When you’re starting out as a sugar baby, it’s normal to be a little nervous at first. You feel like this could be the solution to the love life you’ve always wanted, so naturally, you want things to go as well as possible. You want to hit all the right notes with any potential sugar daddies you meet up with, and you want to get as much as possible out of the whole experience.

That’s where learning from seasoned sugar babies who’ve been in the sugar dating game a long time can really help. Of course, no two people or sugar relationships are exactly alike, but there are many common challenges to consider. Here are some of the ones pretty much every sugar baby wishes they’d understood about sugar dating from day one.

1.      You’re not obligated to explain your love life to anyone.

Dating, falling in love, and maintaining relationships as a sugar dater have more in common with their traditional counterparts than you might think. Your life is yours and yours alone. That means it’s entirely up to you whether you tell your friends and loved ones you’re experimenting with sugar dating or not.

Many sugar babies choose to keep things under wraps completely until they meet someone they’re more serious about. And even then, they still might not choose to share every detail of how they met their partner or what brought them together in the first place. It’s perfectly fine if you decide to do the same.

2.      You should handle first meet-ups with safety in mind.

And this isn’t just good advice for sugar daters, either. Anytime you’re meeting up with someone new you initially met online, you should make safety a priority. Public places are always the best locations for first meetings. Restaurants, coffee shops, and other similar venues give you plenty of opportunities to sit, talk, and get to know each other without putting yourself at risk.

You’ll also want to secure your own transportation to and from your date. If your date offers to pick you up at your home or place of business, simply decline politely. Instead, drive yourself or take a cab. (If he likes, you can let him cover your taxi fare.) Not only is that safer, but your first conversation deserves a better setting than a car. You’ll also have an easy way to quit the scene on your own terms if things aren’t going well later on.

3.      You don’t have to go along with anything that makes you uncomfortable.

Every would-be sugar baby is nervous when getting ready to go on those first couple of dates. But that doesn’t mean you need to act nervous. Truly top-tier sugar daddies value qualities like forthrightness, confidence, and honesty in their babies, so don’t be afraid to let these qualities show. In other words, you’re not going to scare off a terrific sugar daddy by standing your ground and sticking to your guns.

You’re under no obligation to let a would-be daddy pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do, whether that’s stay for a second drink, agree to a second date, or let him steal a kiss. It’s OK to say “yes” when that’s what you genuinely want to do, but saying “no” is entirely acceptable, as well. The vast majority of the daddies you meet will be respectful of your boundaries. Anyone who wouldn’t be isn’t worth your time and attention anyway.

4.      You don’t have to put on an act for your date.

When you’re brand new to sugaring, it’s normal to wonder whether you’ve really got what it takes to impress a potential sugar daddy. (Sugar babies get imposter syndrome, too!) But it’s essential to keep in mind that your date wants to meet up with you – the incredible, sparkling personality they’ve been getting to know via chat and over the phone all this time. If they wanted someone else, they would have asked someone else out – period.

That said, it’s fine to try to get a read on your date’s preferences as far clothing, perfume, conversation topics, and so forth. Don’t invent an utterly fake persona or put on an act, though. Most sugar daddies are pretty sharp and can see right through inauthenticity. Plus, you’re doing yourself a real disservice in not being yourself. You’re special and unique just the way you are. Let your would-be daddy see that.

The best sugar babies know they’re cut out for something much more sophisticated than traditional dating, and they’re not afraid to go after it with everything they’ve got. If that sounds like you, then rest easy in the knowledge that you’ll be an absolute hit with the sugar daddy of your dreams. He’s looking for someone just like you.