Going on a first date is exciting – we are so full of hope and possibility! Unfortunately, those feelings also make it easy to ignore red flags as our minds spin and we excuse certain behaviors because we want to stay positive. Every once in awhile, we need reminders of which behaviors we can and cannot accept; otherwise, we have no one to blame but ourselves when those red flags turn into full-on sirens warning us to get out fast.

1. Being Late

There are good, justified excuses for being late, but chances are your date doesn’t have one of them. When someone is excited for a date, they check the traffic to make sure they leave early enough so that they’re not late. Obviously, some accidents happen to cause traffic between leaving home/work and arriving at your destination, but that’s the exception, not the rule. Being late is a direct reflection of someone’s respect for you and your time, and excusing their tardiness is an easy path to continued disrespect. Chances are, your date will be late again and again before they begin to start flaking altogether. We like to prove we are flexible and easygoing by accepting the excuse, but anything more than 15 minutes is inexcusable, particularly without any communication in the meantime. Don’t wait around. Cut your losses, call some friends and go out since you’re already dressed up.

2. Not Listening To You

Many people are chatterboxes on first dates because they are nervous about awkward pauses, but others don’t seem to even realize that there is another person on the date with them. These people simply enjoy listening to themselves talk. It’s not difficult to decipher the difference: does the person sound nervous, or do they sound egotistical? There’s your answer. If someone is spending a lot of time highlighting all of their accomplishments without asking you about yours, then they’re probably not really interested in getting to know you.

3. Picking Food Off Your Plate Without Asking

Remember Joey from “Friends” being on an awesome date but hating how she orders a salad and then eats his fries? Sharing is caring, but ask first. Someone who won’t share is an obvious red flag, but someone who feels entitled to their share is not someone you want to be getting too intimate with.

4. Being Rude To The Staff

Again, you can try and justify the behavior all you want, but the bottom line is that the way someone treats a waiter is how they end up treating the people around them. It’s a generalization, sure, but what is the point in being rude to someone who is working their ass off on their feet all day serving you? There are so many ways to express your displeasure at a wrong order, and being rude should not be the go-to. And anyway, on a first date you should try to be impressing each other, so if the attitude is coming out now, you can only imagine how much worse it will get in the future.

You do not have to accept these behaviors just because you don’t want to be single anymore. Truly, there are better dates out there who will treat you and those around them with respect! Don’t sacrifice your dignity for the sake of a second date.

You may also be interested in Best & Worst First Date Ideas: Tips For Avoiding A Date Disaster

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