Here are some of my favorites:
Show Up Five Minutes Early
A simple rule to abide by: you should be at your appointed meeting place five minutes early and assume she'll be five minutes late. If you want to impress her, don't make her sit alone at a bar waiting for you. This will also give you ample opportunity to situate yourself somewhere you feel comfortable. Chances are, this date is just as nerve-wracking for her as it is for you, and for her to walk in and be greeted by you as soon as she arrives automatically alleviates the first anxiety-inducing concern: Is he even going to show up? If you're picking her up, arrive on time.
Don't Talk About Your Ex
They say you should never talk about politics, religion and past flames on a first date. But if you adhere to only one of those, make it the last. Remember, she's trying to feel you out just as much as you're trying to feel her out, and she's feeling just as self-conscious as you are. Imagine how you'd feel if she started to regale you with stories about her Nobel laureate ex-boyfriend with the Super Bowl ring. Also imagine how you'd feel if she started ranting about her loser, cheating, unemployed ex-boyfriend who mooched off of her for three years. There's just no winning here.
Three Drinks and You're Cut Off
You might have to alter this to reflect your level of tolerance towards alcohol, but no matter how many beer cans you crush on your head on weekends, cap your date drinks at three. Even if the date is going so well that you've started picking potential wedding destinations, if you get blasted and fall on your face as you're walking out, you just negated the last two hours of progress. Not to mention, if she was about to get into a cab with you back to your place, she probably won't be anymore. Unless she's as drunk as you are.
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