Are you going on a first date soon, and want to make sure it goes well?
If you asked most people for first date tips, they’d probably tell you the same thing: “Be yourself.”
But if you’ve been on a few first dates with women before, then you probably know “being yourself” doesn’t always work.
In fact, I’m sure you remember certain times you messed up a date. You might have said something stupid or did something that turned her off. All by “being yourself.”
So how do you really make sure your first date goes well -- enough to make her look forward to a second date with you, then a third, then a fourth, and so on?
This article is the last article you’ll ever need. So pay close attention, take notes, and get ready to start making women like you on the first date.
Use the table of contents below to skip to the sections you want to read.
So first things first. Let’s start with:
Nod your head if the following story sounds familiar to you…
You asked a woman you just met to hang out with you, and she said “yes.” You were ecstatic -- and you were determined to make sure the date would go well.
So you went ahead and:
You thought the first date went well. You thought there was definitely some chemistry.
She seemed interested, smiling and flirting the whole time. She laughed at your jokes and you two expressed similar interests.
After the date ended, you hinted about going on a second date, and she seemed to like the idea. You went home feeling like you were in love.
You were smitten. You couldn’t stop thinking about her.
After the date you texted her to tell her you had a good time, and you suggested maybe doing it again sometime soon.
So a few days later, you texted her to see if she’d like to meet up again tonight.
You texted again, asking if she got your message. Still no answer. In fact, you don’t hear a peep from her all day.
That night, you went to bed and wondered what happened.
Maybe she just got busy? Maybe her mom got into a car accident or something? Maybe she was hopping into the shower right as she saw your message and she dropped her phone in the toilet?
Whatever it was, you never found out. You never heard from her ever again.
Did something like this ever happen to you?
If so, then I have some good news and bad news for you…
The good news is that it doesn’t mean you’re a loser. Even the smoothest, most successful men out there go on first dates that never lead to a second one.
In fact, most first dates never lead to second ones. So if yours didn’t, it’s probably not your fault.
What’s the bad news?
The bad news is that if you “don’t know what went wrong,” then you’ll probably keep having first dates that never lead to second ones.
Meaning, you may be making some mistakes -- or believing the wrong things about dating -- that’s sabotaging your chances at getting second dates with women.
So let’s fix all of that in this article. And it all starts with one thing: Planning.
Right now, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way...
There are basically two ways to plan a first date wrongly. They are:
Let’s take a look at each one in turn.
Some people think that the best first dates are the ones that are “unplanned,” where you meet somewhere, “just hang out,” and let things unfold as they will.
Unfortunately, as the wise old saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” And that’s definitely true for first dates.
Because if you want your first date to lead to a second one, then your first date must leave a good impression on her -- enough to make her think, “Wow, I want to do this again.”
But when you don’t have a plan, then you’re leaving everything up to chance. And as you already know, most first dates don’t lead to second ones.
So if you leave things to chance, your odds won’t be very good.
Make no mistake -- you need to plan.
And speaking of planning, here’s the second mistake:
Some people would advise you to treat a woman to a fancy dinner on the first date.
Others might suggest watching a movie with her.
Still others would suggest you take her to a bar or club instead.
Unfortunately, these are all actually bad first date ideas for the following reasons:
To be clear -- when it comes to first dates, anything expensive, or involves you doing nothing, or can get you drunk is a bad idea.
See what I mean?
Now that we’ve established how not to plan for a first date, let’s take a look at the “beBecause if you want your first dst practices” side of the coin.
And that should give you a good enough idea of what a good first date would be like. A good first date would be inexpensive, involves an activity, and doesn’t involve alcohol.
With those elements, you stand a pretty good chance of leaving a good impression on your date, making her want to see you again sometime.
Here are some activities that have most, or all, of the elements of a good first date.
You might be worried that if you don’t spend a lot of money on your crush you’re never going to get past the first date. Don’t worry too much.
There’s a reason why girls go for aspiring musicians and starving artists. Even though they don’t have any money, women can smell their passion, and that’s so much more important than the numbers on your bank statement.
Focus on being passionate and fun, and the rest will fall into place (and she might just fall into your lap).
According to a survey performed by a popular wealth management service called Personal Capital, 78% of Millennials say that “finding love” ranks higher on their list of priorities than “making money.”
What does that mean?
Women aren’t all gold-diggers looking to use you for an expensive dinner. Use the first date to get to know her, not blow this month’s salary trying to impress her.
With that said, what are some cheap first date ideas?
Hmm. Lots of good ideas up there. How do you pick just one for the first date?
