Think you know everything there is to know about first dates? Think again. Mad Men ideals no longer apply — the time has come for us girls to stop waiting around for Mr Right and start making up our own rules instead.

Don’t: Keep it cute and put it on mute
Do: Speak your mind, but be smart about it

Conversational topics that have been labelled as first date no-no’s include politics, religion, your exes, the names of the babies you’re planning to make – and anything else deeper than trivial matters (like your current fave TV series). Depending on your connection, however, complex conversations can take place: there’s no reason for you to act coy or keep mum if that’s not the real you. Who knows? Speaking up could be intriguing for the both of you, giving you the opportunity to get to know each other better. As long as you don’t sound like you’re delivering a rally speech, having an intellectual discourse could pose as a good marker of your intellectual compatibility, which is pretty important.

Don’t: Insist that the man must foot the bill
Do: Offer to pay, or go dutch

We’ve heard it before: the gentleman always pays. Here in the real world, us womenfolk emphatise with the awkwardness that comes with the tango that commences when the bill arrives – it’s a nice gesture when the lady offers to pay for a change. You’d probably also feel empowered by showing him you’re independent and able to take care of yourself (if he can’t handle that, you might want to re-think that second date). If the guy insists, however, let him pick this one up and make a mental note to let it be your treat the next time round.  And remember to say thank you!

Don’t: Waiting for him to text or call after the date
Do: Do it yourself, if you like him

This is a no-brainer. The waiting game shouldn’t be a big deal. If you hit it off really well during the date and you can actually see it going somewhere, why not beep him to let him know, instead of waiting to hear from him first? You can still stay a little mysterious by not gushing about what a great time you had – keeping totally mum is so cliche. If you’re a die-hard traditional, do give it a shot and see what happens. At the very least, you’ll be spicing things up, and that’s always exciting. Chances are, he’ll appreciate your initiative. But of course, don’t text him 10 times non-stop – that’s way too psycho nana for anyone to handle.

Don’t: Always follow first-date “rules”
Do: Chill out and be yourself

There’s nothing sadder than a wonderful girl who compromises on her personality just so she can have someone to call her “boyfriend”. We’re living in a time when virtually everything is customisable, so why not design your first date, too? If you’re a laidback chick, there’s no harm in saying no to fancy wining and dining – instead, ask if he’d like to try that chill new place you’ve been dying to check out. Or if the great outdoors is your thing, suggest an activity that you both can enjoy (a picnic in the park, perhaps?). Don’t assume that it’s his job to make plans – you’re not a wilting flower that agrees with everything he says. Take this opportunity to impress him with your resourcefulness, and you might both be pleasantly surprised.

Image: Anna Bizoń / 123RF.com
Text: Ain Aziz

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