Dos and Don’ts for a Flawless First Date

When it comes to the ideal date, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been on five or fifty others. Why? Because as much as experience can be helpful, if you’re not bringing your A game, then you’re not doing it right.

On a perfect first date, your energy should reflect what you hope for in a relationship. If you’re looking for a fun fling then you should be flirty and promiscuous. If you want something more serious, then you should make a point to really get to know him. Sure it can be awkward to let you date know that you’re looking for a long term lover, but you don’t have to say it directly. It’s all about your energy. Regardless of what kind of romance you’re looking for though, to make him want you it’s important that you’re happy, open-minded and confident. When you nail this you’ll be radiating sex appeal and admiration.

Do #1: Prepare for Your Date.

You might not consider the hours before the date important, but believe it or not preparation is key to a successful first date. Think about it like this:

We’ve all been late or rushed for something, whether it was work, a social event or family gathering. The frantic feeling it causes is stressful and overwhelming. You don’t want to approach your date the same way because no matter how well you try to hide it, he’ll be able to see the chaos you’re feeling.

Instead take time to relax beforehand and focus on what it is that your date will entail. Do whatever it is that puts you at ease, whether it’s yoga, a cup of coffee or a long walk. Getting in a calm mindset will make all the difference.

To keep yourself on schedule, set aside an extra half an hour for leeway. You never know when disaster will strike, so that bufferzone can save your butt. Be sure to choose your outfit the night before, something flattering but appropriate, and make sure it’s clean and ironed. If you’re into accessories, set aside what you plan on wearing so that getting dressed for your date is a breeze. Pro tip: Always have a backup pair of nylons.

Woman choosing outfitDo #2: Choose the Right Outfit

You may think, “First date! I need to look amazing!” but if you wear a little black dress to a laid-back pub or a movie, you’re going to look out of place. In turn, you’ll feel uncomfortable and your obvious discomfort will make him uncomfortable. Instead, dress for whatever it is you’re doing and wear something that you know looks good on you but won’t hinder you from being cool and collected.

Despite how smokin’ you may look, sporting an outfit that you can’t walk, eat, breathe or talk in is going to do you no favours – he knows you’re a woman with T&A so you don’t need to flaunt it.  First dates are anxiety-filled enough and being uncomfortable in your clothes only makes it worse.

Do #3:  Put Your Phone Away

This may sound obvious, but so many of us are obsessed with routinely checking our phones every so often. Doing this on a date is a major deal breaker. Instead of showing the guy you’re with that you’re more interested in what’s happening on Facebook or the latest Instagram photos, be present! There’s nothing ruder than trying to have a conversation with someone who’s eyes are glued to a screen – wouldn’t you be put off if he did this to you? If you really struggle with this one then it may be a sign that you’re not ready to have a relationship with an actual human just yet. Similarly, do not post any status updates, tweet about your date in real time, or snap any candid pics when he’s not looking. That’s just weird and he’ll probably think you’re a freak if he sees them.

Couple playing poolDo #4: Choose the Right Environment

How often do you hear of people on a date going for dinner or to a movie? All the time! Instead of following the norm, make an effort to plan dates that you can both fully enjoy. This doesn’t mean that you should put down his dinner plans or suggest you change them for your brilliant ideas. This more so goes if he’s open to your input beforehand. Doing something fun like dancing or playing pool will generate positive emotions, and don’t forget, laughter is the best tension killer.

Do #5: Be Decisive

This doesn’t mean you have to make all the decisions on your date, but you should definitely have some input. If asks if you prefer Italian or Chinese food, tell him. He says movie or bar, you pick. Going out with someone who has no opinion or preference can be draining, so don’t be afraid to speak up.

Couple talking over dinnerDo #6: Keep the Conversations Light

You’re out to have a good time together, to make sure the conversation is enjoyable. There is absolutely no reason for you to talk about your exes or any other heavy subjects on a first date. Not only will it put a bad taste in his mouth, but it’ll also make you look unhinged. Instead, work on developing a connection so that he feels compelled to call you back. Ask him insightful questions and take a genuine interest to his life, job and anything else that he shares with you. You can even try to gain a bigger picture of who he is by asking questions like “How did your job/hobby/interest start?” Make sure your questions are semi-general so that he doesn’t feel bombarded. Keep in mind that men want to be with women who are fun and take their stresses away, not cause them. Make sure he feels good in your presence. Topics to avoid discussing: politics, his exes, religion and his income.

Do #7: Eat Like a Normal Person

If you order the small garden salad and then eat half of that, he’s not going to think you’re skinnier, prettier, more feminine or mysterious. He’s going to think you have weird food issues and it’ll probably even make him a bit uncomfortable. Instead, eat like you normally would. Guys like it when women eat unselfconsciously and with pleasure. They find it refreshing that she can be comfortable and down to earth.

Couple paying the billDo #8: Handle the Bill Gracefully

There are two tactful ways to do this. The first way  is when the bill comes, wait for him to make a move for it. When he does, reach for your purse and continue the payment process until he says “I’ve got it.” You can then ask if he’s sure, to which he’ll say “yes,” so thank him and drop it. You don’t want to come off as stubborn or overbearing on your first date so let the man pay if he wants to! Keep in mind that if he doesn’t say anything about the bill then you’ll have to split it. Be careful not to jump the gun on this one- if you speak too soon then he may think that you’d actually prefer to split it.

The second way is to simply reach for the check when it comes instead of waiting for him to make the move. If he insists, offer to split the bill, or at least leave the tip. He’ll probably decline, so make sure you then offer to get the cab to the next destination, the movie tickets or a round of drinks. However, if you offer to pay or split, be prepared to actually pay or split. Don’t play games; say what you mean and mean what you say. Also keep in mind that not offering to pay or pitch in could translate to entitled.

Do #9: Always say “Thank You.”

Remember to thank him at the end of the date. Since some men think women are just in it for the free meal or drinks (you may have heard stories of girls who date men for the freebees), combat this belief by texting him an hour after the date has ended to thank him again. Don’t shorten the text to a one-word “thanks,” it sounds insincere, rather take the time to send a full, heartfelt message. Just don’t go overboard.

Surveys have shown that the number one reason why a guy doesn’t call a woman again after a date is because they weren’t grateful. No matter how terrible a date may go, there is never an excuse for rudeness so even if you don’t hit it off, he will appreciate that you had the class to thank him anyways.

Couple on a bad date7 Things NOT to Do on a First Date

There are many things that should be avoided on a first date, but to keep it simple, here are the big ones.

  1. Don’t be late or keep him waiting. Fashionably late doesn’t exist when it comes to first dates.
  2. Don’t interrogate him. This isn’t an interview.
  3. Don’t focus your energy on the wrong areas (i.e. his appearance, income, etc.).
  4. Don’t drink too much. No one wants to be carried home on the first date.
  5. Don’t mention or talk about other guys (unless they’re related or good friends).
  6. Don’t be nervous, he’ll pick up on it and also get nervous.
  7. Don’t give him too much on the first date. Make him want a round two!

About Amy North

Amy North is a women's relationship coach and best-selling author from Vancouver, Canada. Her high-acclaimed programs include "Text Chemistry" and "The Devotion System", both of which have helped thousands of women from around the world find (and keep) the man of their dreams.

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