The chats have gone smoothly, the texts have been flying and you’re pretty sure she’s interested. Now comes prepping for the first date. Be prepared and follow a few simple rules that could be deal-breakers…

It’s not that traumatic if you remember one rule: go as yourself, not as someone else. If you turn up looking, smelling and acting all different, she might be taken aback.

If you need to have your hair trimmed a few days before so that on the day, you just need to clean up, get dressed and go. Remember to tap your usual scent onto pulse points: the inside of your elbows and wrists and behind your ears. Dress the part, but which you feel comfortable.

Let’s rewind to where it starts: picking the venue. Choose a place you think she will like . If it’s a new hot spot that you haven’t been to, check it out earlier to make sure it’s suitable and affordable. Pick and book a nice, quiet table.

Phone to make the date. It’s more personal and there’s no danger of miscommunication (curse you, predictive text). Take the lead – not because you’re the man, but because you’re the host and she’s the guest. Don’t ask what she’d like to do, suggest something. Have a second option ready.

Ever stalked a future date on social media? Posting is often impulsive and personal. It’s more likely how you felt then, not a manifesto on who you are. If you don’t know enough about her, it might be too early for a serious date.

Pick her up. This isn’t The Amazing Race – no reason for both of you to sit panicking about being late in traffic jams and looking for safe parking. Arrive together and neither sits there twiddling thumbs, waiting awkwardly.

While settling in, explain what you have in mind. Tell her what the place is known for if she hasn’t been. Eye contact is crucial – as in any conversation. Keep your eyes on her and don’t let them wander around the room.

Now comes the conversation. If she asks for your life story, tell it by all means. But keep it light and entertaining, saving the serious bits for when you know her better. Don’t try to impress by mentioning your promotion stories about how wasted you were last weekend, that’s not comforting, especially if you’re driving her home afterwards.

This is not about you (she’s the guest, remember?) Find out what she cares deeply about. She’ll appreciate genuine interest and the opportunity to share. Mix up smart and fun questions but keep the ratio at one to one – your turn, her turn. Too many questions will feel like an interrogation.

Show that you’ve been paying attention and thinking about her with something like: “I wanted to ask where you got that cool Paris T-shirt you wore at the gym.” It’s also her cue to tell a story.

If she hasn’t been to Paris, no problem. You’re now on the best first-date topic, the future. Share your plans, dreams and bucket lists. This shows you’re keen to get out there and live life.

It is said that women like men who make them laugh – and laughter is a sign that she likes you. Avoid lame puns or wise-cracking with the waiter and save the story jokes. A well-timed one-liner that’s on topic works much better.

Laughter releases endorphins, which make us feel good about ourselves and others, writes Jack Schafer on Psychology Today. "The Golden Rule of friendship states that if you make people feel good about themselves, they will like you – and laughter does just that.”

If the evening is something you could pay for in advance, like tickets for a show, do it. If not, pick up the bill. She might insist on paying or contributing – then you’ve learnt one more thing about her. However, don’t respond with some lame comment about independent women, it makes you sound last century.

The top things women love on a first date, according to a 2018 poll by singlesinamerica, are complimenting her appearance (94%) and insisting on paying (91%). Among top hates checking your phone (90%) and having more than two drinks (81%).

So mute the phone, be courteous, listen. Above all, be honest – in the nicest possible way, of course.

HOW TO BRING YOUR A-GAME ON A FIRST DATE! HOW TO BRING YOUR A-GAME ON A FIRST DATE! Reviewed by Jet Club on February 07, 2019 Rating: 5
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