Congratulations, you got a date! Some people take to dating like a duck takes to water, but for many others a first date can be quite a daunting (if exciting) experience. What should I wear? Where’s the best place to meet? What can we talk about? There is no single answer to these questions, as everyone has their own personality and tastes. However, first impressions matter. To help you avoid making any mistakes that could ruin your chances, discover what you should never do during your first date.

Showing up late

Don’t make your potential partner wait for you alone at your meeting place. It’s okay to be 5-10 minutes late, but 30 minutes or 1 hour could really annoy them. If the situation was really out of your control, for instance, due to an accident on the road, they should be understanding. However, arriving late because you stayed too long in your bathroom or because it’s part of your seduction technique won’t make a good impression.

Being disrespectful

Obviously, you have to be respectful and kind to the person you’re meeting, but don’t forget to be nice with the restaurant staff or the taxi driver as well. Otherwise, you’ll look rude and lose all of your good points in a second.

Being constantly on your phone

It’s best to turn your phone off, or at least put it in silent mode, and keep it hidden in your pocket or bag. You should never put your phone in the middle of the table or check it every ten minutes. Your potential match could take it badly and see it as a sign that you’re not interested in the conversation and you’d rather be somewhere else, with someone else.

Dressing up too smart or too casual

What to wear on a first date depends on the place you’re meeting. If you agreed to meet in a coffee shop, don’t arrive sporting a splendid gala dress or a full tuxedo. You may feel attractive, but your outfit will be totally inappropriate for the situation. You won’t feel at ease and neither will your date. The same applies if you don’t make any effort at all and just turn up in your jogging pants. There’s always a happy medium.

Mentioning your other senior dates or ex-relationships

This one is obvious. Whether you met on a dating website or not, the first date is about you and your potential partner. You’ll talk about your ex-husbands and wives another time, if the first date is success and you see each other again. It’s also not great to talk about other people that you recently dated, even more so if you criticize or mock them. There are many other topics to talk about during a first date, for instance, your projects or your hobbies.

Showing off

You don’t have to work too hard to show that you’re worth dating. Just be who you are. You don’t need to say that you get hit on all the time when you’re out. Avoid saying how great being single and dating are as well. Be natural. If the date goes well and you see each other again, they’ll have a chance to see how great you are.

Not offering to pay the bill

When the receipt comes, don’t act as if you didn’t notice it. It’s right there, in the middle of the table. Whether you’re a man or a woman, always offer to pay or split the bill. If your potential partner is kind enough to pay, why not offer to treat them next time or leave a nice tip for the waiter.

Drinking too much

Its normal to feel a little nervous on your first date, especially if you’re over 50 and have been out of the game for a while. However, that’s not a reason to drink too fast and too much. Not only will this make you look bad, this might also make you lose control and say things you will regret. A couple of drinks is fine, more can be dangerous.

Not asking any questions

A first date is the opportunity to get to know each other, in order to see if you can take things further. If you don’t ask them any questions, not only will you not get to know who they are, you will also give them the impression that you’re self-obsessed and not interested in them at all. If you don’t want to seem rude, don’t talk too much about yourself, be an active listener and take part in the conversation by asking them questions about their life. That’s something all men and women love.

Sharing too much

Some people might find themselves becoming quite chatty when they are nervous or slightly tipsy. However, be careful not to say too much about yourself to someone you barely know. They don’t need to know that your ex-partner broke your heart or that you are jealous of your sister. If, unfortunately, your tongue slipped, change the subject quickly. They are not your best friend (yet) and so you should avoid sharing too much detail about your personal life.