1. Do Not Bring Flowers. Allow me to clarify here. If you’re going to bring her flowers — which, it must be noted are always a lovely gesture, and something we will always appreciate — only give them to her at her house if you’re picking her up. Allow her to get the proper vase, cut the stems, and display them nicely on her entryway table before you guys enjoy your night on the town. If you meet her while out and show up with a bouquet of gardenias and a “Hope you like it” grimace, she’s going to have to pretend to be happy as she accepts her terrible fate: carrying around a giant bouquet the rest of the night like an enormous douchebag. At the restaurant, at the bar, out dancing — what the hell is she supposed to do with a giant-ass bouquet of flowers? Even at weddings, you throw them to a bunch of spinsters and let them deal with it. Don’t make your first date suffer like this. It’s just cruel.
2. Chill Out With The Cologne. Despite what those horrendous, horrendous Axe commercials may have convinced you, we do not want to be able to smell you coming from two blocks away. Our attraction to you is, in fact, inversely proportional to the amount of Drakkar Noir you’re wearing after a certain, crucial point. It’s almost preferable to smell vaguely of man and nervousness than an overwhelming tidal wave of musk. Just, please don’t. We’ll try to calm down with the Chanel No 5, too, if it makes you feel any better.
3. Even If You’re Planning On Hitting It Tonight, Try To Hide It. Let’s face it: Some guys (and girls) go into that first date looking to knock some serious boots at the end of the evening. And that’s fine, we’re all modern people here, there’s nothing wrong with a little barely-know-you nookie. The thing is, though, if you constantly hint at and joke about going home and having some well-condomed sex at the end of the evening (protection first, as you’ve known each other for a solid 3 hours), you’re going to make your date feel extremely uncomfortable. There is nothing worse than feeling the looming pressure of having to slither out of an overeager proposition to come to the guy’s house when you clearly just want to go home and Skype with your girlfriends about what happened. Let things happen naturally, there’s no need to make things awkward.
4. If You Invited, Pay. I believe, firmly, that whoever invites the other person out for the date should offer to pay (though let’s be real, even if the girl came up with the idea, the guy will often still want to break out his wallet). But if you invited a girl out for dinner or something similar, the idea that you would look to her with a “Hey, equality between the sexes” look and a vague gesture towards her purse is horrendous. You are out here to wine and dine, what would Don Draper do (besides smoke about 85 cigarettes and look painfully into the distance)? Yeah, exactly. If you can’t afford an afternoon out at Chipotle, you can’t afford to date.
5. Don’t Get Crazy Drunk. There is an exact amount of drinks — scientists are still busy in Geneva cracking the codes to the exact amount, they’re honing in somewhere around 2.7776 — that will allow you to be the perfect combination of calm and charming. After that, you become drunk guy (and, of course, this goes just as hard for ladies — but men are often foolishly convinced they have superhuman abilities to “hold their liquor”). Don’t be drunk guy. Not only do you risk breaking rule 3, but you also may very well tell her about that worrisome cyst, the one you’re going to go to the doctor about soon but just haven’t gotten around to doing yet. No one wants to hear about that cyst. Not on the first date. Trust me.