First rule: Chemistry trumps all. Even if he talked too much about his hybrid car or had T-bone steak in his teeth the whole time, if his kiss made you melt, he gets a second date. On the flip side, we don't care if he's the hottest, richest, funniest, Orlando Bloomiest man ever. If smooching him gives you the creeps, cut your losses.
After you finally hook up with a guy you found online in a coffee joint, it's fine to tell your friends "We met at a coffee joint." It's not even a lie (sort of)! You get to be superficial. If he's wearing a fanny pack or showing off butt cleavage, feign an emergency and bail. (Hint: Say "It's a woman thing." He won't ask for details.)
A modern woman doesn't go out with her ex-boyfriend's work rival just so it'll get back to him and make him crazy. She does go out with his work rival though if she had a crush on him anyway.
A man who makes every conversation sexual from the get-go isn't trying to seduce you, he's trying to shock you. Don't take the bait. Your job isn't to prove to him that you can be one of the guys; it's his job to be a gentleman.
Any time a friend offers to set you up, make sure to ask her what she thinks you have in common with the guy —besides that you're both single. Heads up: If he spends even part of the evening responding to work e-mails on his crackberry, he probably wouldn't make the most attentive boyfriend. Then again, if you spend even part of the evening on e-mails, don't expect him to call for a second date.
Beware the boor who asks questions just so that he can give answers. Him: "What's the coolest place you've ever traveled to?" You: "Oh, probably Mex—" Him: "My favorites are Africa, London, Iceland, Costa Rica…"
Lots of people are between jobs, but a guy who cites The Man as his reason for it may be in arrested development. If the next day you can't remember anything interesting or clever he said and you guys weren't drinking, you're probably not that into him.
Maybe he's just being polite, but when a guy offers you a breath mint, always take it, just in case. Dating is supposed to be fun, not a chore. If you find yourself daydreaming mid-date about watching Law and Order reruns at home, give yourself a break.
If you've had a good time, compliment his planning ("I loved playing air hockey!"). It subtly invites him to call for date two and gives him a chance to ask right then, if he's bold.
Don't stress that first-kiss moment. Smile, say good-bye, and squeeze his hand, letting your fingers linger. He'll either make a move or he won't, and you'll get an awkwardness-free exit.
Another sexy way to make him ache for date two? Casually comment on his good-night kiss, like "Mmm, you're good at that." He won't stop wondering what other talents of his you'll like.