Like most people, you enjoy heading down to the local pub and downing a few pints of ale. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, as fun as it is to have a few drinks, you might want to go dry if you are on a first date, even if your date also enjoys drinking. And even if you do decide to have a few drinks during the date, there are rules you should follow to make sure that alcohol consumption doesn't screw up your first date and prevent a second. The following rules will help ensure that alcohol isn't the culprit if you fail to get a second date.

Don't Get Drunk

This rule really should go without saying. Alcohol is a classic disinhibitor. That is why, after a few drinks, you get more talkative and are more willing to take risks. Being a little more talkative is helpful for breaking the ice. However, getting sloppy drunk completely ruins any benefits you get from drinking.

There is absolutely no wiggle room on this rule. You want to be conservative while drinking, and preferably avoid even a light buzz. The moment you lose control, even a little bit, odds are your date will go sour.

And while it should also go without saying, you also want to make sure that your date doesn't get drunk on the first date either.

Do Drink Something Familiar

If you are going to drink on the date, take advantage of you drinking to tell your date a little more about yourself. It is best to drink something that you really enjoy, because no matter what you drink, your date will almost certainly assume you are ordering a favorite drink. This gives your date some insight into your tastes. It also a potential conversation topic that you can discuss intelligently. If you try something brand new, you can't really talk about it and risk discovering you don't really enjoy it. On the other hand, if your date recommends a drink or offers you some of their date, you should give it a shot, even if it is brand new to you.

Don't Make Drinking the Main Date Activity

Obviously, part of this reason for this rule is because it is hard to avoid getting drunk if drinking is the main date activity. Just as importantly, though, drinking simply isn't a very engaging date activity on its own. If you really just want to talk while sipping on a drink, invite your date to an afternoon tea, rather than a pub.

This doesn't mean you can't have a first date at a pub. It just means that you should plan to do something other than just drink. Depending where you go, you could eat dinner, play darts, dance, or possibly do all three in the same date.

Do Tell Your Date in Advance if You Plan to Drink

Unless you enjoy incredibly awkward moments, you should discuss your plans to drink on the date before actually going on the date. It is possible that the person you are dating doesn't actually drink at all. Similarly, some people simply don't like to drink during the first few dates. You should know that before you take your date to a bar or pull a bottle of wine out of a cooler while on a picnic.

Don't Have Sex if You Have Been Drinking

Remember that first rule? Hopefully you do. It has been stressed a lot so far. Unfortunately, as hard as you try, there is a reasonable chance you or your date will break it if you choose to drink on your first date. Oh, neither of you will probably be black out drunk, but there is a good chance that you or your date simply won't be paying attention closely enough and will end up buzzed or tipsy.

Because that particular risk is high, you need to avoid sex (and preferably any form of intimacy other than light kissing). If this were your tenth date, or even your fifth date, it wouldn't be a problem. By that point you are comfortable enough in your relationship that sex isn't a problem. On a first date, however, sex can ruin your potential relationship unless you really are a perfect couple. And with alcohol in the mix, odds are the alcohol stripping your inhibitions instigated the sex, rather than the luck of finding a perfect match.

The simple solution, if you drink on a first date, is to keep your hands and other body parts in check.