As an experienced dating coach, I’ve strategized with men from all over the world on how to structure a successful first date. First dates might seem nerve-wracking, but they can be simplified if you follow some basic rules. During my 100-date experiment, I took notes on exactly what I thought men were doing right and wrong on my first date with them. From those notes, I’ve compiled what I think to be the best first date tips for men.
Take a look below!
First Date Tips for Men #1: Make Your Intentions Clear
Make sure the woman you are meeting knows that you are meeting up for a DATE and not just a business or friend meetup. This is a top first date tip for guys because — without it — your date isn’t very qualified and you could be unintentionally booking yourself a one-way ticket to the friend-zone.
Before going on a first date, I recommend that you ask yourself, “Does she think it’s a date?” If you can’t answer yes, then you are setting yourself up for potential failure. When asking a girl out for the first time, always clarify your intentions: “Hi Lauren, whatcha doing Saturday at 1pm? Wanna grab a coffee and go for a walk, like date style?”
Don’t worry about being rejected, it will only save you time and money if she tells you she has a boyfriend or is simply not interested in you on a romantic level.
In fact, being able to handle rejection is actually a very important part of the dating process. When you face your fears and accept rejection, you are able to:
- Grow and learn from the opportunity
- Get closure. If there’s a girl you like and she rejects you, you know definitively that it’s time to move on to the next person. You won’t have to ruminate over a bunch of “What if’s?”
- Practice compassion when the time comes that a woman is interested in you and you need to let her down gently
Practice makes perfect when it comes to dating. Take rejection as a way to learn and do better next time.
Tip #2: Pay for the Date
Men should always pay on the first date. However, you don’t need to spend more than $10 – $15. Money can’t buy her love, so don’t spend like crazy during your first meeting.
An expensive meal on the first date doesn’t make sense, so stick to coffee or a drink and enjoy just getting to know each other. As first date advice goes, this should stick with you — a gentleman should always pay at the first meeting; however, that doesn’t mean a gentleman should spend like crazy either.
Keep the following guidelines in mind for the first three dates:
- First Date: It should be something that is less than an hour and does not exceed $15.
- Second Date: This date should be active and free. Consider something like hiking or visiting a museum. Eventbrite is also a great place to find free events.
- Third Date: This is the date where you can have a nice, intimate dinner. The third date is often when you will end up sealing the deal.
Tip #3: Keep it Short and Sweet
Ever wondered how long a first date should last?
First dates should be no longer than one hour in length. This is enough time to feel each other out and see if you’re a good match. This will also help you keep to your above budget of $10 – $15. If you’re having a great time, that’s great; leave her wanting more.
Keeping your date around an hour makes sure she’ll have questions for your next date. This first date tip will help you retain some mystery – and a little bit of mystery is always intriguing. For more tips on how to keep it short and sweet consider a coaching session with me. Here’s why.
Do you need help figuring out an exit strategy? You can say something like, “Just so you know, I have to leave for a friend’s engagement party in about 60 minutes.” Setting a time constraint helps to put her at ease as well because it saves her from having time to make up an excuse to get out of the date if it sucks.
A preferable thing to do, as long as it is possible, is to have an actual activity like karaoke or grabbing a drink with your friends planned after the date, so you won’t be tempted to send an overly exorbitant amount of time on the date.
An additional benefit of using this strategy is that she will see that you have an active life outside of dating, which will increase your appeal.
Tip #4: Make It a Daytime Date
The goal of the first date is to build trust and rapport, which is why it’s important to choose a date that:
- Takes place during the daytime
- Is close to where she lives
Always meet your date during the day, as it’s much safer for the woman. This daytime meeting will make her more comfortable with the date and with you. It’s also better to meet someone in natural light in a relaxed setting versus the lowlights of a hectic bar late at night.
This first date tip will show a woman that you’re interested in her for more than one night, while also allowing her the comfort and safety of a daylight meeting.
