By Alex Rogers
Updated March 14, 2014
Keep talking about your imaginary ex, the Lego pirate man Captain Redbeard.™
| Credit: © Dominic D'Sarltal / Alamy

Below is a list of the most common pitfalls and faux pas that can turn first dates into last dates. Avoid them if you’re hoping to trade a life of lonely misery for a chance at a life of shared misery with someone special. Or perhaps you need to guarantee the date goes poorly because you agreed to it while in a drunken stupor and then you couldn’t get out of it because his dad is your boss’s best friend and you are up for that big promotion because you’re a sitcom character. Well, even then you might not want to do this stuff.

1. Fail to make eye contact with, speak to or acknowledge the existence of your date, like he is the ghost in The Sixth Sense.

2. Be more than three days late.

3. Explain that you are a time traveler, you have known your date since she was a child, that you are fated to be wed and that trying to change the future destroys the universe.

4. Discuss politics, religion or anything divisive on the first date, instead of waiting until you’re in a committed relationship to have passionate arguments about these things.

5. Instead of being yourself, be Gary Busey.

6. Offer to pay for the meal, then yell, “Psych!” and disappear in a cloud of thick smoke.

7. Die suddenly of a cerebral aneurysm.

8. Schedule two dates at the same time at the same restaurant; also, your crazy Uncle Cletus is up to his usual shenanigans at the car wash.

9. Keep talking about your imaginary ex, the Lego pirate man Captain Redbeard.™

10. Show your date the first half of your soon-to-be-matching forearm tattoos.

11. Wear a shirt with a picture of him or her on it.

12. Constantly use your cell phone, even if you answer every call with, “Yes, Mr. President,” or chuckle to yourself while texting “Ha-ha you’ll never believe what the President just texted me,” or exclaim, “I just won Words with Friends! Against the President!”

13. Instead of going out for coffee or dinner, go to the DMV and get your license renewed.

14. Compare your date to either of your biological parents, who you’re also just getting to know.

15. Be physically unattractive.

16. Explain how you don’t want the prospect of first date sex to get in the way of having a good time, ending by raising your eyebrows and saying, “Hint, hint!”

17. You actually are Gary Busey.