I was born to write a post about dating dos and don'ts: i've been on a lot of dates, and I love naming things I hate.
Do: know your audience. There's no such thing as a perfect, catch-all first date. If a girl says her favorite movie is Band of Outsiders, it's probably not prudent to take her to see Transformers 3.
Do: Pick up the tab. I know, it's the 21st century and women are always complaining about being treated equal, right up until the check comes! What's that about? Yeah, I've seen that Andrew Dice Clay stand-up routine too. Look, when it comes down to it, don't ask a girl out if you're not planning on paying her way. It's not about feminism, it's about courtesy. And no matter what, never, ever split the check. I think this is an early relationship killer. It's the most unromantic thing you could possibly do.
Do: Be prompt about planning the next date. How hard is it to say "I had a great time with you and I'd love to see you again soon. When are you free?" There's nothing worse than going on a great first date and then not hearing from the guy for weeks on end, until you get a text saying 'hey, what are you up to tonight?' That does not fly! You have a limited window of time to ask a girl out again. If you went on a date with a girl who's attractive, or smart, or charming, there's a good chance other guys think so too, and she's probably dating them because they had the good sense to lock down a second date.
Do: Be positive. This goes for men and women. You don't need to be Kelly fucking Ripa or anything, but no one wants to spend an evening with someone who does nothing but complain. Like, no shit LA traffic is bad. And waiting for a table is never not irritating, but there's really no benefit to pointing it out.
-Don't mention your ex. Because no one cares.
-Don't ask stupid questions like, "do you like movies?" [....why would I not like movies? ] or "what do you do for fun?" [everyone makes stuff up to make themselves sound more interesting. My "date" answer to this question: "I'm really into yoga? and I like trying new restaurants...and....going to see local bands in concert." My real answer: I like going to chipotle and looking at shirtless pictures of Daniel Craig.]
-Don't play a song on your guitar, or read a poem you wrote, or show your artwork. This is such an uncomfortable position to put someone in! Every time someone plays their music for me I'm freaking out inside trying to figure out what i'm supposed to do with my face. Should I close my eyes? Or should I smile? But what if the song's sad? It's so awkward. And I feel like there's always a level of narcissism involved: just because your poem was published in your school's literary magazine does not make you America's answer to Seamus fucking Heaney. Sit down.
-Don't answer your phone, and then say "don't worry, that was my grandmother." First of all, I wasn't worried, and second of all, manners, dude.
There are plenty of no-brainer dos and don'ts that I left out: Do compliment your date, don't OD on cologne, etc.