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 CASTLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT

It’s 2016, and the world is joyously reaping the benefits of a reality promised in bygone movies like Back to the Future Part II. Aside from the fact that the hoverboards depicted in the film tend to — um — explode a lot, the future isn’t half bad. However, there are still some conventions of life that will never evolve or go away: like the first date.

It’s tough reading body language, pheromones aren’t overtly smelly, and there’s always the chance that your date will leave dinner early to meet up with a Tinder match for a night of impossibly hot sex with… not you. The first date is, by all accounts, really hard.

Still, there’s no reason to abandon your judgment when testing the waters of a potential new relationship. If you’re doing any of these things during a first date, you should immediately stop, re-examine your life, and perhaps quit dating all together. Hey, we’re pretty close to developing sex robots, so that could be promising?

NEW LINE CINEMA

Flirt with the hostess

Of course the hostess is attractive — that’s why she’s the first person you see when you walk in — but keep your interaction limited to “we are here and ready for our table, please.” It’s really uncool to flirt. On the other hand, if your date starts flirting with the server, maybe you can then initiate something with the server and go for some kind of culinarily themed group sex thing. But… probably way safer just to focus the attention on the person who already agreed to go on a date with you.

Hog the conversation

It’s definitely customary to talk about yourself, but if you find you’re doing all the talking, it’s a pretty clear sign things aren’t going well. You should ask sincerely interested questions while parceling out all the wonderful info about yourself at a reasonable, measured clip. Bonus: time you’re not talking is time when it’s impossible for you to say something embarrassing, awkward, or offensive.

 
SHUTTERSTOCK

Be on your phone

How many dates have already been ruined by way of a set of eyes glued to an iPhone? Hold on, let me look that up. NO! FOCUS! As the lady from The Hunger Games once said to a reporter: “You can’t live your whole life behind your phone, bro.” And she’s proficient in archery so you should probably listen. Anyway, put your phone on airplane mode and make some good conversation.

Expect sex

Look, there’s nothing wrong with sex on the first date. However, there is plenty wrong with ASSUMING you’re going to get first-date sex just because you sprung for apps AND ‘zerts at The Cheesecake Factory. If you both find yourselves wanting to tear each other’s clothes off despite having just polished off a sizable slice of Oreo Dream Extreme, that’s beautiful (just use protection!) But entering into the evening expecting said outcome makes you an entitled douche, or worse.

 
 FOX SEARCHLIGHT

Talk about your ex

Do you know how much your date cares about the one who got away? Very little — save the High Fidelity-style psycho-babble for the 10th date, when shit gets real.

Drink a ton beforehand

The whole point of a first date is that you remember the person you’re seeing and consider them for the esteemed position of a future significant other. If you’re going to drink, stick to one or two and, please, don’t do shots. Unless your name is Sully, in which case you probably already stopped reading this to go do shots.

 
 JACK ROLLINS & CHARLES H

Complain

First dates do not equal a trip to the psychiatrist. If you’re having a crappy day and know you’re going to murder the mood by venting out your frustrations, maybe consider rescheduling. Otherwise you run the risk of tying the success of your date to her level of interest in your distaste for Kevin in sales — and the odds on that aren’t the strongest.

Bring up money

Money is a highly uncomfortable subject to broach, and bringing it up without knowing your date’s financial situation could be a disaster. Some people struggle every month to pay rent and literally hear crickets every time they open their wallet — who has the type of money for cricket poison these days? Anyway — there’ll be a time and place in a relationship to discuss money matters, but the first date isn’t the time to drop the cost of your watch or the renovation you did on your condo to build a separate watch room for all your expensive watches.

FLICKR/IWONA_KELLIE

Haggle over the check

Look, there’s no harm in splitting the bill if she insists on it — but it’s a common courtesy to at least offer to take care of the check yourself. It’s way unattractive to argue over the price of every drink and appetizer as if you were correcting a high school essay. If a $40 meal is going to bleed your bank account dry, have the foresight to go somewhere cheap. Have you considered White Castle?

Invite your friends

It’s not high school. Your date doesn’t want to meet your friends. Especially Sully. He’s such a liability. And think about how stupid you’re going to feel if she hits it off with your handsome friend, Handsome Mike. Man, that son of a bitch is handsome.

 
 CAMELOT PICTURES

Dress down

Come on, put a little effort into your appearance and try to give off the impression that you care. You don’t want to show up looking like Zach Braff in Garden State. While on the subject, don’t bring up Garden State.

 

11 THINGS NO SELF-RESPECTING GUY SHOULD DO ON A FIRST DATE

 

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