20 do's and Don'ts of a Romantic Date ...

Aren't romantic dates just the best? I just love sitting at a quiet corner table in a candlelit restaurant, holding hands across the table, engaged in great conversation... until something happens, and suddenly the mood is broken! So, I've made a little do and don't list to help me keep the romance going on my big date nights.

1. Do Listen ...

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When I'm on a romantic date, I try to talk 20% and listen 80%. It always makes my date feel valuable and appreciated when I'm interested in what he has to say. I love it when people listen to me, so of course my date would want me to return that favor! And, listening carefully really allows me to get to know someone.

2. Don't Talk about Your Ex ...

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Talking about people you've dated in the past is a classic instant turnoff. I always stay away from this topic when I'm on a date! I don't talk about past loves, past mistakes in love, or even great relationships I have ... I just don't mention it at all. If my date brings up his past, I just brush by it quickly and change the topic.

3. Do Order Real Food ...

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Most guys I know are not impressed by women who order small salads with dressing on the side. Even if I'm dieting, I eat like a real person on a date. I've gotten so many compliments from guys when I order a delicious small steak or a rich pasta meal ... most guys see it as a refreshing change! Ordering a real meal shows that I'm a woman with big appetite for adventure, and that's romantic!

4. Don't Overshare ...

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You do want to be honest, but you don't want to ruin the moment by talking about things that should be private. I always try to think, "Would I want to hear my date talking about this topic?" If not, then I won't talk about those things, either. I don't talk about my health, menstrual cycle, any body functions, arguments or conflicts with family or friends, work problems ... I just stay away from all the touchy stuff.

5. Do Pay Attention to Body Language ...

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Watching what a person does is just as important as listening to what he or she says in my opinion. I always try to pay attention to how my date sits, if he leans towards me or away, if he crosses his arms ... these little clues let me know how he's responding to me. Learn more about body language.

6. Don't Be Afraid of Silence ...

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Sometimes, sharing a quiet moment can be very romantic. I don't try to force conversation and fill every moment with words. I just sit and let my date be sometimes - it gives us both chance to reflect on how much we've enjoyed our time together!

7. Do Be Yourself ...

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If you want this relationship to be long-lasting, you've got to let your date get to know the real you. So, I don't try to think about, "Is this something my date wouldn't like about me?" before I talk about hobbies or interests. If he doesn't like my hobbies or interests, then I don't waste my time on a second date!

8. Don't Make Sex the Objective ...

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Romance doesn't mean rushing into bed with someone. There's nothing more romantic to me than sharing an intimate moment with someone you truly know and care about. So, take your time and get to know your date before taking it that far.

9. Do Mind Your Manners ...

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Nothing ruins a romantic date for me faster than someone who chews with his mouth open or belches at the table. So, I always make sure to be on my best behavior on a romantic date. There's plenty of time for letting it all hang out, but a romantic date isn't the time! Here's a great little review of good manners at WikiHow.

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10. Don't Blow Your Budget ...

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There's nothing romantic about realizing the next morning that you charged way too much to your credit card when on your date last night. I hate to think that I spent way too much on a night out! It totally ruins my mood. Don't get caught up in the moment and order too many pricey drinks or go to clubs with a high cover. Stay true to your financial plans.

11. Do Be Complimentary ...

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It makes someone feel nice to be complimented. I know I love to be told positive things about myself! So, I always try to say a few meaningful, thoughtful compliments about my date's ideas or appearance. Don't go overboard - just two or three well-placed comments will be enough.

12. Don't Be Too Self-conscious ...

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Your date wouldn't be here with you if he or she wasn't interested in you. So, I don't spend too much time on dates trying to figure out if I'm doing everything right. I just do what feels right at the time, because I want that person to like me for me.

13. Do Remember Details ...

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I love it when someone remembers something small I've told them before and references it. It just lets me know that they're really listening and paying attention to me, and they value what I say. So, if you see a chance to bring up a story or comment your date's made before and make a connection to it, go for it!

14. Don't Discuss Religion or Politics ...

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Eventually, these topics can make great discussions between you and your date, but a romantic dinner isn't a great place to discuss these issues. We all know that nothing gets people riled up faster than religion or politics, so I steer clear of these two conversations when I'm having a romantic evening.

15. Do Maintain Eye Contact ...

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Nothings more romantic than looking deeply into your date's eyes while making conversation, but it is hard for some people to maintain eye contact. I really have to work on not looking away during conversation, but it is worth it. Sustained eye contact really builds a romantic connection, and it makes you seem more honest and interested. Read this interesting article from Esquire about the power of eye contact to learn more.

16. Don't Mistreat the Service Staff ...

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I think it tells so much about a person's character when I see how they treat a waitperson or maitre de. I always treat service staff with respect and kindness, and it makes me happy when my date does, too. So, my advice is to be kind and courteous to all, and your date is sure to be impressed by that.

17. Do Turn off Your Cell ...

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(Or at least put it on vibrate.) Taking a call at the dinner table is beyond rude, but it also breaks the romantic spell when a phone rings. So, I always turn my phone on silent as I'm sitting down to a romantic dinner. I don't want any distractions during my romantic evening!

18. Don't Order the Most Expensive Thing or the Cheapest Thing on the Menu ...

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You don't want to look like an overspender, nor do you want to look like a cheapskate. So, I always try to choose something that's about the menu average to order. Especially if I don't know who's paying for the meal when I order, I don't want to leave my date holding an unexpectedly large bill.

19. Do Share a Dessert ...

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Splitting a rich, chocolately dessert is totally romantic! I always ask my date to share a dessert at a romantic dinner. It is a great, sinfully delicious way to finish the meal, and the clinking of spoons together over a big pool of chocolate syrup is just a romantic moment!

20. Don't Get Too Emotional ...

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Sure, this is a romantic date, you're having a great time, you're feeling sexy and lovey and romanced ... but don't talk about it too much. Sometimes, I have totally killed the mood by overdiscussing the great things I'm feeling at that moment. Keep your private feelings to yourself, and only discuss how much you care about your date if he or she expresses those feelings first. So, I hope these twenty tips will help you when you're out on your next romantic date. Commit all the do's to memory and try them, but be sure to avoid the don'ts! Do you have great ideas or things not to do on romantic night out? Post them below so I won't make the same mistakes! And, now that you've got these romantic tips down, check out this article on How to Make a Guy Fall in Love in 5 Dates, too!
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