It’s not easy to find the balance between presenting yourself well and being authentic to who you really are, especially when you’re on a first date with a beautiful woman.

If you want to score future dates (or an invite back to her place), here are 18 things you should never say on a first date:

1. “I had the best date last night!”

I’m a big proponent of being open and honest with your date. But even so, if you’re dating around, you don’t have to thrown the competition in your date’s face. Nobody wants to be directly compared the girl from the night before.

Say: “I’ve been lucky to meet some great new people lately.”

2. “Who are you texting?”

It’s a digital age and texting is the norm. Personally, I recommend that you turn off your cell phone and put it away (or leave it in the car) while you’re on a date, especially a first date. That way you can give her your full attention the whole time the two of you are together.

Most of the time, your date won’t do the same, at least not to start. Mid-date she might catch on that you don’t have your cell on you and put hers away too. But don’t ask her to directly, and don’t assume she will. If she’s texting, let her text. It’s probably just a friend, and if you get all nosy you come across as jealous way before anyone needs to be.

Say: Nothing. Just let it be.

3. “Oh, I thought you would pay for yourself.”

You’re the guy, you’re on a date with a beautiful girl, you should pay. Simple as that. It has nothing to do with gender equality. It has everything to do with you looking like a cheapskate in front of a girl you hope to hook up with later. Don’t be that guy.

Say: “I got it.”

4. “I don’t think I’m really over my ex.”

If you’re not over your ex, don’t go out on dates until you are. Or at least don’t bring it up to the girl you’re on a date with. Moaning over your lost love just makes you look like a loser and is no way to kick off a new relationship. Would you want the girl to spend the whole night pouting over the guy who dumped her a few weeks ago?

Say: “I learned a lot from my last relationship.”

5. “I’m love to marry a girl who makes more money than me!”

I would, indeed, love to marry a girl who makes more than me. But it’s not about the money. It’s because I love a woman who’s confident in herself and confident in her career. If she makes more than me, that means she has to be both of those things, so by definition I’m going to be into her.

But, even if that’s true, don’t bring it up on the first date. It makes you look like you’re one of those failure to launch guys who’s just looking to jump from being supported by your mom and dad straight to being supported by your new wife. And if that’s true, you’re a loser and should seriously get some of your own life goals.

Say: “I plan to support my future wife’s career goals, whatever that looks like.”

6. “A woman’s place is in the home.”

Talk about walking into a minefield. You have no idea what your date’s feelings are about career, a woman’s supposed “place,” or whether her mom was a stay-at-home mom. Your job on the first date is to charm her, not piss her off.

Say: “I’m pretty sure I have no idea how hard stay-at-home Mom’s really work.

7. “We don’t have to leave a tip.”

Yes you do. I don’t care how bad the service was. It isn’t about that at all. It’s about the impression you make on your date. Nothing says you’re a cheapskate more than insisting you aren’t required to tip your server.

Say: Nothing. Just leave the tip.

8. “Wanna hear my best hip-hop joke?

If you’re a legitimate hip-hop artist, then you can tell a hip-hop joke. Otherwise, you’re not going to impress your date with a lame joke. Yes, you should display your charming sense of humor. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to break out a joke your crazy uncle probably told you at Thanksgiving.

Say: “Do you have a favorite comedian?”

9. “How much money do you make?”

This is the fastest way to turn a lively discussion into an akward silence. First of all, it’s none of your business at this point in the relationship. Second, how is she really supposed to answer this anyway? If one of you makes way more than the other, it’ll be like throwing cold water on an otherwise great evening.

Say: “Do you have big dreams for the future?”

10. “Casual sex is awesome!”

Ok, for the record, casual sex is awesome. It’s also a very sensitive subject with many women, especially beautiful women. Be open, be honest, but don’t be crude. If what you’re really after is a one-night fling, you can get there without asking something stupid like this.

Say: “I try to be honest with people, and I’m not sure I want a serious relationship right now.”

11. “Oh, no. I’m not racist. I have a lot of friends who are [Black, Hispanic, gay, etc.]”

If you’re one of those people who routinely says things that mean something way different than what you meant, just be honest about it. It’ll be awkward, but you’re date won’t hold it against you. Of course, if you are a racist or a homophobe, I probably can’t help you. That stuff’s going to come out eventually.

Say: “Wow, that totally came out wrong.”

12. “You’d be way sexier if you…”

You want to make a girl feel special, attractive, and desired. Not inadequate, ugly, and not up to par for your high standards. You might be trying to help, but trust me, no girl wants to hear beauty advice from her date, especially on the first date.

Say: “You look lovely tonight.”

13. “Are you kidding? There’s no way I’m moving out of my parents’ house! It’s cheap, I get free food, and my mom still does my laundry.”

If you live at your folks’ house, you’ve got one big huge strike against you in the dating game. Are you really going to try to take a girl home if you live at your mom’s place? Good luck with that. If you live at your parents’, you better have an active plan to get out of there. At least, you do if you want girls.

Say: “I’m not a cheapskate, but I do want a secure future, and staying at home for a while is part of my strategy to do that.”

14. “You remind me of my mother.”

Even if you mean the comparison as a compliment, women already have a hard time comparing themselves to other women. You don’t need to remind her that she has to be compared against every guy’s mother too.

Say: “I’m lucky to have a great relationship with my mom.”

15. “Let me tell you about my assault rifle.”

Guns are a topic for your crazy cousins at the Fourth of July family picnic, not for a first date. Remember, this girl doesn’t know you yet, and you have hopes of taking her back to your place later on. Do you really want to get her thinking about the weaponry you have stashed in your bedroom closet?

Say: Nothing. Just don’t bring it up, period.

16. “This was one of my ex’s favorite restaurants.”

Old flames and talk of old flames is off limits on a first date. Keep the conversation entirely about the two of you and about the attraction and energy that’s building between you. The fact that your ex loved the way this restaurant cooked the prime rib won’t help you score an invite to your current date’s apartment. Best to just let it be.

Say: “What’s your favorite thing about places like this?”

17. “I ordered for you. Hope you like salad!”

You’ve just said two things loud and clear: 1. You don’t respect your date’s opinion. 2. You think she’s fat. Those two things may or may not be true, but those are the messages she’s going to hear, and neither is a good thing for you.

Say: “Order whatever you like. It’s on me.”

18. “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”

Asking this question tells your date that you assume there’s something wrong with her, otherwise she wouldn’t have been available to go on a date with you in the first place. Here’s a reality check for you if you’ve ever asked this question: girls don’t like it when you assume there’s something wrong with them.

Say: “I’m really glad we could come here tonight.”

Conclusion

Personally, I love going on first dates. I think it’s a great way to have fun and meet new people. But I know a lot of guys really struggle with it.

If you’re scared to death of going on a first date, you’ll never be successful with women. Be confident in yourself, be honest about who you are, and try not to say any of the things listed above, and you’ll do just fine.

What about you? Got any horror stories about stupid things you said on a first date?