Terri Orbuch is a psychologist, Oakland University professor, and research professor at The University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research. She is also the host of The Love Doctor radio program on VoiceAmerica. Her Love Doctor Relationship Segments are aired weekly on Fox TV-Detroit.

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The Love Doctor

by Dr. Terri Orbuch, The Love Doctor

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To some people, the game of baseball is America's favorite pastime. But to many others, America's pastime is the game of love.

Yes, spring is in the air, and with it starts a season of baseball and dating.

Many singles will be looking for advice on how to make the best impression on a first date so they don't strike out! First impressions really do count, so here are The Love Doctor's 5 important rules for first date etiquette.

1. Cover Your Bases
Many people make the mistake of telling too much to the other person on a first date. When you tell all too soon, your date may feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable. Disclose personal things gradually over time. If this person is right for you, there will be plenty of time to unfold. This will also make you endlessly exciting and interesting.

2. Last Year's Games Don't Count
Do not reflect on past relationships and ex-partners on a first date. If your date asks you questions and revelations are necessary, make them as brief and as neutral as possible. Consider this an unbreakable rule.

3. Best Pitches
Don't spend the entire first date talking about yourself. Remember that first dates need to be a give and take. You want to get to know your date. Ask the other person questions about themselves, what they like to do, and their favorite movies/music. Someone who asks questions (and listens to the answers) is seen as really interesting and attractive on the first date.

4. Hit and Run
Think about what might be fun to do on a first date. Going to the movies or a loud concert is not the best place to go, since first dates are for getting to know each other. You also want to do something different and out of the ordinary - like a picnic, roller skating, or a nature hike. If you pick the right activity you can set your first date apart from the usual ones. You want your date to go home and remember you and your time together.

5. Play it Safe
It is almost impossible to make a sound decision about someone in the first several minutes. Sure, sometimes the chemistry is lacking and you know immediately that you could never have sparks, but usually it takes a while for people to relax, unfold, and be themselves.

Dr. Terri Orbuch (Ph.D.), aka "The Love Doctor," is a psychologist, Oakland University professor, and research professor at The University of Michigan. For more information, check out DrTerriTheLoveDoctor.com.

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