Have a history of bad luck on first dates, and not sure where you went wrong? Sometimes, it's really difficult to look back on a particular dating experience and pinpoint exactly where the date took a turn for the worst. In order to make the right first impression on your date, make sure to follow some pretty simple guidelines.
Be comfortable. There is absolutely no reason for a person to be wearing something - or be going somewhere - that makes them uncomfortable. Compromise is for relationships - but much later on! Starting off a potential relationship in an atmosphere or in clothing that makes you uncomfortable is not the best way to get to know someone. Situations like this can make you extremely self-cautious and inhibit you from being yourself. If you are comfortable in situations like that, then by all means, continue on. If you are trying to impress your date or bring them somewhere that you wouldn't necessarily choose, and are comfortable in doing so, then do it! However, being stuck in a place for an hour or two that makes you want to run for the hills won't bring out the best in you - and your date will be able to see that. After a few dates, if your date really wants to go see that movie that you're not thrilled about, fine - but try to choose a place that you and your date will enjoy for the first go-around. If the date goes well, pull out the fancy restaurant or the out-of-your-comfort zone date for a memorable occasion, like an anniversary. This doesn't mean you don't have to be thoughtful, though - we'll talk about that later.
Be honest. You don't need to delve into your personal life or your family history on the first date. That's a given. However, the most important thing to remember about relationships is that the strongest bases begin with honesty. If you are lying to your date from the get-go, you are beginning the potential for that relationship on a foundation of lies, and faulty foundations are known to crumble. Don't set yourself up for failure. Tell the truth. People tend to exaggerate to impress other people, but don't get caught in that trap. Be proud of your accomplishments and what you plan to achieve in the future - but don't embellish. If you need to lie to impress your date, chances are, they're not right for you anyway!
Be polite. Let's face it, there's nothing more irritating than someone who doesn't have manners or an inkling of etiquette when out on a date. While it's totally acceptable to make a mess and lick your fingers if you go out for something like chicken wings, at least chew with your mouth closed. Use a napkin. Don't slurp your drink. If you're going out and food's not involved, be interested in what your date is doing and how they are feeling. If you can tell that they aren't necessarily comfortable with your choice of date, suggest alternatives. If you take interest in the other person and show a level of caring or concern for their feelings, they will more than likely appreciate it.
Be thoughtful. As previously mentioned, if you can tell your date isn't comfortable, suggest an alternate venue. If you are the one treating to the date, try to choose something that you both will enjoy. If it is a blind date, or someone you are meeting through mutual friends or from a dating service, try to get a feel for the things they like to do, what kind of food they like, and see if you can pick something that you both will enjoy. Add personal touches to it if it is a date with someone you've known for a while or have wanted to date. Make it fun, with no strings, no obligations, and make sure you both enjoy yourselves.
Didn't work? There is no correct recipe for the perfect date. Your chemistry is the most important thing of all, and that, unfortunately, you can't create. No matter how perfect your date goes or how you dress or where you go, if the chemistry is not there after a date or two, it doesn't matter. You cannot force it. As long as you are honest, and you do your best to be thoughtful, that is all you can do!
Most importantly, have fun! Dating is supposed to be fun. So many people put a stress on the dating world that it can take over the rest of their social lives. Have fun with it. Meet new people, experience new things, and be yourself - even the awful dates can help you learn more about who you are as a person, and, even better, double as great stories and anecdotes for your friends, family, and even other first dates.