OK. Let's get this disclaimer out of the way. We hate rules. We hate them, we hate, we hate them. And when it comes to dating rules? We loathe them. Who are we to tell you how to act when sitting face to face with someone you'd like to see naked? This is your ballgame, sweetheart. Throw your first pitch as you see fit.
Besides, people are way too unpredictable to round up and throw in the same pile. What works on Date Y may send Date X running for the hills. Literally. We've had dates fake an impromptu marathon jog after we told them about our intense husband search.
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All jokes aside, be yourself. Warts and all. Well, maybe cover those warts with concealer but don't try to pretend they don't exist. They're your warts afterall. Own them.
That said (you knew there was a "but") in our wise, vast history of bad first dates, we have a few low-maintenance and basic tips to help you get to the next level. At least we think so.
1.) Don't sleep with him.
A no-brainer here, but this one's tricky because we like to kid ourselves into thinking the human race has evolved to the point where first date sex won't tarnish a relationship's longevity. WRONG! "But, I'm modern" you'll slur to yourself after downing your sixth beer and second shooter. No. You aren't modern—just drunk. Or bored. Or depraved. And about to make a big mistake. Kiss if you must, but leave the clothes on. Now, if you're just looking for a one-nighter, fine, cut your losses. But if you'd like to see him again, it's best to withhold.
2.) Offer to pay for something.
If he asked you out, sure, let him flash the plastic and pay for dinner. And, please, order what you want and don't be shy about dessert or wine. But if the date extends past dinner it's time to flex some of your own dollar bills. Offer to buy a nightcap. Or say you know a great coffee/tea place and pick up the check. Sure, it may not equal out that first time, but don't think this thought-that-counts gesture goes unnoticed.
3.) Don't trash talk other women.
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OK, maybe the waitress is a bit curt. Or cute. Or a mixture of both, and this wakens the instinctual catty monster aching to veer it's hissy, female head. Stop. Ignore. Think about the weather. Talk about how you wish this winter would end already. Leave your friend's bitchy text, and the C U Next Tuesday co-worker stories for your girlfriends. The ladies in your life will listen with wide-eyed amusement, your first date will listen with wide-eyed amusement and internally roll his eyes.
4.) Don't pretend your date is a therapist.