How Not to Be Nervous on a First Date

man and woman on a date

First dates…one part exciting and four parts terrifying. If you’re here, there’s a good chance that you might be leaning even more towards the terrifying part. First dates make a lot of people nervous, and we understand why. You’re putting yourself and your feelings out there and trusting that someone you barely know isn’t going to step all over them. The fear of this happening can make a lot of people nervous on a first date.

In this guide, we want to tackle this head-on. We are going to show you exactly how not to be nervous on a first date. We’ll show you the things you need to do and the mindsets you need to adopt to ensure that you walk into that first date with your head high and confidence exuding from you. Once you finish this guide, gone are the days of sweaty palms, sweat-drenched shirts, and shaky hands.

man and woman on a date


Understand Some Nervousness is Okay

Before we go any further, we want to make sure that something here is clear. It is okay and completely natural to be nervous before and during a first date. You’re stepping out of your comfort zone, and really taking a chance. But, what we are specifically talking about here is nervousness that is debilitating. Nervousness on a first date that causes you to not be yourself, stumble over your words, and just really not put your best foot forward.

That’s the first date nervousness we’re going to be tackling today. Just make sure you remember, everyone is going to be a little bit nervous, and that is totally okay. Even your friend that always seems to crush it on first dates gets a little nervous (even if they say they don’t).

Now that we have that point clear, let’s get into the actual tips for how not to be nervous on a first date.


Stop Getting Too Emotionally Involved Too Early

It’s fun to daydream about what a first date is going to be like. Often, the first date is with someone you’ve never met before, or you barely know. When you barely know someone, it’s easy for your mind to fill in the holes with what you want them to be. Basically, your mind does a great job of building up this person you don’t even know as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Now, we’re not saying that isn’t going to be the case. Your upcoming first date could be with the most amazing man or woman you’ve ever met, and we think that’s awesome! But, letting that optimism creep into unreal expectations can cause you to be much more nervous on a first date than you need to be.

Don’t let yourself fall in love with a person you’ve never even met or spent much time with. The more special and the more important that you make them in your mind, the more nervous you are going to be. It’s okay to be excited, but keep it from running out of control. This will take some proactivity from you, but it will be well worth it.


Be Prepared for Your First Date

First dates can be nerve-wracking because of all of the uncertainty. Something super important that you can do to lessen the nervousness on a first date is by cutting down on as many of the unknown variable as possible. In other words, the more prepared you are for your date and what might happen, the less you need to worry about.

If you know what you’re wearing, where you’re going, what happens if the place is terrible, what to do if the date is awful, and you have a plan for everything you can, then you’re going to be less nervous. You don’t need to spend hours mapping out the date and every little thing that could happen, but you should have a general idea of how things are going to go and what you’re going to do if they don’t go according to plan (for the worse or for the better).

To help you with this, we’ve put together a ton of resources over in our first date guides section. While everything over there is awesome and we highly recommend you read it, there are two things we really want you to look at. First is our first date mistakes guide. This guide outlines all of the major first date mistakes that you need to plan to avoid.

Second is our first date checklist. This checklist and guide will make sure that you don’t forget anything at all while getting prepared for your first date. That way, you can relax and let the nerves calm before you head out.

Prior preparation prevents poor performance. #preachit


Understand the Real Purpose of a First Date

One of the biggest reasons people get nervous on first dates is that they don’t really understand the true purpose of a first date. They think that it is a performance. They think the entire point of a first date is to put on the best show you can and work as hard as possible to impress the person you’re with. When you do this, the measure of success for the date becomes how much fun the other person has.

While you should always put your best foot forward, this is all terribly, terribly wrong. You see, the purpose of a first date is not to impress the other person. The measure of success on a first date is not how much fun they had or even scoring a second date. The real purpose of a first date is to figure out if you have any compatibility or spark with the person you are going out with. Sure, you should always try and make it an enjoyable time, but you’re really just looking to see if the two of you are compatible and if it’s worth seeing each other again.

When you do this, a few things happen. First, the chance for failure is 100% eliminated. The measure of a successful first date is now learning whether there is compatibility or not. If there is compatibility and you figured that out, the date was a success! If there was zero compatibility and you figured that out, the date was a success! Yes, you heard that correctly. A date where you aren’t going to see the person again is actually a success.

Notice now that there is zero chance for failure. This should lead to the second cause of treating first dates properly which is that the nervousness will fade. If you aren’t acting like a performer on stage and you’re just trying to look for compatibility, you’re going to be less nervous. When you know that you can’t fail no matter how well the date goes by other people’s incorrect standards, the nervousness goes away.

Take the time to really understand why you are going on a date. Realize that a “bad date” where you are not compatible is not a bad date at all. You successfully crossed another person off the list of potential suitors, and that’s just one step closer to finding the right person.


Power Poses and Science

We’re going to throw something that might seem a little weird at you now, but it’s really awesome. Amy Cuddy, a renowned psychologist, gave a Ted Talk on the use of power poses to change the chemistry in our brains to handle nervous situations and uncertainty much better. Basically, she said that there were certain poses (power poses) that you could stand in for a minute or two before heading into a nervous situation and it would release certain chemicals in your brain to help you handle nervous situations better! These poses are “superhero” type poses and are easy to do pretty much anywhere.

What does this have to do with a first date? Well, we recommend checking out her Ted Talk we linked above and using these poses in your dating life. Before you step out of the car or walk into the bar to meet your first date, strike a pose and get your brain chemistry working on your side! It might seem kind of crazy, but she breaks down all the science of it in her Ted Talk linked above.


Practice Makes Perfect

The last tip we have for how not to be nervous on a first date is to get out there and go on more first dates. Literally everything in life gets easier and is less nerve-wracking the more that you do it. This is true for first dates. If you haven’t been on a first date in years, it’s probably going to make you super nervous. But, if you go on that one and it doesn’t work out, how difficult is the next one going to be on your nerves? Probably a bit easier because you know a little more what to expect and you’ve got some experience under your belt.

Get out there and go on some first dates. With what you’ve learned here, you literally have a 0% chance of failure thanks to recalibrating your measure of success. First dates are always going to give you those butterflies in your stomach, but that’s just your body getting excited about the potential that could come out of your next first date.

Don’t Take a First Date to Your Stomping Grounds

local bar with drinks

If you’ve spent any amount of time on our site, you know that we like to focus a lot on first dates. Why? Well, the first date is the make or break time where you can make something awesome happen with someone special, or you can break your chances of anything continuing with someone awesome. First dates are important, and there is a lot you can do right and a lot you can do wrong that will affect the outcome of the date.

In this guide, we’re specifically going to talk about one of the biggest mistakes that you can make on a first date – taking your date somewhere that you frequent. It might seem like a great idea, but we’re going to make a strong case as to why this is something that you should avoid at all costs.

Before we go any further, we do want to make sure you’re aware of a few awesome resources we’ve put together for first daters. Make sure you’ve checked out our Complete List of First Date Mistakes You Have to Stop and The Ultimate First Date Checklist. These two guides and what you learn here today should help to get you all squared away for your upcoming first date!

local bar with drinks


What Happens if the Date Goes Poorly, But They Like the Place

If you know us, you know that we don’t like to just make claims or tell you to do something without backing it up. If you wanted someone to bark unfounded orders at you, you could probably call up your mom or your boss and let them go to town. But, that’s not how we roll here.

Let’s look at a first date scenario where you take your date to your favorite bar that you love to frequent after work. You know the bartender, and it’s just an awesome space that you love to go to in order to unwind. You show up with your date, order a round of drinks, and things are off to a great start. Your favorite bartender is even working and said hey to you and made you feel like a celebrity.

About 20 minutes into the date, though, your date starts to get quiet and so do you. You’ve read our blog on how to avoid awkward silences on dates, but it’s just not working. The date starts to spiral down from there and then your date eventually tells you they’re not interested and awkwardly shuffles out of the bar.

Good thing you don’t have to see them again, right?

The next day you go after work to grab a drink and who do you see there…on another date…in YOUR favorite bar? Yup. Your date from the night before is hijacking your favorite bar. It’s now becoming their favorite bar and where they decide they want to take their dates. You now have to decide to either deal with them there or lose your favorite bar.

Don’t risk losing a place you love for someone you just met. Save the sweet spots for later dates and take them somewhere that you don’t frequent in case it goes poorly, you don’t have to worry about seeing your cruddy date again.


You Could Run Into Friends or People You Don’t Want To

What is something that usually happens at a place you frequent? You make friends! Or, you start frequenting a place because your friends go there. It’s a chicken and the egg kind of thing, but the point is that places you frequent will probably be packed with people that you know.

