Some dates are a disaster from the start. The memory of my Worst Date Ever included: my date making inappropriate sex jokes with me while simultaneously flirting with the waitress; using foul language to discuss his most recent ex-girlfriend; leaving his phone on the table and checking it constantly; letting the bill linger awkwardly on the table until I offered to split the tab (even though he had three drinks to my one) and then asking me if I wanted to see him again. Umm, really? I couldn’t get out of there fast enough!

Not every bad date is this bad, but there are five cues that let you know when your date is truly bombing:

1. Screen Time
If your date is spending more time checking their phone or watching the TV over the bar, then things are probably not going very well. Your date’s attention shouldn’t be anywhere but on you. If you have kids, you might need to have your phone handy; in these cases, it’s best to use the “Do Not Disturb” setting so that your phone will only ring for numbers associated with your children. And another tip: don’t schedule dates when there is any sort of sports-related playoff or championship game on the television. This helps to eliminate possible excuses for your date’s distraction.

2. Lackluster Q&A
If the conversation is very one-sided, this date is a bomb waiting to explode. Warning signs include one-word answers to your questions and a date who doesn’t ask you any questions in return. This demonstrates a clear lack of interest in learning more about you or sharing more about themselves, both of which make for a bad pairing.

3. Touchy Topics
If the conversation has veered into awkward territory with no end in sight, your date is headed down the drain. Someone who wants to tell you all about their exes or their past horrid dates clearly doesn’t know their first date etiquette. Even worse is a date who uses obscene language or discusses inappropriate topics that make you uncomfortable. If this happens, feel free to cut the date short.

4. No Touching
If there’s no intimacy – as in no eye contact and no brief touches – then it’s not a good sign that your date is feeling any sexual attraction to you. Sure, some people are shy. But if you try to send out those positive body language signals and get nothing in return, then the date’s a dud.

5. Sex Sells
That said, if your date becomes overly flirtatious and sexually inappropriate, there’s a pretty good chance that they are looking to just hook-up and nothing more. If you’re on board with that idea, cool; otherwise, it is incredibly off-putting. Sometimes a date bombs but there’s enough sexual attraction that you may want to have some fun – no judgment here! But if you’re looking for a relationship, it’s time to say sayonara to a poorly matched meet-up.

The best thing you can do when a date bombs is to shake it off and move on. You don’t even need to stay on your date any longer than would be respectful. You’re both there to find a match and if this isn’t one, then cut your losses sooner rather than later… in a polite way. Everyone has bad dates, so don’t let it get you down or affect your future first dates.

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