Barring safety precautions and manners, the only rule of dating is that there are no rules. Still, too many well-meaning sites can’t resist the urge to tell women what they should or shouldn’t do on the first date. That’s not my style.

In my opinion, you are your best self when you are being yourself. If swearing is part of your repertoire, then your potty mouth will weed out anyone who wants you to behave like an ABC Family special. If sneakers are your go-to, no matter the occasion, then there’s no reason why you should be wobbling through your date in heels. Bring the real you to the table, and don’t get first dates confused with job interviews. Save the censored version of you for someone who’s going to be paying your salary.

Please join us in breaking these rules.

1. Never talk politics.

The year is 2018, and if you can’t handle controversial topics, you may need to stay indoors for at least the next two years. Bringing up your political beliefs doesn’t have to end in an argument that leaves you and your date wishing you never met. Stay on topic, be open, and be truthful about where you stand. This is a great way to gauge compatibility and maybe even have a friendly debate with someone outside your usual social circle.

2. Don’t ask if they’re seeing anyone else.

It’s not a secret that everyone wants this information, even if you’re scared of the answer. Be upfront. Manage your expectations and don’t overthink it. It’s likely that you already know where you’re at and what you’re looking for — don’t be shy about stating your needs. If dating multiple people isn’t your thing, let them know. It may save you from unknowingly diving into troubled waters.

3. Don’t talk about past relationships or dates.

You have one thing in common already: You’re both ON a date. There’s no reason you can’t swap stories — you’ll likely learn a thing or two while you do. We’re all bringing baggage from past experiences into every new relationship, romantic or otherwise. You may find yourself trash-talking your ex after a couple of glasses of wine, but that’s part of your personal narrative. If your date gets scared? Then they probably couldn’t handle you anyway.

4. Don’t swear.

This isn’t Pleasantville. If you swear, the world isn’t going to implode, I promise. If your date is strictly PG-13 and you’ve got an R-rated vocabulary, it’s better to know they’re a total square. Personally, I like to test the waters by dropping a hard F bomb upon arrival — but you do you.

5. Don’t eat everything on your plate.

Women are particularly susceptible to triggering dating rules around food. Shut out the noise and do what feels right in the moment. You don’t want someone who’s going to judge you based on what you eat. Unless it’s Flamin’ Hot Funyons on your dinner plate.

6. Dress modestly.

What’s more offensive than revealing clothing? Someone telling you not to wear revealing clothing. If you feel confident showing off the girls or revealing your gorgeous legs, do it. Don’t forget, the whole point of a first date is getting to know someone, and they should know your style too.

7. The right time to get intimate is…

Nobody besides the two consenting adults in question should ever put in their two cents on this subject. That includes me. That said, a simple rule of thumb is to always practice safe sex with the three C’s: consent, condoms, and courage.

8. Keep your opinions to yourself.

Got something to say? Let it out. Nobody puts Baby in the corner, and defending yourself, your words, or your point of view is a great way to see how you and your date communicate. You definitely don’t want to be with someone who can’t take or respect another person’s opinion.