Dating experts will tell you this: making a good first impression on a date is MUCH better than trying to overcome a bad first impression. But here’s the good news, impressing your date is not rocket science, just good old fashioned common sense.

Here are some common dating mistakes that will likely make your first date your last:

  1. See you LATE(er): arriving late to a first date sends the message that your time is more important than theirs. But don’t worry, arriving late to first dates will ensure you have plenty of free time in your social calendar since you won’t be getting many second dates. Target arriving 5 to 10 minutes early if you are meeting at a place you’ve not been to before.
  2. Don’t worry, be happy: ditch the frown; a friendly smile and a positive attitude can turn an initial awkward moment into a sure fire dating success story. Nothing cures nervousness like a genuinely friendly introduction. A initial smile and warm greeting, maybe even a sincere compliment, will always be a hit.
  3. Checking out the waiter or waitress: no matter how blindingly hot your server is, flirting with them on your date will likely ensure two things: you won’t get anywhere with your date or the server.  Being respectful and attentive to your date, even if you’re not sure there’s initial chemistry, is always the right thing to do.
  4. Be rude to the restaurant staff: on the other extreme, telling off the restaurant staff, or complaining loudly about something right off the bat, will send a message to your date that you are not a pleasant person to be around.  In those rare cases where a major problem arises, laughing about it with your date may turn a negative into a positive dating moment.
  5. Dressing down: no, suits and ballgowns are not required on a first date, but making the extra effort to dress up a bit for your date sends the message that you respect and appreciate their company.  Save your fleece shirts, hiking boots or yoga pants for a (much) later date.