Guys, let’s face it. Nine times out of ten, we are clueless when it comes to romance.

This is perfectly fine because the whole dating game is not easy. If it were, we would not be so attracted to the concept of winning over a lovely lady.

That being said, let’s review some things to avoid at all costs on the first date.

  1. Don’t you dare talk about your ex.

Things did not work out between you two for a reason. There’s no need to bring her up because then, your ex will occupy your date’s mind. Why did he date her? What did he like about her? Is she better than me? It’s a Scott Pilgrim complex, except your lady friend cannot actually defeat the exes, so she will automatically feel defeated.

  1. Don’t pay more attention to your phone than your date.

The cell phone is basically an extension of a millennial’s body. Yes, they are amazing, but prove to her that you are actually attentive. Pulling out your phone to do a quick scroll through Twitter at the table tells your date, “Hold on, this is more interesting than you.” Ouch.

  1. Don’t talk about your weird, gross bodily issues.

You’re trying to charm and attract this wonderful soul, not disgust and repel her. That intriguing rash on your back is not going to set the mood. It’s going to make her not want to finish her salad.

  1. Don’t order the spiciest thing on the menu.

There is no need to prove to your date that you can comfortably eat the ghost pepper wings. This isn’t “Man v. Food.” Not only do peppers and onions make your breath less appealing, your natural instinct when eating particularly spicy foods is to drink more. Be prepared for frequent trips to the men’s room for the rest of the night.

  1. Don’t comment (negatively) about her makeup.

Some women love makeup as much as you love your cars, guns, or video games. Therefore, you definitely shouldn’t criticize her art. Many women put on makeup for their own pleasure and do not care what men think. What is the best thing to do? Compliment her! She worked hard, and you should let her know she looks beautiful.

  1. No politics.

It’s the first date. There is no need to take on the heavy topic of the U.S. government now.

  1. Don’t put your wallet at risk.

This really goes for any spending venture, but you shouldn’t plan on barely making it to the end of the night. You never know what could happen: what if the prices of the dishes go up because something is out of season? What if you need to pay for parking? What if she wants creme brulee for dessert? Always prepare to spend at least $25 more so that you feel more secure throughout the night.

  1. Don’t forget about chivalry.

These days, many people like to say chivalry is dead. While this is true in some instances, you have to prove to the woman you’re wooing that you have an acute awareness of manners. Go up and ring her doorbell instead of texting “I’m here, come out.” Hold the door open to your car! Hold her hand while walking the stairs! These things may seem little, but they will make her heart flutter.

  1. Don’t lie!

This is the first date. She wants to get to know the real you, not to be told tall tales. You may be hard on yourself and think that you’re the most boring human alive, but she must have said yes for some reason. Talk about your passions and the things you like. So what if you think they’re kind of lame and nerdy? There’s a chance she could be into that nerdy television show too. If that’s not the case, seeing someone speak about their passions is quite beautiful. The last thing you want is her wanting to come over to your three-story mansion to check out the monkey with three legs that you trained to sail a cruise ship that doesn’t actually exist.

  1. Don’t move too fast.

The dating process is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to pace the tone of conversation and keep it light since it’s the first date. If it works out well, then there will definitely be time in the future to tell deep secrets, create official labels and other cute things. Do not dare pull out the “What are we?” card on the first date. Relationships are like anything else you work for in life: the more you put in, the more you get out. Frankly, you have not put in much (yet.)

The most important thing to remember on your first date is to be yourself. Living a lie is difficult and totally not cool (plus, girls are rather proficient at sniffing out falsities.) Relax, fix your collar and heed this list for a fair shot at round two with the person that makes your heart skip a beat.