With the most romantic day of the year right around the corner, couples around the nation are gearing up for what's sure to be a perfect date, no matter what. Right? Wrong. It's totally possible to kill the mood on Valentine's Day, even if your partner doesn't have skyrocketing expectations or doesn't hold you to higher-than-usual standards (quite common on the holiday of love).
In fact, more than nine out of 10 Americans believe the way you act on a Valentine's Day date could make or break the evening, according to a new survey released by OpenTable, an online restaurant reservation company. For the survey, 2,058 adults living in the United States were polled on how they like to celebrate Valentine's Day.
For instance, the survey found that around 62 percent of Americans think arriving early with a surprise gift, like flowers, will put both of you in a good mood. I'm guessing this also makes it much more likely that the rest of the date will go well. As for mood-killers? Well, there are quite a few. Many of these are big no-nos that would seem like common sense, but partners all too often do them anyway without even realizing it. Here's what not to do this Valentine's Day:
1Whipping Out That Phone
Texting — or using your phone at all, really — on any date is just plain inconsiderate, but doing it on a big Valentine's Day date is just about the worse thing you could do, according to poll results. In fact, 78 percent of Americans consider mobile phone use to be the biggest turn-off. Only about a third of those surveyed think the only reason you should use your phone is to take selfies. The only exception is if you're a member of the Millennial generation, as about 71 percent of Millennials think it's OK to use your phone anytime during Valentine's Day.
That being said, think twice about bringing out your phone during dinner on February. 14.
2Being Rude To Restaurant Staff
Turns out, how you treat other people matters just as much as how you treat your own partner. According to the poll, 76 percent of Americans think it's totally uncool to be disrespectful toward the restaurant staff when you're out on a Valentine's dinner date. No matter how long it takes your food to arrive or how nervous you are, don't take your emotions out on the waiters and waitresses. They're humans, too.
3Talking About An Ex
Around 68 percent of poll participants think bringing up an ex-romantic partner, regardless of whether it was a casual fling or a long-time relationship, is a top mood-killer on Valentine's Day. I totally get it: After all, why on earth would you want to hear about that awesome V-Day gift your girlfriend's ex-girlfriend got her five years ago? Why does that even matter anymore? You're together now and it's Valentine's Day in the present, after all.
4Poor Table Manners
Nobody expects you to know the difference between a salad fork and a dinner fork, but some basic table manners aren't too much to ask for, right? Poll results show that gross behaviors like chewing with your mouth open are just as bad as talking about your ex. At the end of the day, bad table manners shouldn't be the reason that neither of you score on Valentine's Day.
5Bringing Up Politics
Last but not least, 42 percent of adults in the U.S. think that politics is the un-sexy topic to avoid on Valentine's Day. Nobody wants to argue about the state of our country over chocolates and a glass of red. However strongly you feel about politics, V-Day isn't the time to vent about it.
Remember, just because it's Valentine's Day doesn't necessarily mean your partner is immune to turnoffs. I'd say review this before Feb. 14 rolls around. Or, if you're really worried about screwing things up, bring this cheat sheet along. You're welcome.