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The Bachelorette made me realize we need a refresher on dating etiquette

The Bachelorette premiered last night with Joelle Fetcher’s search for fairy tale love. There are a few interesting first-meeting behaviors to note in this episode, which anyone can use to their advantage on a first date. Also, I saw some moves not to make as I watched the premiere. I’ve rounded up some dating tips that The Bachelor franchise illustrates well in a list of dating dos and don’ts.

More: Awkward dating lessons learned from The Bachelor

Do: Be mindful of personal space


Don’t invade someone’s personal space unless he or she appears to feel comfortable with this. Most of the men reached out for Jojo’s hands or gave a hug. It is always polite to ask if this is OK.

Don’t: Force a connection


Just because a connection isn’t immediate doesn’t mean it won’t develop. Not every great relationship starts the first meeting or minute. Give yourself time to develop a friendship and see if that leads to a deeper connection or more chemistry.

Do: Use eye contact wisely


Look at the other person with good eye contact, but don’t overdo the gaze. A relaxed approach is best. Jojo tends to look at the guy with whom she is talking and naturally looks away.

Don’t: Overestimate how well you know someone.


Even if you’ve chatted with someone online, you don’t truly know the person. It’s still a first meeting.

Do: Ask the right questions


Always ask open-ended questions so you can keep the conversation moving forward with interesting topics. Always focus on the other person in asking questions. Don’t just focus on yourself while talking.

Don’t: Overindulge


Drinking too much might make you more relaxed, but it’s a terrible idea. Your guard will be lowered, and you could say or do things to put a second date — or yourself — at risk.

Do: Be open and optimistic


Being open to new possibilities with a positive mindset will always be better than negativity. Jojo is very positive and hopeful in her search. Use her example to be open to the possibility of love.

Don’t: Be too pushy.


Always respect the other person in space and communication.

Do: Find common ground


Jojo is from Texas, and the two men from Texas used that to share something in common. James brought this up to her, and Luke from Texas gave Jojo a pair of cowboy boots, a small gesture that created a connection. On a date, look for things you have in common with the other person and bring these up.

More: Why are the The Bachelor and The Bachelorette contestants so young?

Don’t: Try to trick them


Never lead with a gimmick or a trick. A good introduction and conversation should be plenty.

Do: Relax your anxiety with a few coping mechanisms


Deep breathes or counting might do the trick. You can use these tools without anyone noticing if you feel nervous in the moment.

Don’t: Talk crap about exes, or anyone else


Talking poorly about others is bad form. There is no room for negative talk.

Do: Try an activity


James F., the boxing club manager, brought out his boxing gloves to break the ice. While you may not pull out the gloves on a first date, you can plan mini golf or something more than just a drink or coffee. The atmosphere will be more relaxed when there is an activity involved.

And… consider talking politics

I think one of the best tips is to be yourself and act genuine upon meeting a new date or potential date. On this reality TV dating show, the audience never sees the contestants discuss topics such as politics or religion.

I think if you are passionate about politics — especially during election season — political conversations might get you a second date and might make for an interesting chat. So even though The Bachelor franchise does not feel that these conversations will make for intriguing TV, they might make for an intriguing date.

More: 5 ways love can last after a reality show ends

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