Some of the following tips apply to while others apply to dating during a relationship. Either way, these tips will help you make the most of your dating experiences:
1. Listen to your parents. You may think Mom and Dad are "old school" but that's just because they have been around a little longer than you have. They even dated a time or two before they married each other. Listen to what they have to say; they might surprise you.
2. Make sure your parents are okay with the date and okay with the guy. If you want your parents to trust you and to like the guy you are dating, the best thing you can do is make sure they are comfortable with you going out with him. Make sure they know where you are going, when you will be back, how you are getting there, and whom you are going with. Have your date come to the door to pick you up and at least say hello to your parents.
3. Make sure you and your date are not giving or receiving mixed signals. Do you think you are going out as just friends? Does he? Is this a "real" date? Both parties need to know what the other one has in mind. If it's just a friends thing, you should offer to pay your own way.
4. Don't accept gifts on a first date or from a guy you are not really interested in. Doing so sends the wrong signals, and may very well lead the guy on. Unless you are truly interested in having a relationship, politely decline and thank him for the nice gesture.
5. If you do not know your date well, go on a double date or a group date. It's not a great idea to be completely alone with someone you barely know. For one thing, you will be more nervous. For another thing, it can be dangerous. If you cannot arrange a double date or a group date, agree to meet the guy in a busy, public. Have your parents or friends drop you off and pick you up. Do not arrive or leave alone.
6. Never agree to something that makes you uncomfortable. This includes everything from going to a gory movie you don't want to see, to giving in to a guy's advances. You are in control of your actions and your body. Be honest about how you feel. If he does not respond in an understanding way, he cares more about himself than he does about you, and it's better for you to find out now.
7. No date is perfect. If you start out with extremely high expectations, you may end up disappointed. Try to relax. Just let the evening flow and see what happens. Don't expect him to say or do just the right things according to some romantic script you and your friends developed. He can't read your mind. Just be yourself, let him be himself, and enjoy the date for what it is.
8. Try to get along with his friends. One thing that can destroy a relationship quickly is making someone choose between you and his friends. In most cases, he's been with his friends longer and it won't work out well for you. If he really likes you, he'll try to balance both relationships. If so, you need to try to be accommodating.
9. Never try to make someone give up interests or dreams for you. Ultimatums are a bad idea; they're also unfair. If he has been playing football since he was old enough to walk, he is not likely to give it up just because you say so. If he does give it up for you, he will be unhappy and will eventually resent you.
10. Call Mom or Dad if necessary. You may think that trying to handle a situation on your own is the "grown up" thing to do, but some situations can get out of control. If your date has been drinking, if he becomes aggressive or violent, or if you are uncomfortable in any way, call someone to come and get you.