So she said yes. You saw the girl, you swooped and you got the number. Some might say the hard part is over but they’d be fools.

Here’s how to not screw it all up on the first date by dating maestro Paul Thomas Bell…

DON’T: Talk about your ex

Let’s get this one out of the way now, the golden rule of any first date. No one wants to know how heartbroken you were or how she was just using you to get close to your best friend. This is your chance to leave all of that behind you. Take it.

DO: Ask questions

But not too many - it’s a date, not a job interview. Show that you are genuinely interested in getting to know this person. You may even find that you have more in common than you first thought. Let things flow – no one likes an awkward silence.

DON’T: Overdress

Remember this is a date, not a prom. Leave the bow tie at home – unless you are a master of geek chic. You also don’t want to look better than her. Let her be the star for the night. You’ll have other opportunities to be the showstopper and avoid anything that your mates would rip the shit out of you for.

DO: Pay for everything (or at least the first drink)

Yes I know it’s expensive but your new X-box game can wait until next month. The best girls offer to pay but politely decline her offer. Tonight is on you. Take more money out than you’ll need. You don’t have to spend it all but you should absolutely get a few of the drinks in.

DON’T: Get ahead of yourself

Don’t set yourself up for a fall. She’s agreed to meet for a drink, not be the mother of your children. If you’re secretly already telling yourself she’s your girlfriend in your head then we have a serious problem. Desperation can be spotted a mile off. Stay cool.

DO: Relax

The most obvious of clichés but it’s true. Pretending your something you’re not might be easy enough to do once but you’d be surprised how quickly that can spiral. Before you know it, you’ll be up to your eyeballs in payday loans trying to fund all those trips to Marbella that you said your ‘mate’ Mark Wright would hook you up with.

DON’T: Talk about sex

Whether you’re a sex addict or it’s just playful banter, save it for the boys in the pub. Some girls don’t mind it but a first a date isn’t the one to test the waters. Likewise, no one wants to know how many times you’ve been to the clinic in the last six months. Although, if you are carrying you should probably give a heads up at some point.

DO: Kiss her

But only on the cheek. Even linger for half a second. If it feels right, it might turn into a proper kiss. Don’t dance about on the spot like a bumbling idiot. Be confident and know what you’re going to do before the moment comes. Just don’t give too much away. Leave her wanting more.

Words by Paul Thomas Bell. Check out his dating blog here.


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