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The ultimate guide to dating

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and ...

Dating 101

If you're single and dating, you know that meeting someone with whom you connect is difficult -- and maintaining that connection is even harder. The rules of dating are constantly shifting, and keeping track of all the do's and don’ts is next to impossible. To give you a better idea of how to navigate the dating pool without drowning, SheKnows got the inside scoop from relationship expert Whitney Casey.

Dating 101

1listen more, talk less. relationship expert Whitney Casey advises against spending too much time talking about yourself, which can actually put a damper on any connection the two of you might have. Taming your urge to talk is tough, especially when you're nervous, but Casey suggests thinking of the date as a job interview with cocktails. "If you know you want the job, you'd better learn a lot about the company," she says. "You can't do that if all you are doing is talking about yourself."

2Ask the right questions.

Focus on questions about personal, overarching topics rather than work, Casey says. She warns that when men hear the question, "What do you do for work?" what they actually hear is, "How much do you make?" Because you don't want to come off as a gold digger, Casey suggests asking questions such as "What was your best meal ever?" and "What did you do for your 21st birthday?" -- things that will truly help you get to know him as a person, not a bank account.

3dress appropriately.

Showing too much skin on your first (or even second) date is never a good idea. Casey suggests being selective in your approach. Pick one asset you love about your body and flaunt that (legs, breasts, shoulders, booty, etc), but choose only one, not three. If things go well, you will have other dates on which to reveal other assets. Casey adds, "If you can't think of what you like about your body and what to flaunt, then you shouldn't go on the date at all! Men love self-confidence. Flaunt that first."

4be at your best.

Having one successful date is great, but there's a lot of pressure where following up is concerned. Casey advises treating the first 10 dates like they're all the very first. "What you wear, how you smell and what you look like matter to men. If they see you put your best foot forward for your first few dates and then peter out later, they think you don't care," she explains, adding that men always want to think you are trying for them. Doing little things that will make it look like you're still trying. "Shave, shower, primp, pluck and preen. Always," Casey says.

Dating 101 Casey's biggest piece of advice is to understand that dating is a numbers game. "You have to understand the odds. If you go to Vegas and expect to win every hand of cards you get, you will end up broke."

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