Tip #5: Cheers to the Freakin’ Weekend
The best day of the week for a first date is Saturday, obviously in the afternoon (I recommend some time between 11am and 2pm). Meeting on a sunny Saturday afternoon leaves you both ample time to sleep in, while also allowing her time for other evening engagements with friends.
This also allows you to tell your buddies all about your new flame over drinks later. Meeting on a Saturday versus a Sunday means you forgo talk of the dreaded Monday workday – an unpleasantry not meant for a first date.
Pro tip: If the date is going really well, you can invite her along to the activity you had planned afterward. Women love spontaneity and this move pretty much guarantees a second date.
Tip #6: Be Respectfully Touchy
Touch is a very important part of a first date and arguably one of the most effective first date tips for men. You need to touch your date three times during the first date, but it needs to be natural and not forced. A natural brush on the arm or hug goodbye is a perfect way to make a deeper connection. Make sure you sit NEXT to your date and not ACROSS the table from her. First dates aren’t interviews, so don’t make it into one. Make sure you’re not falling into some of the worst first date mistakes.
If you’re at a place that offers an opportunity for dancing, that’s also a way to break the touch barrier naturally. You can also take advantage of certain things in your surroundings if it seems natural:
- Pool: If you know how to play pool, ask her if she wants to play if there’s a pool table nearby. If she does and is also up for a lesson, you can get a little closer by teaching her.
- If you’re on a hike or taking a walk in an area with uneven surfaces, touching her elbow to ensure she doesn’t fall or taking her hand to help her up an incline is a great way to break the touch barrier in a natural and chivalrous manner.
Tip #7: Stay Positive
Make sure your conversation focuses on the positive parts of you and your life. Nobody wants to hear about how much you dislike your current roommate or about the bad habits of your ex girlfriend. This is a first date tip that should never be ignored, as it can truly impact the outcome and success of your date, and influence whether or not you’ll get to date number two. A man who keeps the conversation light and playful is more likely to attract a woman to a second meeting.
If you’re having trouble feeling positive or confident before the date, you can do a few things to “warm up” so that you get into a positive state of mind:
- Listen to music that calms your mind and makes you feel sexy
- Wear a cologne that you like
- Get a new outfit that you feel and look great in
- Chat with some friends or your local baristas about an hour and a half before the date.
Check out my blogs on How to Be Confident When Dating a Girl You Like and Why Feeling Worthy Will Help You Attract Any Woman for more tips on building your self-esteem.
Tip #8: Don’t Talk About Money
This first date tip is very important, as money is a touchy subject. Never try and prove your worth with your salary, your nice car, your expensive watch, or anything like that. I’ll say it again, money can’t buy you love – and you don’t want it to.
A beautiful woman who is truly interested in you won’t ask about it, and truly wouldn’t want to know about your finances on the first date. You don’t need to impress a girl with money to attract her attention – use the above tips and she’s sure to swoon.
Other Touchy Topics to Avoid on the First Date
As you continue dating someone, you will want to get to know more about their background, their values and their beliefs. But because a first date is simply about building trust and rapport, there’s really no need to dive too deep into these things — or at all, really.
If you start broaching sensitive subjects during a first date (i.e., “So how do you feel about encouraging women to freeze their eggs after a certain age?”) you run a serious risk of overwhelming her and making her uncomfortable. And when a woman is uncomfortable, she will not be wanting to go on a second date with you or see you again — possibly ever.
Avoid the following topics on the first date:
- Opinions on marriage and children
- Past relationships
If you need help figuring out icebreakers and questions to ask on a first date, check out my Top 25 Questions to Ask a Girl on a First Date. These questions will also help you secure a second date!
Tip #9: Have the Second Date Planned Before the First Date Has Even Happened
You want to make sure that if the first date goes well, you have a second date secured. Ask for a second date during the first date — not after.
Don’t (I repeat, DON’T) pay attention to archaic rules about waiting three days or a week to call a girl again and ask for a second date. The girl will likely assume you are playing games with her or may have already moved onto somebody else that expressed more immediate interest.
