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August 5, 2009

10 First-Date DON'Ts and DOs

Want a second date? Make sure you don't commit any of these dating sins.

couple at dinner table

Photo Credit: Ansgar Werrelmann/Veer

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We asked the daters of Marie Claire Ask & AnswerMarie Claire's online Q&A community for dating, sex, and relationship advice — to tell us what first-date behavior kills any chance of a second date. Keep reading for the first-date mistakes and how to fix them:

DON'T brag. "I hate when a guy brags about how "hot" the girls are he usually dates, or how much money he makes — TURN-OFF!" says bellajayde1. That kind of bragging is totally transparent, so bite your tongue before you start trying to convince your date of what a stud you are.

But DO talk yourself up. Give yourself credit where credit is do. Accept compliments and talk about achievements — but make sure you give your date the same amount of attention and opportunity to talk.

DON'T forget your manners. sweetness04 hates a guy with no table manners, telling us about a date who ate off of her plate. "He even drank my drink," she added, and "he also SHOVELED food into his mouth like he hadn't eaten in weeks." Everyone has a personal comfort level with how much food-sharing should go on during a first date, so err on the side of caution and at least ask before you take a bite of his burger or help yourself to her drink.

But DO relax. Manners are important, but if you accidentally spill your glass of wine or find yourself with spinach in your teeth, don't overreact and make an epic deal out of it. Dates are supposed to be fun (really!), and there's no fun-killer quite like having to reassure your date that no, really, it's not a big deal, and please don't be embarrassed all night.

DON'T get too aggressive. If you're not sure how interested your date is, don't throw caution to the wind and go all out. When it comes to the good-night kiss, keep your tongue and your wandering hands to yourself until you can gauge your date's reaction. "I don't mind a little tongue, but must you block off my airways?" asks Answerology member myrtletyrtle.

But DO act interested if you are. You don't want to come on too strong, but you do want to let your date know that you're into him if that's the case. Don't keep him guessing — if you'd like a second date, say so.

DON'T talk about your ex. Going on and on about an ex is a tip-off that "he is not over her," says silver75. Greenwind agrees, saying, "Telling whiny stories about her ex is a killer. If she says that about him, she'll be saying the same about me next year. I'm outta there pronto."

But DO say good things if you do talk about your ex. They're your ex for a reason, so no need to give a rave review, but speaking about your ex (if, say, he comes up in a story you're telling) in a vague, neutral, or somewhat positive light tells your date that you're well-adjusted and mentally stable, both things you ideally want to project on a first date.

DON'T bitch and moan. silver75 says her deal breaker is "complaining that the food is too expensive even though HE picked the place and wondering if you wouldn't mind ordering the house salad for $3.95." jjcabin chimes in, saying that he "had one girl who in 3 hours never stopped talking and never said one non-mean thing about everyone — parents, friends exes, waitstaff." No one likes a wet blanket. If you're having an awful week, month, or lifetime, consider rescheduling your date.

But DO be real. You're human, and complaining a little about the same thing can even foster a bond. Just keep it lighthearted and cut it short before it becomes an all-night bitch-session.

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