20 Rules For Your First Online Date

20 Rules For Your First Online Date [EXPERT]
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Welcome to Online Dating Bootcamp: Day 7! Today is all about the first date with your internet match, featuring advice from YourTango Experts Jenn Burton & Dina Colada. (Wanna brush up on Bootcamp Days 1-6? Start here.)

Let's face it, if you aren't nervous before a first date, you probably don't have a pulse. There's so much pressure. What if he doesn't like you? What if you don't like him? What if you say the wrong thing? Sure, you've been hitting it off over email and on the phone, but a face-to-face encounter is a whole other ball of wax. Take these tips from our experts to ensure that your next first date goes flawlessly.

1. Safety first. I love a chivalrous man, but it is absolutely necessary to take your own ride to a first date with an online suitor. Also make sure that someone knows where you are and who you are on a date with as well. Be sure to give your friend his phone number and email address. —Jenn Burton, 

2. Be yourself. When he asks where you would like to go, don't say "wherever you like." Tell him where you would like him to take you. Sharing one small suggestion like where to go on a date gives him a clue about how to adore you. It also takes an enormous pressure off of him. —Jenn Burton

3. Do something fun. Long-term attraction is determined by how much fun he has with you ... but here's the catch: it's not just about what he thinks is a great time. He also wants to know what lights you up. A great idea for a first date is an activity date, like rock wall climbing, an amusement park, an outdoor concert, batting cages, billiards or bowling Toss aside the standard dinner and movies. Instead, ease the tension and increase conversation by inviting him to something you love or have been dying to try. —Jenn Burton

4. Wear something comfortable. Wear something you feel comfortable and pretty in. Make sure your outfit makes you feel fabulous but doesn't render your night miserable because you are adjusting it the whole time. Wear clothes that fit you and flatter your curves. Dressing hoochie mama isn't sexy. —Jenn Burton

5. Be positive. Not every first date you have is going to be an immediate chemistry connection, but chemistry can develop over time. Don't count him out just yet. Give him the whole date with your full attention to pique your interest. Start by turning your cell phone off. Pay attention to him. All men have something attractive about them, and chemistry is more likely to develop when you quit obsessing over everything you think is wrong with him and find out what is right. —Jenn Burton

More online dating advice from YourTango Experts:

6. Don't forget to flirt. Being playful and fun is a huge plus with men because they start to feel good around you. Men love fun banter, but keep the teasing to a minimum. Also, don't be afraid to disagree with him. A little argument can stir up the romantic tension. —Jenn Burton

7. Don't reveal too much too fast. You've got a lifetime to get to know your date. He doesn't need to know every detail of your past the first time you meet. "But Jenn," you say, "he should just accept me the way I am." He will ... if you give him a couple of dates to warm up first. So take your time to reveal your inner weavings. You are a fun mystery to be unfolded. —Jenn Burton

8. Let him pay. If he would like to pay for the date, let him. There is no obligation beyond a date just because he offered to pay and you accepted. Men who really like you typically offer to pay for the date. Men who really like you enjoy paying for a date. —Jenn Burton

9. Limit yourself to two drinks. Also, keep it in a public place if you have no intention of having a sexual encounter. There's nothing less sexy than a drunk date ... except regret. —Jenn Burton

10. Thank him. Let him know that you appreciate him taking you out on such a fun date. It will open the door to him asking you out again.  —Jenn Burton

11. Expose yourself, but don't get naked. Don't show up to the date in a streaker-style black trench coat with nothing but a garter-belt and stockings underneath. Let your first date get acquainted with vulnerable you with your clothes on. Be your sweet, open, carefree self. —Dina Colada

12. Savor the moment. Be present with your date. Don't be picking out wedding invitations while he's picking up the check. He deserves your full attention on the first date. Keep the smart phone in your clutch and don't even think about checking your Facebook notifications. You are here to get to know each other. You deserve good eye contact and total awareness of each other. —Dina Colada

13. Don't be a mannequin in a pretty red dress. Don't pretend to be someone who you think he will like. When he talks, don't sit there like a dummy. Respond to him like you would anyone else, but with a little more inviting body language. Participate in the conversation, but don't forget to listen. —Dina Colada

14. Communicate, don't educate. Don't need to ambush the guy with facts to show him how smart you are. He doesn't want to hear about the detailed science behind your favorite running shoes, or get a play-by-play of your grandmother's hip surgery. Keep it fun and flirty on your first date. —Dina Colada

15. Leave the soap operas at home on your DVR. Talking about the bad break-up you had with your ex-fiance of ten years is not good conversation to bring up on the first date. Nor is your obsession with the genius of FOX News or Democracy Now. Unless you are running for state senate, or are the head of a political campaign, leave this topic for later. —Dina Colada

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16. Abstain from listening to your brain. Connecting with him over drinks on this glorious first date then over-analyzing it in ladies room will get you nowhere fast. When you tune in to your heart, instead of your mind, you will be your true self and the conversations will flow. You will be connecting with his essence, not his brain. Besides, do you know anyone besides Steve Martin who has been in love with a brain? —Dina Colada

17. Be a goddess. Being a goddess simple. Be your awesome feminine self. Be present and receptive. Laugh and pay attention to your feelings. When you are walking toward the door, slow down and let him open it for you. You will feel like a goddess and it will make him feel like a real man. —Dina Colada

18. When he pays for dinner, pay attention. When the guy chooses a great restaurant, let him know you love it. When he holds your arm while your walking, check in with yourself. If what he is doing feels good, tell him. Men love to hear what they are doing right. In my studies of 1000's of online profiles, almost every single man chose appreciation over trust in a poll, so give it to him. —Dina Colada

19. Trust yourself. Trusting yourself is key to getting that second date if there is to be one. Listen to your intuition. —Dina Colada

20. Be sensual, not sexual. When a woman is sensual instead of sexual, especially early on, it leaves so much for the man to dream about, and it makes your evening much more interesting. You can be sensual by not revealing every inch of your skin or your past. Being totally present and using all of your senses, makes you more sensual. Smell his cologne as you walk to the table. Feel the warm red wine in your hands. See his eyes when he gazes at yours. Taste every delicious bite of your meal. Listen to his deep voice and feel it resonate in your body and trust what it tells you ... and get ready to have some fun on that second date! —Dina Colada

Come back tomorrow for Online Dating Bootcamp: Day 8, "When Should I 'Friend' The Guy I Met Online?" featuring a video by YourTango Expert Annie Gleason.