Bad Dates happen to everyone. It’s a true but depressing fact. Sometimes you’ll be on a date that you really think is going well, only to discover that you were very, very wrong. But how do you know bad dates from good ones? Some of the signs are really obvious, but others are almost distressingly subtle. Don’t worry, though! I’ve got a comprehensive list of signs that tell you how to tell the bad dates from the great ones.

1. NO EYE CONTACT

If you find yourself having a lot of really bad dates, start looking in your date’s eyes. Do you two make any eye contact? Without it, then the odds are really high that you’re on a bad date in the making. Sometimes the person is shy, so try and see if he looks away when you try to talk.

2. DEFENSIVE BODY LANGUAGE

Body language can tell you a lot. Does your date spend a lot of time with his arms crossed? If it happens once or twice, no problem. However, if the gesture seems to be constant, and especially if it occurs whenever you’re trying to speak, that’s very bad. He’s just not that into you.

3. LET’S CHANGE THE SUBJECT

In and of itself, changing the subjective isn’t indicative of really bad dates. However, if your date changes the subject every time you try to speak or every time you try to say something about yourself, it should be a warning sign. This is also true if it happens whenever you try to bring up a certain topic, like where he works or where he lives, et cetera. Sometimes, that can be a defensive maneuver.

4. GRUNTING

Okay, I don’t mean actual grunting – exactly. But does your date give one-word or non-committal answers to everything you say? That’s another red flag. If he’s not at all into what you’re saying and can’t even muster up a polysyllabic answer, your best bet is to just move on – fast.

5. WATCHING THE CLOCK

Right now, bad dates all over the world are happening, all because of one compulsive gesture: clock watching. If the two of you have set aside time to spend together and your date hasn’t specifically said he has to be somewhere else, there’s no reason for constant clock watching. If he keeps eyeing the time every five minutes, that’s as big a signal as an eye wandering toward the waitress’s cleavage.

6. THE EX FACTOR

Sometimes, talking about an ex is totally acceptable. However, if that’s all your date talks about, guess what? You are on a bad date. You just don’t want to see someone who constantly bashes his ex. Even if it’s justified, it’s just bad form, and it can point to big problems down the line.

7. CONSTANT TEXTING

Text messages are responsible for so many bad dates. I’m not saying it’s not okay to do it, but if your date can’t even put down his cell phone, it may be a sign that he’s not that into what you’re doing. However, this is one of those things that might be a quirk. If you like the person you’re with, ask about it; let it be known that you’re not really down with the behavior.

8. A NEGATIVE NELLIE

You know what I hate? Negative Nellies – or Nelsons, you know, whichever. You know the type. There’s something wrong with the food, the restaurant sucks, he hates the neighborhood, there was no parking, oh em gee there’s a spot on his fork, the movie was terrible, the floors were sticky, the popcorn was too dry – need I go on? No? Well, either should you. Run!

Bad dates really do happen to everyone. I’m sure you can think of more than a few you’d probably like to forget. There’s no reason you have to keep having bad dates, though. You don’t even have to continue on a current bad date, although it’s entirely up to you.


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