Plus, when you include a new person in your life rather than making your entire life revolve around them, you can better evaluate how they fit into your long-term future.

If you're a nervous chatterbox like me, you spend first dates prattling on about one thing or another just to fill silence.

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"Just because a date doesn't go as planned or there isn't any chemistry doesn't mean you're lacking." Sometimes you and a date won't click, and that's OK.

Potential romantic partners can usually tell if you're dating with the sole mission of falling in love.

To get you started, we asked relationship experts April Masini and Barbie Adler for a few questions to pose on a first date. "Men love to talk about their work," Masini says, "And most men define themselves by their work—especially single men." It asks if your date has a job without assuming and allows them to go into as many or as few detail as they'd like. "If your Sunday usually consists of brunch followed by football for the duration of the day," Adler says, "that may not be the best fit with a potential partner who wants to go to the gym for three hours with an afternoon filled with errands." 3. "It's a little provocative to give him the third degree on his folks, his siblings, his socioeconomic background," Masini says. Adler was asked this question on a date, and she wholeheartedly approves: "This question was a really cute and fun way to inquire about a number of things, including what my ultimate goals were and where I wanted to be eventually in my career.

"This question is a polite way of asking him about his family history." You'd be surprised how much you can find out about a person just by talking about his or her family. In your 20s, this question comes from a playful place and conveys a lot of promise, a sense of hope, and a look at the future." 5. "This is a great way to spark conversation, provide insight into your potential partner as a child, and learn more about past and present values," Adler says. "This is a way to find out if he's a serial monogamist, just out of a long-term relationship or marriage—yes, 20-somethings are occasionally divorced—or someone who's all about hanging out, playing the field, and not interested in commitments," Masini says.

"Entering the uncharted waters of dating can be a bit unsettling," says Barbie Adler, president and founder of boutique matchmaking firm Selective Search.

Here, a few things to remember to make dating more delightful than discouraging.No matter how quickly you're falling, holding on to your sense of self is essential."Eventually you'll want to get back to your friends and activities," says Goldman.Some dates are so awful, you want to lock yourself in your apartment, watch Netflix, and never come out, just eternally questioning what you're doing wrong."The trick is to not take it personally," says Adler."Don't be afraid to show who you are," says Goldman.