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10 Things Not to Screw Up on a First Date

Increase your chances of impressing that special lady by following these handy first date guidelines.

Don't Order "Just a Salad..." or a Sake Bomb

Taking care of yourself and being healthy are great, but loosen the dietary strings just a little for this occasion. You don't need to eat a bloody steak from a cow you strangled with your bare hands to prove you're a man's man, but turning your nose up at everything remotely unhealthy and then getting a garden salad makes you seem like a square. On the other hand, resist the urge to order a heaping platter of barbecued giant dinosaur ribs that you need to eat with your hands and feet. This kind of discretion applies to your drink order as well. Don't order sake bombs or start slamming vodka Redbulls. You can't go wrong with beer, any unflavored liquor straight-up or on the rocks, or red wine (if you're having dinner). Which brings us to...


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.


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.


Tip Very Well

The jury's still out about whether you're expected to pay on the first date. Some guys insist, others don't. Choosing to pay or not pay, assuming she's not a money-grubbing wench, shouldn't be a make-or-break when it comes to dating a guy. However, if you do choose to pay, tip well. If you're doing drink rounds, tip well. If at any point during the date, you are providing money in exchange for goods and services, tip well. Even if the service sucked, tip well. You can save the disgruntled customer shtick for when you aren't trying to get laid. And don't put it past her to ask the waiter if you tipped well when she sneaks away to the bathroom either—this has more to do with a show of character than the actual money involved.


Don't Get Slimy Grabby Hands

Everything's going swimmingly, you're both feeling a nice buzz, you're getting closer and the chemistry is fantastic. Don't ruin it by slithering your creep hands all over her. Even if it's clear that you're really feeling each other, subtlety is key. You don't want to dive in and start grabbing at her crotch and chest like a horny 15-year-old. Limit contact to arms, shoulders, back and, if you're really feeling the vibes, the five inches or so on the top of her thigh, right above her knee. If she's into it, she'll sidle closer. If she isn't, she'll slip away from your slimy clutches.


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