Surviving the First Date (Part 1 of 2)

Preparing for a first date can be quite nerve-wracking, even for the most mature of individuals. The key is to take it easy and decide that you are going to have a good time no matter what happens. Although first impressions are important, it helps to take some of the pressure off yourself "to perform" and decide that you are just going to be yourself. If you decide you are going to have a good time, then you probably will. However, there are some steps you can take to put yourself at ease before that all-important first date that can help make it a better experience for both of you.

First of all, make sure the date will be something you will enjoy. If your date suggests going sailing but you can's swim and suffer from seasickness, don't be afraid suggest an alternative. Suggest that the two of you check out the latest art exhibition or that new scary movie that just opened. Try to choose something that is fun and exciting for both you. This will definitely take the pressure off you to entertain or amuse your partner with conversation.

This is not the time to suggest a highly unusual excursion, such as bungee jumping or to try and unfamiliar food. You don't want to have to abandon your date because of gastric distress!

Dating experts suggest that women should not dress too sexy on for a first date. Avoid exposing too much cleavage or fishnet stockings unless you are sure you want to have sex on the first date

Men should try to avoid looking too casual in that "I shop at Wal-Mart way" way. Sweats or T-shirts and jeans are also a no-no. Dress casually, but smart but also be you. During the date men should also mind their manners at the table and make sure that they arrive on time to pick up their date.

Conversely, women should not keep men waiting while they are getting ready. Sometimes it helps to have a cocktail before you leave the woman's house to break the ice a little. It is important to patient, as sometimes the other person is as nervous as you are and doesn't necessarily express anything but awkwardness or anxiety for the first few minutes.

During the rest of the evening, the woman should not scorn or reject the man's attempts to open doors for her and pull out her chair for her. He is trying to be sweet, not set back feminism twenty years!

Men are also advised to bring flowers, a plant or a gift as a kind of advance thank you for the date. I know it is a cliche but you can't go wrong giving a woman a bouquet of roses, tulips or sunflowers.

While on the date, try and keep... [Continued: First Date 2]