Compared to most dating coaches, I have relatively few rules. However, of the rules that I do have in my eBook, there is one that’s key to follow if you have any hope of your first date turning into something long term. The rule? Set a drinking limit BEFORE you head out on a date. It’s easy to feel a connection with someone after a few gin and tonics, but you also have to have a connection in the sobering light of day if you really want a successful relationship.

I had to learn the hard way that three martinis does not a husband make. Since that time, I consciously set my date drinking limit to one. Everyone’s tolerance is different, but I had to admit to myself that my decision-making was impaired beyond that single drink. “Dating While Intoxicated” is as much of a disaster on a date as a real DWI is on the road. Plus, drinking your guy under the table doesn’t exactly say “wife-material.”

Beyond my own alcohol-induced missteps, I have heard a variety of crazy stories from clients about how that extra drink equaled trouble, from vomiting in their own shoes to the surgical extraction of a feminine care product (use your imagination on that one).

To save you from a similar fate, I phoned a friend Bartender Devon Espinosa of Pour Vous in Los Angeles is here to give us six tips to help you sip responsibly on your first date!

Devon’s Rules

1. Trash the Trashy

Avoid anything with a name that makes you sounds easy: Sex on the Beach, Buttery Nipple, Red-Headed Slut (I’d never heard of that one either, but apparently it’s a popular shot with college kids). These types of cocktails scream immature and generally will only lead to you getting wasted, not getting hitched.

2. Choose Class & Culture

Just getting a plain old pitcher of beer translates to your date as a lack of taste or sophistication. If you’re going with beer, choose a microbrew or something unique rather than the stuff you drink with your dad on the 4th of July.

3. No Shots

Shots send the message that you’re saying, “Screw the date, let’s get wasted.” So avoid them unless the only goal is to actually get screwed.

4. Put Down the Martini

Gin plus vermouth equals pure alcohol, which makes the martini essentially two cocktails in one. Even though it looks cool and chicks dig it, you’ll be headed straight for the porcelain god with this libation.

5. Reject the Red Wine

A delicious full-bodied red is lovely at a dinner with friends, but what many people don’t realize is that it can be dangerous to your look. Not only can it ruin your outfit if you get nervous and tip your glass, but it also stains your lips and gives your teeth a grey tint to them. Looking like rigor mortis is setting in can only detract from the conversation. If you like vino, go for white.

6. Mind your Garnishes

In this era of modern mixology, bartenders are trying all sorts of inventive combinations. You might look adventurous ordering the Blue Cheese Martini or the onion-garnished Gibson, but your date won’t appreciate it when you go in for first the kiss.

This summer, try to go for something light and citrusy. The mint in a mojito can double as a breath freshener. Or if you’re worried about behaving badly – pick a drink that is light on the alcohol and big on flavor. A mimosa for instance (half orange juice, half champagne) will give you half the alcohol content of a similar drink with liquor.

Now that you’re armed with this information from an expert who has seen many-a-date tank when someone got tanked, hopefully you can avoid any drinking and dating faux pas in the future.

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