That first date sets the tone for a relationship but a big blunder could end a budding new romance before it gets started. You shouldn't be on pins and needles but you should avoid these common dating blunders. Skip these major faux pas and you'll likely get a pass to the second round. If you are in doubt, always err on the side of good manners. Being courteous shows that you respect others and it sets the perfect foundation for a healthy relationship.
Don't be too available. He calls on a Saturday night to ask you what you are doing. You've got a stack of DVDs and a bag of popcorn in your lap. Of course, you'd rather hang out with him but will being too available damage your relationship? Encourage him to think ahead and don't be so willing to pick up and run when he calls. Taking you for granted is not the sign of a man who cares.
Keep a positive attitude. Dating is like a social dance, full of pauses and quiet moments. It's common to become nervous during a lull in the conversation but do resist the urge to go negative. Complaining, whining and griping about life, your job or your family don't make good dating vibes happen. Stay positive, even when you don't have anything to say. A genuine smile goes a long way.
Avoid talking about your ex - even if he was a sorry example for a man. Most everyone has an ex they'd rather forget about but some women have a hard time letting go, even of the bad ones. Don't get into a chat about your ex. If your date asks a question, answer him but don't get into a long spiel about who did what to whom. Leave the past in the past.
Look your best but be yourself. It's tempting to dress to the "nines" for a date but are you presenting your real self. Stay true to your fashion sense but do dress it up a bit; even if you're a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal.
Stay off the phone. Unless it's your babysitter calling, you shouldn't have any need to chat or text during your date. Remember, turn about is fair play. If you don't want him online during your date, you shouldn't go either.
Be on time for your date. Nothing says, "I don't want to be here" like a late date. Arrive on time and if you do happen to be late, call and let your date know where you are. It's courteous!More from this Contributor: