Are you going on a first date soon and want it to go well?
Learn everything you need to know to make sure all of your dates turn out great with this step by step, first date tips guide.
Practical and actionable dating advice so you don’t get stuck wondering why she’s “not replying” to your text. Or suddenly became “busy”, even though it seemed like everything went well.
Also check out: How to overcome shyness and How to meet women
And much more.
Click the menu below to read each section.
You asked a woman you just met to hang out with you, and she said “yes.” You were excited and determined to make sure the date would go well.
You took her to dinner and were a real gentleman (One huge mistake here, read below to learn why).
You thought the first date went well and 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?
Whatever it was, you never heard from her again.
Did something like this ever happen to 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 don’t lead to second dates.
Chances are though that you made some of the following mistakes.
Most of the mistakes above come down to being a pushover, or a “nice guy”. You’re doing too much for her and that shows neediness (an unattractive quality). You need to respect yourself and your own time.
Or you’re not doing the right things which show assertiveness (an attractive quality), like deciding on the date details (where you’re meeting and what you’re doing).
The two biggest dating mistakes are covered below.
Traditional dating ideas are terrible for men.
You end up spending money on someone you’ll probably never see again, and all you get is a conversation out of it. You’re paying for her company with no benefits at all.
According to surveys, 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. Most women, just like men, want to find love, companionship, and sex.
The flip side is that there are some women who’ll be happy to use you as a meal ticket. Don’t be that guy.
Use the first date to get to know her, don’t blow money trying to impress anyone. It doesn’t work.
A good first date has these 3 qualities:
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.
As the wise old saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” That’s definitely true for first dates.
When you don’t have a plan, then you’re leaving everything up to chance which reduces your odds for a second date.
Even worse, I’ve had many clients leave it up to their date as to whether or not it was even a date.
“Is this a date or just meeting as friends?” should never be a question. When you meet a woman you’re interested in, it’s a date. At the very least now you have a chance to influence her, or better said, “sweep her off her feet” and start something romantic.
If you leave it up to her to define then you’re already a “friend”.
Before the date begins you should know:
This can go a number of ways, but be sure to know what the date will look like from start to finish.
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. The first impression is the lens through which everything else about you is perceived.
There are only 4 things you should ever do on a first date:
Here are some more details:
On a coffee date you won’t spend much money, even if you buy her coffee (do that).
You have an opportunity here to keep strong eye contact, some physical touch if you’re seated near her, and the perfect environment for a connection building conversation.
Chat and learn who she is and what her passions are.
Drinks are more expensive than coffee, but if you limit it to ONE drink each then you’ll be ok. More than one is a waste of money and the potential for overdrinking.
One plus for a drink is that it’s a more intimate date environment than a cafe, so that can have an effect on the “feelings” you both get.
Completely free and an active date. By walking around you can release some dating nerves and not be stuck in the same place.
It’s also a good chance to lead physically by gently, and briefly, placing your hand on the small of her back when taking her across the street. To take it a step further, hold her hand.
By meeting at your place, or going after coffee, you’re increasing the intimacy a lot. Whether this works or not depends on how confident you are.
Your comfort and confidence will also make her feel more comfortable.
If you invite her home don’t worry if she says no, it doesn’t mean there won’t be a second date. You’ve established that you’re assertive and that is an attractive quality in men.
Touching her is important for many reasons:
Normally, physical touch on the date will be light and brief.
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 respect her personal space. Later on, she might lighten up and you can try physical contact again.
So, what do you think about abortion?
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.
Politics and religion 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, you’re going to waste your time arguing.
That’s a definite full-stop on any chances for a second date.
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 into 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.”
The trick with questions is to be specific (read more about the right things to say below).
You’ll eventually want to know if you’re on the same page for some sensitive topics, especially if it’s a show stopper, but the first date should be about fun and attraction.
Her world view and your will either blend together, be compatible or be in conflict. As you get to know each other you’ll find out naturally while exploring each other's personalities.
