The first date. The pressure. The outfit. The hair. The perfume. The winged eyeliner. The loose curls. The low-cut top. The nail polish. The lipstick. The heels. The earrings. The panties (just in case). The THOUGHT.

Yes, the thought women put into a first date. And especially a first date they are looking forward to.

You’ve been built up in their minds. You’ve chatted on the phone or via text or on Facebook Messenger. You’ve shown your best Instagram-filtered pictures from the neck up, and your mutual friends or online-dating profile have made you out to be God’s gift and that you’re only really using the Internet to date because you don’t want to meet someone at a bar and have little time to go out.

Here are a few DON’Ts for the fellas

These are intentioned to help you make it to date numero two and not soulcrush the women who have already planned your wedding in their mind’s eyes.

1. Not bathe.

Seven Worst Errors a Man Can Make on the First DatePlease bathe. And when I say bathe, use a shower or tub. I’ll never forget the guy who wanted to ride his mountain bike for a few hours before our first date and then offered to jump in a nearby river to bathe with nature before I met him for the first time. Nature’s cologne was on tap, and I wasn’t thirsty. And with bathing goes smelling nice. Wear a nice scent, even a popular one. You can’t go wrong with the popular ones. They’re popular for a reason. (MY FAVES: Burberry, Fierce by Abercrombie and Fitch, and St. Bart’s by Tommy Bahama.)

2. Not wear nice things.

Don’t wear a dirty hoodie. Show you ironed and thought about the color of your belt. Tuck things in, and wear clean shoes. Ninety-nine percent of women (unofficially) think long and hard about what they’re going to wear and what they’re going to smell like. (Clearly, a smell theme happening.) If they have a day job, they’re not getting anything done that day because they’re planning. CONSTANTLY PLANNING. If you show up straight after work in a t-shirt with dirty jeans or those jeans with the torn hems because you don’t wear a belt, WOMEN WILL NOTICE. And it will hurt their feelings. Or they’ll be mad but they’ll be mad because their feelings are hurt.

3. Not compliment.

DO compliment. Say something nice about the way your date looks. Tell her she smells nice or that her hair looks soft. Women spend a lot of money trying to make their hair look soft, naturally. If you use “pretty” when talking about her hair, it sounds very general and you may be crossing over heavily into the metrosexual realm (unless your date is into that) but because men are usually visual (hello, Playboy), and if you say ANYTHING looks soft, basically, you’re golden. For real. (If you mess up and say her eyes look soft, it will be endearing. Trust me.)

Ehhh…don’t say her stomach looks soft. If you compliment her on anything, you’re still pretty good.

4. Don’t pay.

Fellas, if you asked the lady out, you pay. You’re asking for their time. And, you should make this clear before the date even begins. I’ve been on so many dates where I’m wondering who is going to pay, especially when there is no spark because the guy did not match the impossible image I’d created in my mind. Say, “Where am I taking you?” or say “I’m taking you to _____.” The pressure is off the lady, and they’re not dreading the check. If the lady asks YOU out, I say they should pay, as well. But offer to leave the tip. 😉 Or just pay.

5. Don’t use a coupon or Groupon.

Enough said. When you’ve hit the golden years as a married couple, proceed with either by all means.

6. Don’t talk about your ex.

No. No, no, no. Don’t show your bitterness. It may also show you’re not over her. I recently had a date with a lawyer who boldly told me I was his first Internet date ever. On the date. And then after talking about his recent ex, he left during the date, stating he couldn’t continue. And then he messaged me two months later and asked for a second chance. It was an easy no. I digress.

7. Don’t be serious.

Be FUN. Smile a lot and if you like her, find ANY REASON to touch her hand, shoulder, leg, face, mouth (but only if you know the feeling is mutual…otherwise, you’re asking for a slap or restraining order).

Erica von RathBy John’s Special Guest: Erica von Rath
Erica von Rath is the author of Online Dating: So Many Tools in the Internet Shed based on her personal experiences using the Internet to date. She also reviews online dating profiles and is working on her next memoir. Follow her blog at and find her book on Amazon!