Answer this question honestly. Do you want your friends sitting in the corner watching you while you’re on your date? Heck, you’re going to be nervous enough already as it is. Why add fuel to the fire by taking your date somewhere that if it goes terribly wrong, you’re never going to hear the end of it? Or, depending on what kind of friends you have, they might be the kind that could accidentally assist in making things go terribly wrong.

While there is nothing wrong with accidentally running into people that you know on a first date, it’s not ideal. The more variables that you can take out of the first date scenario, the better your chances are to have a good time and not run into any problems.


You Could Ruin Something That You Don’t Know About

You never know who is watching when you’re somewhere. Don’t worry; we’re not saying that to sound creepy. What we are referring to is the fact that a lot of places you go, there are probably people who are interested in you and might be interested in dating you in some capacity. It’s possible they are waiting for the right opportunity to talk to you or to work up the courage to come say hi.

What do you think they are going to do if they see you in there with someone else on a date? What are they going to do if they see you in there with multiple dates on multiple occasions? The answer is they are probably going to assume that you’re taken and never get the courage up to ask you out or let you know they are interested. If they see you parading people through, they might lose interest thinking you’re a player or something like that.

Don’t ruin opportunities that you don’t even know exist by bringing first dates through places you frequent. This would be like taking a first date to a work function or something like that. You never know who is watching.


The Weak Case for Taking a Date Somewhere You Frequent

We wouldn’t be offering you a complete guide if we didn’t at least look at some of the reasons for taking your date to your stomping grounds or a place you frequent. But, we will give you the spoiler that all of these arguments are actually an argument for a better solution that we’ll cover as well. Let’s start by looking at the reasons taking a date somewhere you frequent could be nice and then we will talk about what you should do about that.

You Can Get Special Treatment

Know a bar with a bartender friend? Probably going to get hooked up. Know a restaurant where you know the owner? You’re going to look like a boss. There are certainly some advantages to going somewhere you frequent, and they start with the level of service that you will get. If you’re a loyal customer they know, or you have a personal relationship with someone at the venue, it’s going to make for a better experience overall and possibly save you some cash.

You Know the Lay of the Land

When you go somewhere that you frequent, you can make the case that you are actually removing more of the variables as opposed to what we said earlier. You know what the menu looks like or what they offer, you know where everything is, and you know the ins and outs of what needs to happen to ensure a fantastic experience. Basically, you’re the expert on a location, and it’s going to make you look cultured and experienced when you bring your first date there.

Save it for a Later Date

Some pretty great arguments up there, yea? We actually agree. BUT!!! We think they are great arguments that still reign true on the second date or fifth date or any date other than the first. Wait until you know that someone might be around for a while before you go taking them to your stomping grounds.

Save the special treatment for someone who deserves it. You’re going to start to develop an odd reputation at your favorite locale if you are constantly parading men and or women through there.

How to Greet a Girl on the First Date

man holding flowers for girl

First impressions are important. This is a universal truth that does not go away when you’re talking about greeting a girl on a first date. Those first few seconds of meeting can set your date up for success or set you both up for an awkward night. In this guide, we’re going to talk about how to greet a girl on the first date. We’ll discuss what you should be doing and equally importantly what you should not be doing.

man holding flowers for girl


To Hug or Not to Hug?

If you notice, we skipped right over “to kiss or not to kiss.” We do not care if you are of French or Cuban or whatever heritage you come from that kisses people when you greet them. Do not kiss someone you are just meeting on a first date. It might be cool in other situations, but you need to be respectful on your first date. You don’t know what your date is going to be comfortable with, and you can really shoot yourself in the foot right off the bat.

Now, when it comes to hugging, that is going to be up to you. What we recommend you do is go with the half hug and commit to it. What do we mean? Well, let’s break it down. When we say the half hug, we mean the one arm, sometimes two arm hug that you’d give to a stranger that you just met or maybe someone at church or a buddy you haven’t seen in a while. The best way to describe this hug is it’s usually at an angle with your head turned to the side hugging half of their body. We hope that makes some sort of sense.

Don’t give them a full on, two-armed, intimate hug that lasts for anything more than just half a second. This will feel creepy and will certainly set your date off to a terrible start. Go with the friend hug, not the romantic hug on a first date. If you’re confused or not sure what is okay, then just opt for no hug.

But, we do feel a quick friend type hug does break that awkward physical barrier that sometimes exists on a first date. Do what you are comfortable with and don’t pressure your date to do something they aren’t comfortable with. If she pulls away when you go in for a hug, abandon ship.

But, as long as she does not pull away, commit to giving the friendly hug. The weirdest thing you can do is halfway commit to giving a hug. You’ll find yourself awkwardly standing there with your arm out, and it’ll look really weird, and you will feel awkward. If you’re going to give the greeting hug, then commit to going for it and only quit if they seem to pull away or act like they’re not feeling it.


Do Not Shake Hands

If you elect not to go for the hug or you go for it, and you jump ship part way through, do not replace that with a handshake. How can we say this clearer? DO NOT SHAKE HANDS WHEN YOU GREET A GIRL ON A FIRST DATE. Sorry for yelling, but this is super important. Shaking hands is something you do with someone at work or your parent’s friends. If you’d like to have a romantic relationship with the girl you’re going out with, then don’t shake her hand when you greet her for the first time. Actually, there are zero times when you’re going to want to shake her hand on any dates ever in your entire life.


Some Great First Date Greetings You Can Use

So, we’ve covered what you should physically be doing when you first greet a girl on a first date, but what do you say? Obviously, you can’t just walk up and half-hug the girl and say nothing. Let’s talk about what you should say by starting with a few example greetings. Let’s pretend your first date is with a girl named Sarah.

“You must be Sarah! Hi, it’s nice to meet you.”

“Sarah? Hey! I’m Bob. It’s awesome to finally meet you.”

“Hey! You made it! It’s great to meet you in person.”


Seriously, it is that simple. You want to confirm that you’re greeting the right person and once you do, you want to let them know that you’re excited to meet them. You’re not really looking for a verbal answer confirming they are who you think they are. But, instead, you’re looking for a physical reaction that confirms or denies you’re talking to the right person. If they start smiling and coming towards you, it’s probably them. If they give you a puzzled who are you talking to look, then you might not have the right girl.

Also, it hopefully goes without saying, but you should be smiling while all of this is going on.


Plan a Detailed Meeting Spot

We unearthed something in the last section that we want to address. If you’re meeting a girl from online dating, there is a chance that she might not look exactly like she does in her pictures. This could be on purpose, or it just might be the fact that people sometimes look different in person. Our guess is that your question is not how to greet a girl on the first date, but it’s in fact how to successfully greet the right girl on the first date.

How can you ensure that you’re meeting with the right girl? Well, we already gave you one tip of how to do it based on what you say when you’re greeting them on the first date and the physical cues that you look for. But, another good thing to do to really ensure things go smoothly is plan a detailed meeting spot.

If you make it very clear where you will be, then it’s a lot more challenging to end up greeting the wrong girl. The key here is the details. For example, let’s say that you decide you’re going to grab drinks for your first date. Instead of saying, “Hey, I’ll meet you at Smokey’s Pub,” say something more specific like, “Hey, I’ll meet you at 7pm outside of Smokey’s Pub. There’s a bench out front I’ll be sitting on so you can’t miss me!”

You’ve also gone ahead and made your date less nervous that they might not find you. Some people get nervous having to walk into a new place without knowing exactly who they are looking for. By giving them exact details about where you’re going to greet them on the first date, you take away this fear. You’ll also notice that we recommend meeting them outside instead of going inside. It just makes things much less nerve-wracking for the woman you are meeting.


Make Eye Contact Not Chest Contact

When you greet a girl on the first date, you are probably going to be tempted to check her out. While there is nothing wrong with that because physical attraction is important, you want to make sure that you don’t look like a perv or a dog. When you greet her, make eye contact. Don’t get caught staring at her chest, her butt, her whatever it is that you’re into. Even if she’s wearing something sexy, overcome the temptation and earn those gentleman brownie points.


Greet Her On Time

The last thing we want to talk about comes straight from our Ultimate First Date Checklist as well as our list of first date mistakes. What is so important that we felt the need to put it in two different guides? Be on time. You have got to be on time for your date. In fact, you’re better off being a few minutes early. Women love men who are reliable, and if she can’t rely on you even to show up on time for the first date, she’s going to wonder if you’re just unreliable. Plan accordingly and make sure you get there on time.


Additional Resources

The above information helps answer the question of how to greet a girl on the first date, but that’s only the beginning of the date. There is a lot more that goes into the first date. If you’d like some more help, check out our First Date Advice section that is chalked full of guides, tools, and resources to help you have the best first date possible.