Plan a date that is compelling and based on interests she has already expressed, either on her dating profile, through conversation between you two, or both. For example:
- If she’s into arts and culture, consider taking her to a new arts exhibit
- If she enjoys the outdoors, go hiking or take a bike ride
- If she’s an adrenaline junkie, consider doing a kiteboarding or air trapeze class
- If she loves exercise, go to a group exercise class (many gyms offer free trials for classes) or visit an indoor rock climbing gym
You want to make sure that the date is compelling and is something that will be a new experience for both of you. When you offer something that is a brand new experience, it’s really hard for a girl to turn you down.
Another way you can practically guarantee yourself a second date is by using a TDL.
A TDL is an acronym that stands for “time, date, and location” and it is the call-to-action that will compel a girl to agree to go out with you. Here’s an example of a good use of TDL:
“I think that’s really awesome you’re into marine biology. There’s a rare leopard shark exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences next weekend. Do you want to go together on Saturday at 1pm?”
The above is an awesome example because — not only does it cater to her interests and offer her a new experience — it let’s her know the exact time, date and location of the even. This way, she won’t have to worry about going back and forth with you over text, trying to lock down a specific plan or figure out a time to meet that works for both of you.
To learn more about using a TDL, check out my blog on Why You Need to Use TDL When Asking a Girl Out on a Date. It’s one of my best first date tips for men, because it works more often than not!
Tip #10: Set the Mood With Music
Have you ever noticed that your mood get better and that tensions seem to melt away when listening to a really good song?
You’re not imagining it — the benefits of music have been proven in several different scientific studies. Indeed, listening to music can:
- Ease pain and tension
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress
- Decrease symptoms of depression
- Improve mood
- Improve performance during high-pressure situations
- Relieve anxiety
Obviously, you definitely want to enjoy these types of benefits during a first date, which is why it’s important to go on a date where music can be incorporated.
At the same time, you don’t want to go somewhere that is blasting heavy metal or rock. When you can’t hear what the other person is saying and your ears are ringing afterward, music becomes counterproductive.
Go to a place that has live jazz or a coffee shop that plays music that isn’t too loud.
Make sure that you do your research before choosing a place with music by reading Google reviews or visiting websites like Yelp. And speaking of research…
Tip #11: Research the Place You Choose for a First Date Before Proposing It
Make sure the place you plan to suggest for a first date has been well reviewed and isn’t going to be overly crowded or noisy when you go.
One really important — but often overlooked — thing you want to make sure of is that the place you choose has a bathroom that is clean, warm, comfortable and has a mirror. If she can’t check her hair and makeup, or whether or not she has spinach in her teeth, she might start to get nervous during the date, which won’t bode well for you.
Tip #12: Megadate
The more first dates you go on, the better you’re going to get at it because — after all — practice makes perfect.
Megadating is a dating strategy that involves dating several different people at the same time in order to diffuse energy by keeping your calendar full. Megadating is not about sneaking around or trying to sleep with a lot of women. This dating strategy is about reducing your anxiety and finding a long-term, compatible partner much faster because you are opening yourself to new experiences and constantly getting practice in the dating world. It helped me find great relationship and it can do the same for you!
This strategy also helps you avoid settling for a relationship that leaves you dissatisfied, because it shows you that there truly are plenty of fish in the sea.
Megadating lessens the pain of rejection, because you won’t be dwelling on one person all the time. You could be going on dates with five different women, and if one rejects you, you still have four different women to spend time with.
And finally, megadating naturally stimulates a sense of competition that will make women want you. If a woman sees that you are confidently putting yourself out there (as opposed to pining after just her), your desirability will increase and she’ll want to get closer to you.
First Date Tips for Men Wrap-up
In the end, it’s up to you to make this date a success. Using the first date tips in this article, you should be prepared to have a fun and successful first date. A first date can be as uncomplicated and enjoyable as you make it.
However, if you’re wanting a more personalized approach, sign up for a new client coaching session with me – I’d love to share more of my tips for a first date that are sure to woo her. We’ll also diagnose your dating history, co-create an action plan, and see if my 3 month coaching program could be right for you.