1. Break Out: Look outside of your comfort zone. Always looking to meet someone at the same bar or online dating site? Change your environment and you’ll change your potential dates.
2. Honesty Policy: Tell the truth. It’s going to come out in the end anyway, especially if you want to date seriously.
3. Cut Off: If you don’t want a first date to turn into a second date, don’t lead the person on. If they’re interesting and fun, become their friend and then you can date their friends. This always seems to work.
4. Smart Limits: Don’t drink too much on a date! Getting silly doesn’t always give the best first impression. Rule of thumb? One drink if you’re just drinking, two if you’re having dinner.
5. Nerve Beater: If you tend to get nervous around new people, have a few “go-to” stories to fill the awkward first-date silences. Skip stories where you complain about your ex, family or job. Choose upbeat topics like a hobby, cool trip or neutral current event.
6. Payment Policy: If you’re the lady, offer to split the bill. If you’re the guy and you like her, tell her you appreciate her gesture but don’t accept.
7. Lip Lock: On the first-date first kiss — kiss them (or, kiss them back) if you want to. If you don’t, know that they will feel rejected and they might not ask you out again.
8. Small Stuff: Be more tolerant of the things that don’t matter (like where you met, what they were wearing, small missteps). They don’t matter, I promise!
9. Warning Signs: Never ignore the red flags of a controlling/rude person — snapping at the waiter, condescending put-downs are no-no’s.
10 Be Genuine: So many people play games in dating and that’s where the dreaded “mixed signals” come from.
Melissa Malka is a Writer & former Executive Dating Coach turned Dating Consultant & Entrepreneur. JALBC is her effort to make honest, well-intentioned matchmaking accessible to anyone who is serious about meeting someone special; JALBC.com.