DO pair your booze with food
I'm not implying that you need to take your date out for a three-course meal at The Capital Grille. In fact, I don't even blame the guys who vow to never do dinner on the first date -- if you don't end up clicking, that's a pretty penny you just spent on someone you don't want to see ever again. All I'm saying is that you should be a gentleman and order some light bites; it's important for both of you to coat your stomachs to prevent you from getting drunk too fast.
Even if she's starving, a refined lady won't be the first to suggest getting food if she doesn't know you well and presumes you're paying. If you have cheese and charcuterie awaiting her, that's at least five automatic points in your favor.
DON'T try to "match" your date
If you're a 115lb woman on a first date with a dude built like Rob Gronkowski, don't even think about going drink-for-drink with him. You're not going to look "lame" if you slow down and stop ordering cosmos once you feel a buzz -- but you WILL look like a complete slob kabob if you keep downing booze with him and subsequently yak under the table -- or worse, start crying because you miss your ex.
Yeah really, I'd argue the latter is worse.
DO order round two... but only if there's chemistry
Date One is like car shopping: the car is pretty and you initially think, "This is it!" But sometimes, the test drive doesn't go as smoothly as planned -- you just aren't feeling it. Similarly, there are times during first dates when the chemistry just isn’t there.
It can be a letdown, but it's more than OK to realize that you're not that into him or her. Contrary to popular belief, you don't owe this person anything -- you promised a first date, and that's it. If your personalities don't mesh, it's better to politely cap the night off instead of ordering additional rounds, sending mixed messages, and using him for free drinks. (Not cool, ladies.)
Here's a rule of thumb: Drink One is customary; Drink Two can be used to feel your date out a bit more; but Drink Three and beyond is reserved for someone you're definitely into.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
Brooke Sager is a NYC-based contributing writer for Thrillist. She’s aware that her go-to drink order -- vodka, seltzer, splash of pineapple juice, and three maraschino cherries -- is even more embarrassing than showing 19 pet photos. Give her a follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @HIHEELZbrooke.