If you have come looking for first date tips, I am sure your nerves are exploding right now! 😉
The thought of sitting opposite to the girl (or boy) you have been day-dreaming about makes you ticklish. You want to plan your date night, spend some good time and lock your second date – but you also don’t want to seem overexcited or show that you’re trying too hard.
You are not alone. We have all been there…
The world of dating might have shifted from the neighborhood to dating apps… but one thing never really changes: The nervousness of a first date.
What to do, what not to do? What to say, what not to say? Where to go, where not to go? What to ask, what not to ask? The questions are limitless and the confusion drives you insane.
But, only until now…
Below, I have combined a list of 41 best first date tips (ever!) cited by recognized relationship experts, dating experts, matchmakers, lifestyle coaches, and even psychologists.
Oh wait, I forgot to congratulate you for working up the courage to ask that special someone out and locking your first date.
…your second one is on us! 😉
So, let’s get started!
General First Date Tips – How to begin?
We all know, first dates are nerve-wracking especially when until now you have been just seeing them via a screen.
So, first, let’s start with the basics that will help prep your mind and get you pre-date ready!
1. Start with the Location
A location can make or break your first date (yes, it’s true!)
Imagine this: It’s a hot sunny day, and you’ve booked a table at an open café – under the sun – but your date appears in tight-fitted jeans with full sleeves and is all sweaty and stale during the date.
So, unless you don’t know about your date’s favorite restaurants, stick to a neutral, low-noise level area where you both can concentrate on each other, not the environment!
Local bars or coffee shops are better picks than dinner or movie dates. The casual environment makes you feel comfortable and trigger engaging conversations.
2. Keep your Conversation-Starters Ready
Honestly, no one likes a boring conversationalist.
So, unless you want to knock down all your chances for a second date, make sure you have a list of engaging date conversation starters handy.
Don’t stick to the age-old cheesy pick-up lines, instead, start a healthy conversation where you both are equally invested. Studies suggest that the best topic to keep the conversation flowing on a first date is Travel.
But if you are still feeling confused don’t worry, we have hot you there also. Here’s a pre-pared list for your rescue
For guys – Things to talk to a girl
For girls – Things to talk to a guy
Feel free to pick any. Don’t worry, we don’t charge for it! 😛
3. Keep your Phones in your Pockets
You are on a date with a real human being and if you are still on the phone, texting, emailing, and surfing the web: there’s nothing more disrespectful than that for your partner.
There will definitely be some awkward silences when you will be tempted to cover it up with a phone call, an email, or maybe just Instagramming.
If you wish to give in to this temptation, then it’s better not to go on a date. (Not even kidding!)
For first-time daters who really wish to take it long term, Never, I repeat, NEVER pull out your phones.
You can instead use this time as an opportunity to ask your date if they are enjoying the date so far.
4. Pay or Split?
So now comes the real question: Pay or Split?
Guys, if you are listening, hear it out: It’s totally okay for you to pay for the first date. We definitely live in a modern world where women are equally capable but let’s admit it women still love it when you hold the door for them!
For girls, you must offer to pay or split the bill but if the guy insists, (that, by the way, also means, he is interested! 😋) it’s okay to let go.
Besides, it’s just the first date. I would say, take it as it comes. Get to know each other, have fun and then decide whether you want to pay or split!
5. Make the Conversation a Two-Way Street
Understandably, you are extremely excited > you are finally meeting the girl (or boy) you have been stalking on social media all this while.
But don’t just keep telling them about yourself, dominating the conversation. The information overload will make them feel overwhelmed. Or worse, they will think that you are not interested to know them and are just waiting to get in bed.
The best way to prevent this is to be genuinely interested in listening to them.
Ask them about their dream job, their accomplishments, their future goals, or maybe their favorite tv shows. 🤷
6. Who Orders?
Whoever picks the menu, offers it to another.
While offering the menu, ask them politely “What would you like to order?”, if they insist on you to order – take it and order a very common wine for both of you.
Besides, science reveals that eating the same food on dates, not only helps build similar taste but also helps develop rapport and trust.
So, capitalize on this research and analyze closely – whether you both like the same kind of food or cringe on each other’s taste.
7. Don’t Make it a BIG Deal
First dates are just that: first dates. Not proposals. Not marriages. Don’t make it a big deal out of it.
Keep it casual and get into it without any expectations or maybe think that you’ll get to know someone new.
Both of you are just getting to know each other. Be optimistic but don’t go overboard or expect lulls and roses – it will lead to disappointment.