The Ultimate First Date Checklist

pen and checklist

You’ve done the hard part! The first date is lined up, you’ve got a plan, and now you just have to get ready. But, what all do you have to do to get ready? What has to happen to make sure the first date goes well? What if you forget something? Take a breath; we’ve got you covered! Below you’re going to find the ultimate first date checklist. We’re going to cover literally everything you need to do to ensure that you’re ready for your first date and that it goes off without a hitch.

pen and checklist


How You Look on a First Date

It’s no secret that everyone wants to look their best on a first date. For those using online dating or on a blind date, this is going to be the first time you see this person in person. You know that they’re going to form an opinion of you from the second they see you across that Chili’s parking lot or from outside that coffee shop window. Here’s what you need to make sure you do before your first date in regards to your appearance.

Clip and Clean Your Fingernails

You’re going to be close enough to another human where they will be able to see your hands and your fingernails. You might not know it, but a lot of people will judge how well you take care of yourself based on your fingernails. No, they don’t have to be manicured and styled, but if they look like a dog chewed them all off, are freakishly overgrown, or are dirty, you’re going to put off the wrong impression. Take two minutes before your first date and clip your fingernails. If you’re wearing flip flops or open toed shoes, this goes for your toenails too.

Brush Your Teeth, Floss, and Get Some Breath Mints

There is nothing that is going to turn your first date off more than dirty teeth or bad breath. Even if you don’t have the prettiest teeth in the world, you can at least make sure they are as clean as they can be and that your breath is not kicking. Additionally, if you drink coffee or eat food on your date, your breath could take a turn for the worse. Bring some breath mints with you in your pocket.

Get a Hair Cut or Style Your Hair

You’re going to notice a trend with our first date tips here. We don’t think you have to go out and spend a bunch of money getting yourself ready, but you do have to make an effort. When it comes to your hair, you don’t have to go out and spend a ton of money getting it professionally style. But, if it is overgrown and looks all shaggy, get it trimmed.

Additionally, make sure that you wash your hair. No one wants to go out with someone who might have a bird’s nest or snacks living or stored in their hair. We’re talking about just a few minutes to make sure your hair looks clean and smells clean.

Wash and Iron Your Clothes

This is a personal pet peeve of a lot of the staff here and one that sparked a big discussion when we were writing this guide. Dressing nicely for a first date is awesome. But, if you wear nice clothes that are dirty or wrinkled, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Take just a few minutes and iron your clothes if they are wrinkled. If they’re dirty, wash them. We’re not asking for a lot here, but we are asking that you do some basic things to make sure you look like someone worth going out with.

The Logistics of the First Date

Now that you know how to look the part on a first date, we want to talk about first date planning. This section is geared towards those of you who are in charge of planning the date. But, if you are along for the ride, it’s still a good read. Our goal is to make sure that you don’t miss anything and can relax a bit more knowing that you have the entire first date and any contingencies planned for.

Have Two Money Sources Ready

Sometimes it’s not clear who is going to be paying on a first date. For that reason, this tip goes out to everyone that’s going to be on the date. Make sure you have two different sources of money available for the first date. That way, you can pay for the date if you’re planning on it or if you weren’t planning on it but end up splitting the check. Showing up with no money on a date is just silly because you never know what could happen.

Why two sources of money on a first date? Well, if you’ve been using banking for a while, you know that things are not always reliable. What happens if you go to use your debit or credit card and your bank freezes it? You’ll want to have cash or a different card from a different bank so that you don’t look like someone with financial problems on the first date.

If you say you’ll just bring cash, what happens if the date ends up a little more expensive than you had planned for? You are going to want to have a backup plan. Even if you never use it, just knowing that you are covered will be a load off. You know that nervousness that comes when the waiter or bartended walks off with your card to pay the bill? Yea, you can get rid of that if you have a backup source just in case.

Have a Plan of Where You’re Going

Don’t just plan to “hang out” on a first date. Have a plan about where you are going, when you are going, and any other details that need to be covered to make for a great date. If you’ve read any of our other articles, you know that we say first dates are not about impressing the other person, but they’re about finding out if there is compatibility. That being said, you should still do your job of adequately planning the date if you’re the one making the plans.

Scout Out the Location

If you’re going somewhere on your first date that you’ve never been before, you’re going to want to scout out the location beforehand if you can. This doesn’t mean that you have to go have drinks at the bar or get coffee from the coffee shop, but at least drive by and peek in the window. Make sure that where you are going is what you want it to be. Imagine planning a date at what you think is a nice bar thanks to pictures online and showing up and it’s a garbage dump, crap-hole. Yea, not going to make for a great first date.

Have a Backup Plan

No matter how good your plan is for a first date, things can go the wrong direction. Maybe you show up, and the bar is closed? Maybe you show up, and your date’s ex is sitting at the coffee shop? There are a lot of different things that can happen where you’ll need to call an audible.

You don’t have to have an entire second first date set up, but you should at least have an idea of some other things you could do in the same area. For example, if you’re going for coffee, at least know about another coffee shop or restaurant that serves coffee in the area.

If you have to use your backup plan, it will impress your date to see that you even have one. And, if things don’t go quite smoothly with the second plan, they will be understanding as long as they aren’t a terrible person who you don’t want to be going out with anyways. Just make sure you at least have some sort of plan in case your first plan doesn’t work out. You don’t want to be standing there outside a bar staring at your phone trying to figure out something to do with this person you just met that you want to like you.

Have a Transition Plan

A transition plan on a first date is probably something you’ve never heard of before. It might sound like a backup plan, but it’s actually quite different. A transition plan on a first date is something you use when things are going well. You need to have a plan for something secondary that you can do if you both want to keep hanging out for longer but don’t want to stay at the first location.

This happens a lot. Let’s say you go out and grab dinner with someone for a first date. You get done with dinner, and it’s clear you both want to keep hanging out. You can’t really just sit at the restaurant for hours, so you need to have a plan of somewhere to transition.

Again, it doesn’t have to be a completely flushed out plan, but just something that you can have in your back pocket if things go well and you want to keep hanging out.

Have a Safety Plan

First dates don’t always go well. First dates can quickly turn into the last date with someone. Usually, this is just from some awkwardness, or because you both don’t click. But in rare instances, there are times that a first date can become unsafe. You need to make sure that you have a safety plan in place to get yourself out of there quickly if need be. You also need someone who is your check-in buddy as well. If you want more information on this or haven’t read it yet, check out our Online Dating Safety guide right now. Not to sound dramatic, but it could save your life.

Proper First Date Etiquette

So, we’ve got you dressed for success, and you’ve planned like a champion. All that is left now is to cover what you should and should not be doing on your first date. Below, you’ll find probably the most important tips for your first date that will help to guarantee you success.

Don’t Forget Your Manners

No matter who you are going out with and how they choose to act on a first date, you should be on your best behavior and bring your manners. This means chewing with your mouth closed, not talking with food in your mouth, putting your napkin in your lap if you’re eating, not swearing like a sailor, and anything else that you’ve ever been taught is polite to do. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, but it does take some effort. Just imagine that your mom or grandma is sitting at the table next to you and act accordingly. Also, please don’t actually bring your mom or grandma on the date; that would just be weird.

Have Some Conversation Topics In Mind

If you’re not the best at making conversation, it might help to have some topics in mind to talk about on your first date. You don’t need to have a full list of things, but at least a few questions or things you’re interested to get to know about your date will go a long way. If you’d like to learn more about keeping the conversation going on a date, check out our guide on how to prevent awkward silences on a first date.

Don’t Get Drunk

The whole purpose of a first date is to get to know the person you are going out with and for them to get to know you. If you’re drunk, you’ll have a hard time getting to know them, and they will be getting to know the drunk you. Additionally, it’s not a great look. No one wants to go out with the person that cant’ keep their alcohol under control on a first date.

But, what is more important than all of that is that getting drunk on a first date is unsafe. You are going out with someone that you don’t really know. Whether you are the guy or the girl, you are going to want to be in control of your surroundings on a first date in case things don’t go as plan. Hopefully, the person you go out with is awesome, but if they end up being a creeper or dangerous, you don’t want to be drunk and unable to do what is necessary to protect yourself.

Be On Time

Seriously, show up on time for your first date. The best practice is to plan on being 15 minutes early to your date. That way if something happens like traffic or car trouble on your way there, you aren’t going to be late. Being on time shows respect and that you value your date’s time. Showing up late sets a bad tone for the date from the second you show up. If you don’t want to be “playing from behind” then you need to be there on time.


