Dating is tough. More than that, though, it’s different every time you go out with a new person. There are relatively few pieces of dating advice that are universal, and most of those tend to be so broad and general that you’ve either heard them already, or you could figure them out on your own.

Here are three dating hacks that you can use no matter where you go, or who you go with, though.

Hack #1: Activity First, Then Dinner

The old formula of “dinner and a show” is still one of the most reliable date recipes there is… but you should really reverse it. Whether you’re going to a stand-up gig, seeing fireworks, or just taking in a movie, do the event first, then have dinner. This gives you something shared to talk about, and it can help conversation flow more naturally. It also means you’re not full and sleepy while trying to enjoy something together.

Hack #2: Focus On Where You Are, Not Where You Want To End Up

A lot of the time we get into a date trying to play the long game. We’re wondering if this will get us in bed with the other person, if we’ll get into a relationship, if things will get serious, and too often we get really ahead of ourselves. Reel back your brain, and focus on the date itself. Enjoy the date, not as a prequel to a later event, but as the event itself. It takes a lot of the pressure off, and lets you enjoy it for what it is.

Hack #3: Think About What You’re Saying, Or Doing, Beforehand

How many times have you had a bad date because you didn’t plan something out? You just blurted out a question you should have kept to yourself, or you suggested a plan that appealed to you without asking how your date might take it. Take a moment to reflect before you suggest where to get dinner, or what to see, and reflect on what you know about your date. Keep them in mind, and you’ll both have a better experience.

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