First dates can and should be fun. When you are having fun, the chances of your date partner enjoying themselves is also increased; and your chances of having a romantic connection are multiplied.  Here are 7 keys to having a successful first date:
  1. Be excited: excitement and positive energy is contagious... regardless of how well or poorly your work day (or week) has gone, let your date know that you are happy to be there.
  2. Be on time: nothing short circuits a good date more than showing up late for your first meeting. Plan a location you are familiar with, or plan on arriving early if you've not been there before.  If you are unavoidably late, call ahead to advise your date so they don't think that you've forgotten about them!
  3. Be prepared: come prepared with some good conversation starters (travel stories; fun things you did over the summer; etc.), and a few 'easy to answer' questions for your date.  Try to keep an equal balance between talking and listening.
  4. Be positive: a classic winning strategy for a first date!  Avoid potentially negative topics (past relationships; work/family issues; politically or religiously sensitive issues; etc.); focus instead of fun topics, favorite travel stories, good concerts or events that you have attended recently.
  5. Be focused: turn off your cell phone or mobile device at the start of the date and focus on the person you are with. Being genuinely interested in someone is a powerfully attractive quality.
  6. Be forward: if you feel the date is going well, and you are both enjoying yourselves, don't feel as though you have to wait  3 days before asking them out again.  Try asking for a 2nd date before your first date is through.
  7. Be open minded but frank: unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure that there is no chance of a romantic connection with your date, arrange to see them a 2nd time in a more relaxed setting.  A 2nd date is often a better time to establish if you are truly compatible. If, however, you are sure there is no connection, then it is appropriate to politely let your date partner know that after your first meeting.