Most people just want someone on a first date who is capable of listening to them. People get nervous and love to talk to fill the silence. Also, people love to talk about themselves, and will often talk someone’s ears off on a first date. Take a breath, take a break, and listen. Listen to what they have to say. Get to know them. Respond to what they actually say. Don’t just say the pre-programmed thoughts you have in your mind. You will be shocked at how much more success you have on first dates if you just take the time to listen to your date.

The Wrap Up

It may seem like a lot that you have to do on a first date, but most of it should be common sense. If you just put forth a little bit of effort, you’re going to be light years ahead of the rest of the world which means you’ll have a lot of success. If you’d like to read some more information on first dates, we do have some additional resources for you. First, we have our guide to meeting an online date for the first time. We’ve also got an entire section of the site that is dedicated to first date advice. These are both great resources to help you lose the nervousness and get prepared to have the best first date possible.

How Long Between First and Second Dates?

woman staring out the window

If you’re here, you probably just got back from an awesome first date. Congrats! Now, you’re curious how long you should wait to go on that second date? Before we get into that, we want to make sure that you know how to ask for the second date. Knowing when the second date should be is important, but it does you no good if you don’t know how to ask. Check out our How to Ask For a Second Date guide if you need some help there.

Let’s take a look now on how long is the right amount of time to wait between a first and second date.

woman staring out the window


There are no hard and fast rules about the time in between the first and second date.

People love to make rules about what you can and can’t do when dating. Here’s the good news. Most of those rules are garbage, antiquated (fancy word for outdated), and do you more harm than good. When it comes to how long you should wait between a first and second date, there are no hard and fast rules.

What you need to be looking at is what works best for you and the guy or gal that you went out with. If you had an incredible first date and it’s clear you both can’t wait to see each other again, then it’s okay to schedule things as soon as you both are free. If you’re both really busy, though, you might not be able to see each other that soon.

So, what we’re telling you is that there is no rule that you have to wait three days or anything silly like that. If you came here looking for a hard and fast rule, well, we aren’t going to disappoint. But, before we give you our “rule,” we want to make sure you realize that this is a rule that we give you full permission to break.

If you go out early in the week (like a Monday or Tuesday) and things go awesome, you can try and set something up for the upcoming weekend. If the only reason you went out early in the week was because they work weekends, try and set something up for the next Monday or Tuesday.

If you go out on the weekend and things go great, you probably want to look into scheduling something the following weekend. This is especially true if they work a conventional 9-5 Mon-Fri type job where they can’t really go out mid-week.

If they happen to be busy within the first week after your date, work to get a second date scheduled as quickly as possible after that. We’ll talk in the next section about what can happen if you do wait too long for that second date.

Why did we feel like it was important to point out that these are the rules for when things go amazingly? Well, if it’s just a “normal” first date (which is fine and still good), you might seem a little desperate or like you have nothing else going on in your life if you want to see them immediately. Don’t play games and act like you’re too busy for them, but pushing for a date in the next few days is probably a bad idea. Waiting at least 4 or 5 days is probably plenty to avoid any of these problems.


What happens if you wait too long between the first and second date?

While we’ve already made it clear that we don’t think there is such thing as asking for a date too fast (as long as the situation warrants it), there is such thing as waiting too long for the second date. Dating is all about momentum. When you meet someone new, and you get excited about getting to know each other, you need to build on that excitement.

The longer that you wait to have your second date, the less momentum that you are going to have working on your side. As time goes on without seeing each other, the chemistry you built is going to start to fade. Yes, it can still build again, but you’re going to be starting further back than you would if you had gone out for a second date sooner.

Sometimes it’s unavoidable that the second date will be a long time after the first due to schedules and life. When that happens, don’t let that discourage you from going out again. Just realize that it’s not the ideal plan.


How to Get a Quicker Second Date Without Feeling Awkward

Want to get a quicker second date but worried that you might seem desperate or awkward? Well, this is one thing that you can do to pull this off without having to worry about any of those issues. What you do is find some sort of scheduled event that is going on that you want to take them to. Make sure it is something that doesn’t happen every single week, though. It needs to seem like something that you can really only get to this week.

This allows you to invite them along to the event and basically use the timing of the event as your excuse. Here’s an example from a friend of ours that happened earlier this year.

Our friend went out with a girl on a Tuesday night for drinks, and they had an absolute blast. He wanted to go out with her again soon, but he was a little worried that if he asked to see her again that weekend, she might think that he was desperate or didn’t have much going on in his life. In reality, he just really liked the girl he went out with and wanted to spend some more time getting to know her soon.

So, what he did was look at what was going on in town that week. He found that the city was throwing a “First Friday” event where they have street vendors, music, a classic car show, and more at a local park. It’s a monthly free event, but something that would make for a great date.

Our friend reached out to the girl and said exactly this in a text. “Hey! I know it’s soon, but I was thinking about going to First Friday this weekend and wanted to see if you might want to join? Have you been before?”

Want to know how the story ends? She said yes, they went out, and got married two days later. Okay, part of that isn’t true. They didn’t get married (at least not yet), but they did go to First Friday together, and she didn’t think he was a weirdo for wanting to see her sooner. If she had said no, he was already “covered” because the only reason he was asking was because it was a special event that only happens once a month and happened to be that week.


The Wrap Up – The Time Between the First and Second Date

So, what’s the takeaway? A few things. First, there are no rules about how long you have to wait between the first and second date. If you want to meet up the next night, that’s okay. If you want to wait a week, that’s fine. But, if you start waiting more than about two weeks, you run the risk of killing all the momentum and chemistry that you built up on the first date.

The Complete List of First Date Mistakes You Have to Stop

couple on a bench

First dates! They’re either exciting for you or terrifying. Whatever they are, they’re an important step to potentially finding that special someone that you’re looking for. But, from our research and talking to a lot of singles, we’ve found that there are a lot of things people do wrong on first dates that are hindering them from getting to that second date.

In this guide, we’re going to explore the list of first date mistakes that you have to stop if you have any hopes of making it to a second date.

couple on a bench


The Purpose of a First Date is Not To Impress the Other Person

Before we go any further, we need to make sure that you properly understand the purpose of a first date. If you have the wrong understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish, you’re going to end up making more and more mistakes and end up disappointed. Let’s start with what the purpose of a first date is not


The purpose of a first date is NOT to impress the other person.

The purpose of a first date is NOT to try and have a good time.


Wait, what? Are first dates supposed to be terrible? No, that’s not what we’re saying. It’s okay to have fun on a first date, and it’s okay to try and have the other person have a good time. But, that’s not the main goal of a first date. The main and really only goal of a first date is to figure out if you and this new person are potentially at all romantically compatible. Your entire goal should be to figure out if you like this person enough to continue exploring a relationship.

If you go into the date just worried about having fun or impressing that person, you’re missing the point. Two people can have fun together but be terrible for each other romantically speaking. You can impress someone, but still be completely terrible for each other. In fact, when you try and impress someone on a first date and don’t focus on being who you are, you actually end up doing more harm than good. You put off a persona of someone that you’re not, and you don’t get any closer to figuring out if you two are a good fit for each other or not.

It’s okay to have fun, and it’s okay to put your best foot forward on a first date. But, your main goal should be figuring out compatibility and if it’s worth both of your time to see each other again.

Now that we’ve gotten that clear, let’s talk about the first date mistakes that you need to stop doing immediately.


Stop Putting Off the First Date

This is surprisingly one of the biggest mistakes you can make in regards to first dates – not going on them. Yes, first dates are awkward, and sometimes they are terrible. But, if you constantly live in the past or are too scared of the future, you’re never going to move forward in your dating life. This means that you’re never going to find that special someone that you’re looking for and you’ll be stuck spinning your wheels.

Stop putting off first dates. If you’re scared that the date might be terrible, that’s okay! A terrible first date is not a failure. When a first date goes bad, you can check off the list one more person that you’re not compatible with which puts you one step closer to finding the right guy or gal. Take time to get to know the people you meet online, but get to that first date in person sooner than later.


Don’t Overthink Things – You’ll Never be Right

Another reason that we’re big proponents of getting to that first date sooner is that we know how our minds work. The longer we have to wait to meet that person in person, the longer our brains and imaginations have to run wild. When our brains do this, they are almost never right about how that first date is actually going to be.

There are two directions our brains run. First, your brain could run towards the terrible side of things. You can come up with all the ways this date is going to be awful, and you can talk yourself out of going on a date with someone who probably isn’t nearly as bad as your mind wants you to believe they are.

