A new survey has revealed the most-hated first date behaviours – find out what to avoid and you might just nab a second date…

More than 1000 RSVP members have been surveyed on the nerve-wracking first date to produce a list of the most wonderful and woeful things to happen.

“Dating etiquette has changed dramatically in the last few years so we wanted to pinpoint what can make or break a first date,” says RSVP spokesperson Melanie Dudgeon.

It seems that good conversation is the most important part of an enjoyable date, with 82 per cent of survey respondents noting it as the number one factor.

“Ahead of sexual chemistry, the choice of venue and the quality of food and drink, good conversation rates as the most important part of a great date,” says Dudgeon. “The message is clear for Valentine’s Day. Don’t waste your time trying to get a booking in the hottest new restaurant – instead focus on having some engaging talking points up your sleeve.”

And what about the pitfalls to avoid? The number one rated offensive behaviour was wandering eyes, with 32 per cent saying checking out other people was the biggest no-no.

The other big annoyances include treating waitstaff poorly, fiddling on mobile phones and talking about exes, but arriving late seemed to be the easiest to forgive, with only 4 per cent responding that it was the worst thing to happen on a date.

Christine Retschlag, architect and author of successful travel, sex and dating blog The Global Goddess, recounts a few of her awkward first date encounters and says it’s not about who pays, but who offers.

“Most recently I went on a first date to the Regatta where the bloke turned up (it was an internet date) looking nothing like his profile picture,” she says.”We then had dinner on the front verandah. It came to the grand total of $37.50, I know this, as I asked for the bill. He looked at me and said ‘So, shall we go dutch?’. When he suggested we go on for more drinks I declined.

“It’s not the money but the gesture. Women are looking for generous, kind men. He then got in his car and drove home, drunk.”

Another bad experience saw a complete personality change from speaking to a potential date online to meeting up in person.

“On my dating site I referred to myself as a Secret Agent from Minsk and he was so witty in his response, saying we’d met at some spy conference overseas,” says Retschlag. “The witty repertoire continued over several texts. And then we met. None of the wit he’d demonstrated in his texts was at all evident and he told me he’d moved in with his mother. He was in his 50s.

“When he started talking about the cost of electricity I knew it was time to call it a night.”

So keep these tips in mind for a successful date this Valentine’s Day:

“As we approach Valentine’s Day, hopeful romantics should take heed of these etiquette tips,” says Dudgeon. Retschlag agrees, stressing generosity and honesty.

“For both sexes, be kind, considerate and thoughtful,” Retschlag says. “You don’t have to pay for everything but demonstrate some generosity of spirit. Be funny, relaxed and enjoy yourself. We’re not negotiating world peace. Show interest in the other party and their lives, ask lots of questions. And most of all, be authentic. It shows.”

What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you on a first date? What’s the best first date you’ve ever had? Let us know!