That’s going to depend on what she likes, right?
For instance, if during your conversation with her she tells you she likes volunteering, and it turns out you volunteer for a soup kitchen on the weekends, tell her: “Wow, interesting. I serve at the local soup kitchen. Is your weekend free? I’ll show you around.”
Or if you learned you’re both artistic people, you can tell her: “Have you seen the new displays at the museum? No? We should totally go. How’s your schedule this week?”
See how it goes?
But you can’t do that if you don’t know a bad first date idea from a good one. You now know, so you can now plan dates correctly from the get-go.
Those are our first date tips for planning. Now let’s move on to the next area to master.
Almost nothing is more important than a first impression.
Social psychologist Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson calls this “the primacy effect,” and it’s very, very important when it comes to dating -- and life. The first impression is the lens through which everything else about you is perceived.
For instance, consider a math test given to two students, Timmy and John. For our (slightly modified) example, assume they’re both taking a twenty-question test. In the first half, Timmy scores eight out of 10, and John only scores four out of 10.
If you were grading their tests, at this point you would think to yourself, “Timmy is smart -- much smarter than John,” (or at least a better math student).
But then, after the next period, when they take the second half of the test, Timmy only scores one out of ten, while John scores a fairly-impressive nine out of ten. The final scores, then, are nine out of 20 for Timmy and 13 out of 20 for John.
If people were perfectly logical, they would conclude (rightfully) that Timmy is the worse student, that their first impressions weren’t accurate.
But that’s not what happens. Not at all.
Instead, because Timmy made a better first impression, he’s given more leeway. Your brain has already made up your mind about Timmy’s math ability: He’s the smarter student.
It’s not fair, but it’s also the reason why tall, attractive, and masculine men get more leeway with women. If you walked into the bar (or restaurant or class or wherever) looking like a guy she wants to date instead of just another average Joe, she’s going to forgive your awkward jokes and social tics.
So, put simply: If you want to raise your chances of making her like you, then put some effort into making a good first impression.
So, put simply: If you want to raise your chances of making her like you, then put some effort into making a good first impression.
Here are a few good ways to do just that:
Apart from these first date tips, there’s not much else you can do to increase your chances of making a good first impression. But they’re more than enough.
Now let’s move on to the third area you’ll need to master: Actually giving her a good time.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve gone on some first dates that have been real duds.
Sometimes that’s natural; you two just didn’t click like you thought you would.
But other times, it has nothing to do with the person and everything to do with the date itself.
Here are some first date tips that could help:
Touching her is important for many reasons:
Pick an activity that has you both on your feet. Unlike sitting across from her at a diner, this gives you plenty of opportunities to touch her, which is one of the most important aspects of physical attraction. You can grab her hand while you’re walking in the park or put your hand on her waist as you stroll through a flea market.
But what if she doesn’t like being touched?
If she tenses up or moves away when you put your hand on her shoulder, that means one of two things:
Either way, stop touching her. Respect her personal space. Later on, she might lighten up and let you touch her again.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, if this is a girl you’re really interested in, you might feel the “first date jitters.” That’s normal.
Even better -- the jitters are easy to fix. Physical activity releases endorphins that act as natural painkillers, which get rid of the jitters fast.
That’s another reason to pick an activity that gets you moving.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, studies show that physical activity is a great way to reduce stress, and first-date jitters are nothing more than acute, temporary stress. That means that, by making sure you’re both on your feet, you hit three birds with one stone:
Picture this: You showed up early to your economics lecture. While waiting for the class to start, a pretty brunette girl walks in, briefly locks eyes with you, then -- lo and behold -- sits down right next to you.
How would you react?
If you’re like most guys, you’d probably freeze.
Even though you received a clear indicator of interest -- even though your whole body is screaming at you to talk to this girl -- you pull out your phone and pretend you suddenly received an important text, and then you start scrolling through Instagram instead.
You don’t want that same feeling on your first date. After asking about her day, you don’t want to sit there, letting the anxious silence build, giving her time to wonder why she ever agreed to go out with you in the first place.
You must know how to carry a good conversation.
But first, let’s start with the obvious: Avoid sensitive topics like politics and religion. The first date is not the time to ask about what she thinks about a top marginal tax rate, or America’s participation in the United Nations. You want to be fun and engaging, not boring and dry.
Politics and religion -- now more than ever -- are extremely polarizing topics. If she’s a democratic socialist and you’re a die-hard libertarian, instead of having a fun day walking through the park and then taking her to get an ice cream cone, you’re going to waste your time arguing.
You also want to avoid broad, interview-like questions or conversation starters, such as, “Tell me about yourself.”
