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First Dates - The 10 most common mistakes

Going on a first date can be a pretty daunting experience. But if you can avoid these common first date mistakes, you'll not only have a great experience, but you'll also greatly improve your chances of having a second date!

1. Not Setting a Dress Code for the Date

Once you decide to take your relationship off the dating site and into the real world, appearances really begin to matter. Showing up for a date too casual or too formal can start you off on the wrong foot right from the get go. When you're setting the date, have a brief discussion about what each of you plans to wear. This way you'll both know ahead of time what to expect.

2. Planning the Date in a Crowded or Noisy Place

It can be really difficult to get to know someone when you meet in a crowded bar or restaurant. Make sure you choose a quiet spot. Also, consider saving the movie for date number two. You won't get the chance to connect if you're simply staring at a screen together.

3. Going Overboard with your Budget

It's always nice to impress someone with a fancy dinner on your first date, but it's really not necessary and it might make you appear desperate or arrogant. There are lots of creative ways to plan dates on a more conservative budget. In fact, your dating experience will probably be more memorable if you plan something unique versus simply planning something expensive.

4. Giving Away Too Much Info

If you find yourself jumping in as soon as your date takes a breath, try this conversational rule: You must ask five questions before you can tell one story about yourself. This will not only ensure that the conversation is staying more balanced, but you'll also avoid divulging too much about yourself. The more you blab on, the better chance you have of sticking your foot in your mouth.

5. Picking Up Your Cell Phone Every Time it Rings

If you're one of those people that can't resist picking up their cell phone every time it rings, you might want to consider leaving it at home. Constantly answering your phone or sending texts sends the message loud and clear to your date that you're not interested.

6. Scheduling Too Much Activity Into the Date

When it comes to the first date, all you really need is a couple of hours to get to know each other. Even if you've been getting to know this person for weeks on an online dating site, exercise caution when planning a date longer than two hours. If you're not enjoying the date, you don't want to be stuck for a long time. A great first date should end just in time to leave you both wanting more.

7. Bringing Up Controversial Topics

Although a healthy debate can be stimulating and fun, you can also run the risk of offending someone. People can have some fairly strong convictions related to religion and politics, many of which might oppose your own. Keep the topics light and you'll stay out of hot water.

8. Boozing it Up

When some people get nervous they tend to drink a little more to loosen up. Be careful not to drink so much that you stop being fun and attractive when dating. Obviously our judgment can become blurred when we drink too much and this could lead to saying something we didn't mean or doing something we could regret. Not to mention the fact that rarely does our best side come out when we're drunk. Keep the drinks to a minimum and focus on the natural high of human attraction.

9. Being Late

You're probably not going to win any brownie points by showing up late to your first date. It's no fun to start the evening off with a strike against you. Also, consider that arriving late will most likely leave you in a flustered and agitated state. Arrive early and you've got time to relax and mentally prepare for your date.

10. Talking About Your Ex

Your date doesn't need to hear all about the dramas and upsets in your life. Talking about things like your ex or how much debt you have will most likely kill your chance of ever getting a second date. Focus on the positives in your life and keep the conversation fun and interesting.