8 Essential First Date Tips for Men

Romantic DinnerYou ever leave a date thinking, “Why didn’t I do that?” or “Why did I do that!”? I know I have, on multiple occasions. If right now you’re preparing for a date your brain is probably racing with all sorts of ideas and questions. I’ve been there, recently too. I get tempted to wish dating was easier. But the truth is I want dating to remain adventurous. I just need to plan ahead and prepare for it. Here are some  first date tips and etiquette that you can always apply. Don’t be too cocky that you think you can just wing it. First impressions are important because you only get one shot.

Since I started dating I’ve gone on some wonderful first dates and some that I don’t recall because they were that horrible. The sad apart about the ones that went wrong is that I planned the date. If I was the conductor and the music didn’t flow then I can only blame myself. It might have gone different if I had Google to rely on back in the day. I didn’t’ though so I learned from my mistakes and others.

If you don’t know where to take her on a date and are looking for Date Ideas then be sure to check out my article – 25 First Date Ideas

Looking for clues on how to show her your appreciation and love? Check out – How to Make Her Feel Special Everyday

How about some tips and advice over at Good Dates Gone Bad?

Be Confident – Remember she already said YES

First dates are tough! It can be awfully intimidating. You find yourself doing Google searches for First Date Tips. And that’s probably how you got here. Remember this, she already said YES. She didn’t accept a first date with the guy next to you or some other stranger or your alter ego. You asked her and she told you yes. That’s the hardest part but you now know she wants to get to know you.

Focus on your positive traits. Your qualities. The attributes your friends and family love and enjoy. Don’t be afraid to ask them for reminders. Bring these to the table and she’ll enjoy your company. Leave the negative thoughts at home and step out as you.

Location, Location, Location

If I ask a stranger out or a girl I don’t know too well I like to plan a date that isn’t too committal. Both on your wallet and time. You’ll want to talk, laugh, exchange ideas and beliefs. This can be done over coffee, happy hour or something similar. Sparks won’t always fly and if it doesn’t it’ll be easier for both of you to part ways. If sparks do fly though you can easily suggest something after.

If we’re already friends I prefer to plan a date that’ll be more than an hour. Have a great dinner and fun evening going for a walk, playing games or even a day adventure like kayaking or hiking. She’s your friend so you should know what she likes to do. Now just plan it, get to know her and treat it like a first date for all the other first date tips here.

When I was a noob to dating I can remember planning a few where I suggested a meeting spot and that was the extent of my plan. We’d meet and we’d start walking North….sometimes West.

Keep Your Expectations in Check

Don’t go in to it expecting too much. During or after the date ask yourself these questions. How was the conversation? Did it flow naturally? Was it your type of conversation? Did we laugh? Was there more than physical attraction? Do you want to see her again? There might have been some awkwardness and that’s fine. You’re both nervous so give her the benefit of the doubt.

Dress to Impress

Dressing for the occasion is dressing to impress. If you’re taking her out to dinner at a nice restaurant then wear casual dress clothes, maybe even a necktie or collared shirt and fitted jeans. If you’re going kayaking don’t wear a suit, wear a bathing suit or board shorts. No matter the occasion be presentable, groomed, get a haircut, put your phone on vibrate or turn it off, spray on some cologne and be clean. Remember – First Impressions.

When I was 18 I once procrastinated the haircut and ended up cutting it myself 2 hours before the date. I think a part of me thought I didn’t need one and in the last few hours before the date my hair just started growing 3 times faster. Let’s just say there was no 2nd date to procrastinate for. I’ve heard it’s best to get a haircut a week ahead so you don’t have tan lines and know how to style your hair.

first date advice

Be polite to her and everyone that crosses your path during the date. After telling her she looks beautiful you probably don’t want to be guilty of over flattery, so try complimenting something about her. Compliment her outfit, hair or personality.

Chivalry is not dead –  It may seem like it is so you’ll need to revive it.

Open the door – all doors – car, restaurant, carriage, roller coaster, submarine…

Pay for everything – Remember,you planned the date. Don’t even bother asking her about splitting it.

When I was 17 and on my 2nd date ever we ran into a guy that she knew. Problem was that I didn’t know she knew him, and this dude and I didn’t like each other. Our interaction, which wasn’t polite, then made it awkward…

Be on Time

If you’re going to be late it better be because Godzilla is roaming the town. Don’t let it be due to you forgetting to fill up on gas or time for traffic. Every second you’re late she’s waiting on you. Do the right thing and be on time. It’s part of showing respect – to her.

Beliefs, Passions, Faith

These are normally a part of your core. If during the date you start to feel uncomfortable and you’re wondering if it’s a Red Flag, then it probably is. For example, I’m a Christian so it just won’t work out if she’s an atheist or Buddhist.

Follow Up

Forget about those stupid rules like waiting 24 hours or 2 to 3 days before letting her know how much fun you had. Letting her know the next day doesn’t mean you have to plan the next date right then and there. You’re just letting her know you enjoyed her company. If she did too she’ll get back to you and the second date can be planned from there.