Or, your brain can run to the fairytale side of things. They’ll take this person and make them into the most perfect and unrealistic human on the planet. In your mind, you’ll see them picking you up in a golden chariot and whisking you off into the night like Cinderella. When they show up in a Honda Civic, and there is no Disney magic, you’re disappointed. The problem is that this guy or girl might be incredible, but because your mind built up unrealistic expectations, you end up thinking they’re terrible.

Don’t overthink things when it comes to a first date. Just get on the date and be realistic about what you’re looking for. We aren’t saying to settle, but let things happen naturally, and you’ll be much happier.


Pick a Date That Allows You to Actually Talk to Each Other

As we’ve already mentioned, the purpose of a first date is to get to know each other and see if there is any compatibility. If you go on some date that doesn’t allow you to converse openly, then what is the point? It might sound like a good idea to go see a movie, but unless you want to be annoying to the other moviegoers, you’re not going to be talking to each other much.

And, that also means you won’t be figuring out any compatibility or not. Personally, we could sit next to the most terrible person on the planet and still enjoy a movie if it’s good.

Find a date that allows you to interact and get to know each other. Steer clear of performances like concerts, shows, comedy, and movies. Stick with things like coffee, drinks, mini-golf, or dinner. If you’re trying to avoid these things because they force you to have to interact, then you’re trying to defeat the entire purpose of a first date.


Pick a First Date Location that Allows You to Escape

Not only should you pick a first date location that allows you to converse, but you should also pick one that allows you to escape. No, we’re not talking about if your date is a psycho because in that scenario you can escape from anywhere. But, what we’re talking about is not committing hours of your time to someone who you don’t even know if you’re going to enjoy hanging out with.

For this reason, we’re big advocated of keeping it simple. Something like coffee or grabbing a drink is great because if you’re not compatible, you can duck out in 20 minutes or after the first drink and not feel rude. But, if you two are compatible and want to spend some more time together, you can hang out in a coffee shop forever or get another round of drinks or transition to dinner.

But, if you schedule something like a dinner date initially, you’re locking yourself in for at least an hour or longer with someone. If you realize in the first five minutes that they’re terrible or aren’t who you thought they were, you’re in for a long first date that is completely pointless. Additionally, you’re going to end up spending more money on the date knowing that it’s not going anywhere.

Keep things simple and focus on seeing if there is any chemistry. If there is, you can schedule a second and longer date or you can transition that first date into something longer. Coffee dates or drinks are the simplest and most efficient go-to first date ideas.


Don’t Talk About Yourself the Whole Time

Should you talk about yourself on a first date? Yes! The whole point of a first date is to get to know each other. But, should you talk about yourself the entire time on a first date? No! You have to find the healthy balance of talking about yourself enough, but also listening and learning about the person that you are on the date with.

Ask questions. Focus on really listening to what they have to say and actually try and get to know them. Don’t turn it into an interview or an inquisition, but ask thoughtful questions that show you’re listening.

When it comes to talking about yourself on a first date, it’s okay to do so. But, just make sure you’re not bragging, and you’re not talking about yourself constantly. Sometimes people will do this when they’re nervous just to fill the space and silence. Be okay with the silence and don’t turn into a motormouth only talking about yourself or what you do.


Don’t Get Too Drunk

PLEASE, please, please…whatever you do, don’t get too drunk on your first date. In fact, don’t get drunk at all on your first date. If you go out for drinks or dinner or to an event with alcohol, pace yourself. Even if your date is throwing them back like a champ, pace yourself. There will be plenty of times for partying and getting wild later, but remember what your goal with this first date is – to find out if there is compatibility.

If you both get drunk, you’re only going to see what your drunk-selves have in common. You won’t know how you’d be if you were both sober. Yes, drinks can relax people and get them to open up some on a first date which is completely fine, but set a line and don’t push past it.

If you’re the only one getting drunk, you can kiss your chances of a second date goodbye. If your date gets drunk and you’re not, you may want to evaluate whether you want to see that person again or if you even want to continue the date. Meeting a stranger is scary enough. Meeting a stranger who is drunk is just not something we’re a huge fan of.


The Wrap Up

First dates are supposed to be exciting. That butterfly feeling you get in your stomach is completely normal. But, you can’t forget that there is a purpose to a first date and if there is not, you are wasting your time. The whole purpose is to see if you and your newfound friend click or not. If you follow these tips, you’ll get way more out of your first dates and most likely see a lot more second dates if you’re struggling to make the cut.

The Guide to Grabbing Drinks on a First Date

a bar with drinks

The cliché award for first dates clearly goes to dinner and a movie. But, the cliché award for a first date that is actually a good idea goes to grabbing a drink (or drinks)! Grabbing drinks has become one of the most popular first dates in the entire world for so many reasons. If you’re going on a first date soon and planning on grabbing drinks, you’re probably wondering what you can do to ensure you have the most successful first date ever.

Well, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’re going to talk about the pros and cons of grabbing drinks as a first date to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Then, we’re going to load you up with some awesome tips about how to make your first date grabbing drinks a big hit. There are quite a few things that you can do, and things that you should not do that can make your date a success or a big flop.

a bar with drinks


Why This is a Great First Date Idea

Grabbing drinks for a first date is one of the simplest yet most effective first dates ever. Remember, the purpose of a first date is not to impress the person you are going out with. The purpose of a first date is to find out if the person you’re going out with and you are compatible and if it’s worth seeing each other again for a second date.

To accomplish this, you need to do something that allows you to talk (bye bye movie) and doesn’t leave you trapped in case it’s a bust (bye bye dinner). Additionally, having a drink or two can help to relax the nerves of a first date and help you two to calm down and open up a bit. You’re also going to have drinks in a very public place (a bar or lounge) which is great for safety. You have to remember that a first date is usually with someone you don’t know that well, so you want to cover your bases in case anything happens to go wrong.

Grabbing drinks as a first date is also cost-effective. We don’t know your financial situation, but chances are you don’t want to be pumping a ton of money into a date that might be a bust or a waste of your time. Doing something simple like this allows you to be the star, not the amount of money you spent or the extravagance of what you planned. If someone has a problem with such a simple date because it’s too simple, then they’re probably not someone you want to be seeing anyways.


When Grabbing Drinks is a Bad First Date

Now, we did just say that if someone doesn’t want to go grab drinks because it’s too simple that you probably don’t want to be going out with them. We wanted to make sure that we were clear here. That statement only applies if they are turning down the date because they want to do something more extravagant. There are actually a lot of instances where going out to the bar for drinks might not be the best idea for a first date.

First, if the person you’re talking to doesn’t drink, you’d be silly if you tried to take them to a bar. Do you just want them to sit there and drink a soda while you slam beers? That’s not the way to get that second date or to get to know each other (although it would say a lot about you to them).

Second, if they are a heavily religious person, you might want to try something different. We aren’t saying that there is anything wrong with being religious and going to a bar, but you want to make sure that you don’t give off the wrong impression to someone that you just met. The best thing you can do is ask them if they’d like to meet up for a drink or ______. Basically, suggest something else with it so they can easily take the other option if they aren’t in the mood to go to a bar.

Keep in mind as well that you can grab drinks at places other than places that are exclusively bars. Restaurants, hotels, and lounges are great places to grab a drink and sometimes can have a really cool and fun vibe.

For the most part, grabbing drinks is going to work for a first date as long as the person you’re going out with drinks, is okay with bars, and is of course of the legal drinking age.


Tips for a Great Drinks Date

Alright, so we’ve already gone over why or why not grabbing drinks on a first date is a good fit for you and your new boo. Now what we’d like to do is give you some tips to try and have the best first date possible. Yes, the goal is not to impress them but to get to know them, but that does not mean you can’t put your best foot forward and show them that you’re someone they want to be around.

Scout Out the Location First

You really should never take a first date to a bar or location that you haven’t at least seen in person before. You don’t have to have actually eaten or drank there, but you at least need to lay eyes on it and see what the atmosphere is like. If you’re taking out a classy person and you end up at a bar that is a complete dive, they are probably not going to be that happy. Or, if you are looking forward to good conversation but the bar has blaring music at night where you have to shout, it’s probably not a good fit.

Take a little time and scout out the location before you pick it for a first date. You should also check their website just to make sure they don’t have anything wild and crazy scheduled for the night that you want to propose for a date. It would be awkward to head to a bar for a first date only to find out the bar is taken over by speed daters or a massive office party or something like that.

Avoid Using Your Stomping Grounds

While you should take your date for drinks somewhere that you’ve scouted out before, do not take them to a place that you’re a regular at or frequent. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. First, if things don’t work out, but your date loves the place, you now are going to have to see them regularly or have to move yourself to a new location. This is not ideal.

