Dating is a minefield, and now, thanks to the growing popularity of dating apps (do people even speak to each other in real life anymore?), it’s a minefield full of catfish, conversational ability dryer than the Sahara and promises of amazing dates with very little delivery. So when you do finally find yourself actually going on a date, £9.99 lighter (thanks, Tinder subscription) and all out of cheesy one-liners, you want to make sure you make the best first impression possible.

So in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, we’ve done the hard work for you and asked our in-house Stylists what their biggest first date turn offs are. Even for those of you who have already found your perfect match, it’s always worth refreshing yourself, have you ever heard of the “ick”?

Bad manners

We’re not exactly surprised that this one came out on top as the biggest first date turn off. Probably one of the quickest ways to have your date faking an emergency phone call is forgetting how to behave like a civilised human being. Do I want to see what your eating? No thank you.

Poor choice of footwear

It was to be expected that we had a lot of mentions of bad style when we asked our Stylists to answer this question, but there was uniform agreement that the biggest fashion faux-pas was bad shoes. It seems that a lot of men underestimate the power of a good pair of shoes. Unless your first date is in the gym, leave the trainers at home. They're harder to dress up, and there’s not much more unattractive than looking like you’re ready to run away at the first opportunity.

Constantly checking your phone

Remember why you’re here, to get off those horrible dating apps and start dating real people in the real world. So why on earth are you sat there checking your phone? Not only is it incredibly bad manners (see point 1), but do you know how bad phone battery life is these days? What are you going to do when you realise you really don’t want to be on this date and you can’t even call a cab? Helpful, yet practical advice. Thank us later.

Getting out-of-control drunk

A first date drink is great for calming your nerves and helping you be the best version of you, but you know what happens to the best version of you after a few gins and a round of shots? It ceases to exist. If you know you're not great at handling your drink, stick to the orange juice. 

Bringing flowers with you

Our last one on the list is one that may be contested by the old romantics amongst you, but we’ve got to agree with our Stylists on this one. Not only is it slightly awkward to turn up to a date with someone you don’t know with a present that will inevitably die, it’s also extremely impractical. Unless your date walks around with a vase of water in their bag - in which case you should run for the hills because that is the weirdest thing we’ve ever heard - they’ll need to sit there whilst your present (and probably any hope of a second date) shrivels up.