Going on a first date with someone you have never met before — irrespective of whether you met online, through a mutual friend or a completely blind date — its common to feel nervous. You might worry about what may happen and what may go wrong. How you look, talk, behave, and present yourself all play a massive role in determining whether there will be a second date or not. However, there exist dozens of dating dos and don’ts falling within the spectrum of relationships precisely on an ideal first date. Here are 9 super awesome tips for a great first date that you should know.

Assess your expectations of a first date

Make sure you have realistic expectations, to avoid early disappointments. Stay conscious of your subconscious mind, which can easily get biased based on how someone behaves or dresses. Your date may not dress, communicate, or even resemble your expectations, but that isn’t something you can determine on a first meeting. Focus on yourself and try to think of a great moment.

Keep it casual

The ideal first date doesn’t have to be at the most prominent hotel, eating the most expensive dishes while wearing the most expensive outfits. This also boils down to expectations. Being too extravagant or having unnecessary activities on a first date may prevent you from connecting and having an accurate sense of each other. In fact, it is advisable to keep everything low-key and allow things to flow naturally on their own. Keep in mind that your focus should be on getting to know the other person.

Dress to impress

Never underestimate the power of eyes. Most of us have subconsciously judged someone based on how they were dressed. In fact, all of us are guilty of this crime. For instance, when we come across people dressed in rags or dirty clothes, our minds quickly shift to finding safety because we correlate dirt and rags to street people or thugs. Therefore, don’t take chances, just dress and look fabulous. However, don’t overdo it. Keep it classy and casual. Make sure you are very comfortable. Complement your look with some accessories.

Remember to take yourself with you.

First dates are not meant for proving oneself but getting to know each other. Posturing as someone you’d like to be completely misleads your date and immediately sets the wrong tone for future meetups. Being what you are not to someone who doesn’t know you, is simply a game you can never maintain nor win. It is a direct ticket to dissatisfaction.

Let them learn that you are courteous

The little manners like punctuality also come into play on a first date. If you are going to be late, let your date know. When entering a door, hold the door for them. When in a restaurant, pull the seat out for them to sit or stand. During the date, keep your cell phone silent and only pick up urgent calls, and lastly, use the magical words, “please”, “sorry” and “thank you” often.

Smile and have some fun

A date isn’t a job interview. It is supposed to be full of fun, so keep calm and enjoy the moment. Smile, laugh, and be humorous if that is your character. Be proud of who you are and stay confident in how you look.

Keep the conversation light

Avoid sensitive topics that may be too personal, and keep the conversation as light as possible. Topics like hobbies, movies, sports, and others are great topics to have during a first date. Don’t take over the conversation but allow your date to speak too. Show genuine interest and be attentive to them and give active responses when needed.

Let your intentions be known

Get to the point and avoid games. Let your date know what you are looking for in a relationship. Don’t be too pushy for the answer but remain calm and when you’re rejected, don’t demand reasons. Say “thank you” and exit graciously.

Don’t overspend on a first date

Avoid overspending on a first date. Remember, this date doesn’t guarantee any future appointments. If you made the invitation, offer to pay, but if your date insists on paying, don’t make too much of a deal. Just make sure to thank them and promise to treat them next time.

Some first dates succeed while others don’t. But if you want to increase your chances of making yours a great one by using these tips.

Learn more about relationships, dating and love by visiting Safer Dating.