

It doesn’t matter how bad the service is, there are calm, polite ways to deal with almost any situation. If you’re date feels it necessary to show off their Alpha element the first time you meet formally, they’re unlikely to have the patience to deal with any form of relationship. And they’re unlikely to take kindly to rejection. Wait until they go to the loo then RUN!

2) My Mum/Dad’s on the phone. They want to talk to you

This actually happened to a friend of mine. He took the phone from his date only to be told “Look after my little Angel. What do you do for a job?” etc. He politely declined to answer (I would have told them I imported children’s kidneys from China), handed back the phone, wished his date well, and walked out the door. Then he got very, very drunk in a bar a long way away and laughed about it.

Likewise if your date is getting picked up by their parents, the word independence probably isn’t in their vocabulary.

3) How much do you earn?

This happened to me. The date was going wonderfully. We were laughing at each others jokes. We were flirting. We were, dare I say it, enjoying each other’s company. She looked down at her glass, ran her finger around the rim flirtatiously, looked up and said, “Just out of curiosity, how much do you earn?”

I called the waiter over, ordered a double of the most expensive whiskey they had, told her I’d been on the dole for six months and asked politely if she could cover this because I was a little short this week.

Okay, I didn’t actually do that. I mumbled something incoherently, struggled through the rest of the date, went home and never contacted her again.

4) Just so we’re clear, I think I should tell you what I don’t like.

Woah! Can we at least get a drink before you drag this whole evening through a graveyard of depressive negativity? If your date thinks this is an efficient way to ensure the evening isn’t wasted then they are a sociopath. Seriously. Guys are particularly bad at this.

It generally means extended singledom has rendered them so cynical that they’ve generated an inexplicable hatred of the opposite sex. Allow them to continue and they will wax lyrical on how EVERYTHING in their life is someone else's fault.

Do not engage and back away toward the door making no sudden movements.

5)  How good is that Justin Bieber?

This is the cream of deal breakers. Psychopaths, drunks, drug addicts, scatologists and random other undesirable types generally have some form of logical (warped maybe but still logical) basis to their behaviour.

Aggressive? They were probably beaten as children. Or on coke. Parents on the phone? Parents are over protective. Curious about your financial situation? Probably gold diggers. Overly negative? An inability to deal with some form of previous trauma.

But Justin Bieber? Even those over the age of 12 who do hold a bizarre place in their hearts for the anti-Christ with a gas mark know well enough NEVER to mention it in public. Not even as a joke. There is no reason this should ever be accepted.

Hope this helps.


If you're looking for someone to take on a first date you could a lot worse than checking out our forthcoming speed dating events in London! Click here




The beauty of Speed Dating London lies in its no-nonsense approach. You take an equal number of single girls and guys, put them in a room and give them a few minutes to chat with every other member of the opposite sex.

When you get there

Original speed dating events in London normally begin at 7.30pm. You will need to register with our hosts and to begin with they will issue you with a score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the singles that you would like to meet again and perhaps go on a date with. After a short period of mingling, your host for the evening who will run through detailed instructions and give you your starting position if you are a guy or table for the event if you are a girl.

Meet & Mingle

A London speed dating event is split into two halves, each lasting around an hour, there will be an interval at half time of about 15 minutes for speed dating London. You will have between 4 and 5 minutes with each person, after which you need to tick a box on your score sheet - "yes, I would like to meet this person again" or "no. Thanks but no thanks". Or "friend" if you'd like to get to know them platonically. Make sure that you do this after each date to keep track. Afterwards there is an opportunity for everyone to meet and mingle informally - this is often where the real action begins, so make sure you don't disappear too quickly!

Complete your score sheet

After the event you simply tick who you liked on the Original Dating website and the site works about your matches automatically. If the dates you have ticked as a "yes" have reciprocated you have a match. You will be able to view the first names and message them via our site online without revealing your email address until you are ready to. You'll be having proper first dates in no time.