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  • ENA

    The Ten First Date Commandments

    Excerpted from
    By Dennie Hughes

    As they say on those mall maps: YOU are here. Hopefully, it was by way of the scenic route, and you enjoyed the ride to Dateworthiness.

    Or . . . perhaps you did what I always do. And that's skip right to the at-a-glance, troubleshooting guide because I'm in a hurry and just need some kind of "how do I get this to work now?" basics and then I'll go back when I have some time and get into learning all the other cool features.

    Caught you, didn't I?

    It's absolutely understandable if you literally just bought this book and your date is in three hours. Actually, I'm impressed if that's the case-looking for a little basic training just before you hit the dating trenches is a completely Dateworthy instinct.

    It's totally unacceptable otherwise. Looking for the quick fix, miracle cure when it comes to being Dateworthy, to acquire the skills and knowledge to feel self-worthfull enough to call the shots and not feel like you are at the mercy of some mystical dating force . . . that takes time. And effort. And yes, even a little bit of prep work.

    Aren't you worth that little extra time?

    That said. I guess it's okay for those of you who have that pending date to take just a little peek at what's in store for you before you go back and begin your true Dateworthy journey later. And for those of you who are here via the scenic route-welcome to the wrap party!

    After all, isn't it the sample at the fragrance counter that inspires you to invest in the full size? (Oh. come on, that was a really good analogy-you totally knew what I meant.)

    So . . . let me let you go ahead and take a look at my Ten First Date Commandments.

    1. Never, Ever Have Sex

    Having sex on a first date doesn't make you a bad person. It does, however, compromise your ability to:

    Zzz Stay detached to really scrutinize the guy you're dating.

    Zzz Stay safe-after all, unless you're going to do it in a public bathroom, having sex means having to go somewhere and be alone with someone you barely know.

    Zzz Weed out the hit-it-and-run guys.

    zzz Not feel that your actions were to blame for him not calling.

    Yes, guys are two-headed beings and will push for sex. However, if he's a guy who's interested in who you are, he's not actually expecting to get it. (As a matter of fact, studies show that most guys stick around if they don't have sex.) Remember: Sex should be the perk of a good relationship, not a first-date party favor. So put on that ugly support bra and granny hose and get going!

    Sex may sell-but first-date sex sells you short.

    2. K.I.S.S. (Keep it short & Simple)

    The last thing anyone wants to do is be stuck in a date that feels like an advanced calculus class with no end to the period in sight. Trust me: You may feel funny saying, "I'd love to meet you-say around 5:00?-but I've got to be somewhere at 7 tonight," but having that advance plan is a whole lot kinder than trying to find a way to bolt in the middle of a date with a nice guy who just isn't for you. (If he's a jerk, kindness rules are fair game to be broken.)

    Set a time limit and have a girlfriend call you near the time you are "supposed" to leave. If it's a good date, you can say, "Oh, I don't have to go and help out? Great-I'll talk to you later." And-if he's not already scheduled-you have the option of extending your time together.

    3. Be a Good Listener

    There's nothing that a two-headed being likes as much as sex, as having someone ask questions and show an intense interest in what he has to say. (I'll be honest: Those first few dates in the Best Behavior Zone are probably the most you'll ever see him talk, so definitely encourage the chatter!) As you know, a conversation should be like a tennis game, with two people lobbing back and forth. But your goal here is to get the info on him, not to hear the stories you already know, so be sure to always find a way to follow your response with an inquiry that gets the ball back into his court. By appearing to be a good listener to him-and by actually really listening and getting to know if he's got partner potential-you both score: He's flattered, you're informed!

    4. Don't Trash-Talk Tour Ex

    Just as there should never be any X-rated conversation, there should never be ex-saturated conversation in a first-date situation. Sure, you will both be curious-and rightly so-about how long it's been since a breakup, but going on and on about what a jerk, or a mistake, or a waste of time someone was will only make a guy feel:

    • Uneasy. Will you be trash-talking hint this way one day? Or worse, unable to let go and, perhaps, turn stalker on him?

    • Bored. He'd rather be talking about himself than some other guy.

    • Turned off. Why did you allow yourself to stay with someone that bad?

    • Rebound-cautious. No one gets that caught up in a past relationship unless it's not truly history!

    5. Don't be an Open Book

    Your date is not your therapist. Nor is he your priest or your hair-dresser. (Why is it that every woman I know, myself included, feels the need to spill life secrets the moment we're in the "hair chair"?

    Do we think that perhaps if our stylist knew everything, he'd actually give us a better haircut? One that was bouncing and behaving a whole lot better than our lives were going? Oh. the stories my stylist could tell!)

    The object of a first date is to give-and get-a good impression. You know how you should always stay alert to what's going on by avoiding alcohol on a first date? Skip the wine-and the whine-if you want to make this date a successful, informative one.

    Don't go on and on about all the rotten stuff going on with you. Why would he want to get involved in your life if you don't even like being there? Do tell him the things about you that you think make you look your best - just don't forget to take time to find out the same from him. And while we're talking about discreet disclosure, let's not forget another open book liability: Being too open about where you work or live can compromise your safety if this guy turns out to be a creep.

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