Before you go out on a date, here are 6 things you should know.

1. Get to know your date ahead of time, but don’t sound like a stalker.
Because dating entails talking, you should be prepared with potential topics to discuss. Just be cautious about revealing how much you know about your date because you might end up sounding creepy or just too head-over-heels in love with her. Instead of saying, “I saw in one of your posts that you’ve visited Maldives,” say, “I haven’t left the country in a couple of months, but I heard Maldives is a great place.” “Di
d you go there?” You’ve opened up a topic that you’re confident your date will discuss without sounding like a stalker by converting the fact to a question.

2. Be specific about your deal breakers.
The qualities you seek may become negotiable at times. You may be swooned by good looks and smooth talkers, so be clear about your deal breakers. Who will you never, ever say no to? This could be a married person or someone from a different religious background. When you’re clear on your deal breakers, it’ll be simple to turn the wheel and control where the date goes.

3. Understand who you are.
What are you willing to change in order to impress your date and start a relationship? What are you unwilling to forego? Aside from knowing who you’re looking for, it’s also critical to know yourself. You won’t lose yourself in the process this way.

4. Understand how to overcome your fears.
Dating can be intimidating, especially for first-timers. It is not always easy to present yourself as a potential partner or to look for a potential partner. So, in order to put yourself out there, you must confront your fears.

First, you may be concerned that there will be no second date. Deal with your fear by adopting the proper mindset. Don’t dismiss the first date because there won’t be a second. Dating is always an educational experience, so you’ll never be a loser. You’ll improve your communication skills and learn more about what and who you like. Don’t forget that you’ll gain experience as well.

You may also be concerned that your date will not like you. Break free from that fear by accepting that it’s okay for people not to like you. It’s possible that nothing is wrong with you. You’re just not the type of person your date is looking for. For example, your date may adore the great outdoors, whereas you prefer to stay at home and watch movies. You obviously don’t match, but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.

Finally, you may be concerned that if you don’t like your date, you will break his or her heart. Face your fear by recognizing that your date is well-versed in the dating world. It isn’t always a happy ending. Accepting a date does not guarantee that the two of you will end up together. It entails putting yourself out there and getting to know the person better. The same can be said for your date. He or she may have simply asked you out on a date to get to know you better. It’s not a given that you’ll end up together.

5. Locate a location where you can converse while also escaping.
So the main purpose of your date is to get to know the person better, which you may find difficult to do if you go to a bar. You don’t want to shout the entire time just to ensure that your voice is heard above the din. What would be a better option? Look for a quiet, comfortable location. You won’t have to shout just to make sure your date hears you this way.

Choose a location that allows you to have an escape plan in addition to one that is conducive to talking. So the two of you are already conversing, but here’s a horror story: you’ve run out of topics to discuss. That’s why you’ll need an escape strategy – not to get away from your date, but to get away from the uncomfortable silence. Ask your date to walk outside if you know your conversation won’t last long or if you’ve already reached a dead end. What you see outside can serve as a visual guide for what to talk about next. Have you seen an airplane? You can inquire about your date’s experience riding one and where he or she went. Have you come across any movie posters along the way? Then we’ll talk about movies. It will not be strange to switch from one topic to another because the visual coach will make it natural.

6. Understand how to manage your time.
Yes, Google has your back, but it’s still better to know the location before the date. Aside from being able to devise an escape strategy, as discussed in #5, you can also ensure that you arrive on time. There’s nothing cute about bees.

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