Second, you might be shooting yourself in the foot if there is someone else that frequents that bar that is interested in you. Maybe they’re working up the courage to talk to you one day and then they see you in there with a date. Do you think they’re going to worry about coming and talking to you now? Probably not.

Lastly, you run the risk of running into people that you just don’t want to on a first date. Your friends may be awesome people, but do you really want them all around watching you while you’re on a first date? Or, what happens if an ex-girlfriend or boyfriends frequents the establishment? That’s not a recipe for a great first date.

There are so many awesome places in every city where you can grab drinks for a first date. You can choose somewhere that you’ve been to before, but don’t choose somewhere you frequent.

Don’t Drink Too Much

You had to expect this tip was coming. Whatever you do, don’t drink too much on your first date. It’s okay to have a couple drinks and enjoy yourself, but you cannot let yourself get drunk. Well keep this short, but here’s why. First, it puts you at a safety risk. You’re literally going out with someone you’ve never met before or hardly know. Do you really want to be out of it while you’re with them?

Second, you have no idea how your date is going to react to it. It can be a pretty huge turnoff to someone if their date gets drunk. After you’ve been dating for a while and you know where they stand on things, then you can probably let loose a lot more. But, a first date is not the place to go buck wild and show off how much you can drink.

Lastly, it really doesn’t do much for helping you to get to know each other. People act significantly different when they’re drunk, so you’d really only be introducing your date to the drunk you. Also, you aren’t going to be in much of a state to get to know them or remember what you learned. Basically, you might have fun, but it’s going to be a pretty unsuccessful first date as the goal is to get to know each other.

Have a Plan to Transition

Something magical happens every now and then on a first date. You realize that you’re spending time with someone awesome and you want to spend more time together. You both have nothing to do, and you can tell that no one wants to go home yet. The problem with getting drinks for a first date is that you really don’t want to just sit in the bar for hours getting hammered.

So, you need to have a transition plan in place. Have something else in mind that you can do to extend the date that does not involve sitting there and continuing to drink. One of the easiest things you can suggest is grabbing dinner. You could stay where you are at and get food or transition somewhere close by to continue the date. If you do transition somewhere, please be smart about drinking and driving. Uber and Lyft are your friends.

You can also strategically plan your date around somewhere with something to do close by. For example, if there is a place to grab drinks close to a putt-putt golf place or a bowling alley or even somewhere just to walk around, that’s a great idea. You don’t have to transition your date, but it’s nice to have the option available if things go well. Do also keep in mind that if your date doesn’t want to transition, it doesn’t mean that things are going badly. They might have to be up early the next day or have something to do.

Have an Exit Strategy

What’s more important than having a transition plan when you’re grabbing drinks on a first date is having a plan to exit the date if things just aren’t that great. One of the best parts about grabbing drinks as a date is that you are not locked into anything. If you’re at a restaurant eating dinner or at a movie, you’re somewhat socially locked into staying there for the duration of the event. Yes, you can always get up and scram whenever you want, but if you want to be polite, you’re probably going to be there for a while.

When you’re grabbing drinks, you already have the best exit strategy. Have one drink, and when you’re done with your cocktail, you can say your goodbyes and move along. There is always this point after the first round on a date where both parties try to decide if they want to get another round or if that is it for the date. This is the inflection point where you can make your exit if it’s just not working out. But, if it’s going well, you can always grab another round and continue the conversation!

How to Treat a Woman on a First Date

man and woman on date holding hands

First off, congrats on the first date! If you’re like most people, your mind probably went from nervousness when asking, to excitement when they said yes, and back to nervousness when you realized you actually have to go on the first date. Good news, friend. We’re here to take away that nervousness by showing you exactly how to treat a woman on a first date.

In the coming sections, we’ll show you what you shouldn’t do on first dates and what you should do mentally, logistically, in preparation, and on the actual date. This is the ultimate guide on how to treat a woman on a first date that will hopefully help you to get that second date you’re looking for. Let’s get into the tips!

man and woman on date holding hands


Don’t Put Her On a Pedestal

Wait, what? The first tip in this guide is not something about respect or opening doors? Yup. One of the biggest mistakes that men make on a first date is putting the girl up on a pedestal. You see, the first mistake that men make happens before you even step foot out the door.

A lot of men, especially those nervous about first dates, have a tendency to view the women they are dating as better than them. They have a tendency to see every woman, especially physically attractive ones, as someone worth worshiping. In other words, they put them up on a pedestal so they can bow down to them.

This is the absolute worst thing you can do. No, you shouldn’t view the women you date as lower than you. You should view them as equals. Realize that while they are special, you are special too. If you can get this concept into your mind, a lot of the nerves are going to go away about the date.

Think of it like this work example. How nervous are you when you go have a meeting with a coworker? Probably not that nervous. How nervous are you when you have to go have a meeting with your boss or your bosses boss? Probably pretty nervous. In that situation, it makes sense, though. Your boss has power over you and has the ability to take your job away from you.

Does the woman you’re going on a first date with have this power over you? Can she take things away from you? No! She is more like your coworkers in this example. If you can stop viewing her as this all-powerful being that is way better than you, then you’re going to be a lot less nervous for your first date, and you’re going to have a much better time. A lot of this starts with confidence and realizing that she is just as lucky to be going out with you as you are to be going out with her.


Her Eyes Are Located on Her Face

We hope that the woman you are going out with on your first date is attractive. Actually, we hope she is smoking hot! That being said, you need to have some decency when you’re checking her out on your date. Yes, we are all men, and we like to look especially when it’s someone that we might be sexually active with some time in the future. It’s also quite possible that the woman you go out with is going to be wearing something revealing or sexy that might make the temptation to let your eyes wander that much greater.

Here’s the tip. Resist the temptation. Try your best to keep eye contact with her and not with her chest. She knows you want to look. She probably wore that outfit hoping you’d look. But, you are going to have a lot more success if you can be the gentleman and keep your eyes focused on her and not on her body.

Sure, it’s fine to sneak a peek, but she’s going to love the fact that you seem more focused on getting to know her and not just her body.


Common Courtesies Are a Must

If you’re someone who gets offended by chivalry, then you should probably go ahead and ignore this entire next section. Yes, there are a lot of people who think it is sexist to treat a woman with certain types of respect and courtesy. While those people are entitled to their opinion, so are we and we still believe in some old-school dating themes.

Here are the common courtesies that we feel you must do on a first date with a woman.

Be On Time

Do not be late for your first date. We repeat, do not be late. In fact, you should aim to be at least 15 minutes early at the absolute latest. If you’re going out with any woman of substance, she is going to expect you to be on time and if and when you are not, it’s going to set a terrible tone for the entire date.

Think of it this way. The first promise you made to her was that you would show up at a certain place at a certain time for your date. If you don’t fulfill that, she’s immediately going to start questioning if you are trustworthy and if you have it together. Yes, we know it might not seem like that big of a deal to you, but you’re not the one that decides if you get a second date or not. She decides, and we can tell you that punctuality is important to most women (strangely, even if they struggle with being on time).

Aim to be at the date location at least 15 minutes early, and you won’t have any problems.

Open the Door For Her

If you meet her outside of a coffee shop or bar or restaurant or wherever, make sure you open the door for her. You’d be shocked at how much women love this and how many brownie points it will get you right off the bat. If you are picking her up on the first date (we’ll address if you should or not in a later tip), make sure you get her car door for her as well.

It’s important to note that this first date tip is not just for the first door of the night. You should be opening every door for her. In fact, this really should be something that you do every single date for the rest of time, but we’re going to start with small goals first and focus on the first date.

Let Her Order First

Whether you’re getting coffee, drinks, or a whole meal of food (Old School reference), you should let her order first. Do not order for her. While that used to be a thing, it just doesn’t fly in today’s society. Let her order for herself, but let her order first. The best way to encourage this is when the waiter/waitress or bartender or barista comes over and asks for your order, turn to her and point at her with your hand open and palm faced up (like a little kid sticking out their hand for a piece of candy). It’s the international “your turn” symbol according to us.

Don’t Cuss Up a Storm

We do not care if she curses like a sailor. We do not care what story you’re telling or how “necessary” it is that you cuss. Do not cuss at all on a first date. You have no idea how she is going to react to it, and you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot before you even get started. She might be someone that is totally okay with cursing, but she is still going to frown on it on your first date.

The bottom line here is that you need to be a gentleman on a first date with a woman. We would say treat her like you would your mother, but that probably sounds a little weird and bordering on an Oedipus-complex. But, treat your date in a way that your mother would be proud of if she was there watching. That’s a better way to say what we mean.


Respect Her Time and Personal Space

If you’re dating a quality woman, then her free time is going to be valuable to her. The fact that she decided to give some of it up to come meet you for coffee or drinks on a first date should say a lot to you. You need to be prepared to respect that time. This is again why we say it’s so important for you to show up on time.

