At some point in our lives, we all play the dating game. The question is: How do we win it? Should we exaggerate our positive qualities or stick to the truth? Which pick-up lines are winners and which ones bomb? Will a blind date lead to Loserville or to long-lasting love? Here's what iVillagers say are "the rules" to live by in the dating world. Choose the tools you think will work for you:
1. Make them suspect you're interested, but don't let them know for sure. Men like the chase, so give it to them!
2. Find out if he has any good platonic female friends. Men should be able to relate to women as friends, not just as sex objects.
3. Don't drink too much on a date. During my friend's last date, she was nervous and had too much to drink. As her date was driving her home in his new car, she realized she was going to be sick. She didn't want to tell him to stop and she certainly didn't want to ruin his car, so she puked into her purse! Needless to say, they never dated again.
4. If at any point he reminds you of your father, run away!
5. You could be married tomorrow if you lowered your standards far enough. Don't. Better to wait for the real thing than to waste your time on something that won't last.
6. If you find a guy who claims he wants to take care of you, get away fast! You'll just end up taking care of him.
7. Don't put up with criticism, especially when it comes to food. Every woman should be free to eat what she wants when she wants.
8. Don't be too picky. I know women who have shunned men because they didn't look right (head is too big), smell right (too much cologne) or even breathe right (too loud). Unfortunately, women like this end up ignoring or dumping perfectly good men without even giving them a chance.
9. Don't play games (aka, lie). Dating is hard enough without having to remember everything you've fibbed about.
10. Don't rush sex!
11. On a first date, keep it brief. You want to have something to talk about the next time.
12. Stay away from guys who think cartoon women are sexy.
13. Pay more attention to whether he's a good person and will be good to you than to what he looks like.
14. Never date more than one guy at a time, even if they know about each other. It's exhausting and confusing. You'll end up wanting to be rid of all of them, even if under other circumstances one or more of them might have had potential.
15.Before you can find the perfect guy, you have to know what you're looking for and have the courage to go after it.
16. If you are comparing a man to qualities you found in your ex, then maybe you're not ready to move on.
17. Waiting around for the person you're interested in to call or to make a move is a complete waste of time. Plus, it's lame. If you're into someone, go after him. If not, get on with your life.
18. Find out if he does his own laundry or if his mom does it. A man should be self-sufficient.
19. No matter how nice he is, it won't work if you're not attracted to him.
20. You'll find Mr. Right when you know you are Ms. Right
21. Refuse to play games. I fell in love with my fiancé when he simply walked up to me and presented himself -- no dumb lines, no fake smile, just "Hi, how are you doing?"
22. Stay away from men who talk only about money. That's usually a sign of insecurity.
23. Don't talk about marriage on the first date.
24. Don't check out other men when you're on a date, and make sure he doesn't check out other women!
25. Don't assume anything, or you may get hurt. Going out on one or two dates doesn't necessarily mean you're dating, and it definitely doesn't mean you're in a relationship.
26. Be realistic. My mom always thought I should marry someone who is tall, handsome and successful. The trouble was that I'm just okay looking, short and middle-class. I had to be realistic
27. Flirt. I like to joke around with a guy I'm interested in, make lots of eye contact and maybe touch him on the arm
28. When you need to get away from a guy, start talking about something really boring, like computers. That will usually scare him off.
29. Brush your teeth before you go out
30. It's better not to date at all than to date total losers!