Plus, you can always decline future dates if you feel the chemistry doesn’t match.
First Date Tips for Men – Boys, get ready!
Some men just suck at dating. And as much as I hate to say this, they are themselves responsible for it. They just don’t understand the value of balance – it’s either “I have a date, so what!’ or “WHAAAT! I have a DATE”.
But not anymore.
Guys, get a pen and paper and make sure you write these tips down!
8. Boys, Alcohol Check!
You definitely don’t want to wake up not remembering anything about your first date or worse, throw up in the car while dropping her home (only if you get to that).
So, guys write it somewhere, so that you don’t forget: one drink every hour.
Just because you guys are having a great time, it does not call for more drinks.
Because let’s be honest: girls don’t like drunk guys, at least not on the first dates. Besides, alcohol is not equal to fun. You can still have fun, infact have more “honest” fun when alcohol is limited.
9. Touching is NOT allowed
For anyone who has ever said: the more you touch her, the more it conveys that you are into her was bullshit-ing you.
Being super-touchy on your first date can in fact put you on her block list (both physically and virtually).
First date touch must be friendly and warm and NOT sexual. You can ask for her hand to help her out of your car, or maybe hold her to lead her inside a crowded restaurant.
But unless you want to make things awkward (worse, violent) don’t dare, grope her or hold her around the neck.
10. Chivalry is Major Turn-On
Macho-mans can never win over gentlemen. Irrespective of how the world is progressing towards more women empowerment.
So, even though you think it’s an “equal” world, don’t forget your manners – open the door for her, pull out the chair for her, talk to the waiters with respect, and most importantly pay attention to her.
Oh, and ofcourse, bad table manners will shoo her away just like that.
Remember, no matter how modern a woman is, she will always have a soft corner for men who can hold the door for her.
11. Be Pre-Prepared
A lot of guys fail to cast a good impression on the girls because they are not prepared mentally.
So, here’s a piece of golden date advice for you: Keep your mind free of disturbing thoughts on the day or else it will curb your excitement.
A study has also advocated for the fact that women are more attracted to men who are high on mindfulness and are paying attention.
Infact, my suggestion is, if your mind is occupied with something and you can’t seem to get off it, consider rescheduling the date instead of making everything a mess.
12. What’s the Time?
This goes without saying: NEVER be late on your first date.
Women hate waiting and there’s nothing worse than making her do just that… for the first time that you both are meeting.
So, double-check the time with her and keep a buffer in hand for traveling time.
Long story short, do whatever you have to do to be ON time on your first date.
13. Don’t be “I want a girlfriend!” guy
Needy and desperate – the most unattractive qualities for a first date.
Don’t feel insecure about yourself or think that the girl is way out of your league. Trust me, it’s a major turn off.
Don’t try and be too nice to her, just be the best version of yourself. Confidence and a non-desperate attitude are way more attractive than the “I want a girlfriend” mindset.
However, if you really think, you lack in someplace: focus on self-improvement. Try new things, work on your fitness, consume healthy foods, and be in the company of quality people.
14. Confirm Date Details 24 hours in Advance
I am sure, you have hardly ever heard of this first date tip. This is so important yet so underrated.
Women get really annoyed when it’s the D-day and they still don’t have any idea whether or not it is actually happening.
If you wish the date to start on a positive note, always confirm the details a day prior to the actual date.
Always remember, bad dating is real and it’s better to avoid that pitfall as much as you can.
First Date Tips for Women – Girls, it’s your turn now!
Women mostly fail on their first dates because of their over-obsession with appearance. They fail to understand that the first dates are much more than just looks.
These tips will help you understand what are the other aspects you must keep in mind while on a first date.
15. Don’t Miss the Red Flags
Whether it’s a guy you met on a dating site, or if he is a total stranger to you, always look out for your personal safety.
Online dating is fun but equally risky. So, never ignore any red flags.
I am not asking you to get into your first date with a checklist, but at least don’t be blind. If you both met on a dating platform, make sure you have properly checked his dating profile and then looked him up on social media.
If you are still unsure, you can always find more information on the web. If anything appears fishy, don’t be afraid to back off.
For instance, suppose your date is gulping alcohol and talking about suicide while you are drinking water or if you notice any kind of abusive or irrelevant behavior on the first date
Just stand up and LEAVE.
16. Just be Yourself
…because you are amazing just the way you are.
No guy is worth it if he can’t accept you the way you are.
So, don’t pretend to be what you are not. Infact, to be honest, even guys like women when they are real and don’t pretend to like what they like.
