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    12 (+bonus!) Sure Fire Ways To Avoid A Disastrous Valentine's - Backed By Real Science!*

    Whatever you do, just avoid going out if you end up feeling like number five. *(Well, Most Of It).

    1. First, find your date. The internet's the go to place - although you may not get quite what you expected.

    Via giphy.com

    Well, we do have the highest internet dating turnover of any European nation - but 'Catfishing' is for real!

    2. You might go old school, and try and find someone special in the 'real world'...

    Via giphy.com

    According to a study by shopper marketing app, Shopitize, nearly one in ten think supermarkets are the perfect pick-up joint, so there's no harm in looking your best even if you're only popping out to buy some cheese.

    3. Result. So, you've got a date. And yes, it's ok to be excited...

    Via google.co.uk

    An eHarmony poll of 1,000 single people found being stand-offish isn't enticing anymore. But set some limits ok - it didn't work out for Tom.

    4. Now - venue. Don't pick a skanky place

    Via yahooentertainment.tumblr.com

    A huge 90% of 16 - 24 year olds are planning to do something this Valentines day, and 63% of guys are taking the lead on organising the venue (and worrying about finding the right place).

    So pull out your phone, check out the reviews, and of course the food hygiene rating of the restaurant before you order. There's nothing romantic about 'soup a la cockroach'.

    5. After all what's the worst that can happen...

    Via giphy.com

    A recent Food Standards Agency poll shows that more of us are scared of getting food poisoning on a Valentine’s date than getting dumped!

    6. Hmmm, what to wear... something you feel super hot and super comfortable in.

    Giphy

    According to Vogue - Science is one breakthrough closer to understanding the brain chemistry behind your intense interest in clothes. And the outfit you choose may alter how you approach and interact with the world and people around you. This phenomenon is called 'enclothed cognition"

    So...pick carefully and embrace your 'Blue Steel'.

    7. Always try to make a great entrance!

    Via http://rack.0.mshcdn.com

    In his "weird science behind first impressions blog" Jory Mckay reckons we're genetically hardwired to make quick decisions - everything from whether we find someone attractive or trustworthy, happens in a matter of seconds.

    Nobel Prize-winning author, and psychologist Daniel Kahneman believes the answer lies in something called 'heuristics'  -  the ‘mental shortcuts’ we use to help us make decisions.

    We translate this as - first impressions last.

    8. Everyone loves a good listener - so try not to hog the conversation.

    Via makeagif

    Viktori Gorski at Match.com suggests using positive body language (such as facing your date and ignoring distractions - yup that means your phone), being open minded, and not concentrating on what you're going to say next until your dates finished speaking.

    You heard us, right?

    9. But, definitely get involved in the conversation.

    Via wooderice.com

    Starting a conversation isn't always easy, but showing interest in your date to start off with is a given (see the listening tips above).

    Other top dating tips suggest sharing memories, interests, and suggesting stuff you could do on a future date (assuming both of you want one of course!).

    10. Don't come on too strong, too soon.

    Via giphy.com

    It will kill your chances (say both men and women). So will the amount of perfume or aftershave you're wearing. You want to smell good, but hey, take it easy tiger!

    11. Always have a plan B lined up.

    But make sure you don't tell your date that!

    12. Even if you don't have to use it.

    Via hollywire.com

    Awww.

    Good luck, and have a great date. We can't promise a kiss at the end, but we can help you choose the right restaurant.

    Via food.gov.uk

    Check our food hygiene ratings site - even if you're eating out on the fly (it works on mobile too). You'll easily be able to find where has a good rating nearby. Perfect if everywhere ends up booked!

    With love from us at the Food Standards Agency.

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