Some first dates are like a dream: from the moment you lock eyes, you know everything is going to be just right and it is.

Others you wouldn’t repeat if someone offered you a million in cold, hard cash.

This week, dating website EliteSingles asked 45,000 singles in 15 countries to share their worst first date experiences.

Tracey Cox reveals the 11 cardinal sins of first dates, we're spending time on their phone being one of them

Here’s their horror stories (and others) that make staying home alone suddenly appealing…


‘For the first date, he gave me a quiz that I had to fill in. The questions were about what I like to do during sex.’

Ordering the meal for you (without asking what you want), micro-managing every aspect of the date and looking like thunder if something goes even slightly wrong are all strong indications your prospective new partner is a control freak.

Some people quite like control freaks: if you’re lazy and/or laid back, letting your partner organise everything is a bonus.

But if you feel you’re the person who’s best at making your own decisions (silly you!), smile sweetly when they send back their meal for the sixth time and never see them again.


‘She showed me photos of her ex boyfriend within an hour of meeting her, sighing and saying “He’s so good-looking isn’t he?”‘

I’m not sure what’s worse – the date who talks constantly and lovingly about an ex or the date who rips shreds off them – but both are HUGE red flags.

If they assume you're already an item or they are moving to quickly is a huge turn-off 

If they’ve idealised their ex, you’re never going to measure up and hate is merely the flipside of love.

The ideal response to questions about exes, should the topic arise naturally, is indifference that’s got a kindly edge to it.

Be ultra-aware of people who blame everything on their ex and take no responsibility for their part in the relationship failing.


‘He proposed.’

Sitting opposite someone you’ve known for a total of two hours and hearing them talk about where you’re both going to spend Christmas should ring so many alarm bells, you can’t even hear how much you’re going to love their mum and sister.

Fast-tracking relationships is a huge turn-off for both sexes, making even the most attractive person seem desperate and clingy.


‘He set up a date in a supermarket.’

In the old days, the rules were clear: the first date (instigated by him) would always be dinner and the guy always paid.

These days, ‘dates’ are way more casual: it’s just as likely to be a coffee rather than formal outing so who pays the bill is less important.

But even if most couples do split the bill or take turns paying later on (according to relative salary levels), intent is everything on a first date.

This is when you’re both supposed to be on best behaviour. If they don’t even offer to pay or go halves, it’s a pretty good indication generosity isn’t one of their personality traits.


‘He asked me to demonstrate with a dildo to check how I perform oral sex. Yes, on a first date.’

This girl’s experience was extreme (I mean the guy actually brought a dildo with him on the date!), but plenty of women go on dates with men who make crude comments right from word go.

‘He couldn’t stop talking about how big my breasts were and how he couldn’t wait to get his hands on them.’

‘He launched straight into how many women he’d met on Tinder and told me his ‘score rate’ – how many he’d slept with on the first date – was 95 percent.’

Now that’s a chat up line guaranteed never to work.