They want a human being who has opinions and choices of her own not a follower who will do just as he says.
So, take a deep breath and exhale the “date feel” out and just talk like you are talking to a close friend!
17. It’s Okay to Tease! 😉
Girls, it’s 2020 and you are just as much allowed to tease him.
Plus, we all know, a good sense of humor makes you appear attractive. Apart from that, some healthy laughter also makes you feel comfortable and introduces a sense of calmness in the conversation.
So, don’t be afraid to crack flirtatious jokes. Remember, you don’t want to share uncontrollable laughter but just tickle him without actually tickling.
Throw in a sassy line, combine it with a witty joke and revel in the smirk on his face! 😋
18. Keep Your Exit Strategy Ready
How you end your date determines what happens next: a second date or don’t-ever-call-me-again!
So, if your date was just like you imagine to be and you can see this person in your life, communicate it to him. Not directly but by making an attempt to set up a second date or maybe exchanging contact information.
However, if you felt it was a waste of both time and money, there’s no harm in communicating that either with an abrupt escape.
P.S. Don’t forget to treat yourself with your favorite ice cream on your way back home! 😉
19. Don’t Talk ONLY about Yourself
How am I looking? How am I speaking? How am I sitting? How am I eating?
Stop! Stop right there.
Understand that, first dates are not just about you, it’s about him too.
I understand that like every other woman, even you think men only fall for extraordinary women with exceptional traits. But that’s not the case.
Real men fall for women who make them feel them feel like themselves. Men really crave for being a hero – make him one and it will make him weak in the knees. Quite literally.
20. Don’t Have Expectations
If you are expecting him to bring you a bouquet right on the first date, you really need to reconsider your date idea.
First dates are more hyped than necessary: look at it like just a meeting to know if he qualifies for a second date.
Keep your mind open and step into it without any expectations – that’s the best way to dodge disappointments.
Besides, if you plan on getting laid on the first date itself – you are again going the wrong way. Instead, clear your mind, keep calm, spend time with him, and then decide how you want it to go from here.
21. Do a Chemistry Check
So, what is a chemistry check?
Well, I am sure, you agreed for this date because you thought there might be some potential future with this guy or maybe you wanted a special someone by your side.
Whatever the motive is, if mid of the date you realize, your vibes don’t match – what’s the whole point to stretch it to the last.
So, don’t be afraid to read between the lines and analyze your future potential. If it’s a mismatch, give yourself permission to walk off! There’s no harm in it.
First Date Dressing Tips – what should you wear?
This is the most asked question about first dates – what should you wear? Well, it’s no rocket science.
Let’s help you understand that.
First, let’s begin with –
22. Wear something sexy AF! 😋
While some dating experts also advise to keep it simple, I like to keep it loud.
Because, why not! 😉
I don’t also mean to go all-out, but make sure you look ravishing in your date outfit. It must also depend on your date location – you surely can’t dress like you are going to a coffee house when you are going to a club.
Pick out your V-necks, hot skirts, flattering jeans, and rock high heels.
But remember, whatever you wear on a first date must be you – so if you are a red-lipstick person, go for it and if you are only-kohl person, go for that!
23. Smell Like a Queen
Bad smell. Ughh!
Yeah, I know that expression – it’s the same with guys – it puts them off immediately.
So, choose your cologne wisely. Don’t make it extremely subtle or extra strong. You can pick floral aromas, or even Vanilla has a fascinating smell for that matter.
Make sure you are using longer-lasting perfumes and applying it on pressure points.
Don’t forget oral hygiene because you never know when can a first date end up in a kiss! 😘
24. Let your Hair be Free
You sure love a sock bun (even I do) but this look might come across very casual on a first date. Even a ponytail is a turn-off for men.
So, instead, set your beautiful hair free. You can side pin it if you want it or casually clutch it but don’t clip your locks – let them be free.
Honestly, guys like to imagine stroking their fingers through it.
And who knows, while walking you home, he is actually doing it! 😍
25. You just Can’t Forget basic Grooming
Shave, or at least trim your beard. Invest in a good haircut and dress well.
You might think that casual is sexy but trust me, on a first date, it’s not. She wants you to make an effort and prepare for the date. Don’t skip any of the basics: brushing, showering, shaving or even spritzing your cologne.
Now that you have worked up the courage to ask her out, don’t let it go to waste.
Oh, and also, make sure you have a fresh breath (goes without saying, right?). You don’t want to miss the kiss just because you smell of the dinner you had last night!
Just don’t be a Schlub – women hate it!
