By · @Soflamuse  ·  · 88 Shares

Far be it for me to call anyone a loser. What I do know is how men can lose me quickly.

There are some basic dos and don’ts on first dates. You’d be surprised how many savvy people sabotage themselves from getting that coveted second.  On a first date you need to be on your best behavior, right? That seems a no-brainer, but what is common sense to you and me, isn’t common sense to everyone.

Say you’ve been emailing up a storm with someone who seems like the perfect package. You’ve been salivating over their pics and you’ve memorized their profile verbatim. Things have moved along nicely and the phone conversation is flirty and fun. You like what you hear, and the two of you are on the same page.

This just might be “it,” the real deal, a keeper. You take a deep breath and you ask the person out. The time and place are agreed on. You’re pumped and excited. Adrenaline is flowing. You’re doing handstands. You’ve pulled it off. Now it’s time to meet.

Trepidation builds as you wonder whether fantasy and reality will actually merge. Time creeps by. You know what you’ll wear and what you’ll say. In your head you’re already planning vacations together. Want to make sure those travel tickets get booked? Read on.

As a divorced woman who’s been on well over 500 dates, I can help you sidestep the pitfalls.

There are basic first date dos and don’ts. Do, and that second date is a nobrainer. Don’t, and you’ll be kicked to the curb faster than it takes to say, “Check please.”

Let’s look at the “Do’s” first:

• Do call if you’re canceling or running late. This is not the time to text.

• Dress for the occasion. Leave the shorts, caps, Hawaiian shirts, flip flops and sneakers home, unless it’s a pool date.

• Get Junior a babysitter. Kids are not cute on a first date.

• Park the mini-van and drive the Honda.

• Keep breath mints or gum handy.

• Chew with your mouth closed.

• Be nice to the server.

• No splitting the check or you’ll be relegated to the “friend zone.”

• Speak positively of your exes and only if they’re brought up.

• Politics, finances, religion and sex are off topic.

• So are STD’s and other sensitive issues.

• Turn off that bleeping iPhone.

• Feeling it? Set up another date on the spot.

• Follow up promptly with a thank you note or text.

This all seems pretty basic, right?

But what about the “Don’ts?”:

• Lateness is rude. Don’t be. Enough said.

• Don’t arrive in a car that needs a cleaning overhaul.

• Don’t wear anything that would make anyone gape. In doubt, get a second opinion.

• A kiss on the lips is not an appropriate greeting.

• Profanity isn’t cute or funny.

• Putting down past dates is just not cool.

• Pinky fingers aren’t toothpicks.

• Forgetting your wallet isn’t an option.

• Sexual comments or overtures aren’t fun.

• Don’t monopolize the conversation or name drop.

• Nix the endearmentsBabe, Sweetie, Hon will only make us run.

• Don’t forget dating is supposed to be fun!

And there you have it!

You’re a winner! Let me know how that second date works out.

Marcia King-Gamble

Romance writer, Marcia King-Gamble originally hails from a sunny Caribbean island where the sky and ocean are the same mesmerizing shade of blue. This former travel industry executive and current world traveler has spent most of life in the United States. A National Bestselling author, Marcia has penned 26 books and 6 novellas. Her free time is spent at the gym, traveling to exotic locales, and caring for her animal family.

Visit Marcia at or “friend” her on Facebook. Marcia’s latest release, a novella “Islands Apart” is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and on Apple.

What Do You Think?

12 Comments | Join the discussion

  • connie Jul 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    That is great advice….and oh so true!!

  • Linda Jul 16, 2013 at 6:18 am

    I love, love, love this…but, then I’m an old lady who loves, loves, loves Marcia anyway. This is beautiful, commonsense advice from a beautiful commonsense lady.

  • Cindy Jul 15, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    That was fun and I think I’m on the right track. I’ve discovered baby boomer dating has its own unique issues though. Two men each had heart attacks before we could even meet! It must be that photo of me in the pink-fringed dress. We did subsequently get together but now I’m wondering if I should require all future dates to bring their meds on our first meet and greet.

    Just kidding (sort of).

  • Sydney Jul 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    First dates are like first impressions. A bad first impression is starting a comment with “That’s stupid.” Yikes! Your list was a good beginning for someone who may be a bit clueless on a first date. In the age of texting and people barely lifting their heads up to make eye contact, these dos and don’ts are quite relevant.

  • Sophia Knightly Jul 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    What a fun article! Your dos and donts are right on, and I love your witty way of presenting them. You need to expand this to a book ASAP!

  • lada Jul 15, 2013 at 9:37 am

    seems straightforward. I presume you are targeting male audience?


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