Take a second to consider what you say when someone asks you something like that: Do you dive in to your dying passion for bass guitar? Your favorite movies? Your life goals and aspirations?
No, you don’t. Instead, you’re unable to wrap your mind around such a broad question, so you stumble and say, “Oh, you know… I’m just a normal guy, really.”
Oh, and here’s a friendly tip: Don’t talk about your exes on the first date.
Seriously. Just don’t. It’s way too soon.
If you don’t want to weird her out, wait until the second date before you talk about your love life. (Unless, of course, she brings up the topic of exes first -- then it’s okay. It’s a sign she likes you like that.)
And that leads us to the obvious question…
If you want to be the man in the relationship (and, by extension, make yourself as attractive as possible), you need to lead, in words and in action.
Not only should you decide where to go and what to do, but you should also decide what to talk about.
It’s not that hard. You can start the date by greeting her with a handshake or high-five (the touch is important), and then tell her:
Okay, so first we’ll go to that smoothie place I told you about. We’ll get a couple smoothies, and while waiting, we’ll get to know each other better. Then I’ll take you to the Sky Tower where I’ll show you the night view I was talking about.
“Okay, so first we’ll go to that smoothie place I told you about. We’ll get a couple smoothies, and while waiting, we’ll get to know each other better. Then I’ll take you to the Sky Tower where I’ll show you the night view I was talking about.”
Simple, right? And then when you’re at the smoothie bar, some good questions to “grease the wheel” include:
Then, on your way to the Sky Tower, you can talk about anything that’s going on around you:
Really simple. As long as you don’t mention any taboo topics, it doesn’t really matter what you talk about.
The important thing is to make her feel more and more comfortable with you. When she’s comfortable, everything else becomes much easier.
Now, let’s talk about one of the biggest first date killers of all…
Sometimes, you just run out of topics to talk about, and you run into an awkward silence with her.
That’ll kill the date fast unless you do this: ask an off-topic question that starts an entirely new conversation.
You can simply say something like, “This is totally off-topic, but…” and then ask her one of these five questions:
Now, here’s a few extra tips for when you’re a naturally shy guy...
At this point in the article, you need a reminder that it’s important not to feel overwhelmed. It’s something that you can’t really control).
If you’re a naturally shy guy, the problem isn’t that you don’t know what to say, but that you think too much. You get stuck in your own head.
You don’t need to be perfect -- just good enough. It’s okay for there to be pauses during a conversation; take the time to collect your thoughts, and allow yourself to not be perfect.
You don’t need to dominate the conversation. A lot of times it’s best to sit and listen, and that’s especially true when she’s speaking passionately, waving her hands and projecting her voice. No one likes to be cut off when they’re saying something they think is important.
There’s the “60/40 rule of conversation.” For best results, let her do around 60% of the talking -- and when she’s talking, really do listen to her.
Besides, there’s the “60/40 rule of conversation.” For best results, let her do around 60% of the talking -- and when she’s talking, really do listen to her.
But if there are awkward pauses, remind yourself of how you talk when you’re with your best friends, or when you’re talking to a family member about something that you’re passionate about. It’s not that you’re not an interesting person -- it’s that you do a poor job of expressing yourself because of inexperience.
The only way to get rid of inexperience is through experience.
Now, here are a few more tips to deal with your shyness:
And speaking of pushing the boundaries, we now move to the fourth and final area to master:
Yup -- we’re about to talk about first date flirting tips.
Now, some people say flirting has no place in the first date. They might say it should come in the second date, or fourth date, or seventh date, or even after three months of dating.
Sorry, I disagree. And so should you.
Because let’s face it -- that’s where you want things to go anyway, right? And any woman who agrees to go out with you one-on-one has the same thing on her mind -- trust me.
The thing is: She’ll only flirt with you if she likes you like that.
She won’t flirt with you if she sees you as “friend material.” But that’s exactly what she’ll see you as if you just talk and talk.
So let’s break the flirting part of the first date down.
Again, the endpoint of a date is a relationship, or sex, or both. Let’s just be real here. These are the best outcomes of any date or series of dates.
There are other possible outcomes, too. For instance, she might friend-zone you.
Or you might realize she’s not your type, and you friend-zone her.
Or you both might realize it’s not a good match, and the date ends early.
Anything can happen on the first date. But if you focus too much on making her fall in love with you, it probably won’t happen.
If you talk about your exes, she’ll tense up. If you treat her to a fancy dinner, she’ll feel like you’re bribing her. If you bring her flowers, she’ll feel trapped.
