When you’re making plans to meet a JDate for a 1st date (or a 2nd or 3rd date) the venue is very important. Choose a bar inside a restaurant to meet for a drink. Then, if things are going well you can order food at the bar or get a table. Or, you can bring a bad date to an end after downing a drink and getting out of there. See, restaurants are quieter, better lit and have fewer distractions. A 1st date is not the place to be flashy or go somewhere flashy. Don’t pick a place where you’re likely to run into friends, where you took a date the night before or where you used to work. It doesn’t have to be four-star dining but it should be nice.

Don’t schedule the date directly after work, give yourself a little leeway to go home, unwind and freshen up because you don’t want to be frazzled or frizzy (or – yikes – smell stanky!). Men should dress business casual: a button-down shirt with jeans always works. Make sure you’ve gotten a haircut in the last 2 weeks.  Or, at the very least clean up the back of your neck and run the clippers over your face  for a fresh shave. Finally, brush your teeth and make sure you smell nice. Women also want to make sure they look their best: wear a dress or a fancy top, don’t wear something too tight or too trendy because you don’t want to take the attention away from YOU. Don’t wear too much make-up but please reapply loose powder and mascara. Run a brush through your hair, brush your teeth and spritz on a little perfume in a not-too-strong scent.

Next up: Avoiding 1st Date Awkwardness