13 First Date Tips That (Pretty Much) Guarantee You'll Get A Second

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man and woman sharing a soda on a date

Dating is tough business. When you've finally landed that first date with someone you actually like, make sure to use first date advice and tips to guarantee it goes well.

From your first date outfit choice, to first date conversation starters, there's so much to consider. After all, you want to make sure you get a second date at the end of it!

By following this advice, you can nearly guarantee that your first date will go so well, they'll be dying to see you again soon.

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Here are 13 first date tips that should help you snag that second date.

How to get a second date

1. Insist on a neutral location.

It’s not very smart to have your first date in someone’s living room. If they suggest for you to just "come over", try to steer the date somewhere else so they take you a little more seriously.

You can do something as simple as grabbing a quick drink or coffee, but make sure it’s within walking distance of other fun activities.

Flexibility is key — that way if things go south, you have an easy exit. If you’re both having a good time, it’s easy to transition to an evening stroll through downtown.

2. Be on time.

Don’t agree to meet up at an unreasonable hour — 9:00 p.m. should be your cut off. (They don’t have to know that you’re used to watching "Family Guy" in your underwear after that time.)

Try to schedule first dates before the sun goes down since first dates are all about getting to know each other. That’s not going to be easy if they're focused on where you two will end up after last call.

3. Wear something super cute.

You know the outfit — the one that looks smoking hot on you! Not only is it a huge confidence booster, but they're bound to enjoy it (and your newfound confidence) as well.

Just make sure you keep their mind out of the gutter — keep it appropriate for the occasion while you discuss light, first date topics. When in doubt, layer up.

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4. Get in the right state of mind.

Be friendly, kind and approachable. And most of all, relax. You’re here to have a good time, remember?

If today isn’t your day, it's probably better to reschedule.

Once, I went on a date immediately after finding out that a friend had passed away. Apparently, it’s not sexy to stare off into space, lose track of the conversation and spend the whole date on the verge of tears. Even though I explained the situation in advance, it was just too much for a first date to overcome. I don’t blame him.

Try to go out at a time you can be emotionally present and project a happy attitude.

5. Take it easy on the booze.

Want to look like a total booze-hound or a nervous wreck? Great! Then order another cocktail. Most guys aren’t looking for a long-term relationship with the girl they can go shot-for-shot with.

Impose a two drink maximum on yourself to make sure you are staying in the right state of mind.

6. Keep the conversation balanced.

We all know that everyone likes to talk about themselves, but don’t rattle on forever. Make sure that the conversation has equal give and take. There is nothing more unattractive than someone who is completely self-absorbed.

Ask them questions about themselves, listen and have a meaningful conversation.

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7. Put. Down. Your. Phone.

When I waited tables in college, I watched a woman text through her ENTIRE date. After sitting through an hour of uncomfortable silence, the guy told her that she must be too busy to see him again and walked out.

If you must take that text or call, excuse yourself to go to the bathroom and check it there. Make sure you give your date your undivided attention.

8. Mind your manners.

This one should go without saying — don't chew with your mouth open. Don’t stuff your face like you've never seen food before. Don’t lick your fingers.

Unless the person you're seeing is all about you being a little nasty, keep on to what your momma taught you.

9. Don't ask them how much they make — ever.

Unless you’re starting a new career digging for gold, avoid asking how much they make, where they see themselves in 5 years, whether they think they're getting promoted soon, or other financially based questions.

A friend of mine told me once that women had asked him repeatedly what kind of car he drove. He took offense and didn’t see any of them again. Just don’t dig for any information on his financial status — you're looking for a boyfriend, not a caretaker.

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10. Stop being so insecure.

Don’t try and get reassurance about your outfit, if they like you, or anything else. If you feel like you could crawl under the table because you’re so nervous, don’t bring it up.

Men like girls who are confident and not fishing for compliments. They'll probably give you some compliments anyway, so let them do it in their own time.

11. Avoid bringing up your ex.

Do you really think they want to hear the sordid details of your past relationships?

When people talk about their exes, they seem hung up on them (even if they aren't). Keep this talk out of the first date conversation so you don't look like you're crushing on the wrong person.

12. Save the marriage talk for some other time.

Mentioning how you want a big wedding, a picket fence and three kids, or that you've finally found your soul mate is a sure-fire way of scaring him off almost immediately. While these things might be true, they aren't exactly first date material.

Hold your horses and wait until you go on a couple more dates before you bring up something serious.

13. Keep the dirty talk to yourself (unless, you know, that's your plan).

The first date is not the time for references to the bedroom unless you want to look like sex is the primary thing you are interested in.

If you really want to scratch that itch, cool, but it won’t kill you to talk about something else for 45 minutes.

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Elizabeth Stone is an author, dating and personal development coach. She helps women to restore themselves to improve their relationships.