The next time you work up the courage to approach an attractive stranger, resist the urge to use a pick-up line, even as a joke. A tooth-whitening company surveyed 2,187 people about what bothers them the most when they first meet someone new and canned lines are up there.
77% of the survey respondents were most turned off when people use a cheesy pick-up line on them. Bad teeth came in second with 65%. It also makes a bad first impression if you spend too much time staring at your phone. Frequent phone use offended 64% of the respondents, with arrogance and lack of hygiene rounding out the top five. People were also bothered, to a lesser degree, by people who don’t offer to pay for a first date and people who treat servers poorly.
While the survey asked about first impressions, some of the responses focus more on how someone would act on a date. Several years ago, a Princeton University study found we decide whether someone is attractive and trustworthy within a tenth of a second of meeting them. It’d be hard to evaluate how someone treats a waiter, or how much time they spend staring at a phone, within the first tenth of a second of meeting them—unless your first impressions involve an ability to see the future.
There’s the old saying that goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” but according to the survey by iWhiteInstant, that’s not actually true. More than half of the people surveyed admitted they had gone on to date someone they didn’t initially find attractive. Once you’re out on the actual date, remember that the rest of the qualities mentioned in the survey could affect your date’s impression of you. Put down your phone. Order a craft beer. (In a a separate survey women found that to be the sexiest drink order.) Be kind to the wait staff, and if you’re feeling generous, offer to pick up the check.