Okay, okay, I'll admit it.

I have a friend who has lucky underwear. I'd take this opportunity to make fun of her, but, you see, I have lucky shoes.

In a recent conversation with some single friends of both sexes, I began to realize that nearly everyone has some sort of first date ritual, be it lucky monkey boxer shorts, wearing a shade of red lipstick with a winning streak, or eating deep-fried onion rings. (Okay, the onion ring thing was me—sort of a first-date Murphy's Law—meaning that if you ate onion rings and spent the entire night trying not to breathe on someone, they would inevitably try to kiss you.) Actually, the onion ring thing had a pretty good track record….

Among the most bizarre of the rituals I've found:
  • A pedicure with OPI's "I'm not really a waitress" red.
  • Not eating any fish while on the date. (huh?)
  • Drinking a glass of milk before the date arrives.
  • Putting raspberry hand sanitizer on the feet (apparently it cuts down on bad smells in case you end up removing your shoes.)
Does cuddling a white ferret in the pet store or calling your mother exactly 37 minutes before you meet your date really improve your chances for a successful match? I may be going out on a limb here, but I think it probably does. Why? Because rituals make us feel more comfortable and confident, and the more comfortable we feel, the more likely we are to relax and have a good time. And that makes us more likely to have a fabulous first date.

So, the next time you're getting ready for a first date that could be "The One," go ahead—eat the eight bananas, wear your lucky blue shirt or the fabulous little "first-date" dress. Do whatever it takes to feel as confident (and lucky) as you can. And, if you start to feel a little strange, remember you're not the only one.