23 First Date Tips That Are Actually Helpful

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First dates are exciting. A first date is a momentous occasion in anyone’s life, and while it brings excitement, it can also make you feel a little nervous. However, with the right first date tips to guide you, you can make it fun and engaging.

You would want to hit things off on the right note and be your best true self, but the initial moments can be slightly awkward as you get to know each other. Thankfully, with a good conversation, you can have a great experience. Here are a few tips to help you have a good time on your first date and make a good impression on your date.

23 Tips For First Date

These tips can help you increase the chances of a second date.

1. Figure out the reason for your date

Are you looking for a committed relationship or only want some fun? If it is for fun, then you can be casual about it. But if you desire serious commitment, then give attention to your date’s priorities, interests, and values. Don’t forget to share yours too.

2. Stay relaxed

Dating is more or less socializing. Even though you might be excited or nervous, do your best to just be your true self. Showing feelings of desperation or overconfidence may leave a bad impression on your date. So, relax and enjoy your time.

3. Select the right venue

The right venue sets the tone for the date. Pick a place that has a balanced tone and minimal distractions. For example, going to a movie may not be a good choice. Rather, choose a coffee shop or a local bar that provides you space for an engaging conversation.

4. Keep it short and simple

Keep your first date short and sweet to avoid boredom. Also, it helps create a feeling of wanting more. A simple coffee or lunch date would be enough. Do not plan an entire day. Try to build chemistry with your date and engage in sharing, but avoid lengthy life stories.

5. Be fully engaged

Stay engaged in the conversation, and don’t be distracted. Be self-aware and listen to your date carefully when they share their likes, dislikes, and hobbies, which will show your interest. Also, when you share an interesting story or something about your work, don’t forget to make it a two-way conversation by asking questions about your date.

6. Do not overshare

The first date is not the right time to share everything about your life. When we share too much on a first date, it can be overwhelming, and it isn’t easy to put into perspective and understand what it all may mean. It takes time to understand another person. Share pieces of information that will reveal your personality, interests, and hobbies. Keep the crazy stories aside for later when you have built up a connection. Also, a first date is not the time to ask very personal questions.

7. Maintain good body language

Smile often and make eye contact with your date, but do not stare. Be attentive to your body language and avoid crossing arms or looking fidgety. Show your date that you are interested in them by leaning in slightly and taking in their expressions and movements, maybe now and then responding similarly.

8. Be yourself

Never pretend to be someone else on your first date, as it would mislead and cause issues and awkwardness. Acting like someone else will not work for too long as reality comes across sooner or later. Be confident and present your true self as everyone desires authenticity in who they are meeting.

9. Learn about conversation starters

Before going on a date, take some time to think about the topics that you may discuss with your date. Go through their social media handles and try to know their interests. You may then bring them up when you are lost for topic ideas.

10. Offer polite compliments

Use neutral compliments for your date. You could say, “You look wonderful tonight,” “That’s a pretty dress,” or “You are easy to talk with.” Everyone likes to be appreciated.

First Date Tips For Men

Here are some tips for men to ace their first date. However, these can be used by women too.

11. Be confident

Women like thoughtful men who can make decisions confidently. So, think positively about yourself and be proud to disclose the answers to questions about your achievements in life. It will show your important qualities that may lead to a second date.

12. Be a gentleman

Being a gentleman is highly appreciated by women. Remember that you are the person your date has been waiting to meet. If you are taking your date for dinner, plan your reservations early. Be punctual and walk to her door when picking her up. Greet her, let her order first, make her feel comfortable, and maintain eye contact.

13. Add a little humor

Women prefer a guy with a good sense of humor as they are attractive and give positive vibes. It also helps to build a connection easily. Crack jokes to make your date laugh with you. There is hope for a second date when she has a good time with you.

14. Don’t show off

Do not brag about your achievements or share stories of your promotion or expensive car on the first date. It could be a turnoff, and you may not have another chance to show who you are. Let your personality speak for you.

15. Dress neatly

Ensure you look nice without trying to be someone else. Dress as per the venue by picking an outfit that makes you feel comfortable and confident. Make yourself presentable—comb your hair, wear a subtle perfume, and don’t forget to polish your shoes.

16. Communicate properly

Communicate properly before and after your date. Make sure you discuss your dating plans a day before. Even after the date, you should be friendly, irrespective of how your date was. If you enjoyed the first date, ask for a second date politely. Otherwise, express that you had a good time.

First Date Tips For Women

The following first date tips will help the ladies rock on their first date. Nonetheless, even men can use these tricks.

17. Break the barrier

If your date is shy or nervous, initiate the conversation and show interest. Some men could be hesitant to establish a connection. So, breaking this barrier will put both of you at ease. You can offer a gentle hug upon meeting or give him a casual touch during the date to build a connection and make him feel comfortable.

18. Know your deal-breakers

You know what turns you off and makes you feel strongly that you do not want a second date with a guy. Your deal-breakers could be related to smoking, rudeness, fake attitude, or dominance. You may set your non-negotiable terms around his character, personality, and values.

19. Watch out for red signs

Pay attention to the indicators that clearly tell you that something is not right. These indicators could include getting touchy, criticizing exes, complaining, not answering basic questions, hiding something from you, making excuses and stories, or exhibiting controlling behavior. Watch the guy attentively, and if you notice any red flag, you will know planning a second date is not an option.

20. Reveal your interests

If your date is going well as expected and you are enjoying it, do not hide your feelings. Let your date know that you enjoy his company and want to spend more time getting to know each other. A bit of mystery is good, but do not hide your feelings or show your disinterest. It could send the wrong message to your date.

21. Watch the alcohol consumption

Another important topic to consider on your first date is a count on alcohol consumption. You must keep it to two drinks or one if you get tipsy easily. It could be risky to go beyond two drinks on a first date and may also turn off your date.

22. Weara playful attitude

You don’t have to be serious or suspicious on the first date. Be playful and have fun when dating. Ask some casual or funny questions and let them ask you too. An easy and light conversation can help you know each other better.

23. Exchange your bucket list

Talking about long-term goals and experiences is a nice way to know each other and measure compatibility. Talking about your favorite food, adventurous sites, movies, and passions in life can help you build a connection.

Going on the first date is an important occasion in a relationship, and with the help of a good guide, you can ensure it is a successful one. Staying relaxed, being fully engaged, maintaining good body language, and being yourself are some important first-date tips to keep in mind. Also, make sure you have a good time on your date and stay polite no matter what the other person’s response is after the date. However, don’t be discouraged if the date doesn’t end positively since there are many fishes there out in the sea!

Key Pointers

  • Having a fun and engaging conversation is important on a first date.
  • Men will be more apealing if they are confident, fluent in communication, and dress neatly on their first date.
  • Women should watch out for red flags and notice deal-breakers while they are on their first date.

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Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill

(Ed.S., LMFT)
Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and family business consultant, who has earlier been a graduate instructor/advisor, an organizational learning consultant, and hospice volunteer. With experience working in the private as well as corporate setting, Sharon helps her clients think creatively and build upon their strengths. Previously, she trained Russian psychiatrists in Moscow in the skills... more

Shikha Thakur

Shikha is a writer-turned-associate editor at MomJunction. Her core interest lies in writing articles that guide couples through their courtship to marriage and parenthood. She also specializes in baby names. Being a postgraduate in Human Resources, she likes understanding people and their relationships. This reflects in her relationship articles, where she deals with both the rosy and the grey side... more