After going out on dates with people that I’ve met online pretty consistently for the last couple of months I decided it was time to comprise a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” that I’ve been thinking about during and after I go out on first dates.

Do: Be assertive. If you’ve had a good connection via email/phone/text, then make a date.

Don’t: Wait for the other person to make it overtly clear that they are interested. If you think they are interested, then they probably are, so you should act with confidence.

Do: Plan something that you’re excited about for the first date. Be it coffee, a new restaurant, a bike ride or any other activity.

Don’t: Over plan/Overspend. First dates are meant to be a chill opportunity to feel each other out. As Chris Rock says, “you aren’t meeting that person, you are meeting their representative.”

Do: Pick something in one of your neighborhoods. There’s no reason why you both have to trek halfway across the city just to meet for the first time.

Don’t: Go to the same place every time. You’ll get bored with it and it’ll affect how things progress and your overall attitude toward the relationship.

Do: Act like a decent human being even if it turns out that you have no interest .003 seconds after the date begins. Remember you can still have a good time on a date with someone that you don’t feel an immediately connection with.

Don’t: Ever talk about the specifics of other dates. No one ever wants to hear about another date (even if it went terribly).

Do: Treat people like individuals. Don’t make every first date a carbon copy.

Don’t: Say you are going to call if you have no intention of seeing them ever again.

Do:  Look nice. You don’t need to take your tux out of storage, but at least look like you’ve showered and are about making a positive first impression.

Don’t: Wait 3 days, or whatever the cliché waiting periods before you can call someone after a date is, to ask someone out again. This isn’t Swingers.

Do: Remember that this is a list comprised of things that I’ve learned from the experience of going out on dates and being active with online dating.

Don’t: Follow the actions of others blindly, and take every piece of advice you receive about dating with a grain of salt.