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 lead the conversation on what to talk about.
The best question to get to know her:
This question assumes you already asked her what she does when you approached her. Now you will want to learn more and get her to share what’s important to her.
Learn how to approach women naturally here.
By getting your date to open up and share what’s important to her, you will:
The biggest mistake guys make in conversations is to talk about meaningless banter. If you don’t dig deeper then it’s unlikely you’ll get a connection.
Don’t dominate the conversation. A lot of times it’s best to sit and listen.
No one likes to be cut off when they’re saying something they think is important.
Follow the “60/40 rule of conversation.” For best results, let her do around 60% of the talking, and you talk about 40% of the time.
Sometimes you’ll run out of things to say, and that’s ok. In fact, it’s awesome if you know what to do.
The biggest mistake guys make during an awkward silence is rushing to say something. Anything, just to avoid the tension and feeling of pressure.
Awkward silences are great for the following reasons:
Nothing at all. Instead, look into her eyes and smile or smirk a bit. You should naturally smile because of the fact you’re staring in each other's eyes creating sexual tension. Own it.
Absolutely. Nobody is a conversation machine, and you shouldn’t be. By trying to avoid all silences you’re creating unnecessary pressure which will end up sabotaging your conversations. Relax and slow down instead of trying to be a motormouth.
You don’t. Let it happen naturally and smile instead of talking. Pause and allow your date to say something and carry the conversation instead of putting all of the weight on your shoulders.
Guys tend to find silences awkward because there is an expectation to be interesting and entertaining. By letting go of these expectations you can relax and have much better conversations.
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 and worry about judgment.
You don’t need to be perfect.
To deal with your shyness:
The main thing to keep in mind with flirting is to have fun. If you’re too serious flirting won’t work. Create some intimacy by sitting close and looking into each other's eyes. Also tease and make jokes. If you create sexual tension this way she is more likely to want you.
This is the wrong question to ask because you should never avoid being obvious. You like her, so flirt and do be obvious. It’s possible to be too overt during a conversation, but doing everything you can to avoid letting her know you like her is probably going to put you in the friend-zone.
Awkwardness is ok if you embrace it. In fact, trying to avoid any awkwardness will probably make you more awkward because you’re being self conscious. Instead, focus on her and learn what she’s about.
In most cases until you’ve gotten to know her, avoid flirting over text. It’s too easy to be misunderstood and not communicate the intended feeling. Flirt with her in person instead so you can use eye contact, your voice, proximity and physical touch for effective flirting.
To become a master texter check out: How to write text messages that work
Anything can happen on the first date but don’t be attached to the outcome. Have no expectations about things you can’t control, like whether or not she goes home with you.
Focus on doing three things:
Also, set some positive expectations for things you can control which will affect the outcome:
Many women are okay with 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 without making a move.
Now, you might be thinking: “Wouldn’t she get turned off if I’m too pushy?”
Yes, but that’s only if you’re too aggressive and don’t pay attention to how she reacts.
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 should get physical.
But you must touch her the right way. Being overly aggressive will scare women away. You need to build up to it.
So what’s appropriate?
Think of the following kinds of touches:
The key to pushing the boundaries through touch is by “climbing the ladder,” with your touches becoming 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. If she’s okay with that, 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.
For example, if you put your hand on her lap and she turns away or makes space, just move your hand off.
You act like nothing happened, and keep chatting.
Later on when you sense she’s more comfortable you might try again or something less risque.
At some point your date might give a clear indication that she doesn’t like to be touched at all. If that happens then just relax and back off. Don’t react to it but be respectful of her boundaries.
Now you’ll know that a second date may not be worth it.
The answer is, it depends. Kissing is great if you’ve managed to create some attraction. If she likes you then she will expect you to do something. Even if she’s not ready yet that’s OK because you’ll show that:
If it doesn’t work on the first date then try again on the second date. You’re more likely to get a second date if you tried because you’ve made a move. The guys who don’t try anything are likely to be seen as friends.
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