17 Common First-Date Traps That Trip Up Men

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Dating is an unnerving thing for even the most confident man out there. The first date might seem pretty innocuous, but it can set the tone for either a second one or none at all. Many guys tend to think similarly, and although no two are the same, they do fall into the same traps. While no date is perfect, if you enter it with the right frame of mind, dating can be a lot less stressful than you might be making it.

Instant Love

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It is easy to fall into the trap that you have found instant love. You two click, you talked about liking all of the same things, and it just seems meant to be. The problem with the notion of “love at first sight” is that it is usually not your head thinking but many other parts of you. If you build up the love factor too heavily on the first date, you will spend every one after that wishing that it could be as magical as you thought it was that first night.

It Was Perfect 

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There is no such thing as perfect. There are no perfect dates, and there are no perfect women. Even if you have the best date you can imagine, it is probably the attraction taking over, and she might not be the one you have been looking for all of your life. Not to say that love doesn’t happen. But if you put too much stake into it being perfect, it will set you up for expectations that aren’t achievable for future dates.

Perceived Have to Hold On

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Many guys have to kiss a lot of girls to get to the one that they want to settle down with and marry. If you get caught up in the urgency of snagging her and putting a ring on her finger, you will come across as desperate. There is nothing attractive about being desperate and although it might be flattering that you care so much about seeing her again, it might be a turn-off that you clung so tightly so quickly. Slow it down and see how things progress before you start making reservations at a wedding venue. 

Letting Looks Override Common Sense

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Physical attraction is super important in a relationship, but it is only one factor. On the first date, it is easy to become blinded by someone’s beauty and think it is all that you need going forward. Just remember, those things that we love about people have to last, and beauty is fleeting. Make sure that her insides match her outsides before you think that you have found your one true love.

Being a Yes Man

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When you find someone you’re attracted to and want to secure a second date, it is easy to be too agreeable and say exactly what she wants to hear instead of what is true. If you set things up out the gate where your needs aren’t acknowledged and you only care about her, then you are leaving yourself out of the equation. If the relationship progresses, you are going to have to be real, and you really don’t want to set things up where she wonders who the real you is over time. 

Looking for a Therapist

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Your first date is not a time to put it all out there and air your dirty laundry. Everyone has some hurts from the past, but you don’t want to put them all out there right out of the gate. Sometimes, we can get so wrapped up in our own stories that we forget that the first date is a time for superficial and light talk. If you are already looking for a therapist, she will probably want you to book office hours instead of going on a second date for round two.

Talk About Previous Hurts

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The last thing you want to do is to let all of your insecurities overcome you. Your last relationship is your last relationship, and you don’t want to taint your future ones by living in the past and not being able to talk about all the wrongs that your previous girlfriend did to you. Be positive and talk about the things that make you attractive, not repulsive.

Jealousy as Manipulation

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Some women like to make a man feel as if they are a hot commodity by pointing out their ex is in the waiting and can resurface at any moment. If a woman still speaks of her ex and his jealous factor, that is a red flag that she might not be ready for a new relationship. You have to reconcile your previous entanglements before you become entangled in new ones. If she is talking about an obsessed man, it is best to walk or run away quickly. 


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It is hard to know what to say when you are a deer in the headlights. The first date is about trying to put your best foot forward. If she is saying things about your future, meeting her parents, or making plans for six months from now, that is a sign that you are being sucked in too quickly. It is okay to hold your ground. Being vague about what the future looks like is okay. Dodging her questions with a “Maybe” is acceptable. Locking yourself into something you don’t want to do and aren’t ready for isn’t fair for either of you.

Not Giving a Preference for Meeting Places

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The ambiance of the first date really determines your comfort and the way that you react in your environment. Both parties should feel safe and secure in the surroundings you choose. It’s okay to ask for input and agree upon a place to meet up, but make sure that you give your two cents and stick with an atmosphere where you can feel at home. 

Discussion About Your Financial Status

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You want to find someone who is closely matched with your goals and career aspirations, but try not to disclose too much information about your financial status. The first couple of dates should be about personality compatibility, not an exchange of bank records. If the girl is pressing hard about what you have, then you have probably not found the right one. 

Sugar Coating

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Everyone has trials and tribulations, and if the girl you meet has nothing but sunshine and roses in her past, that is something to avoid. The key to finding someone to share your life with is finding an authentic personality who is open about their feelings, not a Pollyanna type who refuses to live in the real world. 

Shutting Down Questions

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Some questions are personal, and it is alright if the girl you are with feels that a question is too personal and she is not ready to divulge. If your questions, however, are pretty benign and she shuts you down making them seem that they are too much, then that might indicate that you aren’t on the same page as her. There is a level of self-disclosure that you should both have. If you are out there and honest and she is stonewalling, then that is something that you have to take into account and decide if it is something that you can live with.

Lack of Eye Contact

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Not everyone is secure enough to look you straight in the eye and intensely have a conversation, but if you can’t get her to look at you directly, then that is a signal that she is either hiding something or lacking in confidence. It isn’t always comfortable to make strong eye contact with someone, but if you can’t get them to focus on you at all, then you might have a hard time getting past the surface. 


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Backhanded compliments are a part of being passive-aggressive. If she says things to you that sound like they are supposed to be flattering, but they are leaving you feeling not so flattered, then that might signal that she is passive-aggressive. It is hard to deal with someone who says one thing and means another. 

Playing Therapist

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Just like you shouldn’t throw your emotions up all over your date, especially on the first date, a girl who wants to rehash her entire love history is a lot. When someone talks about their previous history and hurts right at the start, that could be an indication that she isn’t over her ex or that she needs to work on herself before she can start a new relationship with someone else. 

Too Independent

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There is nothing wrong with picking up the tab, pulling out her chair, or getting the door for her. If she is uncomfortable with the courtesy that you show her, then that might be a red flag. No one should have to change who they are or how they treat someone, and that goes for both of you. She shouldn’t have to give up her independent ways, and you shouldn’t have to hide your chivalry away because it is something that likely makes you feel good.

Hopeless Romantic or Bleeding Wound

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Dating is hard. It is even harder when you are a hopeless romantic or a bleeding wound. The first date is about the surface and deciding if you want a second date with someone, not whether you want to say “I do.” Try to take it for what it is and not get trapped by taking it too seriously or feeling as if it means more than it does. It is just one date, period.

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