You’re nervous and excited. It’s time for that very important dinner date you have been looking forward to all week.

Check your list and make sure you’ve covered those six basic areas before the time arrives!

1. The perfect attire

One of the most important things to think about for that perfect date is how you’re dressed. It’s essential to plan on dressing for comfort as well as to impress.

Never wear something overly dressy on a dinner date. Also, it’s important to simplifiy your look. Keeping the basic look simple tells your date that you are not too complicated for them to get to know.

But you should add an accent or two for a splash of mystery. Accessories are effective when kept to a minimum, to accentuate your simplified attire.

2. Setting the mood

Before the date starts, you want to decide what mood you are trying to enhance. For romantic dinner dates, the appropriate colognes, music, or lighting are important. For other dinner dates, these can be adjusted as needed. Different aspects of the atmosphere will need attention based on your concept of the date.

3. Transportation issues

You must always have your own transportation. Even if the other party insists on picking you up for the date. No one is interested in someone who cannot afford her or his own vehicle.

Even if the other person insists on picking you up, make an excuse to at least get a look at your ride. The option to act independently tends to make it easier to relax so that wonderful things can happen on your date.

4. The right restaurant

The right food speaks volumes about what sort of person you are. Never go cheap when taking someone out. All fast food restaurants are off limits. On the other hand, being hyper-dramatic by going to the highest-priced restaurant can make you seem like a show-off.

Finding the perfect restaurant in your area should involve, again, the right atmosphere and mood for the evening. Sometimes, it’s even acceptable to offer suggestions and ask what your date would prefer.

5. Payment of the bill

This is a tricky one. Usually on the first date, the man pays the bill. I know this seems old fashioned, but it’s still the standard practice. Unless you are a feminist, this usually works fine.

For certain odd circumstances, the other option would simply be to “go dutch,” when each pays for his or her own meal. Never ask your date to cover both meal charges. This will ensure that you do not get a second date!

6. Saying goodbye

This is also a very sensitive area to navigate. Often, the first date doesn’t merit a goodbye kiss; but this can vary, depending on the person. The best bet is to play it by ear. You will probably know when the atmosphere is right to move in and go for it. Never be pushy or overbearing, just let it happen naturally.

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