26. Strictly NO Ratty Gym Shoes (Or, Sweats)
The first date feeling is real and often in anxiety, you make a disaster like wear ratty gym shoes to your first date.
Guys, listen to me, more than anything women look at your shoes. It somehow describes you as a person. So, make sure your shoes are well polished and suit the weather. For instance, in the months of November – January, you can wear leather while in April or May, wear loafers or boat shoes.
However, make sure whatever you wear doesn’t give you any trouble walking. You definitely don’t want to limp while on a romantic walk.
27. Don’t overdo it
Most men don’t understand the concept of “Too much or too less” and end up looking either like a hippy or a tycoon.
Find a middle ground.
If you are thinking of a suit, replace it with a blazer – it looks less stuffy. Wear a crisp buttoned-up white shirt underneath and pair it up with a slim-fitting raw medium-dark pair of jeans.
I will suggest wearing solid colors but some subtle patterns will make you appear as a deeper person. But again, make sure you don’t overdo it.
It’s a date, not your cousin’s wedding.
Girls & Boys,
Oh yes, it’s so important.
Every once in a while, remind yourself that you are not giving an interview and breathe.
Let go of that anxiety. It’s just a date!
Even if the outcome is not as you expected, you have nothing to lose mate!
P.S. Some of you might find this tip stupid, but trust me, you will need it. And when you will, don’t come to thank me later! 😉
First Date Conversation Tips – How to talk?
Starting a conversation always leaves you jittery, and now when you are sitting in front of your dream girl/boy, it’s all the more difficult.
Don’t worry, we have got you covered!
29. Double-check your Body Language
Did you know your body language speaks more than your mouth?
The way you sit, the way you walk, the way you talk, or even the way you eat – everything says something about you.
You definitely don’t want to deliver the wrong message to your partner – so, be aware. I know it might seem uncontrollable at times but believe me, it’s not that hard either.
Sometimes, for showing that you’re interested, you need to let your body do the talking. For instance, don’t fold your arms when your date is saying something. Instead, tilt your head or lean towards the table.
If you are struggling, you can also try to subtly copy their body language during the date – a study proves that mirroring can be a great way to show that you are attracted to them.
30. Don’t reveal too much or too less
Yes, just like everything – you need a balance here also.
You can neither spill your guts nor hold back everything. So, start with discussing basics and then late your date share something about him, and then keep following the pace.
If you struggle to open up, you must consider date ideas where you really enjoy yourself. That will help create a favorable environment for you.
Plus, when you are doing something you are passionate about, you will have lots to talk about.
31. Be Interested to Be Interesting
Your date is going great, you are sending the right messages… but now you want to show that you are “really” interested in taking this forward.
How will you do it?
- You can start with something like
- What do you prefer to do in your free time?
- What are your interests and passions?
- Do you like road trips?
- What is your all-time favorite TV show?
- What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Don’t just show your interest in the answers, take it forward with your curiosity in the topics that pop up. It will in turn make you appear more interesting.
P.S. If you need help with date questions, we have something for the both of you (Buys & girls)
For guys – Questions to ask a girl on your first date
For girls – Questions to ask a guy on your first date
32. Don’t Bring Your Ex (too much!)
Accept it, your ex kills the mood. So, if you want that, feel free to bring them up.
But then don’t be surprised when your date turns back and runs for home.
Conversations about exes don’t just kill the mood but also make it appear like you still have feelings for them or have issues that are yet to be resolved.
But, even if they were the culprit in the relationship, don’t dare bad mouth about your ex either. Your date will start to imagine you bad-mouthing her in case you both break up in the future. And from there it’s completely game over for them.
Thus, the best option is to avoid talking about your ex on the first date – leave them for the second date.
33. Name Dropping is NOT attractive
Your date will love it when you mention your relation to Justin Bieber or the guy who created Angry Birds – hey that’s not true.
You don’t need a connection to an influential person to impress her. You are capable of doing that on your own.
Plus, people almost always see through it.
So, don’t bore them with the long stories about how you met this “big name” and how he/she became what they are today.
And if there’s anyone who ever says Name dropping is attractive – don’t believe them.
34. Never. NEVER Lie
Yes, and that also includes not saying the truth.
A lie disguised in any way is a lie. You might be thinking, it’s just the first date, who cares – you can always handle it later.
Believe me, it doesn’t work like that.
Once you have established the foundation of a relationship with a lie, the fort is sure to break down – sooner or later.