This also means focusing on her while you’re on the date. Put your cell phone away, don’t watch the game on the TV at the bar or coffee shop, and don’t have conversations with other people. She should be your sole focus while you are on the date.

Additionally, when she says she has to leave, respect that. Don’t try and shame her into staying out for one more drink or hanging out just a little bit longer. If she needs to get home to take care of a responsibility of hers like her kids or getting to work on time in the morning, you don’t want to seem against that. If you keep her from fulfilling her responsibilities the first time that you meet, she’s probably not going to want to see you again because she’ll assume adverse effects on the rest of her life

You also need to be prepared to respect her personal space. Remember, you are most likely still a stranger to her. Even if you know each other, this is the first time you’re going out in a romantic context so that is going to be new to her. We’re not saying that you can’t have physical contact, but you need to make sure that you do not overstep your boundaries.

How much is too much? There really isn’t a hard and fast rule here. What we recommend is erring on the side of less for the first date. We also recommend moving slowly with the physical contact and reading her body language. If you touch her back when walking through a door and she pulls away or looks uncomfortable, don’t push it any further. You have got to be socially aware of how she is feeling when you make physical contact on a first date and react accordingly.

Above anything else, you have to be respectful of her. She is not going to get upset if you made no physical contact with her on a first date. She could get upset, though, if you tried to make too much physical contact. Don’t get labeled a creep who’s not getting a second date.


To Pick Her Up or Not to Pick Her Up

A big question we hear a lot is whether or not you should pick your date up on a first date. Unless it is logistically necessary, we would recommend that you don’t pick them up and that you just meet at the location of the first date. This allows them (and you) an easy way to escape if the date is terrible. Remember, we’re not putting the woman on a pedestal, so you have the same rights to call off the date quickly if you’re not feeling it.

If you’d like to read more about this topic, check out our post on Should You Let Someone Pick You Up On the First Date? We go into this in a lot more detail and look at the pros and cons of both sides. Bonus spoiler, that article was written by a woman, so you’re getting some free insight from “the other side.”


Some Additional First Date Resources

That covers most of what you need to know on how to treat a woman on a first date. Just be yourself, be a gentleman, and focus on getting to know her better. The point of a first date is not to impress the other person, it’s to find out if there is compatibility and if it is worth meeting up again for a second date.

Before we send you out the door, we want to give you a few great resources if you’re still looking for more information on how to treat a lady on a first date. First, we have our complete guide on meeting an online date for the first time. It takes what we’ve learned here to another level of detail. Second, we have our What Not to Do On a First Date guide which focuses on the things you should NOT be doing on a first date. Both of these are fantastic reads and a great next step to help you get ready for your big date.

When should you follow up after a first date?

Vulnerability is a tough place for some of us to be in, and no one likes to feel rejected. When to communicate and follow up with someone following that first, second, and even third date should not be rocket science.

Men and women operate differently. We think differently about nearly everything. Men are more apt to play it cool and hang back and not seem to eager. While women sometimes want to send their online dating cutie a quick text immediately after the date ends to let them know how much fun they had. Are there rules about when you should follow up with someone following your date? Read on to find out more.


Should You Make the First Move?

It really doesn’t matter who makes the first move, it only matters that someone moves. Don’t play games and wait until the other person sends you a text message or calls you to see where their interests lie. The rule of thumb is simply this, if you feel like reaching out to them, then you should.

There are no unspoken rules here. You don’t need to wait a certain number of days before you can follow-up after a date. If you want to send them a text the next morning, then just do it. If you want to send them a quick message to let them know you got home safely after their date, and you had a great time, then go for it. Whatever you feel is right, then go with that. You can make the first move.


Is It Okay to Send Emojis?

Emojis are a fun way to get your flirt on with a new crush. Send them a smiley face or a wink here and there, but remember just like chocolate, you should use emojis sparingly. Don’t end every single sentence with an emoji… that’s weird.

Be sure to use emojis that makes sense, meaning don’t use emojis in place of words. This dating relationship is very new, and this person doesn’t know you very well yet. They may not know what you mean if you replace every few words with an emoji. No one should ever have to really think about what you are trying to say. They shouldn’t have to learn how to decipher your emoji code like Tom Hanks in that Davinci Code movie. Not cool.


Is There a Timeframe?

If you are online dating according to some rule book, or status que created by your group of friends, then throw everything you know out the window. There is no time frame of when you should respond to someone following your date. You want this person to know you are interested in them, you had a great time, and you are excited to see them again.

You don’t want to be too needy or clingy, so don’t send a ton of one liner text messages, or book long text messages about how you see yourself marrying this person. When those crazy thoughts start creeping into your mind (hopefully they don’t), remind yourself of how you would feel if someone sent that message to you after only the first date.

It is completely acceptable to let someone know you had a great time, but remember you aren’t trying to bare your soul to them early in the dating process. You are simply trying to see if they are compatible with you.

If you tend to scare people away with too much too soon, then we would suggest getting a note book to write out all your thoughts, so you can let it out in a healthy way. You can also create a note (to yourself) in your phone to chat about how wonderful your first date was with your new boo. There’s always dishing to your closest friends as well, but remember, don’t kiss and tell. 😉


The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t play games with people by not communicating or waiting out a certain amount of time before you reply to them. You should be clear in what you want to tell them, and not confuse them with tons of emojis.

If you feel like reaching out to them, then just do it, it doesn’t matter who reaches out first. You wouldn’t want a great catch to swim away because you were too concerned with timeframes and trying to look too cool for school.

Meeting an Online Date for the First Time

two people on a first date

Taking your relationship from the interwebs to real life can seem a bit stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. You have gotten your online dating match to agree to go on a first date with you, nice job! Now, you need to get ready to meet with your crush in person. The hardest part has already been taken care of, finding someone you’re interested in to go out on a date with.

First dates can be so exciting, and also a bit nerve racking because you want so badly for it to go well. You can find confidence in knowing they obviously already like you (that’s why they agreed to go out in the first place). Read on to find out how to have a successful first date when meeting up with your new love interest for the very first time.

two people on a first date


A Different Kind of Pre-Gaming

There are a few things you need to plan in advance before ever even meeting up for the first date. Nothing too crazy, or time consuming, but important details to take into consideration if you want to make a great first impression. You want to put your best foot forward so your online dating match knows you tried, no matter how big or small the effort.

Safety First

Perhaps one of the most important steps to meeting your online dating match for the first time is to keep safety in mind. You only have the information this person has presented to you in their dating profile and through messages and chatting over the phone if you have gotten to that step in the process. Safety should always be on the forefront of your mind when meeting a stranger for the first time.

Make sure you are meeting in a public place where there will be plenty of people to see you. Share with family and friends where you will be, and who you are meeting with as well as any identifying information you have about this person. Perhaps this seems like a lot of work (or even uncomfortable), but in a world where human trafficking and crime is a reality, you can never be too careful.

Smart phones have the capability of sharing your location with others, so they are able to track your GPS location in real time. Be sure to keep the battery on your phone fully charged, and share your location with your bestie from your iPhone or Google phone prior to meeting with this stranger for the first time. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

If you want to learn more about safety, make sure you check out our online dating safety guide with everything you need to know.

Make It Memorable and Simple

When planning the first date you want to make it memorable and not generic. Dinner and a movie is not ideal for a first date because you do not have enough opportunities to connect with your new crush. You want to create opportunities to chat and connect with the other person, not to sit quietly through a movie.

Think about what makes the other person tick and try to incorporate that as best you can. Do you share a common interest such as enjoying hiking, or volunteering at the nearby animal shelter on the weekends? Maybe incorporate something like that into your first date. A trip to the arcade or enjoying an interactive meal such as Korean BBQ are also great ideas. Anything that requires teamwork is a great first date idea too.

This Table is Reserved

Nothing is worse than awkwardly standing around waiting for a table when meeting an online date for the first time. Do yourself a favor and call the restaurant in advance and see if they take reservations, and if so definitely make one. Your date will be impressed that you planned ahead in this way.

Some restaurants can have long wait times, especially if they are the newest neighborhood hot spot, and you don’t want to use up all of your first date questions before you ever sit down at the table to eat. Making a reservation in advance will save you the uncomfortableness of standing around with this new person trying to figure out what to do with your hands and what to say.

If you can’t make a reservation and you know there will be a wait before you and your online date can sit, then perhaps choose a place that provides fun activities such as checkers or board games. Even card games such a go fish are a fun way to make the time go when waiting for a table and you aren’t using up your best first date questions in the first five minutes of the date.

