1. Cramming too much information into a first encounter. Past relationship admissions, lists of hobbies, anecdotes about your great aunt Mary. No need to bring up extended family when making a first impression.
2. Being overly sexual right off the bat. The word “tantric” shouldn’t come up in the first 10 minutes if you’re going for a long term relationship. Yeah, I know, your cousin met someone at a bar and all they had in common was the mind-blowing sex and now they’re happily married. Ever happiness to them. But, like, no.
3. Assuming someone will understand you like them just because you’re overly friendly. Unless you’re going for a Cindy-Lou-Who-level seduction tactic, this isn’t working for you.
4. Assuming someone will understand you like them just because you’re overly mean. If you have a sarcastic retort for their every comment, maybe they’ll realize you like them! But maybe they’ll assume you hate them.
5. Lying about something you can’t talk your way out of. A white lie like, “yeah, I listen to them all the time” is fine, especially if it gets you out of listening to 4 Vampire Weekend albums for your “musical education.” But lying about your neighborhood, so you have an excuse to walk home with them, will eventually catch up to you.
6. Nervous giggles. Laughing at someone’s jokes is flattering, but not being able to get a sentence out because you’re overcome is less endearing.
7. Drunk giggles. Avoid them. See also: Drunk chuckles, drunk slurs, drunk falling off a chair and hoping no one noticed.
8. Oversharing, especially in terms of past relationships, and what you’re looking for currently. It’s one thing to be clear about what you’re looking for, so you’re not wasting your time. But you’re not obligated to broadcast whether you’re looking for a life partner, a one night stand or something in between.
9. Mentioning how hot you are. Confidence can be sexy, but pointing out your best attributes is redundant because they’ve already noticed and don’t need you to drive the point home.
10. Hoping they’ll change their mind if they aren’t initially interested and/or volunteering yourself as their backup plan. If you don’t get a job, it’s perfectly reasonable to respond saying, “Thanks so much, please keep me in mind in the future.” Dating isn’t like that.
11. Exclusively flirting on social media: Excessive favoriting and RTing isn’t construed as interest, it’s just annoyingly thirsty. Liking someone’s Facebook picture to remind them to respond to your text only yields a return on investment 50% of the time and isn’t worth the amount of anxiety it produces.
12. Getting too handsy, too fast – any sort of lower back caressing, casual boob grazes or an inner thigh approach – isn’t appropriate if they haven’t agreed to go home with you yet.
14. Excusing yourself, so as not to appear overeager, and then desperately trying to catch their eye. If you’re craning your neck just to secure an eyelock moment, you’re working too hard for your supper.
15. Trying to force a ~deep connection~ early on. Matching your horoscopes or divulging stories from your childhood can wait.
16. Pairing up for a drinking game because there’s nothing better to do. No healthy relationship has ever started with a desperate game of “Up the river, down the river.”
17. Trying to lure someone into talking to you by aggressively ignoring them all night.
18. Exposing your inner theatre major/stand up comedian. You can be quippy and hilarious in conversation, but they don’t want to become your audience. They don’t need 20 jokes thrown at them in a row, nor do they need to hear every detail about the time you were in Spring Awakening.
19. Identifying yourself as too many highly specific “types”, most of which are contradictory. Of course there are girly girls who love sports and bros who are sensitive and wear rimmed glasses, but you are not a one size fits all person. You can’t relate to everyone on every level, nor can you be everyone’s type.
20. Referencing all the people who are interested in you (real or made up).
21. Forgetting to listen to the other person because you’re too nervous, too busy imagining them without clothes on, or just bored listening to their drug usage repertoire which sounds shockingly similar to Leo DiCaprio’s character in Wolf of Wall Street. You need to listen if you’re going to ~engage~ or be able to say something when they stop speaking.
22. Sending nude pics prematurely.
23. Rejecting yourself before they’ve even had a chance to reject you. Asking someone out by saying, “I know you’d never be interested” or, “You probably have better things to do,” puts words in their mouth and makes them look desperate if they say yes.
24. Poorly gauging the vibe, or the person you’re flirting with. Be yourself, of course, but maybe don’t tell them what house you were sorted into on Pottermore unless the occasion calls for it.
25. Trying to be aloof via text, to the extent that you aren’t making sense and are simply not answering even their most direct questions. Or worse, taking so long to respond that they end up writing you off completely.