An ideal first impression is not at all what you think it is. With a stranger who you may never see again, you want to make a good first impression so you stand a chance of being memorable—and not just for “puke on my shoes” reasons.

Dressing the part is the first thing you’ll notice. Not in a stupid way (obviously), but in a way that shows you’ve given a little thought to your first date. You don’t have to spend a small fortune, but it would be unwise to walk into the date barefoot and in your birthday suit.

They’re going to look at you, so make sure they notice the woman or the man you are. So, if you’re the type of person who wears six-inch platform shoes, fancy jewelry, or a furry coat, like I am, you’re going to draw attention. And if you’re not wearing anything, they’re going to notice that too.

The goal is to exude confidence without coming across as arrogant or pushy. Here are some steps to take to ensure that you do just that.

1. Your Body Language

The first thing they’re going to notice about you is your body language. And that means the way your arms are positioned, your leg position, your posture, and the way you carry yourself. But don’t be an over-the-top bodybuilder, or show off your abs in your tight cocktail dress.

There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance. Take it from me, I know. I’ve been both. Just show up at your date with a smile on your face, and tell yourself and the world that they won’t be able to resist your smile.

Let’s say you decide to forgo the cocktail dress and sexy lingerie for a no-frills black dress. That’s fine, but you still need to walk in like you’re the only woman in the room. For example, a woman in a tight dress, like myself, should walk in like this:

And another example:

It isn’t about swaggering all over the place, it’s about making an entrance that’s oh, so modest.

When you have the opportunity to get a few steps closer, you want to make sure you maintain your composure, especially in those first few moments. Let’s say you move closer to your date:

Gaze into their eyes.

Maybe you’re not interested in being a commitment-phobe. Or maybe you just want to show off how attractive you are to people. In either case, you need some pointers. You know what to do, right?

Do Not:

1. Expect to get phone numbers

Yes, it’s easy to think “Let’s just get in the car and get it over with,” because that is what we are taught to do. But what happens when you have someone’s phone number and you don’t call? Maybe you didn’t do that already because you weren’t sure if you’d see that person again. Maybe you didn’t call because you’re a little shy and don’t want to seem desperate. Don’t be too quick to assume that not picking up the phone is the epitome of someone you’d like. It’s not. It just indicates that you’re not.

2. Tell people that you want to get serious very quickly

If you want to get in to someone’s pants, don’t be awkward about it. Get your sex out of the way quickly, and then proceed with your happy, normal life. The minute you start kissing or sleeping with someone, you’re going to have to deal with a whole other set of relationship—and communication—issues.

3. Get your plans in order

If you’re planning on having a long term relationship, find someone you can build a life with. A good friend or relative, perhaps, or even a roommate. It may seem annoying, but if you want to have a family with someone, you should also think about your plans for the future. If you want to get married and have children, you should make sure you’re financially and mentally prepared to be a parent. It’s important to be serious about where you’re going in life, so don’t jump into a relationship too quickly unless both of you are ready for it.

4. Take things a little slower

If you see an attractive person, do something about it immediately. If they speak to you, talk to them. If you want to get to know someone better, see them at the gym, or a club, or at the mall. If you want to play for the other team, don’t sit on the couch and watch a football game. Let the girl know that you like her, so she’ll want to spend time with you. If you’re in a relationship, make sure you’re out having fun with your significant other