We all know how tough that dreaded first date can be. It’s a social minefield. But fear not because datinghandbook.net is your Diana; disarming potential cluster bombs and reducing the number of date-related maimings that occur each year.

Here is a genuine article from their site which doles out advice for online daters/sexual predators who are going on their first dates.

I’ve made some editorial additions to the text, which appear in blue. I think they improve it no end and reveal the subtext of the article. See if you agree.

You never get a second chance
to make a good first impression.

The time has arrived for your first date with a person you met online and you are both excited and nervous because now she’s going to find out you’re not the spitting image of Robert Pattison . After all, this will be the one and only chance you have to make a good first impression unless you’ve finally perfected that flux capacitor prototype.

Luckily there are things you can do to enhance that first impression besides plying your date with drugs and alcohol:

1. Be Very Clean
Your hygiene will be noticed right off the bat. Make sure you are very clean and well-groomed. Shower, brush and floss your teeth, make sure your nails are nicely trimmed (in case you get down to fingerbanging) and that your hair is just right, unless you usually part it to the left.

2. Dress Nice
Make sure your clothes match and that they are ironed! Wear colours that compliment you or and outfit that has received compliments in the past, but not last year’s Halloween costume or your Graduation robes.

3. Be on Time
It’s important that you are on time to your first date and that you actually turn up, it’s hard to make a first impression if you’re not there.

Leave early enough to be early and make sure you know where you are going! It is also important to ensure that you are going to the same place as your date. Take the person’s cell phone number with you in case anything comes up. If you’re going to be late, call them on time and let them know that your mother is really ill and you had to rush to the hospital.

4. Exude Confidence
Be extremely confident on your date. When you meet your date, look her in the eye and say something like “It’s great to finally see you!”, first making sure that it actually is her. If you’ve established closer relations online, give your date a hug without hesitation and try to unhook her bra, this will show you are an assertive man who means business.

5. Keep the Focus on Your Date
A big mistake many people make on a first date is talking too much about themselves, or their hundreds of cats. On a first date, you should make the focus learning about the other person. You will appear much more interested and interesting as a result. Carefully listen to what your date says, take notes if you like but a Dictaphone will save time, and use what they say to create additional questions or as ammunition to use against them later in the relationship.

6. Don’t Cross Your Arms
Crossing your arms gives off a non-verbal message that you are bored, as does falling asleep or texting. Instead, lean in slightly and look the other person in the eyes when you speak. If possible try to initiate a staring contest, women love quirky men and regard blinking as a weakness.

7. DON’T Be Yourself, But Don’t Be Negative
Be the complete opposite of yourself. Under no circumstances let your guard down and enjoy the time you are spending on this date.

Avoid negative topics like past partners, politics, or the size of her nose etc.. Keep the conversation positive. People are more attracted to those who are positive, that’s why Noel Edmonds and Uri Geller do so well.

8. Compliment, But Don’t Over Compliment
Complimenting a person 2-3 times during the course of your date is a good idea. And in the initial introduction to your date, it’s a good idea to positively comment on your date’s appearance or something else positive about them (“wow, I really like that outfit” or “you look really nice”). Too many compliments may make the person wonder about you! So keep it to 2-3, and if you go over that number throw in a few insults to balance it out. Weight is always a sensitive topic guaranteed to illicit a passionate reaction.

9. Men - Pay the Bill
When the check comes it is perfectly appropriate for the man to immediately take the bill and cover it (not with a napkin, or your penis). Don’t leave time for there to be an awkward moment. In fact, it’s perfectly fine to let your date know in advance that you’ll be paying for it. It sets you up as a responsible person with good credit history.

10. Part with Confidence
You started the date with confidence, now ending the date with confidence is just as important, especially if you want to end the evening by splashing across your date’s face.

If you had a good time and could tell by your date’s body language that she did too, gentle weeping is a bad sign, then feel free to tell her you’d like to go on a second date. “I really enjoyed getting to know you better and would like to see you again.” If you did not enjoy the date, then don’t say something like “I’ll call you” then not call her. That is tacky and a bad reflection upon your character.

Meeting someone for the first time is definitely a thrilling experience, like stealing a bag of crisps or being trampled by marauding cattle. Just remember that you will take out of the experience what you put into it. By using the above tips, you’ll not have to worry about needing a “second chance” to make a good first impression. You’ll nail it, and hopefully her, the first time.