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Early stages are akin to treacherous waters — you get butterflies (that, honestly, could easily pass off as locust swarms if we’re going to be frank) in your belly at the thought of hitting it off and maybe even securing a relationship after a successful first date. But, as romantic adages of old go, first dates are the perilous center-stages of—yup—first impressions. The idea of needing to dress (or eat, or drink, or speak) to impress might weigh a ton on your mind, so we put together some simple (yet valuable) golden rules to dating below—all tailored to a sweet success.

1. Don’t be needy.

Try to avoid being overly reliant on your date, particularly if you’ve only just started! Demanding so much so early on might just bode danger.

2. Don’t be negative.

Hold back on the criticism, the complaints, the little gripes about your food portions and the (aggravating) loudness of a college gathering some tables off. Even if you need to vent, it’s important to save any negative conversation for when you’re sitting with a close friend or paid professional. Sure, communication is vital in a potential relationship, but spewing rants so early on might just slam the lid on anything happening at all!

3. Remember that you are not trying to find out if the person you are dating accepts you. You are trying to figure out if YOU accept HIM.

Does he make you feel good? Does he have the qualities you’re looking for? Does he treat you right? Muster up the confidence to size him up — he should be expected to impress you just as much as you are him!

4. Keep in mind that most guys like to pursue.

While the quintessential femme dater is free to initiate, it may just serve her well to let him do the rest after. Let him be the one to call, arrange for dates and plan for the future. While it’s important to let him know you enjoy his company, some subtlety on your part will keep the engagement skittishly fresh — feel free to keep him guessing until you’re wholly comfortable with the idea that he’s totally into you.

5. Keep up a playful attitude!

Jokes appeal to everyone — we all love a good laugh and nobody wants to wallow in dullness along with a surly partner. So while you’re flirting, put on a humourous outlook and a taste for fun when you’re mingling with a stunning potential — even if nothing happens in the aftermath, you’ll at least be able to look back on it with a smile.

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