So now that I'm a dating expert (jokes, the last date I went on was probably sophomore year of high school to IHOP, during which one of the employees got arrested), I'm also an expert on date etiquette, and because I'm generous I'll let you in on a few secrets.
Always avoid dates to places that involve food because you're just setting yourself up to look unattractive. At least for me, I take care of that on my own and I don't need shoveling food in my mouth to aid me in the process. If you absolutely cannot convince your date to go to a movie, park, or local little league game, don't fret. You can still salvage the date, just be mindful of your menu options.
- No salads. There's always about three Frisbee-sized pieces of lettuce that are really difficult to avoid. You look like a prude if you cut it with a knife but the alternative is having Peppercorn dressing all over your chin/nose/hair. Also, they always add some weird garnish that I end up spitting out immediately...parsley is surprisingly bitter, or maybe that wasn't parsley.
- Stay away from Mexican. Farting is funny, but not on a first date.
- Spaghetti is off-limits for obvious reasons: slurpy noodle noises (speaking of, DEFINITELY no wonton soup), spaghetti sauce on your napkin-bib, awkward sexual innuendos due to the meatballs, etc.
- In general, avoid food that could have any sexual connotations. This includes corn dogs, ice cream, sub sandwiches, and probably even stale bread and water (?).
Always offer to pay, at least your half. Even if you don't actually offer, make it sound like you did ("I would offer to pay but I'm reallllly trying to save money/just spent all my cash/my cat ate my wallet, you HAVE to let me pay next time though!!"). It shows that you are considerate of his budget and also a forward-thinking lady.
It's easy to panic when conversation is slow, but under no circumstances should you ever bring up your middle school years, bathroom humor (I know, this one is hard), or previous relationships. Come to think of it, you're taking a risk even with hobbies, political opinions, and religious views. Maybe the best option is to just sit silence, after all, being able to be comfortable with someone is key. And don't use a napkin as a bib.
The case may be that he's a really great guy, but your stars just aren't aligned. By this point he probably already has your phone number and knows your real name (if you're an amateur), so if he keeps texting you and you're not feelin' it, gradually pretend to go insane. Nonsensical responses that get increasingly weird are pretty effective:
Pretending to be super obsessed with him might work too, but be careful because that could backfire and before you know it you could find yourself engaged.
The main thing to remember about dating is that it should be fun, not stressful. A first date can be the precursor to a great relationship and also marriage, so DON'T SCREW IT UP because you're getting older with every second that passes.
On a similar note, check out this funny link. Thanks internet, for being weird.