If a first date goes badly, you won’t usually get a second chance. But that’s okay — there’s no reason to break out into a cold sweat at the simple prospect of making conversation with someone new. Follow these tips and ice breakers, and you’ll be well on your way to making a good first impression…

Keep it in your pants

Your phone, that is. “Put your phone away and spend some time getting to know your date,” says self-professed dating expert and matchmaker Linda Prescott, the founder of Ideal Introductions.

“Wait till you get home to reply to text messages and update your social media. Spending too much time on your phone can make you appear impolite.”

Keep it positive

Had a tough day at work? Keep it to yourself, thanks. “Always talk about positive things on a first date,” Linda says.

“Plan some light-hearted conversation starters prior to the date, such as food, travel, music and current goals. Avoid talking about work, religion and finance. After hearing about thousands of successful dates I can assure you that if someone has a fun time with that person, even if they were unsure if there is a romantic connection, they will always ask to take them on a second date.”

Keep it focussed

We all know your last break-up was really hard, but now’s really not the time to dwell on it. Forget your ex and focus on the one you’re with. “Avoid mentioning your ex at all costs!” Linda stresses.

“Regardless of whether you talk positively or negatively about him or her, it will only make you appear as if you are still not over them.”

Keep it light

Sure, you’re a very serious and important person — but that’s no way to make a first impression. “Don’t take yourself too seriously,” Linda says.

“Women want guys who are fun. Of course, they want you to be serious about your job and about your relationships, but they don’t want you to be serious all the time. Women want a guy who can make them laugh and a guy who can laugh at himself. So lighten up and you’ll be luckier in love!”

Keep it simple

Okay, so you’re known for your bold style choices, but tonight’s not the night to risk a fashion faux pas. “When it comes to dress code, make sure you keep it simple,” Linda says.

“Too much perfume or make up can be a total turnoff. You don’t want what you’re wearing to detract from what you’re saying. For example, don’t wear so much lipstick that it comes off all over your teeth.”

Above all else, if you want to impress, just be yourself — unless ‘yourself’ is a smartphone-addicted, gloomy, ex-obsessed, deadly serious, walking fashion disaster. Then you should totally follow these tips. Pretty simple, right?

What’s the best first date you’ve ever been on? How about the worst? Share your stories in the comments below!  

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