The Rule for Blind Dates
Plan a group activity in a quiet location. Then, if it’s not going well, you can be a social butterfly and escape the one-on-one spotlight without being rude. And if you hit it off, you can focus on your date and get into an intimate conversation as if nobody else were around. Try an afternoon event at a museum, a car show, an auction or a stop at the neighborhood coffee shop.

Perfect First Date: Bowling
Why it works:
It’s a casual, public environment and an activity almost everyone can do (and almost nobody is an expert). You can talk, sit and eat, and you’ll probably end up laughing. It’s low pressure and easy, with nothing to detract from getting to know each other.
Alternate options: A weekend brunch can’t be beat. It’s casual, not loud, a little more relaxed than dinner so you have time to talk. It takes the pressure off what to wear. Plan a picnic or explore a new part of town.

Three Tips for the Perfect Next Date
When you’re ready for things to progress (toward the first kiss, perhaps?), make the date a little sexier. The locale should be quieter and allow even more focus on getting close.

2. Switch to nighttime, which automatically makes any date sexier. It increases the intimacy and the chances you’ll get a good-night kiss.

3. Don’t go overboard on the sexiness. Start with an intimate group setting so your date won’t be uncomfortable. You want to be able to switch between interacting with others and being in your own world.

Perfect Next Date: Museum Event
Why it works:
Many museums are now having lectures or music on Friday evenings, with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. It’s the perfect venue to converse, commune and snuggle a bit. You’ll have a built-in topic of conversation and can share your thoughts on the evening’s events as a deeper way of getting to know each other.
Alternate options: Go to a sushi restaurant, a cabaret or to hear some jazz. Or pick a lounge where you can dance in the crowd and then go off in a corner and get away.

Rule for the “Next Level” Date
If you want to give the message that you’re a couple, plan a date that’s thoughtful and intimate. Plan a day away at a spa with a couple’s massage. That gives the message that you’re in tune with each other. Or bring your date home and cook a meal. That’s the best way to give the message. Another option is to pick something your date loves and plan a day so you can share it.

Three Tips for Making Any Date Perfect
Always have an alternate plan that you can easily jump into if surroundings don’t pan out — like when the local fourth grade is having an event at the bowling alley — or in case your date responds poorly to your plan.

2. When you’re going to try something new, be prepared for it not to go the way you wanted it to go. Get into it and be positive. Don’t make your expectations too rigid.

3. Be able to laugh. Don’t take it too seriously (even if you put tons of effort into it). Dating is trial and error, and it’s supposed to be fun.