You don’t have to throw a rock very far to find someone who’s been on a nightmarish first date. They are about as common as mirrors in a gym. Of course, there are no guarantees when going out with someone for the first time, but there are some simple rules you can follow to at least avoid the most common mistakes. Hey, dating is hard enough.

Here are three easy ways to make it slightly easier.

Keep It Simple
If you are particularly enamored with a certain someone, the first reaction is often to attempt to impress them (if that’s even possible). But grand gestures on first dates speak more of insecurity than affectionate expressions. It’s too early to be composing sonnets to your soul mate, so stick with the basics. This rule especially applies to food. Although you might love Greek food and want her to try your favorite Mediterranean spot, let’s stick with easy-to-digest, non-messy comfort food on the first outing. If she happens to love Greek, then your next date is in the bag.

Stay Positive
It’s easy, hell, it’s fashionable to be pretty cynical these days. Cynicism speaks volumes of a person’s realistic perspective, which can be useful. But no one wants a realist on their first date (or ever for that matter). There are three things that people talk about most often: work, people and drama. On a first date try to stay optimistic about your future and this new-found relationship, and avoid the big three like the plague. Talk about ideas, aspirations, dreams, philosophies. Be the person you want to be and you might just find out that you are.

Show Her A Good Time
People like beaches and mountaintops because they offer transportive views. The kinds of views that make your day-to-day concerns disappear. On a first date, find a view. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a beach. It can be a rooftop, a garden, even the patio of a terrific restaurant. By doing so, you are taking her out of her everyday and, if all goes well, she will associate you with big wonderful things.