Instant message before meeting in person. It's a great way to get to know someone without the nerves of a face-to-face meeting. You can build rapport and get out some of those pre-first date jitters.
Check out your crush's Facebook page to get a better sense of who they are. Think you're interested in someone, but aren't 100% sure you want to take it to that next level? Ask to see their Facebook page. You'll get a better idea of who their friends are and how they interact with them, what they're interested in, and the activities they enjoy doing. You may even find out you have a few friends in common.
Plan a daytime date. Break free from the traditional dinner and drinks! Dating during the day opens up the possibilities for dating activities. Take a trip to a museum. Check out an art gallery. Go rock climbing. Doing an activity together can ease some of the pressure and make the date feel less like an interview. Plus, you can avoid the awkward, "Are you coming over to my place?" question that always seems to arise at the end of the evening
Opt for brunch over dinner. maybe you like the idea of getting to know someone over a meal, but agree that dinner can often come with some uncomfortable strings attached. Meet your date for brunch instead. Brunch is often a more casual atmosphere, which can have the added effect of making you feel more comfortable. There is also less pressure to drink, which is great if you aren't a big drinker.
Plan to meet at the next "Love, Becca" Facebook event. Love, Becca is always having events around New York City for its members. You and your date can each come to the next event with a group of friends. You will feel more relaxed with the support of your friends and will not feel pressured to spend the entire evening with your prospective love interest. Plus, if it doesn't work out, there will be plenty of other available singles around for you to talk to instead.
Leave you Ex at home. Your date knows you've had relationships in the past, but they don't want to hear about them on a first date. Mentioning where you and your ex used to go, what you did together, or how they broke your heart will only make your date uncomfortable. Of course, if things get serious you'll eventually want to share your past with your new love. But for now, keep it light and positive.
Be yourself! This is the most basic - and most overlooked - dating tip. Don't try to impress someone by pretending you're someone you're not. It's not fair to your date and, most importantly, it's not fair to you. You run the risk of being exposed and ruining whatever connection you had with your potential love interest. You can't anticipate what someone else wants, so the best thing to do is just be who you are. Maybe you don't have all the same interests, but maybe that's exactly what your date wants!