We all know what I am talking about. It’s what every single girl fears when they meet a guy they really like. We are not sure what is is exactly. Some refer to it as a bad smell- reeking of desperation…

Others refer to it as ‘clingy’… But how do we know as a lady (or a single gentleman) when we are facing our cards the wrong way, revealing the poor hand we were hoping not to reveal to the other party until at least the 4th date.

Well, I have spoken to many single women, and there are simple ways to avoid scaring a potential husband and father away (perhaps not mentioning this potential on the first date for example). Here are our top tips to keep your cards closer to your chest.

1. Don’t Mention ‘Certain’ Words
The following words are like alarm bells to a date – “Baby”, “Husband”, “Again” (as in ‘when will I see you again’), “Ovulating”, “Boyfriend”, “Still Single”, “Getting Old”, “Ex”… Anything that is pessimistic about the opposite sex or is negative about yourself or other men you have previously dated, and anything to do with your ‘clock ticking’, are all first through fourth date no-no’s.

2. Job interviews do not count as dates
The single girl is looking for the ‘perfect guy’. And with this dream usually comes a list of things they have probably written down that embody ‘the one’. However, going through your checklist in one go is probably a little much for a first date. Keep things relaxed, don’t bombard him with questions (especially involving the aforementioned words). Keep it fun, let him talk about himself without feeling judged and he may not notice you slipping the pad and pen back into your handbag.

3. Talk about you — the real you.

I have friends who, when have been introduced to a guy and make it to the first date, think that its a good idea to dress and act in a way that will impress him. For example, if I have set up a friend with a guy who enjoys comedy and mentioned he dated blondes in the past, that doesn’t mean you have to practice your most convincing laugh in the mirror and upgrade your highlights.

People enjoy someone who is confident in the skin they are in. And it is very obvious to a date when you are pretending. Be proud of your brunette roots and the fact that you prefer ‘Sex and the City’ to ‘The Office’. As soon as you start pretending, you are bound to have your bluff called. And then you look like a try hard.

4. Give him an honest compliment
If you like him, tell him a reason why. Some girls are so worried about what their dates think of them, they forget their date is probably wondering what you think. The single and looking girl can often overlook the simple fact that their dates are hoping simply to be liked. If you don’t give the other person a good reason that they are a good match for you, how can you expect them to ask you out again? Plus, it comes off as quite self absorbed when all you think about is how you look to others- and it is much more obvious than many girls realise. Tell him honestly, what you like best about him so far (and don’t be superficial). This gives him a signal that you like him, and are not just fishing for anyone.

5. What to do next? The call/text time frame…
Okay, so this is a tough one…NOT! I have never understood this game people play in which texting post-date can make or break a future relationship. It has no bearing. By the end of the first date I can assure you this person has decided if they want to see you again or not.

And they wont mind if you text them one or three days from now. Over-texting can seem clingy – but this is an extreme situation and usually only arises when the date has not gone well, and your pride is a little wounded (so you text to hope for a reply and boost that fragile ego of yours)…

Be realistic, you will know if the date has not been successful- don’t try to analyse reasons why there is still a chance and force anything more- it will only end in your weeping sad little tears and feeling more desperate than ever. If you feel it went well, simply tell them you had a nice time and it would be great to see them again. Easy. If not, then promptly move on to the next date with someone else.

Follow these tips and I can imagine you will find someone great who truly respects and likes you for who you are. Enjoy dating and meeting new people, be confident in yourself and gracious in defeat and you will come out smelling like roses.