35. Admit that you’re Nervous
First dates are bound to make you nervous, but it’s also your partner’s first date – so there’s a high chance that they are nervous too.
So, why not? Start with admitting that you’re nervous and this will also help break the wall to give you a good kick start.
Honesty is always valued. Plus, if you confront your date with honest feelings, it might also take off some pressure.
Once you have admitted, shared a laugh, take the conversation forward with some sensible questions. You can also start with some basics like “What are you doing these days?” or “Did you find it difficult to reach here?”
But remember, basics don’t mean senseless like “What is your name?”
First Date Flirting Tips – How to do it the right way?
Flirting on first dates can give you tickles… but if done wrong, can also terrorize your partner.
While to be able to do healthy flirting, you need to pay close attention to your partner’s boundaries which is only possible on the date – these tips will give you an overview of what works and what doesn’t.
36. Compliments Never go Out-of-Fashion
(This is for guys)
Nice guys know this secret and if you want to be one of them, you must too.
Oh but, women don’t want that “your legs look great in that skirt” or “you have amazing figure” type of compliments on the first date. They want details and closely analyzed compliments – something that tells them you have really seen through them.
When you both are sharing a smile, pause and just say “Your smile is so pretty” – trust me it will make her heart tickle.
Gentlemanly compliments hit straight home. Something like “I know I am meeting you for the first time but I didn’t imagine you this pretty!” or something subtle like “You look really amazing tonight.”
Women surely love compliments but you need to be mindful of your phrasing to make an impression. A bad one can lose you your date.
Girls, even you can offer a polite compliment to the guys or at least appreciate their effort when they pull out the chair or hold the door for you.
37. Be Mindful about the Jokes
Good jokes surely help you share a good laugh and even bond. But bad jokes can make your partner feel offensive.
While this also depends on your audience, but, since this is just the first date – it’s wise not to share offensive jokes. It’s good manners.
You still don’t know what you are dealing with, that is, you are yet to discover their background and beliefs.
You might want to specifically stay away from topics about religion and politics – they are very vulnerable and can take an offensive turn almost immediately.
Remember, there’s a time and place for everything – and first dates are not for offensive jokes.
38. Don’t Try to be a Friend
If you don’t want to be friend-zoned, don’t try to be one.
You have come here with a love/romantic interest – so let your flirting communicate that. Don’t try to be a partner in crime or a shoulder to cry on.
Leave no confusion about your intent. Infact, make it OBVIOUS that you have no intention of being their friend.
This will require some teasing, touching, and talking – all three in a way that it communicates you are attracted to them.
If by far everything is going right, you can make attempts to show that you want to kiss her. That will seal the deal for you because well, “Real” friends don’t kiss each other! 😉
39. Don’t DARE Brag
I know the desire to show all that you’ve got is on a high – you want to tell them all about what you are capable of, what you have earned, and what is to soon follow.
But like I said, there’s a time and place for everything.
But most people are interested in what you are – not your possessions or accomplishments.
Try to impress them with your authentic self, don’t explain too much about yourself, and keep it subtle.
The best way to impress your date is NOT TRYING to impress them.
40. Be Unexpected
It’s not your FIRST first date, neither is theirs.
You have already seen all the usual first date gimmicks, so why not add some fun and be unexpected for your partner?
Trust me, your effort and creativity will attract them.
I am not asking you to step out of the box and do something larger than life. But maybe be a little different from everyone else. The same old predictable pickup lines and date locations have become too boring.
Try to be silly! 😉 (If you know what I mean!)
The Next Day!
For guys, if any of you believe in the silly 3-day rule, you are going to risk her interest fading away.
Don’t do that. If you are interested and had a great time make sure you text her or call her within the next 24 hours.
You can also make attempts to lock your second date (after all that is what you wanted right?). Don’t be too desperate – but something like “Hey, it was a great time with you. When can I have the opportunity to see you again?” will serve the purpose.
For girls, understand that it is perfectly normal to make the first move and text him and thank him or tell him that you had a great time.
After that, let him do the following!
So, boys & girls… all set for your first date?
Now take a deep breath and get going!
All the best! Come back with a second date. 😉
Surabhi has a deep passion for words. She puts her heart and mind into whatever she pursues and craves for creative ventures. She has always been keen on creating original content that can make a difference. In her experience as a content writer, she has had the opportunity to work on several fields with Psychology being her favorite. Surabhi says, words have the power to transform the world, better than a sword. So she hopes to contribute her bit to this revolution. At TheMindFool, she feels lucky to have the opportunity to share content capable of bringing about a change in the lives of the readers.