This Is the No. 1 First Date Dealbreaker, Research Shows

Making this common first date mistake could cost you a second one.

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There are quite a few behaviors that could qualify as first date dealbreakers. From someone who talks over you the whole date to a romantic prospect who shows up looking sloppy, there are plenty of ways a first date can be derailed. However, experts and singles both say there is one first date behavior that is a dealbreaker across the board. According to surveys involving 3,000 singles, looking at your phone too much throughout a date is the biggest first date dealbreaker.

A 2017 survey done by dating app PlentyOfFish asked 2,000 singles about their dating dealbreakers, according to Bustle. The survey found that the most common dealbreaker was someone looking at their phone an inordinate amount of times during the date. This phenomenon, known as "phubbing" (AKA "phone snubbing"), can have significant negative effects on any relationship because it signals that whatever is happening on your phone takes precedent over being present with the person in front of you.

Additionally, in 2019, market research and data analytics firm YouGov polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults about the worst thing you can do on a first date and they found that both men and women agreed that it's spend it on your phone. In that survey, 69 percent of men and 70 percent of women thought that it was off-putting to text friends or scroll through your Instagram feed instead of interacting with the person you should be trying to get to know.

Man using his phone in the middle of a date
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Sure, there are many reasons someone may be on their phone during a first date, like being nervous or trying to seem aloof, but it's not likely to get you a second date. Relationship expert and therapist Jaime Bronstein, LCSW, says excessive phone use on a first date could be "a sign of insecurity if someone needs to show their date that they are 'important' by answering texts or calls during their date."

Bronstein adds, "People like to feel seen and heard, especially on a first date. If your date is too consumed with their own life to be present on the date with you, they are unworthy of a second date."

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In fact, if someone is on their phone throughout your first date, they may be doing you a favor by demonstrating, upfront, the type of behavior you can expect from them down the line. "I think it can communicate a person's limited desire and openness to emotional connection and lack of consideration for the other person's needs and desires," says Sheva Assar, PhD. "Being on the phone communicates disrespect for the other person's time and energy, and can also communicate that someone does not have the time and emotional energy to invest in a relationship at this time."

So, if you find yourself sitting across from a date that is preoccupied with their phone, do yourself a favor and don't schedule a second date. For more on dealbreakers, check out This Is the One Thing You Need to Know About Dealbreakers.

Allie Hogan
Allie Hogan is a Brooklyn based writer currently working on her first novel. Read more
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