Checking your phone, smoke breaks and knife-licking: The nation's biggest dinner date turn-offs revealed

·4-min read
Bad table manners is the biggest dinner date turn-off. (Getty Images)
Bad table manners is the biggest dinner date turn-off. (Getty Images)

First dates can be nerve wracking - Will they like you? Will you like them? And will you end up with a piece of lettuce stuck between your front teeth?

But it seems there are some other, more specific turn-offs singletons need to consider on a dinner date, as they could totally put off the object of your affection. 

A study of more than 2,000 UK adults has found the top first date dos and don'ts which could totally make or break the evening.

Turns out bad table manners were the most disliked faux-pas, with 83% of Brits hating it when people lick their knife, use their fingers to eat, and talk with their mouth full.

Other bugbears uncovered in the poll commissioned by One4all Favourites Gift Cards, include having your phone out on the table and checking it in front of a date, which over three-quarters (78%) of people just aren't ok with. 

Taking smoke breaks, nail-biting and blowing your nose at the table also turned off 77% of daters. No doubt the latter has ramped up as a no, no in these virus-laden times. 

Read more: Best UK dating sites and apps to help you find love in 2021

Using your phone on a date is another faux-pas. (Getty Images)
Using your phone on a date is another faux-pas. (Getty Images)

As well as physical off-puts, it seems that chat, or indeed lack of it, could ruin your chances of a second date.

Having dinner with someone who solely talked about themselves, featured in the list of the nation's top five turn offs, with more than half (60%) of Brits agreeing this is a real dating low. 

On the opposite end of the scale, nearly 9 out of 10 Brits (85%) think a date that shows interest in them and asks questions about them is the best way to impress.

There are some other ways to ensure you bag yourself that all important second date, with three quarters believing making good eye contact is a real turn-on, and the same number believing common decency and being polite to restaurant staff is a sure-fire way to their heart. 

Watch: David Schwimmer denies Jennifer Aniston dating rumours. 

Over half say the first date has a lot of power to set the tone for the dates that follow, with over half (57%) of Brits believing that initial encounter has the power to make or break a relationship.

Turns out romance isn't dead after all, with over a third of British men (36%) saying wining and dining is very important in a long-term relationship to help keep the spark alive.

Read more: The subtle changes in language that could reveal your relationship is about to break up

Commenting on the findings Aoife Davey, senior marketing director at One4all Favourites Gift Cards says: “It doesn’t surprise me that as a nation we place such high importance on a first date, but it doesn’t need to stop there… Even when you’ve been with your partner for a long time, wining and dining a loved one is extremely important, not just to keep the romance alive but to press pause on hectic schedules and enjoy some alone time together."

Read more: Why your relationship has been changed by lockdown

Being interested in your date is one way to help secure another. (Getty Images)
Being interested in your date is one way to help secure another. (Getty Images)

Top five UK dating turn-offs

1. A date with bad table manners that licks their knife, uses fingers, talks with their mouth full.

2. A date that has their phone out on the table or checks their phone throughout the date.

3. A date with off-putting habits like nail biting, blowing their nose at the table, having smoke breaks.

4. A date talking about themselves the whole time.

5. A date who is late.

Top five UK dating turn-ons:

1. A date that shows interest in you and asks questions about you.

2. A date with good manners and eating habits.

3. A date that makes good eye contact.

4. A date being polite and friendly to the waiter/waitress.

5. A date that compliments you.

Watch: TikToker goes viral after sharing the story of how she met her boyfriend. 

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