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Default Dating Dos and Don'ts - 01-19-2014, 10:55 AM

DO spark conversation. If you can't think of what to say, ask about favourite movies and music, to try and build some common ground. Ask questions about the other person, but make sure that you answer the questions that he/she asks you back. Tell a few jokes to lighten the mood but don't go overboard. Try and be interested, and your date will like you much better than if you talk about yourself the whole time.

DON'T look for perfection. Some things are desirable and attainable for a boyf or girlf, for example, honesty, kindness and trustworthiness. Other things such as movie star looks, a hefty bank balance and a super car, are not. While you don't need to settle for second best, don't be over picky and reject people based on an impossible ideal.

DO have respect for yourself. While some people have started off a relationship after jumping into bed on the first date, it's not a common occurrance. As has been said before, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? If a date is worth keeping, he/she will respect your decision to not sleep with them til you know them better. Build up the relationship and get to know them first. Then the first time you sleep together will be something to remember and cherish, rather than something you want to forget.

DON'T fake it. Even if you're trying online dating, don't pretend to be something you're not. Not only is it dishonest, but you're being unfair to yourself as the match you get won't be compatiable to yourself, but to your made up persona. For example, don't try and fake an interest in heavy metal to bag yourself a biker; you will be found out in moments and your date will not respect you for faking. Be yourself. Even if you don't like everything your date does, you still can form a connection that can lead to a relationship.

DO be safe. Whether you're meeting up on a date with someone you met in a bar, or on an online dating site, don't put yourself in danger. Go someplace public, tell your friends and family where you're going and what time you're going to return, and arrange to meet at the place rather than having them go to your house to collect you. It's better to be safe rather than sorry, and if it doesn't work out, you won't have to worry about them taking it the wrong way.

DON'T get too creative on the first date. While a lot of people do like creative dates later on in a relationship, for a first date simplicity is best. Arrange to meet in a quiet bar for drinks, or at a Starbucks for coffee. This will give you plenty of time to talk and get to know one another. Save the inventive dates for later on, once you've formed a relationship and gotten a connection and are simply going out and having fun. Dinner can work, as long as it's not too pricy and not so crowded that you can't really talk.

DO hold back on the alcohol. You want to create a good impression, right? So stick to a couple of glasses of wine, and after that, drink soft drinks. You want your date to see the sober, smart and witty individual that is you, not a drunken, staggering, vomiting mess. Plus, there's the chance that you might do something you regret if you drink too much, or end up in a situation that you didn't plan for. It might be tempting to drink before the date if you feel nervous, but don't. Have a cup of coffee instead.

DON'T dress too sexily. While you certainly want to make an effort for a first date, turning up in a mini skirt and bo'ob tube is going to give a man the wrong impression of you. If you want a long lasting relationship rather than a one night stand, it's best to wear something that shows off your best assets but isn't too flesh baring and tarty. For men, tight trousers should be avoided, as should anything that makes you look like either a gigilo, or a total slob. Dress the way you do when you meet friends and you should past muster.

DO play it cool. Trust your own instincts on how well things are going, and if at the end of the date you want to see this person again, give them your mobile number and smile. If you want to kiss, feel free; a simple lip kiss will be fine and put your intentions across without being sleazy. Don't lose your mind and bombard the other person with a zillion texts and emails if you don't hear from them straight away; you'll scare them to death and make them think you're a mad stalker. Be cool, calm and collected and if they don't call you back, make one call or send one text. If you don't hear from them again, well, it's their loss. Leave it at that and look to the future.

DON'T forget your manners. Even if you know at the end that it's going nowhere, don't forget to smile, say thank you and state that you had a pleasant evening to soften the blow. If you do want to see your date again, being polite and nice will up your chances. No girl likes a guy who's rude to waitstaff, or a girl who flips off the barman. Remember please and thank you, and always be nice. If a date thinks that you can't be bothered to be grateful for the time and/or money they've spent on you, you probably won't be hearing from them again.

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