Online dating deal-breakers: 5 kinds of daters to avoid

If you're dating one of these, it's best to call it quits now

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On a first date, you want to make a connection with the person sat opposite you, and feel that you would like to get to know them better. Sometimes, it can take a few meetings to know one way or the other, but if you spot any of these traits it's time to call it quits now.

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1. The serial dater
When you meet through an online dating site, you have to expect that your date will be meeting up with other people. But if they regale you with endless dating stories, you have to wonder why they haven't found anyone yet.

Ask how long they've been on the site, how many dates they've had, and if any of those turned into relationships. Take note of their response, particularly if they try to fudge the answer.

A serial dater is likely to come across as charming and enthusiastic (after all, they've had lots of practice!) but their interest in you may be short-lived. If you're looking for something serious, it's best to move on now.

2.The control freak
They pick the venue, date and time for your date. And when they arrive, they're particular about where they want to sit. If you're a laid back kind of person, you might be happy to go along – and even be relieved that someone else is making the decisions. Beware, though.

If they have set expectations about how the waiters/bar staff should behave, or how the night should go, you might have a control freak on your hands. A date who sends food back (when you can't see much wrong with it) or finds cause for complaint may well be high maintenance in a relationship too.

3. The confidence crusher
Worse than the control freak, is the date who criticises you. There's nothing wrong with having a bit of banter, but if you feel judged (on your dress sense, menu choices, or life decisions) think carefully about whether you want to see them again.

Most people are on their best behaviour on a first date, so if you sense you're being belittled, it's only likely to get worse. If you have low self-esteem, it can be hard to know, but there is a simple test. Do you feel more or less confident at the end of the date? If the answer is less, then you have your answer.

4. The unreliable date
They arrange to meet you on Saturday afternoon, but something comes up and they ask to re-schedule for Sunday. As you are getting ready, you get a text to say they are running late. You guessed it... you arrive at the venue and they turn up 30 minutes late.

People have busy lives and sometimes we all need to re-arrange things, but there is a limit. If you haven't even met yet and your date lets you down, walk away. You deserve someone who is reliable.

5. The date who takes
On a first date, it's best to split the bill 50/50. If they are reluctant to pay their share, it should be a cause for concern. Even if you're happy to pay, you should expect them to do the same the next time you meet. If it's always you reaching for your credit card, it sets up an unhealthy expectation.

Of equal concern is the date who is selfish with their attention. If the conversation is all about them – and anything you've done is an opportunity for them to go one better – you may have found yourself a taker. At the end of a date, both people should feel uplifted and like they have got something from the experience.