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Blog entry by Sandra Sanchez



Assuming you're still on the market for a significant other, here are a few tips for getting on that first date and keeping on track. We've listed some general dating tips you can try, with some personal tips under each entry.

Ride the "Trend Bus."

Dating is incredibly fluid. While it's great to be able to do what you want whenever you want, you can't always predict the future. If you want to get out there, but you're afraid you'll wind up drowning in a sea of bad dates, then the best thing you can do is just go. This is especially important if you're on the edge of the dating world, as well. Many modern singles and some of the younger crowd start their dating lives by exploring the "friend zones" of their friends; when they find one that, say, is willing to kiss or go on a real date with them, they probably see it as a way to experiment, because they've already gotten most of the available experience out of the friend zone. If you're in this situation, you may want to just ignore the friend zone altogether—it's time to move out of your comfort zone and just try meeting people. Even if your friend or a friend of a friend isn't into you, it can't hurt to get out there. The friend zone is just a mindset—the first person to admit to it is an asshole.

Be Yourself.

Know thyself. That's the advice you'd get if you were entering an online dating service, and it's good advice to remember when dating in the real world. People can be pretty judgmental—and downright hateful—sometimes, but your filter keeps some of that in check and allows you to get to know someone. If you're unsure about someone else—because you know all about that person but the person seems distracted, for instance—take note. They may be dealing with something, and that's okay—they're not a jerk for it.

You can't be cautious all the time, but if you get the feeling someone might be lying to you, you should be a bit skeptical. Similarly, if you find yourself becoming a bit too attached after dating someone for a few months—like you'll hear another person's voice in the background when you're out or suddenly start missing someone even when they're thousands of miles away—that's a red flag.

Don't be too picky about your relationship right off the bat. Don't
As always, we at Lifehacker have spent years honing our dating skills. We know what works, what doesn't, and what can get you into trouble. This guide is for those of you who are either ready to give up on dating and move on to more mature, single life, or who are okay with a little risk and maybe a little messy, or even a lot messy.

In this guide, we'll help you get over the awkward dating lurches, navigate controversial topics, and figure out what's going on underneath the exterior you put on when you want to meet potential partners. Let's get to it.

How To Get Yourself Out Of The Pit

You're on a date—or several, actually—and you're nervous and awkward. You start to get that "like this is going nowhere" feeling, the one you get when the friend from college you just met at a bar wants to see you again, but you don't have any plans, so you say, "Hmmm, I dunno, I should probably find some other place to grab a drink."

You can't get out of the bar or out of the situation, no matter how much you'd like to. It turns out you have a serious glass ceiling you're climbing, and it's time to snap out of it.

1. Accept that you're going to attract what you attract.

You might be pleasantly surprised with the results, but you didn't put your best foot forward. From what we hear from people across the country, the level of superficiality and rudeness in this country is insanely disgusting. We have high expectations that you be classy, kind, and intentional in your choice of potential partners, and online and offline dating has taught us that we should have high, if not ridiculous, expectations. In other words, if you date totally unambitious people who are not interested in you beyond your looks, status, and wealth, then you have to accept that you're going to date that kind of person. People who want one night stands on the beach with you aren't going to care if you're well spoken, well dressed, or if you're a big fan of opera.

You don't have to be a dick about it, but you do have to accept that you're going to attract a certain kind of person who isn't going to want to have to put forth any effort, and it's not necessarily your problem. You're not miserable or alone because

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