Paying the bill can be a contentious area, so never assume that your date is a mind reader and has figured out what the score is when it comes to this part of your evening. To avoid creating a scene and jeopardising future dates, never:
234 Part V: The Part of Tens
✓ Push the bill across the table and announce that it's their turn to pay.
✓ Get your calculator out and split the bill according to what each of you ate, even if you did choose the veggie option and didn't drink.
✓ Offer to split the bill with them, when it was you who invited them out to dinner in the first place.
Agree in advance how you'll handle bills to avoid causing embarrassment and ruining what could've been a beautiful relationship.
Choosing the Wrong Venue
The choice of venue can make or break a date. Play it safe on the first date and avoid places:
✓ Where you can't pronounce the items on the menu.
✓ Serving up animals that people pay money to visit in zoos.
✓ Where you have to shout above the music to make conversation.
✓ That are so brightly lit you need sunglasses.
✓ Where you have to sit and be ignored on a tiny table near the kitchen door unless you're a household name.
Choose somewhere atmospheric, not too quiet, and busy. If you run out of conversation the background noise will fill the silence, and you can always make small talk about the other patrons.
In a perfect world no accidents - big or small - would occur on a first date. Unfortunately, because you're in a heightened state of anxiety, you're more likely to be clumsy and have an accident or be more sensitive to things going wrong. To be on the safe side, don't:
✓ Blame your date for the incident; even if they did set fire to the curtains whilst playing carelessly with the candle.
✓ Call your mum, because she always knows what to do in a crisis.
Making a drama out of a crisis isn't necessary. Just ignore whatever's happened and don't make a fuss. You don't want to make your date uncomfortable, nor do you want them to think that you're accident-prone.
Meeting an ex unexpectedly can really throw you, not to mention your date. Regardless of whether you parted badly, on great terms, or had a one-sided breakup, avoid the following if you want the meeting to pass without incident or repercussion:
✓ Introducing them to your new date as the fiance(e) that got away.
✓ Bragging to your ex about how much better your new date is than they ever were.
✓ Starting a row, even if they did steal your favourite Spice Girls album and never returned the electric screwdriver they borrowed.
✓ Greeting them with a kiss on both cheeks and reminiscing about all the fun times you had together.
Nobody feels they're the centre of your universe and the perfect date if you're constantly looking over their shoulder. Eventually, they'll be looking over their shoulder too, just to see what's behind them that's so interesting.
Even if the hottest person you've ever seen has entered the room and is giving you the eye, you have to ignore them and give your date the full attention they deserve.
Only in the following limited, and unlikely, circumstances are you permitted to look over your date's shoulder:
✓ A gunman has entered the room and is heading in your direction.
✓ A national lottery spokesperson is heading towards you with a cheque for £1 million with your name on it.
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