1) Opposites Attract:
Though people tend to settle down and find their "type" (per se) in the dating world, it doesn't mean if the guy's not 6'3" and a banker with a Porsche and a cute Labrador, that you can't still give him a chance. Likewise, if you're ideal girl is a 5'10" blonde supermodel look-alike but the uncanny 5'3" brunette happens to catch your eye and holds your attention for more than 5 minutes it's a good sign you should let go of your dating stereotypes and branch out a little. Whether it be jocks, preppies, cheerleaders, accountants, musicians, good girls, bad boys, whatever your predilection, go for something totally different and you'd be surprised how quickly sparks can fly; sometimes a little change in environment is all that's necessary to get the ball rolling.
2) Break the Barrier:
Sure idle chitchat is always a good essential to have on a first date. From the random safe compliments of each other's getups to the shallow exploration of each other's personal lives; details kept at bay until the relationship reaches the next level, and all that jazz, its important to establish a good rapport in the first fifteen minutes of dialogue otherwise the rest of the night might fall flat. That said it is as much the women's responsibility as the man's to initiate and perpetuate ice-breaking repartee. However, once on comfortable ground, it's imperative to step it up a notch or two by switching gears and asking a more, gasp, profound question that may go deeper than "I love those red shoes, where did you get them" Though cliche you could even opt for the cheesy, yet psychologically compelling questions, such as "If you could have lunch with any 5 people, dead or alive, who would they be and why" Questions like this get the ball rolling and often you find yourself much more informed about your date, and thus able to make a more decisive judgment about the potential for a relationship, than had you just stuck to either complimenting each others' hair and prodding for those cheesy one-liners to fill awkward gaps of silence with feigned laughter.
3) Risk Embarrassment:
So you're not the next 'American Idol', and you sure as heck lack skills in the dancing department as much as you secretly love those cheesy kiddy amusement parks. In the words of Nike, 'Just Do It'. Be willing to risk embarrassment and more importantly, be willing to laugh at yourself. If you decide to go to a karaoke bar even though you're terrified to display your tone-deaf crooning, bite the bullet, slug a beer, and murder the song with enthusiastic pride. Think Cameron Diaz in "My Best Friend's Wedding." People love someone who isn't afraid to live in the moment, regardless of the ridiculousness or the hilarity of the situation. Also, if you have a secret penchant for those arcades and or other less 'mature' venues, don't be afraid to suggest a 'Go-kart' date, etc; if they're truly into you they will appreciate your spunkiness and child-like innocence (everyone say, awww). Likewise, don't be afraid to do things that you may not excel in simply because you don't want your date to know you're suddenly inept in certain categorical talents, be it dancing, singing, rock climbing, bowling, etc. Think of it as a challenge and an opportunity to grow as a person and go full throttle; prepared to laugh at all your inept glory the whole way through.
4) We're not in Kansas anymore:
Too many times people fall into the monotony of the "same 'ol, same 'ol" dating method that has been the clinch factor for ending many potentially healthy relationships. Routine, despite the security of its predictability, leads to monotony, which leads to boredom, which leads to are you catching my drift here? After a few years of dating one can expect the exciting thrill of novelty and 'newdom' to slow down a few notches. But when a relationship is in its beginning stages one should never be in want of ideas to spice up life. That said, it's important not to fall into the dregs of predictable Friday/Saturday night dinner+movie dates which soon lead to a vacuous relationship that focuses more on the analysis of Brad Pitt's hairdo than the reflections of the progression of your own relationship. However, food is always closely linked with intimacy and there's no reason you can't keep a dinner date in the books for a safety plan. Nevertheless it often becomes all too easy to find that "favorite" restaurant, etc. that you will ALWAYS go back to. Try to keep some variety: try an exotic belly dancing venue with tasty Moroccan food, or a wonderfully ethnic Chinese restaurant, or perhaps you could even, occasionally, splurge and do the fine-dining thing at a venue that offers dinner, cocktails, and ballroom or other dance floors which can aid in passing sufficient hours of time in an intimate and enjoyable fashion. Whatever you opt for, be it a random decision to try skydiving, an eccentric arts and crafts fair, or simply a new restaurant, be sure to keep things versatile and ever changing. Do that and you're sure to prolong the spark in your new relationship much longer than had you stuck with the safety of your routine.