Grooming is Key

You get this one time to make a good first impression, and you don’t want to show up looking like a scraggly wild wolf. Grooming is so important and shows your online dating match that you care about the “face” you put forward. No one wants to date the sloppy looking guy or girl.

Remember to think about the grooming details such as cleaning your ears, trimming your nails, and shining up your shoes. Guys get a fresh haircut and trim your facial hair (if you have it) so you don’t look like a timber wolf. Ladies, unibrows and mustaches are not attractive so remember to wax these off a day or two prior to your first date if you haven’t had them permanently removed via the help of lasers.

The physical appearance is not everything, but we are such visual creatures that you want to make sure you put your absolute best face and foot forward. You don’t need to get too crazy with the grooming (or makeup ladies), keep it simple and as close to your normal look as possible. Whatever grooming you do, it needs to be at a level you can easily maintain throughout the life of a relationship. Don’t catfish someone with excessive grooming if that is not how you would normally carry yourself.

Nice Wheels

In addition to grooming yourself, remember to groom your car. Don’t expect to pick someone up on the first date, but should they see you walking to your car for some reason or insist on walking you to your car at the end of the date, you want your ride to sparkle. Make sure to straighten things up not only on the outside of your vehicle, but on the inside too.

If the inside of your car smells like a bag of dirty gym clothes then take care of the stench, as this could knock someone out when you open up the car door. You wouldn’t want to have a great date to have the appearance (or smell) of your car end up being a deal breaker. Remember everything about you, including your ride, leaves a lasting first impression when meeting an online date for the first time. You don’t have to have the newest most expensive car, but you should take pride in what you have.

Plan Your Outfit (and Stick With it)

This step of planning your outfit in advance is perhaps more for the ladies than for the guys. Planning out your outfit beforehand can save you a lot of time on the date of the main event. Don’t second guess your outfit and change a thousand times, go with your gut and stick to your first pick. Often times you will end up right back at your first choice anyways even if you changed ten times in the process.

If you know you are one to change your mind a lot, then a couple of days before the date figure out your outfit. Layout of hang-up your outfit where you will see it several times before the first date and your mind knows this aspect of the date is already set. When you train your brain to not worry about this sort of thing or limit your options to only a couple of items, you will spare yourself the back and forth worry on the day of.



Game Time – Meeting Your Date In Person

You have everything ready to go, nice threads, pearly whites, and a cleaned-up ride, now what? You need to get ready for phase two of meeting your online date for the first time, game time. Unfortunately, there isn’t a dress rehearsal for a first date, but there are some easy ways to prepare yourself to handle it better than most.

Bring the Dough

Not everyone is comfortable carrying around cash with them, however we encourage it for a first date, especially if you are going somewhere that may not take plastic (credit or debit cards). Maybe you are going to a food truck festival on your first date, or a carnival, these are examples of places that may only take cash. Some parking lots and structures are cash only, so be prepared for this by packing some dough in your wallet the day before.

Another perk of carrying money is that you are mentally planning to pay for all or part of the date, the budget has been set and you won’t overspend. First dates shouldn’t be too elaborate, so you don’t need to carry too much money on you. Read more about who should pay the bill when meeting an online date for the first time.

Show Up Early

Nothing worse than showing up late for a first date… especially if you were the orchestrator and invited the other person out. Planning things in advance such as having cash on you and making a reservation are great steps to take in order to have a successful first date, except if you show up late. Remember those first impressions only come around once, so showing up late won’t work in your favor.

If showing up on time is not you forte, then take steps to fight back against your brains pre-programming of always showing up late. Use the calendar app in your smart phone and schedule your date as though it is an appointment on your calendar. Add the location of where you will be meeting and set the travel time based upon whether you are walking or driving to the location. Setup reminders to go off 5, 10, or even 30 minutes before your travel time.

Taking steps to plan accordingly will help you to arrive early enough to be standing there smiling as your online date walks toward you for the very first time. Also consider the extra time it may take to find a bike rack to lock up your bike, or parking space for your ride, and plan this into your travel time. The meetup location may be 20 minutes from your place, but it may take you an additional 12 minutes to secure parking.

Don’t Overthink (Everything)

This is really something to keep in mind not only when meeting up in person with your online date for the first time, but also before meeting up. Don’t send them 10,000 texts about where you’re meeting up, and don’t overthink what you’re going to talk about. They already like you… that’s why they agreed to a first date, so you can take it easy and relax, no need to think into it too much.

Be a Gracious Attendee

Whether you organized the date or are just attending something that was planned for you, remember to be gracious to the other person. Don’t complain if your chicken dinner was really dry or the waiter was not the best. Carry a thankful attitude, and let your online date know you are just happy to be spending time with them.

Remember to use your P’s and T’s (please and thank you), when meeting your online date for the first time. Manners are not overrated and are sincerely appreciated when used graciously with someone whom you’ve just met for the first time. Be sure to thank your date for planning the evening if all you had to do is show up, because planning a first date with a stranger puts a lot of pressure on the other person and can be stressful. All they want to do is make you happy, and make sure you have a great time, so remember that and be grateful.

Remember to Listen

When we have a conversation with someone we don’t know, or are getting to know, we tend to be more concerned with what we are going to say next in order to keep the conversation going. This can make you feel unnecessary anxiety or social anxiety as most people know it as. You need to slow your brain down, so you can focus on the other person.

A great way to listen to the other person is to slow your breathing and literally bite on your tongue. Sounds crazy but it works extremely well. Biting on your tongue forces you to use other senses, such as your ears. Hang onto the words the other person is saying by repeating them as they say them in your mind (not out loud). This will allow you to have a sincerer conversation where you are engaging with them, versus reacting to them.

When you listen and engage with someone, versus being concerned with what you are going to say next, you can have better connectedness with that person. Meeting your online date for the first time is all about building a connection, and the connection will be built through conversation first. Make sure a majority of what you talk about is the other person and their interests, because a majority of what they talk about will be about you. This creates a nice balance when getting to know each other in person.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should never talk over someone else or interject while they are speaking. Talking over others and cutting them off while they are speaking is extremely rude and will pretty much guarantee you won’t be getting a second date. You may not even make it through the first date without them getting an emergency text about how they forgot to feed their cat.

Ask Better Questions

This is an area our readers are always asking us about, what questions should they ask on a first date? It is important to remember that first dates are not job interviews. Your goal is not to grill the other person to a point where they are exhausted at the end of the date. If your are asking them to describe where they see themselves in 5 to 10 years, then you are missing the point of a first date.

You want to hit all the basics during your conversation: family, occupation and recreation, although you should pick one area to really zero in on. We suggest a focus on family since this is an area a lot of people place a lot of value on and the easiest area to start building a strong connection from the very first date. It’s great insight to talk about one’s upbringing with them, it tells you how close they are with their fam bam, how they were raised, etc.

When you ask questions, start from the basic open-ended question such as: “Where are you from?” Then move onto deeper questions to gain more insight, and to appear really interested in getting to know them better. Eventually you will move into questions such as: “What is your most favorite family memory as a child?” “Why does that memory stick out to you so much?” “What is the coolest thing about the town you grew up in?”

Asking better questions is all about diving deeper into what the person has told you. This will require you to actually listen to what they are saying, so remember to do that part. There is no such thing as a silly question so ask away but do it in a natural (not forced) sort of way.

Don’t Be a Negative Nancy

People will always remember 100 percent of the negative things that happen to them, and only 10 percent of the positive things. These are not good odds, but they are realistic. Be mindful of your attitude. Sometimes we just have bad days and are in “a mood,” from the moment we get out of bed. Be mindful of where you’re at and do whatever you need to do to snap yourself out of a bad mood… especially if it falls on the first date.


Post-Game Plans

When planning the first date festivities with your online date, plan something fun and unique, and also not too time consuming like a multi-course plated dinner. If you stick to a 60-90-minute date and realize 5 minutes into it that you are not feeling this person, at least you know how long you have until you’re free from ever having to see them again. After 60-90 minutes you should have a pretty good idea if you’re truly interested in them or not.

Be sure to have a plan for after the first 60-90 minutes of the game (a.k.a. date). We refer to this as post-game plans. Perhaps it’s a walk around the downtown area while sipping on hot cocoas, or a stroll through the farmer’s market. Whatever the plan is, have something ready to go on the back burner if you end up realizing you would like to spend more time with this person.


The Bottomline

When it comes to meeting an online date for the first time you can have a great first date if you prepare. The whole point of having a first date is to see if you have enough compatibility and chemistry for a second date. Be sure to let your online dating match know if you had a great time and if you want to see them again. And remember to relax, breathe, and enjoy yourself!