These are just a few first date tips that should help you in preparation for your date. Relax, take a chill pill, be fearless, don’t load up on caffeine, seek advice and get to know her.

Featured Photo by http://dribbble.com/carolland

Second Photo by http://dribbble.com/Oronoz

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  1. All great tips. They can make or break a new relationship.

    • Absolutely! Thanks for commenting.

      • One more thing I would like to add here is that – Men should not drink too much on their first date! This will give a negative impact on a girl..

        Nice tips though 🙂

    • These are some great tips here! Another idea for your next date could be something like this…
      Start by setting your place with: candles, smooth music, and dim lighting. But start the music about 30 minutes into your dinner. So when you are both done eating the music will start playing and you can start dancing with her in your dining room! I also have more romantic techniques with women here: http://taoofbadassreviews.com/wp/optin/

  2. Good point about being on time. I hate it when people make me wait and make up some kind of an excuse. If you anticipate traffic, just leave early! I lose oh.. about half the respect for a person that shows up late without a really good excuse … as in the highway was jammed and I can confirm this from looking at the sigalert.

    • With first impressions all the negative things kind of aggregate together. Better to get the easy points like being on time.

  3. Todd Mayfield says

    Great stuff John! I especially like “She already said yes” and “Keep your expectations in check.” Guys rarely get first date advice on what to do in their head and heart.

  4. My name is Jewel Hargrove and I approve of this post. (That was the first thing that came to mind, so I wrote it. Haha. Can’t tell what I’ve been watching lately….)

  5. My favorite tip is making sure you open the door to the submarine…that’s probably the biggest issue in my first dates…

    • That was for all the sailors in town. I haven’t personally taken any dates onto a submarine. I’d probably have trouble finding the door….and that would be the issue. ha!

      • Steve Tallman says

        Actually, your comment about opening the door of a subway is really a metaphor for keeping it light and fun and not so serious ! Joe used of the submarine comment was perfect for this purpose. Nice work !

        • Steve Tallman says

          … the use of the subway comment … ( Voice texting). Ha! Another metaphor for, ” don’t allow anything to do you’re talking for you, except you ” !

  6. Some great advice here! I like the part about not expecting too much. Awkward silences are awful but inevitable. It doesn’t mean the date went badly!

    • Thanks dude! Good point about the awkward silences. 2 strangers hanging for the first time, there’s bound to be some of that. The movies and TV shows make us think there should be endless chemistry instantly – total BS.

    • I would agree. Things are not going to run perfect on the first don’t so don’t expect that. You have to get to know each other better and get more comfortable. Great post. It brings me back to my hubby’s and my first date. We ended up having a second date and more and are now married, so in hindsight I guess it went well.

      • A lot of the successful dating stories I hear normally don’t start off with the first date being perfect and instant butterflies. There’s other chemistry that leads to the 2nd date and goes from there. Thanks for commenting.

  7. John,

    I laughed when I read you early technique at dating; just meeting someplace and start walking. It reminded me of my own feeble attempts at dating.

    The nice part is that no matter how pathetic a person’s dating schemes are, somehow they work out and people wind up getting married. I think I got married in spite of my dating skills.

    • I had no clue what I was doing. haha! You’re absolutely right that sometimes it works when you know nothing. Thanks for commenting!

  8. Great tips John. I just married a couple of weeks ago, so hopefully I won’t need these tips in the future. Although, I used to love the excitement of a first date and will miss that suspense.

    • Congrats JW! I also hope you won’t need these tips again. Looking forward to more articles from you. I noticed you had been on the down low for a bit.

  9. A solid list. I especially agree that you should go into a first date without expectations because then there is no disappointment. You either connect or you don’t, no use trying to force anything.

  10. Great tips. I have a first date coming up and I’m borderline freaking out. Thanks for reminding me “she already said Yes.” My nerves have been calmed.

    • Allen, glad to hear I could help out. For myself, remembering that always does the trick. It’s so easy to get all nervous and then not plan effeciently. But when we calm our nerves the date goes much better and chances of a 2nd and 3rd are much higher. Good luck dude!

  11. John, great advice. I am one of your fan ^^

  12. Alagu Annamalai says

    Feeling excited while reading, and gotta try day after tomorrow, remaining later…..

  13. I loved the experience of my boyfriend when I was asking to my boyfriend to do this… I was not make sure of having experience but it was nice …

  14. In my experience, making a girl laugh is always the best thing you can do on a first date. If you make her laugh, there will be an instant connection.

    • Sharing a laugh and throwing some humor in is always a good idea. I don’t know if it’s the best thing, since being chivalrous is probably most important, but it definitely is up there.

  15. Great points John! question: I suggested bringing my little cousin along since “she” loves kids and is very close to her niece which the same age. Is Planning a date around the kids a good idea? I figured that’s something she likes so why not play off it.

    • If it’s your first date I probably wouldn’t because this is a time for you two to connect and see if there’s chemistry. Further down the road though this could be a good idea.

  16. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again

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