By Juliet O
To find out more about what pisses you Zooskers off, we posted over at the new and improved community forums asking for your biggest dating pet peeves. The response we got was varied, insightful, and revealing. Here are the top 10 most frequently cited pet peeves, and advice on how to avoid them.
It seems, hands down, the pet peeve we noticed most frequently was regarding cell phone use during a date. People really, really don’t like it when you use a cell phone on a date. Says Zoosker Shannon, “I understand when an emergency comes up, but it’s so important to be present with each other especially when you’re learning about each other.” Zoosker Tommy agrees. “I can’t stand texting while on a date. It’s rude and a really bad impression for me when they text while I’m in the middle of saying something or if it’s while they are saying something and they abruptly stop, text, and then continue.” Texting can be an addictive thing, but if you want to make a good impression on a first date, keep your phone away from you greedy little fingers! Turn the phone to silent or vibrate, and put it deep in your pocket or handbag. Equally bad as texting is constantly checking your phone to see if you’ve received any messages. You can check your phone if you excuse yourself to use the restroom, but never in front of your date unless it’s an absolute emergency. As Zoosker DD states, “Put the phone down and try to enjoy yourself.”
Lateness is annoying in any context, and when you’re on a date, being late is a sign of serious disrespect. Zoosker Devsfan30 remarks, “I would have to say my biggest pet peeve is when people are late for a date. Lateness absolutely drives me nuts.” Zoosker Alymomma concurs, “My worst pet peeve is when the guy is late and lets the girl wait for more than 30 minutes. I can forgive 15 minutes. But if you’re already late for 30 minutes or so, jeez, I’m leaving.” If you find yourself in an unexpected predicament and know you will be late, it is customary to call and inform the waiting party ahead of time. The best policy is just to not be late. You can avoid this by leaving early. Periodically late people: leave even earlier!
3. Discussing the ex
Zoosker Marty is particularly adamant. “I also hate it when a girl talks about her ex to me on a first date… I mean, come on! It’s not like us boys are all connected in some way. We don’t have a network that runs between us all. If you want to talk about someone else, at least make it someone we both know.” We couldn’t agree more. Talking about the ex makes your current date feel uncomfortable, unworthy, unwanted, and a host of adjectives that are all negative. Hearing you talk about your ex is also extremely boring for your date, because your date has no idea who this person is and why you should still be harping about it. You’ll also come across like you’re loaded with baggage which, trust us, is not a turn on in the slightest. As Hayboy writes, “By far my worst pet peeve for ANY date is comparing me to a past BF. Or talking about a past relationship the whole time. It’s in the past, learn from it, move on.”
4. Turning it physical
Writes Zoosker Ron, “I think my worse pet peeve is when the date tries to turn it sensual. I would rather wait for that until after I know who is with me.” MagicBandit chimes in, “My biggest peeve would have to be being expected to jump into bed with someone I just met. If you think about it, if they are prepared to have sex with you after just meeting you, would you really think you’re the only one? I want to get to know the person first.” Turning an innocent date into a game of footsie and handsie is a terrible idea if you actually like this person and want to get to know them better. Taking things too quickly is suicide for budding relationships, not to mention a turn off for relationship-minded folks. We’re not knocking on physical relationships, but we think that emotional attachments should come first.
5. Not paying attention
If you don’t pay attention to someone, it sends the signal that you aren’t interested. So maybe if you really aren’t interested, you should not pay attention to the person you are with. For those who are interested, however: pay attention. “I definitely hate it when a date doesn’t even pay attention to you, or even SEEM interested at all,” says Brendan. Furthermore, contribute to the conversation! Says JB, “A pet peeve for me is lack of conversation. Without conversation, it makes getting to know the person difficult.” Reana says one of her biggest peeves is “not engaging into conversations to get to know each other”. Even if you have severe ADD, you should be able to use your mental capacities to focus on your date during the duration of the date, so do it!
6. Bad table manners
This one is a given. Being around a slob is bad but eating around them is even worse. A date that takes your appetite away is a date that will never happen again. Chew with your mouth closed, use your napkin not your hand, don’t eat with your fingers, and don’t pick at your teeth. Don’t eat things off your date’s plate without asking. Take a shower. Brush your teeth. Breath so bad that it makes your hair stand up is not generally considered an attractive trait.
7. Getting drunk
“No, I think the worst thing pet peeve on a date is when you go to a nice restaurant with someone ‘special’, and they get unbelievably drunk, take off all their clothes and start dancing around with spaghetti on their head,” writes Elliott. Um, yeah, that would peeve us too! Don’t drink so much you can’t operate properly on a date. As we wrote in our “What Not To Do On A First Date” blog entry last month: “Go ahead and drink. Just don’t drink so much that you think it’s a good idea to cry in public, fall down the stairs, steal your date’s iPhone, and start a bar fight.” To prepare yourself to not behave in this manner, limit your drinks. 1-2 is generally okay (depending on your tolerance) but 4+ drinks and you’re walking a fine line between friendly drunk and scary, crying, taking your clothes off and running in the street drunk.
Zoosker Latin comments, “I understand you may had a bad day at work. Yet, if your gonna be in a bad mood on a date, then don’t go on the date. I rather wait and have you when your cheerful and in a good mood. Just remember it’s okay to reschedule. But, on that same note, don’t do it last minute or too often.” It’s never fun to be around a Negative Nancy, so try to stick with topics that are generally uplifting. Topics to avoid? Death, dying, anything morbid or macabre, war, nihilism, the impending apocalypse. Try to stick to fun topics, like hobbies, movies, music, how many brothers and sisters you have, you know? Save the stuff about conspiracy theories and alien abductions for later on in your relationship.
9. Not even pretending to reach for your wallet
A enormous pet peeve? “Not even attempting to suggest that you could go dutch or pay the bill. (Btw, I always pick up the tab on the first couple dates, but its the thought that counts),” Brandon comments. At least pretend like you’re going for your wallet and make some half-hearted and feeble protests! It’s the least you can do, ladies. Just because you are on a date with a man does not mean you are entitled to a free meal. We all love to be wined and dined, but we should at least pretend to reach for our wallets to send the signal that we don’t expect anything, and that when treated out, we appreciate the gesture.
10. Talking about marriage and kids
Unless you have kids, it’s inappropriate to talk about marriage and kids on the first date. “Please don’t ask me how many kids you want or ask me how many I would like on the first date, it’s just creepy,” Zoosker Nikki states. Talking about future goals directly related to whether or not the relationship will work out sets unreasonable expectations too soon — and that’s a huge turn off for anyone.
photo credit: wonderlane