Your Dating Toolkit

6 things every girl needs to be prepared for her next date.
- Carrie Seim, BettyConfidential.com
Like a good little scout, you should always be prepared for a date. You wouldn't go camping without packing a tent, right? Well, there's no shame in hiding some magic up your sleeve before heading out to meet a handsome fellow. So allow us to lend you a hand with BettyConfidential's tried-and-true Great Date Toolkit. The following items will confer to you coquettish confidence and single-lady savvy. They'll help a good date get better - and may even help a bad date get over faster.

1. Little Bag of Tricks ($5)

Before walking through the door to meet a sexy suitor, I always pack a little bag of confidence, stashing a collapsible toothbrush, mini minty paste, travel mouthwash and sample perfume into a zippable plastic bag. Don't get the wrong idea - this isn't a one-night-stand set - it simply allows me to freshen my breath (and my body scent) après dinner. Just in case there's an end-of-date kiss.

2. Fashion Flair (varies)

Like infants and underwater sea creatures, guys are inexplicably attracted to shiny and sparkly things.

They also love locating anything on your person that they can easily compliment. ("Compliment her! But on what? Her eyes? No, everybody says that. Wait a second - is that a candy ring on her finger? Jackpot!")

I see wearing flair as part of my job for making a date go well. Toss on a sparkly bracelet, or slip on some novelty earrings and - boom! Conversation started. The guy is grateful to have an easy icebreaker, and you get to wear something fun.

Read 10 Hottest Cocktail Rings

3. Phone-a-Friend ($1)

Yes, you should always let someone know where you'll be during a date and that you've made it home safely. But deft daters know that a phone call during the date can really save the day. And now, a new iPhone app is taking things up a tech step.

Fake Calls allows you to have one of the contacts in your phone "call" you at an appointed time. Want your Aunt Lydia to phone you up with an emergency appendicitis just in case your blind date blows? Done. (Don't worry, the call is totally fake and Auntie L. will be none the wiser.)

You can decide mid-date whether to take the "call" or ignore it. So from now on, if you need to escape a bad date, don't worry - there's an app for that.

4. Happy Feet ($18.95 to $24.95)

Sexy stilettos make your legs look heavenly, but are hell on your feet. One solution: Clouds, new fold-up flats that fit snugly in a pouch in your purse.

I can't tell you the number of dates I've carried my 4-inch heels in a plastic bag and done a last minute switch from my flats half a block before my destination. This seemed to be a sensible solution - except then I was stuck with bulky flats stuffed in a plastic bag, which had to be stuffed in my purse…

So when FitInClouds offered to send me a sample pair of collapsible ballet slippers with rubber soles and a satiny finish, I found them to be everything promised: comfy, sexy and easy - just like a good date.

5. Cool, Calm & Collected (varies)

Nerves before a big date are totally normal. But successful daters are able to gather their energy into joyous focus: they try to keep things in perspective (this is just a few hours or your life with someone you may or may not ever see again), and they calm their pre-date jitters with a sip of something soothing (wine works for me, and lots of ladies are fans of tea), a light workout or some yoga to center themselves.

If you opt for something alcoholic, don't forget to pop a mint afterward - and make sure you don't go overboard. There's a thin line between relaxed and drooling!

6. Talking Points (free)

Take this tip from a reporter - it never hurts to have a few questions in your back pocket. Before your date, write down a few simple, fun and open-ended questions. You definitely don't want to script everything out, but this exercise will help you focus on the guy you're with, instead of getting scattered by the idea of going on a date.

Some of my favorite questions include: What was the best part of your day? What are you looking forward to most this year?

Read 8 Things You Should Never Say to a Man

And don't forget to follow up! Listen to what a guy is telling you and ask him questions that show you're intrigued by his world. If he mentions a big project on your first date, ask him how the project turned out on your second date. If he mentions a big gambling addiction on your first date, ask him never to call you again. (At least you were listening!)

What's in your dating toolkit?

Carrie Seim, Betty's L.A. Correspondent, is a writer and comedian keeping it real in L.A., New York and @ carrieseim.com.

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