These are six behaviors that are pretty much signs that things are going to get much, much worse:
1. He gets drunk (even noticeably tipsy). I understand that most first dates may include meeting for a drink or two or maybe having a glass of wine over dinner. Our social culture has, unfortunately, seemed to be built around the imbibing of alcohol. But, if your date puts down three or more drinks over the course of the date (regardless of his size), or if he starts becoming noticeably intoxicated, that’s a real sign of an underlying problem.
Also, if he comes to pick you up, and you notice the scent of alcohol on his breath, that’s a sure sign of problem drinking. I’m not anti-alcohol, but on a first date you want to get to know the real person, not the alcohol (or any other intoxicant) modified version of the person.
If he’s your ride, then he’s also putting your safety at risk. In this situation, it’s best to politely tell him that you’d rather not get in a car with him and offer that if he’d like to walk somewhere or take public transportation to continue the date, then you’ll join him. “He’d Be Great, If Only…”
2. He’s rude to the waiter. Or if he’s rude to the person at the ticket booth, the bartender, the cab driver or really anyone else you come into contact with during the date. Even if the service is poor, slow or the waitress got your order wrong, there’s no need for any kind of insults or demeaning treatment. If your date acts rudely to others, you can be pretty certain that at some point that rudeness will be pointed at you, and when it is, it will be much worse.
3. He’s checking out other women. What I’m talking about here is clearly checking out other women, as in the “up and down checkout,” not the “people watching” kind of look. If he’s obviously ogling other women, it’s inexcusable. Again, he’s supposed to be on his best behavior here so if he can’t keep his eyes in check and on you for a couple of hours, then just remember, it’s not going to get better. I realize that men are wired to be visual, and yes, we can forgive that on occasion, but this is the first date we’re talking about here. We’re also talking about respect, as in, respect for you.
Keep the eyeballs in their sockets, Mister! If he can’t resist the urge to be looking elsewhere now, it’s very likely he’ll be looking elsewhere down the road.
4. It’s just plain boring. This one is not quite as heavy of a topic as possible alcoholism, emotional abuse or future infidelity but it’s just as much of a deal breaker as the rest. I mean, if it’s boring right out of the gate, why would you think it will magically get better next time?
If you feel like a dentist while trying to get a decent conversation out of the man and you find yourself wanting to glance at your watch to see how much longer you need to stay in order for it to be considered a “real date” then you probably don’t want to put yourself in that situation again. But I think you already knew that one.