Dr Nikki Goldstein is a sexologist, relationship councilor and author of Single But Dating: A Field Guide to Dating in the Digital Age. She knows precisely what causes relationships to flourish - or descend into disaster. If you never seem to get past the first date, you're probably guilty of one of the following behaviors.
At a recent event celebrating the home-video release of Fifty Shades Freed in Australia, guests were invited to chat to Dr Nikki Goldstein about sex and dating. This included everything from improving sexual compatibility to keeping the romance alive post kids. However, there are plenty of men who wish they had these problems - a more pertinent issue is finding a partner who is willing to stick around!
We asked Goldstein to explain the most common ways men screw up on the first date. In no particular order, here are her top five.
#1 Talking about their ex too much
"No one wants to listen to a new date discuss their ex - whether it's fondly or bitterly. Either you start to get the sense that he might still be into her or that he has a tendency to date crazy women. (Or even worse, he is the one that sends women crazy!)"
#2 Too showy with cash
"Let’s face it, all women dream of a guy like Christian Grey to take them on a lavish holiday on a private jet. However, most guys who enjoy splashing their cash don’t do it elegantly.
"No one wants to hear about boats and expensive cars on the first date. Instead of being impressed, she may become suspicious of your motives. Are you trying to 'wow' her into bed? And does that mean you think she's shallow? Why do you think she's a gold digger? These are some of the thoughts that might be running through her head."
#3 Insisting on paying for dinner
"The 'who pays' debate is one that still divides us. Some think you should go Dutch, others think a man should pay and others think since women are working too they should offer to foot the bill as much as men.
"Despite attempts to do so herself, Christian Grey always insists on covering the cheque – whether it be dinner or a car. That is NOT to say all men should follow suit. If your date wants to contribute to the bill, don't aggressively force the issue - it can come across as patriarchal, stubborn and old fashioned."
#4 Spending too much time on the phone
"Do you answer calls in front of her? Scroll through Facebook? Or worst of all, are your dating apps going off? Polite dating etiquette is to put the phone on silent or leave it out of sight. If a phone must be present (due to work or what-have-you), at least acknowledge what you're doing.
"If you are truly phone addicted, pretend that you're playing a game of phone stack, where whoever answers their phone first picks up the bill. Or gets electrocuted. Whatever stakes will help keep your scrolling thumb at bay."
#5 Talking about sexual fantasies too early on
"Most girls love the idea of a bit of seduction, but if after entrée he is telling you about his red room, it can be a turn off and appear too much too soon. If the talk gets flirty, pay close attention to your date to ensure the sexual talk hasn't crossed any boundaries - she might feel too embarrassed or awkward to speak up."
Fifty Shades Freed is now available to own on Digital, 4K ULTRA HD, Blu-Ray and DVD.
This article has been updated since its original publication.