Dating rules for the newly single girl

Apr 6, 2010 at 4:38 a.m. ET

The time has come, and you’re back on the dating scene. Don’t panic: It will be a blast. But there are some things you should know before your start booking up your calendar.

Couple on date

Look hot

No matter how long it's been since you've been on a date, there is no excuse for not looking your best. A little mascara, lip gloss and cute outfit can go a long way. And don't forget to wear a smile.

Don't latch on to the first guy who comes your way

Like mom always said, there are plenty of fish in the sea -- so have fun, flirt and get to know your dates.

Have fun!

Not every guy will be perfect, so even if you're not clicking with your date, try to have a good time. Think of it as practice.

Don't freak out if he doesn't call

Some guys like to play the waiting game after a first date, or they may just never call. Whatever the case may be, hold your head high and look forward to the next escapade.

Skip the sack

This sounds old school, but it's still relevant today: Sleeping with a date too soon into the relationship can easily ruin any future you may have together. Enjoy the dating experience. If he really does want to be with you, there won't be any sexual pressure.

Opt for meeting in a public place

There's no reason to have a private date early on. Take the safe approach and go somewhere public, such as a restaurant or concert, and make sure a friend or family member knows where you are.

Leave your past behind

Avoid delving into your past relationships. You don't need to relive history, and your date doesn't either. Before long, you will both be bashing former loves, and the night will be ruined. Instead, focus on the guy you're with and getting to know him.

Skip "the future" talk

On the other end of the spectrum, don't burden the evening by telling him what flowers you want at your wedding or how many offspring you envision. Dating is supposed to be fun, so keep the conversation light and breezy.

Limit your libations

Drinking can lower your inhibitions and help calm your nerves, but after a cocktail or two, your judgment becomes altered. Stay in control by watching how much you drink.

Face the world with poise

Remember, you don't need a man. No matter what you encounter on the dating scene, always be true to yourself, and you will be able to take on anything -- including the dating world.