11/05/2014 05:37 pm ET Updated Jan 05, 2015

3 First Date Dos and Don'ts -- Plus An Affirmation!

Before you embark on a first date consider the following.

There are lots of strategies you can employ before arranging your first meet. They include identifying what you want out of a relationship -- what you are seeking in a companion, their values, conversational ability, personality, sense of humor and the traits that most turn you on.

It's always helpful to consider the above before making a date.

However life doesn't always conform to a set pattern. You can't arrange and plan everything to meet your specifications.

Now here you are about to embark on a new adventure. Honoring yourself first is the most important precursor to a healthy relationship. Sometimes it helps to engage in self affirmation. Watch a few minutes of the video below.

Ready to meet that first date. Want to make a positive impression -- who doesn't?

Decide you are going to enjoy yourself no matter what. It tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Now let's assume the date is tenable. Nothing is perfect -- well rarely. My best friend met her husband at a 'singles' volley ball game and they've been married for 25 years. That's the exception rather than the rule. In fact...

I met her the same evening as well. We didn't date but became best friends. You never know how life will turn out. I think I got the better deal. True friendship is greatly underrated!

Now The Dos -- Just Examples -- Use What Works Best For You

  • Do put and keep yourself in a positive frame of mind -- even if your first impression leaves you squirming. It affords you the best opportunity to have a good time while learning more about your evening's partner. There might be a hidden diamond in the rough waiting to be uncovered.
  • Do smile a lot. Maintaining a pleasant demeanor feels good. You have nothing to lose if the date's not great and lots to gain if you see potential. People respond well to a friendly face, you shine without even trying and it allows you to enjoy yourself in almost any situation.
  • Do remember the adage of turning a sow's ear into a silk purse. Set your mind and you can do it. Enjoying the date there's no need -- not having a great time -- you can reframe almost any experience and transform it into a positive one.

Two people don't have to be a perfect match to spend some enjoyable time together.

By now you might have picked up a theme of the power of positive thinking. It can make such a difference in your dating experiences. While it won't make the intolerable palatable it will set the stage for you to flourish and unconsciously show and experience your best side.

So smile, feel, look and sound good without trying -- it's a no brainer!

Now the Don'ts -- Also Just Examples -- Use What Resonates

  • Don't over flatter your companion. No statements like "Oh I'm relieved, you're so much nicer than what I was anticipating." A simple "Hi, it's great to finally meet you," is an easy ice breaker. It allows your date to respond in kind. Typically conversation will begin to flow.
  • Don't ask a lot of personal questions. They tend to put people on the defensive. Show interest without being too inquisitive. "I'm glad we picked this place to meet I really enjoy the atmosphere." You might follow-up with, "What's your favorite dish?" Keep it simple. More meaningful dialogue will develop naturally.
  • Don't bring up your last companion and definitely do not complain about them. This sets a tone of negativity that's difficult to veer from.

In a perfect world, you, I and everyone else would love to meet that person with whom we can march off whispering "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

We all want to enjoy life to the fullest. In a perfect world we're happy, content, mindful and filled with wonder, excitement and a sense of adventure.

When it comes to dating no one has all the answers. They don't exist.

One thing is for certain -- there's no effective way to push the envelope and create a fantastic and fulfilling relationship. Too many destructive ones have been founded on one of the partners believing they could change the other person.

You can set the stage, do all the correct things and if the timing's right, the stars are aligned and you're lucky you may just meet the person of your dreams.

I've often found the simplest way of starting off a date on a positive note is being myself and using an easy ice-breaker.

Perhaps the most successful opening line I've ever used is "Do you find getting together for the first time a bit stressful, I know I do."

I almost always receive an answer in the affirmative and then the conversation begins to flow.

The bottom line is to be true to yourself. As much as you might like to find a long lasting relationship, don't take the date too seriously.

Enjoy the process -- even when it isn't all that you might like it to be. The more you are out there, the greater comfort and ease you'll feel on the next date.

I wish you success and happiness in your search and remember -- it's simply a date!

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Dave Kanegis is a Certified Professional Coach with MA degrees in Education and Psychology. He founded Marketing Network Inc. and has over 20 years experience working with private and corporate clients.