If you're single, having an idea of what people's biggest date dealbreakers are can be super helpful in your search for love. We all have different ideas of what makes a good first date, just like we all have particular dating pet peeves that instantly turn us off from potential partners. There's no way to know in advance what specific behaviors or traits will irk your date, but being aware of what the general public deems a dating no-no will ensure that you go into the date without being totally clueless.
A new survey by dating site PlentyOfFish asked 2,000 singles their thoughts on everything from small talk to emoji usage — you guessed it —their date dealbreakers. While there were some obvious dating don'ts (like being rude), the most surprising thing was what didn't make the list: talking politics. Only five percent of those surveyed said they hate when people talk about politics on a date. To be fair, it's been kind of hard to avoid talking about politics in any situation since Trump's election, so maybe we're all feeling a little more open to the idea of a first date political debate these days.
But should it really be an instant dealbreaker? "It's one thing if [your dealbreaker] is a lifestyle thing — I'm never going to date someone who smokes — but when you start saying thinking of dealbreakers in terms of political party, you're going to be missing out on a huge number of people you could be really happy with," Celeste Headlee, conversation expert and author, tells Bustle. "Millennials especially are prone to these dealbreakers about philosophy and philosophy is totally important but it affects maybe two percent of your daily life at the most."
If you're curious about what singles say not to do on a date, here are the top five dating dealbreakers to avoid.
1Looking Down At Your Phone
Of those surveyed, 19 percent said their number one dating dealbreaker is when their date looks down at their phone throughout the night. Phone snubbing — when someone ignores you in favor of their smartphone — can actually have a detrimental effect on all your relationships, because it's a clear signal that whatever is happening on your phone takes precedence over the real, live human in front of you.
"I totally agree with this," Headleee says. "We know it's wrong because identify it in other people but we haven't made the leap to where we realize that's wrong too. We justify the behavior in ourselves, like 'I'm waiting for an email, I need to keep checking my phone.' We just need to say, if it's bad for 80 percent of people, it's probably bad for me too." So if you want to impress your date, stow your phone in your bag or pocket for safekeeping.
2Taking Smoke Breaks
For 15 percent of singles surveyed, the biggest dating turn-off is when their date keeps getting up for a smoke break. Obviously, if you're both smokers, this won't be much of an issue, but if your date doesn't smoke and you leave them multiple times throughout the date to have a cigarette, don't be surprised if they're irritated.
It should hopefully be common sense not to exhibit any rude behavior when you're on a date, but the problem is that truly rude people are most likely unaware (or simply don't care) that they're being a jerk. For 12 percent of singles, rude behavior on a date is the biggest no-no, and will definitely ensure there's no second date.
4Talking About Exes
Ten percent of singles surveyed said that their biggest dating pet peeve is when someone starts talking about an ex on the date. Everyone has a past, and it's OK (and important!) to discuss your romantic history with your partner — but on the first date, it's better to hold your tongue.
5Having Nothing In Common
Is there anything worse than going on a date and realizing you have nothing whatsoever in common? For nine percent of singles, that's their worst dating nightmare. It might be a little painful to stick it out until the end, but just chalk it up to experience and put it behind you — then start the search for someone with whom you're more compatible.
It's understandable to get nervous before a first date, but the cool thing about dating is that there is no "right" or "wrong" way to do it. Everyone has different dating dealbreakers, so all you can do is be polite, be yourself, and hope you make a genuine connection. If you don't, there's no need to worry: there are plenty of fish in the sea.
Check out the “Sex & Relationships” stream in the Bustle App for tips, tricks, and advice on friends, sex, dating, and everything in-between.