You’ve noticed, right? If you talk about your exes, she’ll tense up. If you treat her to a fancy dinner, she’ll feel like you’re bribing her. If you bring her flowers, she’ll feel trapped.
So here’s what you should do instead -- have no expectations.
Nada. Zilch. No expectations whatsoever.
All you can do is be prepared for the possibility that you’ll actually like this girl.
And when you do, that’s when you focus on doing three things:
Now, let’s talk a bit about the third item on that list.
Here’s the thing: Some women are actually okay with, say, kissing on the first date.
Others are even okay with sleeping together after the first date.
On the other hand, other women are more traditional. They’d rather wait a few dates before even giving you a peck on the cheek.
Now, there’s no way of knowing what a woman’s “boundaries” are for the first date, right?
And that’s why you should find out.
Now, you might be thinking: “Wouldn’t she get turned off if I’m too pushy?”
Sure. But that’s only if you push her boundaries the wrong way.
Here are the different ways to push the boundaries with her, and the right and wrong ways to do each.
Normally, conversations start out over light, casual, harmless topics. You might get to know each other better, try to find common interests and beliefs, and maybe even tell a few funny stories.
Later on, you’ll want to get more serious. Remember, you both know where this date is going, and it’s not about becoming just friends. And so you’ll have to address the elephant in the room sometime, otherwise the conversation will get boring or awkward real fast.
This is easy to do by playing the “questions” game -- you ask her one question, then she asks you another question. All questions are allowed, and you both must answer the questions -- although each of you has one “pass” for when you get a question that’s too private, emotional, or inappropriate.
This is an opportunity to ask progressively more intimate questions, such as:
Take note -- if she mentions “pass” to any intimate question, it means she doesn’t like you like that. But if she’s game, then keep the game going.
But don’t just stick to talking, though...
If you want your first date to lead to a second one -- or better yet, a relationship or romantic encounter that same night -- then you must touch her. It’s non-negotiable.
But you must touch her the right way. For instance, it’s not appropriate to nuzzle her neck when the date started five minutes ago.
So what’s appropriate?
Think of the following kinds of touches.
Notice how the kinds of touches go gradually from “harmless” to “risky”?
The key to pushing the boundaries through touch is by “climbing the ladder,” with your touches becoming riskier and riskier as she gets more and more comfortable with you.
If she’s okay with you putting your hand on her shoulder, later on try touching her hands by reading her palms. If she’s okay with that, then later on, put your hand on her hip or leg while you’re talking. And so on and so forth.
For instance, if she’s okay with you putting your hand on her shoulder, later on try touching her hands by reading her palms. If she’s okay with that, then later on, put your hand on her hip or leg while you’re talking. And so on and so forth.
Now, if at any point she shows some discomfort from your touch, dial back right away. For instance, if you put your hand on her leg and her eyes dart from your hand to your eyes, an uncertain look on her face, then you casually stop touching her there.
You act like nothing happened, and you continue building rapport throughout the date.
Later on, when you sense she’s more comfortable, try putting your hand on her leg again. If she doesn’t resist, then you can continue climbing the ladder.
Now, at some point, your date might give a clear indication that she doesn’t like to be touched beyond a certain point in the “ladder.” When that happens, that means you’ve established her limits. Now you can decide whether or not to pursue a second date with this lady.
But when she’s game, congratulations. You’re on the right track.
Lastly, it’s important to move her from one place to another during the date. It’s never a good idea to stay in one place for the whole date.
The idea is to start somewhere harmless (like an ice cream or smoothie joint), then move her somewhere else (like a flea market, fair, museum, etc.), and then move her somewhere close to your place (like a bar or coffee shop).
That way, when things turn out really well and you feel the chemistry between you, it’s easy to invite her to your place for a nightcap.
On the other hand, if early on you decide you’re not a good match for each other, you can cut the date short at any of the locations. The first date might not have led to a second date, but at least you went places and had some fun.
You’ll also need to know that when a woman hesitates to go with you anywhere, it means she’s not comfortable with you. In this case, you can stay in the location and see if her mood changes as your interaction moves along… but if it doesn’t, then take it as a sign that the date won’t go anywhere.
After reading this comprehensive article, you should be able to kill it on your first date. If you want an ultra-condensed, TL;DR version of the tips above because your date is soon, we’ve got you covered.
I'm the founder of Conquer & Win, and since 2011 I've been helping guys get into great relationships, build their core values as men, and become confident. I'm published on Lifehack, Order of Man, POF and many more. I want to help you get socially confident and live to your full potential. Feel free to contact me here.
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