Psychologists everywhere hear about a lot of first dates. People usually say, “It was love at first sight,” or, “By the time our first date ended, I knew I just met the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with.”

They rarely say so after a first date

It’s actually far more likely to hear how the other person did something annoying, embarrassing, or otherwise sufficiently objectionable to immediately disqualify them from second-date consideration.

The interesting thing is how people often qualify their description of the deal-breaking behavior: “It’s a shame because he seemed so nice,” or “I was really into her before that happened,” or “I was having a great time but that just ruined it for me.”

Of course it doesn’t take much to turn a perfect date into a perfect disaster. But luckily, the most common mistakes are actually pretty easy to avoid, and knowing what behaviors to avoid can save you from the mistakes that can cost you a second date with someone you like.

Here is the top 9 mistakes to avoid at all costs when having a first date.

  1. Being late

Being late is indeed the worst mistake that can be made at the first date. It makes a terrible first impression and guarantees the other person starts the date annoyed. What the other person will surely think is that you didn’t care enough to be on time, and this is never a good start. If it cannot be avoided, text with an apology and apologize again when you arrive.

2. Talking about an ex – or exes in general

Talking about an ex in particular – or exes in general – is one of the rudest things to do on a first date. Unless asked directly about that, it’s definitely a subject to avoid. No one will be eager to spend time with you – let alone sleep! – if you spent the whole date talking about someone else. It will only make you look like you haven’t moved on. If you are asked, say the briefest, nicest thing you can and subtly and politely try to change the subject.

3. Checking your phone constantly

Checking your phone makes you come across as bored or distracted, neither of which is appealing to the person you’re with. Society is indeed changing – young people are practically plugged into their phones. But when you’re with someone else, who might be special, it is important to give them the importance they expect to be given. Unless the calls/texts are very important, a specific job question, emergencies, someone getting a child etc. then there’s no reason for them do check their phone right at that very moment.

4. Talking too much about oneself. Talking too much in general

Listening is the secret to get to another person’s heart. Or at least is a good start. No need to stay silent the whole time, just make sure conversation flows back and forth, and don’t make it hard for the other person to get a word in. If the person you’re with isn’t talking much, try open-ended questions.

5. Bragging about income, possessions, power and so on

Bragging in general is an instant turn-off. Saying you just came back from Bali is fine. Saying you flew first-class and stayed on a private yacht is totally unnecessary and unrequired, and might create resentment if the person you’re with has never left the country or has economical issues. You never know who is in front of you until you do!

6. Drinking or eating too much

A drink or two is fine, but make sure you stay present and in control. Getting sloppy or messy on a first date does not make a good impression unless your date is getting just as sloppy and messy as you are. Same goes with food – you don’t want to have to run to the toilet every two minutes or have a stomach ache to enjoy the night out!

7. Being unpolite towards service people

Nothing screams entitlement, irritability or obnoxiousness more than being rude to a waiter. No need to explain further!

8. Discussing your ideal partner

Discussing the qualities your ideal partner should have or the flaws they shouldn’t have is never a good idea. it likely turns off the other person rather than endearing them to you.

9. Talking about past first dates gone wrong

Talking about past failures at first dates would turn anyone off immediately. If you blame the other people for not being “good enough” for you, it can be seen as very rude. And if you are just implying that you are very bad at dating, it will likely kill any interest or motivation the other person might have had.