Ah, the first date -- you've been primping and plucking, and it's finally show time. After all that work you don't want to send them running for the hills because of something thoughtless you did at the table or in the car. Here are eight key guidelines on what to avoid...
"I Don't Valet" Sure, some people don't like to leave their cars in the hands of a valet. We get that. But if you've driven around the block more than three times and you're prepared to go an additional five until you find street parking (even if the spot is blocks away), quit while you're ahead. Avoiding the valet makes you look cheap and that's not a good look, especially on a first date.
Nix Your Ex Never go on about any of your exes. Obsessing over them makes you look insecure. And when's the last time someone found that attractive in a prospective mate? If you're still bruised over an ex or simply enjoy discussing old flames, spout off to a friend or family member -- anyone, but not that cutie who just asked you out for Friday night!
Texting... or answering your mobile phone for social purposes are big no-no's on a date. And please don't try to be sneaky or "polite" by attempting to text under the table. It's obnoxious. Ask yourself if you like the person you're with enough to leave your phone for a couple hours. If you still can't resist, go to the bathroom.
Don't Be Nosey No blowing your schnoz at the table. And you might think this goes without saying, but it doesn't: the same goes for picking your teeth. People do the most absent-minded and unattractive things on dates, so step it up a little bit. If you desperately need to take some hygienic action, simply excuse yourself and go to town some place else, just not at the table.
Play Nice Being rude to the wait staff is a major turn off. And please lay off of the snapping when you need your waiter's attention. It's always best to keep your cool -- nothing's more attractive than that.
Pass On The Pricey Stuff Ordering the 3 lb. lobster and filet dinner or the homemade pasta with a mound of freshly shaved white truffles is obnoxious no matter who's paying. Don't go for the gold. Show a little class by sticking with the moderately priced ticket items.
Booze It ‘Til You Lose It Just one drink too many and you may find yourself saying and doing things that make all of the above look like afternoon charm school. And even if you don't go crazy, you might do some over-sharing that you'll regret in the morning. So, never go overboard on alcohol -- it's a safety issue as well as an etiquette one.
Ditch The Dutch We may sound old-fashioned but when a guy asks a girl out, there's only one way to go on a first date when the bill arrives -- the guy pays. No matter how many times the woman offers to chip in, the answer is "thank you, but no." It's just the thing to do to make her feel special. And be clear. Wavering can be just as bad as accepting her money.