I know this is kind of a meme thread, but these are some things that I wish that I'd known a few years ago.
Just be yourself isn't good advice, since you're not answering the question about how to act, and just reflecting it back. And if you're truly being yourself chances are you're stressed about it and would rather be at home playing videogames anyway.
What People mean with this advice is don't try to be someone that you're not, and try to have fun. And while it's true that lying about yourself is a bad idea, you definitely need to advertise yourself. It is simular to a job intervieuw in a sense. You want to present the absolute best version of yourself. Showing your ugly side is something for later in the relationship.
If you're going out with a stranger, or someone that you don't know well. You want to go for something conventional and low-risk (dinner, walk in the park, movie, whatever). Most importantly, you need some sort of activety to occupy both of you when the conversation eventually slows down. Sitting there akwardly trying to come up with shit to say is the worst and it will happen on every date. My favorite is board games, I once played 3 games of chess with a girl after we had dinner at my place. Also both of you need stay sober. Drinking a glass or two is fine, but getting drunk on a first date with a stranger is a big mistake (and a huge turnoff).
If you start to date a girl that you've known for a while however, other rules apply. This time you want to involve alcohol or some other light drug. Because both of your sober personalities will be old news, and not interesting enough to carry a conversation. You also need to be more creative in picking a location, to signal that you know a bit about her at least. If she's a dancer, go watch a performance together ect. My best example for this would be a first date in an indoor climbing centre. She spent the whole date teaching me the basics. But that's not something you would do with a stranger.
As far as the bill is concerned. Whoever took initiative and asked the other person out or picked the place should offer to pay. Usually that's me and it often ends in some sort of split (not always 50/50).
Hopefully someone found this usefull.