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10 Mistakes You Make On The FIRST DATE--And How To Avoid Them

Columnist Bianca Valerio reveals how letting go of expectations can improve your chances of having a great date.

Dating is one thing, but it's the first date that will establish the difference between sparks that fly and a guy that will fly out of there faster than you can say, "Epic fail!"

The problem with us ladies is we have a tendency to be emotional, non-linear thinkers–we overthink everything. On the other hand, men go straight to the point and take things for what they are. Okay, so they may sometimes "under-think" to the point of seeing women as just another bang on their bucket lists, but the point is, they don't make pre-date prep too complicated (considering the date hasn't even happened yet).

When going on a first date, always go into it only assuming you'll gain a new friend (read: have no expectations!). If you put too much focus on "first date" presumptions, it's bound to go wrong somewhere along the way. There's only one thing you can do to make every single first date a surefire success: Change your mindset. Here are a few of the mistakes you could be making when you overthink your first date:

1. You think you need to be attracted to your date.

2. You expect he'll be attracted to you, too.

3. You put on an act, assuming he has certain expectations about the kind of person you are.

4. You initially focus so much on his looks, imagining what people would say if you were with him.

5. You put up your guard, assuming he may just want sex.

6. If he doesn't seem attracted to you, your ego gets in the way and you fault him for not seeing how amazing you are!

7. You feel rejected and resentful when nothing happens at the end of the date, assuming he doesn't like you back.

8. He's attracted to you, and you get annoyed because he's not your type.

9. Your vanity precedes you, and you call him an obsessed stalker when all he wanted was to hang out again!

10. The subconscious mental warfare (with your ego, not your date) in just the first 30 minutes has already left you feeling discombobulated, paranoid, anxious, and simply fretting over nothing!

Embarking on a first date thinking you're about to make a new friend simplifies things. Why not see this person as another addition to your network of friends, or a future professional contact (how terrible it would be if you treated him poorly and you end up working with him!)? My favorite possibility: What if this person was meant to be the best friend you've always wanted, disguised as a flat-out dorky and fashionably-challenged first date?

If your expectations of others are too high, you only limit yourself, in spite of the endless possibilities life can bring. The bottom line? Honey, chill out and relax! If things don't turn out the way you planned, at least you have a new acquaintance. Learn from these mistakes and try not to overthink it next time. The last thing you want is to be called the "serial first-dater!"

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