The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect First Date Lunch

First dates are fantastic, regardless of where or how you got them. And frightful.

Whether you're meeting up with your hairdresser's cousin's single friend or you've decided to go on an unusual date, there are more “first world problems” in the dating world than ever before. They can be deal breakers on your first date, so check out these 11 first date tips for modern love lives.

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1. Recognize when it's a date (and when it isn't)

When it comes to what constitutes a date, there are no hard and fast rules any longer. You could go out for nachos with a group of friends and still call it a first date if you both want to. You could also meet one-on-one, have dinner, and sleep together and call it “friends with benefits.” As a result, your best bet is to be specific by calling it a date once you've agreed on a location and time to meet.

2. Talk instead of texting

Asking someone out on a date via text or IM may appear to be a great way to avoid confidence issues, but it dilutes your message significantly. Make the arrangements the old-fashioned way, over the phone or in person, so you can hear each other's voices. And if you get an SMS invitation to a date, text back, “Sounds good. Give me a call when you're ready to discuss it!”

3. Skip dinner

Dinner takes time, and if you're eager to get out after the first drink, you'll wish you'd planned a shorter date! Instead, go on a lunch date or do something non-food related, such as a walk in the park. That way, you can leave early if you want, or stay all afternoon if you're having a good time.

4. Develop a connectivity policy

Do you despise it when people answer their phones during a date? Or are you too preoccupied with tweeting to notice? Agree with your date from the start about what's acceptable and what's not so you don't get annoyed by each other's phone interruptions.

(((Instant Book Preview of First Date: An absolutely jaw-dropping psychological thriller)))

5. Make sure you smell nice

Smell is one of the most complex of the human senses, evoking emotions, memories, and physical sensations. If you smell good to your date, they will find you more attractive; if you smell good to yourself, you will feel more confident and attractive as well. Fruits, vanilla, and clean human skin are scents that most people (male and female) enjoy.

6. Request a favor from them

It may appear to be backwards, but it is correct. According to research, asking someone to do you a personal favor tends to make them like you more, so ask for something small, such as their assistance in selecting a gift for a friend. Then thank them profusely and express your appreciation by inviting them on a second date!

7. Pick up your own tab

It's far less difficult than negotiating any other payment arrangement with someone you barely know. And because it is fair, neither of you will feel owed or owing anything.

8. There should be no braggadocio

Yes, it is impressive that you compete in triathlons, own a business, and know that DJ. It's so impressive that pretending to be humble or embarrassed when you're actually quite proud is ridiculous. Openly and briefly brag, as in, “Yeah, I do triathlons.” I won the Example Triathlon last year,” then return to what you were discussing before that.

9. Order something with mint

Do this not only to ensure that your breath smells good, but also because it makes you feel better. Mint makes you feel awake, alert, and ready to engage in conversation. Furthermore, eating something minty prevents your mouth from becoming too dry if you are nervous.

10. Be well-prepared

No matter who you are, there is always the possibility that your first date will lead to sex sooner than you expected. Protect yourself against pregnancy and STIs, of course, but also prepare for the hormonal rush you'll experience if you and your date have strong sexual chemistry. Because these hormones impair your judgment, avoid taking unnecessary risks such as driving too fast or drinking too much alcohol.

(((Instant Book Preview of First Date)))

11. Smile and always smile

Everyone, without exception, looks more attractive when they smile, so give your date a big smile when you see them. Because smiling causes your nervous system to release serotonin, it improves your mood while also allowing you to enjoy the date.

On a first date, don't be concerned about minor blunders. The less you stress about it, the more at ease and confident you will feel. Remember, this isn't a job interview, so keep these first date tips in mind to elevate your date from average to awesome. It's supposed to be enjoyable!

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