1. Under-Promise, Over-Deliver
    Yes, you’re busy, but even though you might be extremely busy . . . superhumanly busy . . . that doesn’t make your time more valuable. Respect the time that your date is putting aside for you by first being brutally honest with yourself: How much time do you really have to spend? When can you realistically meet your date? Have you built in some time so you can relax and decompress before you meet your date? Dating should always be enjoyable, so do what you need to do to get into an enjoyable state of mind.

  2. It’s Not Always About You
    You live a fascinating life filled with drama, mystery, and plenty of comedy, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re the only one who can add to the conversation. A few interesting/humorous work anecdotes are O.K., but don’t turn your date into a blow-by-blow reenactment of your day . . . unless it’s as fascinating as an episode of House and you can wrap it up in less than 15 minutes. It’s all well and good to be an interesting person, but it’s even better to be an interested person.

  3. Flush Your Phone Down the Toilet
    Nothing is more frustrating on a date that someone who is constantly checking their phone. Besides, whether you want to believe it or not, most of the communication you receive isn’t urgent. Train yourself and your co-workers to understand that off the clock is off the clock. If you’re on call, make sure your date understands what that means and accepts the fact that you might not be fully available.

  4. Plan for Failure, Expect Success
    With online dating, it’s very unlikely you’re going to hit it out of the park on the first try. Don’t be discouraged. Know that you’re going to have to make a commitment if you’re going to be successful. That means dedicating at least a few hours a week to meeting new people—both online and in the real world. Just like anything else, the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll be, and being relaxed and confident can sometimes make all the difference.

  5. Keep an Open Mind
    You might have the perfect image of your soulmate in your head, but chances are that person doesn’t exist in the real world. You don’t need to settle, but you do need to be open to getting to know someone even if they don’t exactly fit your ideal. Remember the old adage “You don’t know what you don’t know”? That goes for dating as well. There are plenty of people out there who are truly wonderful, but they are wonderful in a way you could never expect. Try not to be overly judgmental about first impressions. Keep an open mind and give people the time and space to reveal themselves to be fascinating and special. There is truly no nicer way to be wrong than to be wrong about someone who changes your life for the better.