18 Dating Habits That Will Make Your Date Run for the Hills

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If ever there’s a time to leave a good impression, it’s on a first date. From clothing choices to basic manners and strong communication, you have only one brief opportunity to set a potential romance alight. If your date shows any signs of negative behaviors that don’t sit well with you, there’s every chance you won’t be agreeing to a second date. Why would you? Let’s look at some instant turn-offs that will have you doing a runner from the restaurant.

Constantly Checking Their Phone

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Nothing kills the mood faster than being on a date with someone who can't put their phone down. Life is busy, we get it, but constantly checking messages, social media notifications, or emails sends a clear message that they’re disinterested or lack basic manners. Plus, no one wants to date someone who eyes their phone excessively.

Talking Excessively About Themselves

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Ego. It’s never an attractive trait. While it's natural to share personal anecdotes during a date, dominating the conversation with tales about oneself is a major turn-off. A healthy balance of sharing and listening is the key to striking the balance.

Being Rude to Service Staff

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How someone treats workers speaks volumes about their character. Being rude, dismissive, or condescending towards those in the service industry shows a lack of empathy and respect, which is highly unattractive. If they do this in the early days of your relationship, imagine what they’d be like when they’re settled in. Red flag alert.

Aggressive Behavior

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Aggression in any form is an instant turn-off that marks a quick exit on your part. Whether it's pushing for physical intimacy too soon or displaying passive-aggressiveness in conversations, it only serves to make someone feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Follow your gut instincts and move on to the next potential.

Talking About Exes

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Oh dear. No one wants to hear about exes at the start of a blossoming romance. It usually signals unresolved emotional baggage or a lack of readiness to move on. If it’s neither of those, it’s a lack of respect, which isn’t much better. Dating is about the present and the future; there’s no need to bring up past romantic endeavors at this stage.

Being Indecisive

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While it’s not the worst behavior one can demonstrate on a first date, it isn’t particularly attractive when someone is unable to make a simple decision. Indecisiveness can signal a lack of confidence or assertiveness, so try to imagine what date planning might look like. Be forgiving of a small amount of indecision, but draw the line if it’s constant.

Bad Personal Hygiene

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Let’s get straight to the point. If your date has bad breath, body odor, or an unkempt appearance, it isn’t going to lure you in. Poor hygiene is a major turn-off in any dating scenario, and it’s important to validate your moral standards. If there’s no effort, there’s no second date.


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Confidence is highly attractive, but arrogance is not. If your date is constantly bragging, belittling others, or acting in a God-like manner, head to the bathroom and exit immediately. Not only is it off-putting, but it also indicates deep-rooted insecurities or a lack of empathy.

Overly Clingy or Possessive

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While it's natural to want to spend time with someone you’ve just met, being overly clingy or possessive can quickly become suffocating. Healthy relationships thrive on space, trust, and mutual respect for individual boundaries, not a desperate need to be with you 24/7 or hold your hand constantly.

Ignoring Boundaries

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A new relationship should never overstep its boundaries. If your date can’t quite get used to this, whether physical or emotional, it’s a clear sign of disrespect. Are you prepared to be disrespected? Absolutely not. Pressuring someone into activities they're uncomfortable with or invading their personal space without consent is poor behavior.

Lack of Communication

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We all crave ease when we’re dating. That means effective communication free from mind games and psychological mastery. Good communication is integral to any healthy relationship, but being evasive, avoiding important conversations, or shutting down emotionally will have you running for the hills. Dating shouldn’t be that much hard work.  

Being Manipulative

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Trust is essential in a relationship, and dishonesty or manipulation destroys that trust. Whether it's lying about intentions, manipulating situations for personal gain, or gaslighting, this behavior is the ultimate red flag. Identifying and acting on these behaviors at an early stage can prevent you from emotional distress moving forward. If they ghost you, see it as a blessing.

Being Inattentive

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If your date keeps tuning out during conversations or constantly interrupting you when you’re speaking, they’re not invested in the relationship. Often, this is a sign of ego, so you might want to free yourself from the grips of their vanity. Genuine curiosity and active listening are hugely important in building a strong connection.

Displaying Jealousy or Insecurity

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Everyone experiences envy or jealousy on some level during their lives, but when it becomes excessive, it can be highly damaging to a relationship. You need to be able to trust your partner and maintain open communication about your feelings. Jealousy is a huge turn-off.  

Being Overly Critical

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Constantly criticizing or judging your appearance, choices, or opinions creates a toxic atmosphere of negativity. Sadly, it only tends to get worse, so if they’re showing you their best behavior, it doesn’t take a genius to see how things might spiral down the line. Acceptance, empathy, and constructive feedback are far more conducive to building a healthy relationship.

Refusing to Compromise

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Healthy, long-lasting relationships require compromise and flexibility from both partners to survive. Stubbornly refusing to consider your preferences, needs, or opinions will only create resentment and strain your relationship. You’re worth more than that, so don’t compromise yourself to meet someone else’s needs, particularly if they’re not prepared to reciprocate.

Disrespecting Time

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Being late now and again is acceptable and sometimes beyond our control. If it starts to become a habit, and you’re facing chronic lateness, last-minute cancellations, or failing to follow through on commitments, you might be getting the runaround. Your time should be respected, and being reliable and considerate shows that you value the relationship. Don’t settle for any less.

Oversharing Problems

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Sharing problems is healthy in a relationship, but using your date as a sounding board for your own insecurities, fears, or unresolved issues can be a massive overkill. It shows that you’re carrying emotional baggage and are more eager to unburden your issues onto them. It’s not a good move to do this during the dating stage, and it likely means you’re not ready for a relationship.

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