On a first date, ‘sure things’ can turn into ‘see you laters’ in the blink of an eye.

What makes first dates different than 2nd or 3rd dates, or even relationships, is that they can turn sour very quickly. When you’ve been seeing someone for a while, you’ve had the chance to get to know them, so you’re less likely to be turned off by one small thing.

Not so on a first date. Because you don’t really know the person yet, you/they tend to make decisions on limited information – usually for the worse. Here’s the list of ‘first date chemistry killers’ you must avoid at all costs:

  1. Checking out = checked out: checking out (or worse yet, flirting) with your server during a date is a sure fire way to ensure you’ll not make it to date #2. It sends the message that you’re not serious or nice, neither of which will impress quality minded singles (nor the server for that matter).
  2. Yawning: if a smile is nature’s most powerful aphrodisiac, the yawn is it’s first cousin from dating hell. You may be tired, you may even be uninspired by your date, but yawning is not the way to communicate that. Have a pre-date espresso, splash some cold water on your face in the washroom, or do whatever it takes. Just don’t yawn in your dates presence.
  3. Watching the game: in today’s world, every restaurant, lounge or coffee shop seems to have multiple large screen TV’s that can be viewed from any angle. Serious singles beware: its a trap! Glancing frequently at the TV while you’re on a first date sends the message that you’re not interested, interesting or serious. If you are a major sports fan and your favorite team is playing in game 7 that night – do yourself (and your date) a favor: pick another night for your date.
  4. Forget me not: the essence of good conversation is getting beyond the superficial and into subjects that connect the both of you at a deeper level. There are 3 steps: 1) remembering key details of the person’s story; 2) asking some follow up questions to dig a little deeper; 3) connecting that story to one of your own, or explaining why you find it funny/interesting/engaging. If you can’t remember key things about someone’s story, you’ll not be able to have an engaging conversation with them, which generally leads to an unsuccessful first date. If you find that dating is becoming a chore, and all your dates seem the same, this might be a big reason why. If you seek to be memorable, remember.