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Playing by the Rules


You date. You have a hard time telling if you're being yourself or playing games. And you have an even harder time figuring out what your love interest is doing. Some experts offer these guidelines:

Fair Game

* Stuffing a wallet with extra cash for unexpected expenses.

* Applying makeup and hair products for killer looks.

* Eating light throughout the day to minimize that nauseating first-date feeling.

* Sharing a well-balanced meal.

* Tidying home for date's arrival.

* Elaborating on professional and personal achievements.

Foul Play

* Stuffing a wallet with extra cash to look rich. (What happens to your rent when your date expects you to spend it all?)

* Dramatically altering your appearance and pretending that you always look so effortlessly glamorous. (Picture the morning after. Or an unexpected encounter at the grocery store?)

* Starving for the day in favor of a flatter stomach. (Imagine how hungry you'll get if the relationship gets serious.)

* Taking two bites from a salad and then whining about being full. (You'll either be perceived as a liar or a weirdo.)

* Stashing dirty underwear in the bathroom cabinet, covering comic books with a fat Renoir book. (You'll be found out. Many peek in bathrooms and feign fascination with intellectual displays.)

* Inflating job titles and athletic feats. (Singles say they're wary of actors, screenwriters and sports champs who almost made it.)

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