First date mistakes all men should avoid

Follow these helpful hints and you'll be able to safely navigate your way through any romantic encounter yet devised. Who knows, you may even be granted a second date too!

Wrong venue

You may have met the girl of your dreams and want to sweep her off her feet, but that doesn't mean you need to book a table at the poshest restaurant in town. Far from it: unless she's a countess that's only likely to make her feel self-conscious and nervous.

While you obviously need to avoid grimy little holes staffed with toothless barmen, it's best to opt for a relaxed, trendy and not too expensive bar or restaurant. That way she'll feel at home and far less on edge.

As for cinemas? Forget the whole idea. She'll either fall asleep or want to watch Sex and the City. Again.

Bad clothes

While there's every chance you'll race back from work and dementedly fling on whatever happens to be clean, she's likely to spend days selecting her outfit and set aside a couple of hours to get ready for your big night out.

So while you're randomly thrashing through your wardrobe, try and emerge with something that at least makes it look like you've made an effort. Which, in women's-speak, means ironed, stain-fee and bought within the last year.

Don't even think about sticking on white trainers or slip-on, tassled shoes either. Women have had men hung for far less.

Don't drive

Watch a Hollywood movie and you'll think the dating world is full of first timers happily cruising around. Yet the reality is there's nothing more likely to ruin a first date than cramming a woman into your car - even if you have cleaned out your stash of festering take-away wrappers.

Along with being paranoid about travelling with a bloke she barely knows, she'll be petrified of the inane small talk that you'll inevitably make. Worse still, it means you have to stay sober all night - and that's never a good idea.

So unless you own a Bugatti Veyron it's best to make your separate ways to the meeting point. Not least, because it also means you can scarper if things turn nasty.

Too keen

Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but on a first date they're about as welcome to female eyes as a Millwall shirt. Whip out a jewellery box, and a woman will simply think you're trying too hard and, well, a little weird. Which, let's face it, is not the look you're going for.

The same goes for flowers, chocolates, expensive perfume... the list is endless. If you want to make a good impression it's far better to pay for the food and drink and save yourself from having to find a present in the first place. That torment will inevitably arrive around the third or fourth date.

Plain rude!

All girls dream of meeting a handsome prince with impeccable manners so chances are she'll start to edge towards the exit the moment you display any form of arrogance towards the waiting staff or barmen.

This doesn't mean you have to develop James Bond-style suaveness overnight, but simply remembering to say please and thank you can play huge dividends.

Ditto for dumping your litter in a bin and remembering not to text your mates all night. Plus, never forget to compliment the girl on what she's wearing - through gritted teeth if necessary.

Smelly food

There are two golden rules for eating with women: never order a steak with a vegetarian; and never steal her deliberately avoided red onions.

Do the first and you will inevitably lock yourself into a horrifyingly intense lecture about the ethics of the meat trade. Do the second and you'll ruin any chance you ever had of an end-of-night snog, as she's likely to have pushed them to the side purely to avoid foul breath.

While it sounds boring, it's best to play it safe and ignore anything spicier than a fried egg.

Drinks

It's a scientific fact that women like to tuck into expensive drinks. Yet that doesn't mean you can skimp on the cost by ordering her a small glass of wine - particularly, if you saunter back from the bar clutching a pint of lager and whisky chaser.

Even if she starts to tuck away unimaginable amounts of rum, you need to order the biggest glass possible and top it up as soon as she's finished. Plus, you have to match her drink for drink, just in case she gets embarrassed about quaffing faster than you. It's a hard job, but...

Listen up

Once the drinks are poured and the food ordered, it's time to get down to the nitty gritty of actually talking to the woman.

And while she's likely to unleash a blizzard of words at seemingly impossible speeds, you need to remain focused on whatever the hell she's banging on about.

Better still, you need to ask a few questions about her and display interest with a few knowing nods. Plus, never, not under any circumstance, should you ever go into any form of detail about your ex. That is the last thing any woman wants to hear about on a first date. As far as she's concerned it never happened.

Pay your dues

Women may have spent decades burning their bras in the name of sexual equality, but the moment a bill arrives in the hand of a waiter she's likely to regress to the mental state of Boudicca.

Chances are she will offer to pay half and clumsily reach for her purse, but you need to see this as little more than an elaborate ruse to save face.

No matter how skint you are she's expecting you to shell out for the night's entertainment and is unlikely to give you a second chance if you whip out a calculator and ask if she had any of the sparkling water. So probably wise to not order the lobster thermidor, eh!

Last minute lunge

After paying a small fortune on wine, food and taxis, most blokes naturally feel they're entitled to a snog at the end of a first date.

Yet, sadly, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Unless, she leans in, the fact you've blown every penny of your overdraft counts for nothing.

So it's best to play it cool until she makes it abundantly clear that she won't run a mile if you happen to throw a greasy smacker her way.

Oddly enough, remaining aloof is likely to be the one thing that will actually make her want to kiss you anyway.


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