Cupid's Pulse Article: How to Turn Your Spring Fling Into the Real ThingCupid's Pulse Article: How to Turn Your Spring Fling Into the Real Thing

By Rachel Sussman

Spring is officially here and love is in the air. In order for new romances to blossom this season, singles need to face the always unpredictable and often times stressful first date. Before setting a time and place, there are some important factors to consider in order to make a good first impression on a new fling based on the helpful findings from a recent report released by ChristianMingle and JDate.

The goal of any first date is to hit it off well enough to secure the coveted second date and hopefully lay the foundation for a successful, long-term relationship. But we all know there are things we can do — and things we can avoid doing — that can help our chances in any dating scenario. In the report, U.S. singles weighed in to reveal the rules of first dates when it comes to eating, drinking and general dinner etiquette, as well as the biggest turnoffs and deal breakers when it comes to courtship. Here are the top five dating rules and deal breakers needed to turn your spring fling into the real thing:

1. Keep eating habits in check — 50 percent of singles agree that the biggest faux pas when it comes to food on the first date is being a messy eater. And think twice before ordering for a date! This is the second biggest food faux pas, as 20 percent of women don’t want a man ordering for her and 17 percent of men feel the same.

2. Be mindful of cocktail consumption — When it comes to drinking on a first date, the majority of singles say one to two drinks is acceptable. And if a prospective partner gets drunk on the first date, 72 percent of men would look past it and go out with her again; though it’s much tougher to get a second chance with women (only 41 percent would go out with a drunk date again).

3. It’s OK if the guy pays for dinner — When reaching for the bill, two-thirds of all respondents feel the man should pay for the first date. Men tend to feel stronger about this, with 69 percent saying the man should pay, and 55 percent of women agree.

4. Take a shower and quit smoking — Hygiene is a top deal breaker for both men and women, so make sure not to skip a shower before a date. For men, the top three dating deal breakers are hygiene (35 percent), smoking (24 percent) and weight (14 percent); and for women, it’s hygiene (34 percent), unemployment (21 percent), and a tie for third between drinking habits and smoking (16 percent each).

5. Make a good impression on their friends — If a date’s friends come into the equation, making a good impression is key. The majority of singles (66 percent) would break up with someone if they didn’t get along with his or her friends.

While no two dates are alike, it is important to treat the above findings as a check list in order to leave a good — and lasting — impression on any date. This spring, be sure to follow these rules in order for your next first date to hopefully become your last. Happy hunting!

Rachel Sussman is a relationship expert and licensed psychotherapist.