The Dos and Don'ts of Mastering The First Date

Shadows holding hands

Advice for doing a first date right.

Don't: Misrepresent yourself. While online dating is a valuable resource for the savvy single, there are people out there who misrepresent themselves. Don't be one of them. Just as your online dating profile should accurately represent who you really are, your in-person encounters should be equally authentic. Don't pretend to be something or someone you're not to try and impress a potential partner. You're fabulous just as you are and if somebody else can't see that, it's their loss. Besides, a relationship founded on lies and/or insincerities will quickly crumble. You're Sexy. Have You Committed Any Felonies?

Do: Be clear AND realistic about what you want. The most successful daters are those who not only know exactly what they want, but are realistic about themselves and what they're looking for. If you're ready to get started, make a list of the qualities and traits you're looking for in your perfect partner. Then look at that list and ask yourself how realistic it is. For example, is finding someone who makes great money more important than finding someone who lives within his means? Or if you think you want to meet someone who's highly educated with multiple degrees, is that as important as finding someone with one degree but amazing life experiences that have helped shape and educate him? Make your list and as you continue dating, tweak the list to make it as clear and realistic as possible.

Don't: Get stuck in a rut. Getting stuck in a dating rut or dry spell doesn't have to be part of the single gal's experience. Taking time away from the dating scene to breathe and reboot is one thing (and oh-so-necessary now and then). But getting stuck in a dating rut where you're either not meeting anyone or only meeting the same type of guy over and over again is a thing of the past.

Do: Put yourself in target rich environments (often!). The best way to avoid a dating rut is to get "out there" on a regular basis. And by "out there," I mean put yourself in target rich environments at least 1-3 times a week. What's a target rich environment? It's any location where savvy and successful single men can be found in abundance. For the best results, choose a target rich environment based on your own interests. Don't think sports bar (unless you're a die-hard sports fan yourself), but instead think bookstore or singles event or museum fundraiser or political rally. Once you're in your target rich environment, don't forget to smile and circulate!