Don’t forget the three Ps on your first date

First dates can quickly turn in to last dates if you blunder in to one of the three tender traps that can ruin the best of relationships in less than a minute.

Just bear in mind these three ‘P’s – punctuality, phone etiquette and politeness and you may just find you both enjoy yourselves.

The importance of being earnest

You have first date cold feet and don’t know whether to go or not. Stop acting dippy and go. Remember the effort you had to put to enlisting on the dating site and finding him or her, and don’t forget they have had to go through the same to find you.

Unless you have good reason to believe they are psycho, a bunny boiler or worse, do everything in your power to keep the first date and arrive on time.

Not going sends out the message that the other person is not that important to you. If you do get on, setting up a second date may not be easy if you’ve blown someone off already.

Switch off your life support

Ever been in a deep, meaningful conversation with a friend when their mobile goes off? Instant reaction is to grab the gizmo and see who has called.

Mobile phones are so intrusive and make people so impolite that I refuse to have one.

If you are out for a candlelit dinner and your partner answers their phone then why are they with you in the first place? OK, if they are a doctor or some other action hero lifesaver like a fireman or midwife, I can see they might get called; otherwise it’s just rude.

First dates are for getting to know each other. Discuss.

Discuss is the key word here and it is not a synonym for inquisition. Conversation taboos on first dates include ex’s, medical and bodily functions, money, personal recreational drug use and previous convictions are best reserved for when you know each other a little better.

If you are asked uncomfortable questions or the conversation heads down a road you don’t want to travel, then politely push the chat back in to the neutral zone.

If he or she is playing Ernie to your Eric, resist the temptation for the stinging one-liner and go for a compliment instead.