1. Putting sex on the agenda – Vagina’s and penises in an ideal world should not make an appearance on the first date. I’m not saying that relationships haven’t materialised after sleeping with each other on the first date….but it’s not as often as some of us would like to think… Sex confuses things and I’m loathe to believe that anyone can get to know anyone so well in one evening anyway. Keep the zipper up and the legs closed….

2. Indecisiveness – Merciful hour! Make a frickin decision and stick with it. There is nothing worse than turning up for a date that you’ve been asked out on, only to discover that the asker hasn’t arranged something and is flip flapping over what to do…on your time. Women, in particular, do derive unassertiveness from this and it screams too nice…or weak. Be.A.Man and take charge. I was telephoned two days before a date and asked if I wanted to go to the cinema. I agreed and he said he would choose the film and get it arranged. Lo and behold we rocked up to the cinema on the date and I was outraged to discover that not only had he not chosen and booked the film, but everything was sold out. If you go to the trouble of asking someone on a date, whether you’re a man or a woman, grow some balls and organise one!

3. Restaurant of choice – I was once taken somewhere that was a slightly more upmarket Taco Bell. Likewise though, showoffs that take you to exhorbitantly expensive restaurants can give off a dubious vibe. Strike a balance – avoid fast food places and student low budget cheap and cheerful and the most expensive restaurant in town, and find a balance of mid way between. Women like to feel that you’ve made an effort but don’t mistake effort for throwing wads of cash…

4. Dress Code – If you’re a guy, make an effort with what you’ve worn so that your date actually thinks that you’re interested and haven’t just rolled out of a cardboard box. That means clean, ironed clothes, no odour other than aftershave (but not too much) and groomed. Ladies, I know you’re proud of your puppies, but there is such a thing as too much breast and too much leg. He doesn’t want to see down to your belly button or the contents of your stomach. Leave a little something to mystery.

5. Turn off your mobile/cellphone – Or at least put it on silent. Put your attention on the date at hand or at least take your calls discreetly in the bathroom. Effort and attention = another date. Communicating with everyone but your date = date cutting room floor.

6. Losing control of bodily functions and manners – We all have to belch and fart from time to time, but if you don’t excuse yourself, it’s pretty horrifying for a date. Make sure you keep your food in your mouth not all over your front, don’t talk with your mouth full, avoid spitting all over the other person and just generally remember your mother’s lessons about eating…hopefully she gave you some. Or check out our advice on table manners…

7. Avoid politics, sex, religion, exe’s, money and other dodgy topics – Check out my recent post on bad date conversation topics

8. Don’t be a drip – This is for the guys mainly… I’m not saying don’t be nice – I’m saying don’t be a doormat that doesn’t speak and expects the date to basically provide the ‘excitement’ for the evening. Dates take two – be assertive – it doesn’t mean you aren’t nice, it means you have a little confidence to put the effort in to make the date work. Don’t overdo the nice guy thing as you may be mistaken for ‘friend’ material. Ladies, don’t be so nice that you feel obligated to open your legs because you just had dinner brought for you!
9. Getting drunk – Get tipsy, not ‘I wanna throw up’ or ‘Hold my hair back for me’ or ‘Please help me walk’ kind of drunk. The type of drunk that makes you belligerant, loud, crass, rude, and just all flopped out and flaky at the table is the kind of drunk that will scare off even the most patient of people.

10. Eyeing up other people – Who are you on the date with? The waiter/waitress? Another hot diner? Be respectful and keep your eyes firmly on your date.

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