Aside from job interviews, there’s no situation in which you’re scrutinised quite so closely as a first date.

Especially if you’ve never met before.

Dinner dates in particular come with more pressure – instantly the vibe feels more formal and you’ve got to worry about accidentally getting a herb stuck between your teeth.

A study of more than 2,000 UK adults by One4all Favourites Gift Cards has found the top dos and don’ts when it comes to early dating, as they could easily make or break the evening.

Bad table manners were the most popular turn off, with 83% of Brits hating when people lick their knife, use their fingers to eat, and talk with their mouth full.

Other bug bears are a date having their phone out on the table and checking it in front of their date, which 78% of people don’t like.

Taking smoke breaks, nail-biting and blowing your nose at the table also turned of 77% of people.

As well as physical things, bad conversation can ruin the chances of a second date too.

Most than half said someone talking about themselves non-stop was off-putting.

Similar research was found recently by Upfield, a producer of plant-based foods, as 25% of those surveyed said they would rule someone out based on the food they eat.

15% only want to date someone with the same diet as them, making dinner date choices even more pressured.

The top five turn-offs and turn-ons

Top UK dating turn-offs:

  • A date with bad table manners that licks their knife, uses fingers, talks with their mouth full
  • A date that has their phone out on the table or checks their phone throughout the date
  • A date with off-putting habits like nail biting, blowing their nose at the table, having smoke breaks
  • A date talking about themselves the whole time
  • A date who is late

Top UK dating turn-ons:

  • A date that shows interest in you and asks questions about you
  • A date with good manners and eating habits
  • A date that makes good eye contact
  • A date being polite and friendly to the waiter/waitress
  • A date that compliments you

The good news is, there are simple way to impress a date.

The aforementioned study found that 85% just want a date to show interest in them and asking questions is the best way to demonstrate this.

Eye contact goes down well with 75% of people too, as does being polite to restaurant staff.

For people aged 18-24, common decency is the main thing they’re looking for – which suggests dating standards are potentially at a low, if this is all young people are after.

Over half say the first date has a lot of power to set the tone for the dates that follow, with British men in particular believing that ‘wining and dining’ is key in a long-term relationship.

So, if you’ve made it to the first dinner date, congrats – just be kind to the staff and polite with your food.

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