Drive, switch off your mobile and be prepared to go Dutch

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A friend of mine is going on his first date in three years tonight and is very, very nervous.

What I don’t think has helped is the endless advice he’s received!

A go at internet dating saw some sparks of interest and soon he was regularly chatting with one lucky lady.

Then came the question ‘shall we meet?’

Well, he went into overdrive with excitement.

‘Dinner at mine’ he replied and set about a menu plan. But we hit the ‘emergency stop’ button.

First impressions are so vital on the first date and you don’t want to make her feel uneasy from the word go.

We’ve advised him that dinner at his place will put her off.

He wants to be seen as the modern man, able to look after himself and any future spouse.

But she’ll be thinking he’ll have the candles lit in the bedroom!

So over the past week we’ve been pumping him full of great advice and information on the ideal first date, as we’re all experts aren’t we?

Go for a meal in a nice country pub and you pay, we said.

But isn’t that sexist in this modern age, he replied. Dutch is the way to go.

I reckon that women still love chivalry. So take her to see a movie, then a drink after and that way you have something to talk about, the perfect ice-breaker.

But will she worry that your hand may wander on to her lap?

One friend even suggested he wear women’s perfume. She will ask what that familiar smell is and then the ice will be broken.

What could possibly go wrong with that suggestion?

I remember my first date with my now-wife Sarah. I took her for dinner at the Fox & Hounds in Bursledon.

Nerves must have got the better of me as I chatted non-stop, only taking a breath for a bite of my sausage.

So meet in a mutual place, offer to pay and be prepared to go Dutch.

Drive so you can’t drink and make a fool of yourself and switch off your mobile – unless you need us to make an emergency call to help get you out of there!