Girls, be warned. Tiny signs that you might be prepared to overlook on a date with someone you’re REALLY keen on, can – and probably will – be deal breakers further down the line.

Trust me: I’d been around the block a few times and spent many years kissing frogs before I found my prince…

This is an opinion piece (which means it’s just MY opinion), but if you see him doing any of these things on your romantic date, run!

10 dinner date warning signs that he’s not ‘the one’

1. He’s late to fetch you (or arrives late at the restaurant)

Unless he has a really good excuse, this type of guy is the “I don’t rush for anyone type” and he doesn’t respect you – or your time – enough. It’s as bad as being late for a job interview – first impressions count dude! If he’s ‘unavoidably detained’ he needs to phone and let you know. End of story.

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2. He clicks his fingers to summon the waiter

Cringe. Arrogance is awful – and if it impresses you, then perhaps you deserve each other. Anybody who treats others badly in order to make themselves look important has a problem. If he doesn’t say please or thank you when he orders and is served, he’s rude. Full stop.

3. He puts his phone in a visible place and keeps checking it for messages or updates

Lots of us are guilty of this, but come on… not on a date! Especially not a first date. The best way to avoid this temptation is to leave the phone in a pocket or a bag – out of sight. If he has children at home alone or with a babysitter, and explains that his phone is on the table for that reason ONLY, you can forgive him – it means he’s a concerned dad.

4. He talks about himself all night and doesn’t ask you anything about yourself

This is a big red warning sign in lights. He’s going to spend many years being the centre of his universe – and your relationship – if you accept this now. Hopefully your self esteem is intact enough for you to be bored and insulted by someone who doesn’t find you interesting and you’ll excuse yourself to go to the loo and then leave. This type of guy needs to be taught a lesson – although sadly, he probably won’t even notice that he’s done anything wrong.

5. He talks with food in his mouth

Ughhh!  Enough said. Unless of course he’s so gorgeous, kind and funny, that you’re brave enough to tell him it irritates/nauseates you. (If he takes it well and starts eating with his mouth closed, it’s not a deal breaker after all.)

6. He drinks too much

Be careful here. He might be nervous if it’s a first date, but if you’re driving home in his car, you owe it to yourself (and him) to tell him you’re uncomfortable. He needs to value your life, his own and everyone else’s on the road too.

If he’s not the shy or awkward type and klaps two bottles of red wine and then moves on to the hard stuff, then he might have a problem with alcohol. And you don’t need this to become YOUR problem somewhere down the line.

Generosity is a valuable trait in a partner. And it means that he will be generous towards you and your future children and possibly even your parents one day, so look out for signs that he’s generous and appreciates good service – and people in general

7. He flirts with the waitress

He’s out with YOU and you should be the only one he has eyes for all night. If he’s looking down the waitress’s top, he’s a lech.

8. He lets you pay half the bill (or worse, the entire bill)

I know that women don’t NEED to be supported, and we are quite capable of paying our way, but a first date is a first date. And he could be pretending to respect your independence just because he’s stingy, tight and mean. If he’s trying to make a good first impression, he won’t hear of it when you offer to pay your share. If he gives in too easily, listen for that warning bell… If he’s the right one, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to pay him back or assert your independence in the future

He uses his calculator app to work out an EXACTLY 10% tip – or doesn’t tip at all

I once went on a date with a guy who did this. It was irritating and highly cringe worthy and he didn’t get to take me out a second time.

It’s also another sign that he’s tight with money. If the service is mediocre and the waiter or waitress pretty much ignored you all night and just did the minimum to avoid being fired, then by all means point this out to explain a meagre tip, or just keep quiet and given the minimum 10 per cent.

However, this is 2018 and the international trend is to tip about 15% for great service. If he gives a couple of rands more because he doesn’t have a calculator, so what?

Generosity is a valuable trait in a partner. And it means that he will be generous towards you and your future children and possibly even your parents one day, so look out for signs that he’s generous and appreciates good service – and people in general.

10. He expects you to ‘put out’ just because he’s paid for the meal

If he sees a free dinner for you as an obligation on your part to let him get into your pants, run for the hills. Even a meal that’s cost him a thousand bucks, doesn’t mean you owe him dessert. When you feel enough to let him get close to you, then dinner can be followed by more – but this is entirely up to you.

Read these tips and ignore some of them if you feel they’re not deal breakers for you. But keep your eyes and ears open: dinner in a public restaurant can teach you a lot about a person – and the way they treat other people.