In today’s cut-throat and unforgiving dating world, searching for romance is like scouring through a jungle of animals in search of “the one.” While this process can be tricky, awkward and sometimes downright frustrating, it’s important not to lose faith. Of course, women are not usually to blame, us being fabulous and all. We know full well that the world is plagued with tragic male singles, ready to perturb us with dull conversation, sloppy first kisses, and attempts at one-night-stands.

However, not all men necessarily commit these habits. And while it can be amusing to savagely gab to our friends and rant about our recently blacklisted bachelor, we should take a moment to realize that we are not always the victims of failed dates. In fact, many of us spend so much time sizing up our gentleman callers, but we rarely ever consider how our own habits might be affecting our dating experiences.

So, perhaps we could all benefit from a tad bit of humility by considering the male perspective as we reign comfortably on our royal thrones. This being said, let’s take a look at five things you shouldn’t do on a first date:

1. Do not ask about the future … yet

© Duane Osborn/Somos Images/Corbis

On the first date, it’s not appropriate to raise future-related questions unless he does. This is a double standard we all loathe but must regrettably obey. This means avoiding certain questions: Do you see marriage in your future? How many kids do you want? These are issues that will surely be addressed as you move through the dating process. Until that point, a man doesn’t want you envisioning his future before he’s even had a chance to get to know you. It’ll make him feel trapped and definitely turned off.

2. Do not dress like a high-class call girl

Many women enjoy dressing provocatively for their dates. Although it’s natural to want to look impressive and sexy, women should focus on flaunting their personality whether than their skin. As a general rule, if you’re going to show off your legs, hide your cleavage. And if you’re planning on covering up your lower half, then feel free to show a little more décolleté (without giving him an overly generous glimpse!).

3. Do not ask about his assets

While you may have your quality checklist, you must put this aside for the first date. Many men find it incredibly invasive when a woman asks incessantly about their assets, especially so early in the dating process. You do not want to appear over ambitious or shallow. This means you should focus on getting to know your date on a personal level and learn about his quality not his quantity.

4. Do not get drunk

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Nobody likes a waste-case.

When trying to control your first date jitters, it’s easy to drink a little more than usual. But while a couple Cosmos can be helpful, make sure not to overdose on this nerve-easing delight. Otherwise, you may become too comfortable and possibly lose your sense of etiquette. You may start blabbering excitedly or even let your hormones do the talking. For this reason, it’s best to let your sober and wonderful self shine through on the first date.

5. Do not sleep with him

If you have a more laissez-faire attitude toward dating, you may have pulled a one-nighter or two. Sometimes when a great date becomes heated with good conversation and a few too many martinis, it’s tempting to lose yourself in a steamy moment. You may have even been guilty of convincing yourself that you’ve found your “soul-mate” and believe it’s a free pass to rush into the sack. No. Stop. What you might mistake for your long-sought-love is really just alcohol and hormones. In reality, rushing to sex rarely leads to a long-lasting relationship. Moreover, building a real intimate connection requires a couple to establish communication, respect, and trust over an extended period of time. A hot night in bed does not establish this connection — no matter how great the sex.

By avoiding these crimes of romance, you may save yourself from plunging into dating hell. Ultimately, it’s important to understand that great dates are a two-way street. While we can expect to be charmed and courted, we also have a responsibility to avoid poor dating habits. Unfortunately, these rules will obviously not protect you from meeting awful men, but at least you can take comfort in knowing the failure was on him, and not on you.

Good luck!

All images courtesy of Corbis

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