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Renee Slansky is an Australian TV Presenter, writer, dating and relationship coach and founder of Australia’s number 1 dating blog, The Dating Directory.

We all know that the first date can be a little daunting, there's always a certain amount of pressure and expectation, even if you're just meeting up for a coffee! Leaving a good first impression is usually at the forefront of our minds, but sometimes we can get carried away in the excitement, or perhaps let the nerves get the better of us and make a little (or large) blunder that could seal our fate and even cut all chances of a second date! So, how do we avoid such faux pas? 

Here are a few quick tips to get you on your way and to make sure things run smoothly from the beginning:

1. Plan ahead

It's important to actually have a game plan. It's no good just turning up to a restaurant to see if they have a spare seat or two.  Cover yourself by ringing and booking a few days in advance so that you are guaranteed a spot and don't have to stress (or look unorganised). Make sure you check the weather if you are planning on a date outdoors; picnics in the rain aren't nearly as romantic as one would like! Or, if you need to buy tickets for a movie or show then do so in advance, so that once again you aren't left with one seat or worse two seats several aisles apart! 

2. Listen properly

This is pretty important as you don't want to be taking your vegetarian date to an all-you-can-eat steakhouse by mistake. Ask questions about what they like and what they prefer, then take a mental note of what they say so you can use it as a guideline on how to impress them. This goes for everything and not just food, chances are you've already been speaking a bit and have started to get to know each other, so try to remember sensitive topics and handle them gracefully... or avoid them altogether! If you really want to earn yourself a second date, then make them feel like they are a priority to you. The best way to do this is to listen and respond accordingly to what they have said. 

3. Don't forget your manners

Good manners are a sure (and easy way) to impress someone. Turning up on time, not texting through dinner, opening doors etc. are all simple and obvious ways of being courteous. However, there might be a few other ones we can overlook such as waiting till your date's meal arrives before you start eating yours, checking to see if they got home safely, make sure they always have a drink even if you haven't finished yours and of course laughing at their jokes (within reason) and making them feel comfortable.  You don't want awkward silences to become the most memorable moments of the date! 

Of course nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes, most of the time we can laugh them off and make a mental note for next time.

Good luck out there! Happy dating!

Written by Renee Slansky. First appeared on Datehub.com.au

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