Making A Good First Impression: How To Get The Next Date Right

making a good first impressionThe following is a guest post from a fellow San Diegan blogger, Anna. We recently read her thoughts on dating and knew she needed to write something for our readers. Don’t miss out on this woman’s insight on Making A Good First Impression. If interested in submitting your own guest post, please read our guest posting policy and then contact us.

Throughout my early adulthood, I dated quite frequently.  Whether it was meeting someone through my friends, online dating, or at the gym and local hiking trails, I’ve met men with a variety of personalities and attitudes.  With all these experiences, I thought I would provide some “teachable moments” to pass along to any men still in the dating battlefield making a good first impression.

Whether it’s your first date or tenth, hopefully you can relate to some good and bad experiences I’ve had when some guys have taken me out. Men are great–and you’re brave for making the first move and even asking us ladies out. Hopefully I can give a little insight of how to make a good first impression and open the door to make a great connection while taking your date out.

A little note: Bear in mind that this is coming from someone who is pretty open-minded, but is still old-fashioned and values chivalry and manners!

Scenario 1:

When setting up a date, a guy suggested making dinner at his place for us.  Since this was my first time meeting him, I suggested something public like a coffee shop, but he insisted, and persisted, in cooking for me to make a good first impression, how he makes the best lasagna ever, how he has a good home brew system in place, and so on.

Teachable Moment-Make Her Feel Comfortable: Unless you have known her for awhile and/or she feels comfortable being around you, respect her requests to not be absolutely alone with you so that she feels safe.

Scenario 2:

While on a date with a guy, I divulged that I liked running marathons.  All of a sudden, he started saying a barrage of running terms, like fartlek, LSD (long slow distance, not the drug), negative splits, etc.  He wasn’t even asking any question, really, but more or less spitting them out like a runner-terminology ambush, which caught me off guard while trying to formulate a response.

Teachable Moment-Make Her The Expert: When trying to relate to someone based on her hobbies, perhaps ask her about it rather than just throwing out popular phrases related to it without applying their meaning.

A man that’s making a good first impression is a man who’s listening and asking us great questions!

Scenario 3:

A guy suggested meeting at a bar about a half-hour away from me.  I was a bit surprised at the location since he asked where I lived and then named the spot to meet. But I figured he chose it since it was in a trendy neighborhood with lots of great restaurants (for the record, my area has equally nice places) or maybe because he lived a half-hour away in the opposite direction.  The date went well, and then after the date, we said our good-byes, and he literally jogged across the street and into his house.

Teachable Moment-Be Considerate: When setting up a first date with someone, perhaps meet somewhere in the middle as to not inconvenience your date.  Or, at the very least, don’t make it so obvious that you picked the easiest plan for you as possible.

Scenario 4:

While on a date with a guy, he inquired about my ethnicity.  I stated that I was Filipina, and he then asked if I spoke Filipinese.

Teachable Moment: Unless you’re fairly certain (let’s say 100%), perhaps ask what the dialect is, then ask if she speaks it.  Throwing a -nese or -ish at the end does not necessarily make it an official language.

Scenario 5:

When talking about previous hiking expeditions, a date proclaimed how he hiked a summit of a rather challenging course within a couple of hours.  Puzzled as it took me a couple of days, and even my fastest friends one day, I inquired further only to have it come out that he didn’t hike it at all.

Teachable Moment-Don’t Exaggerate: Please don’t lie about your accomplishments, or even exaggerate.  It only leads to a tangled web.

Scenario 6:

After a nice date with someone, I gave him my phone number to set up a possible next date.  I then got into my car, and as I was pulling away, he texted about where we should go next.  I looked at the text in shock at his quickness, and when I looked back up, he was staring at me from the inside of his truck, waving and smiling.

Teachable Moment-Let Her ProcessWhile I don’t advocate the three day rule in “Swingers,” or any waiting game for that matter, give her a chance to reflect on the date or at least arrive home first. Giving her a little space and time to process will help in making a good first impression.

Scenario 7:

A man said that he would call me to set up the next date, and I never heard from him again.

Teachable Moment-Don’t Say What You Don’t Mean: Consider not saying you would like to see someone again if you really don’t mean it.  If you aren’t feeling it with her, it’s okay to just say it was nice to meet her and each go on with your lives.

Scenario 8:

I agreed to go out on a date with a guy that I met from the gym.  He suggested a beach bar, and though known for its casual and laid-back atmosphere, he arrived coming from a 20-mile, and what seemed to be a very sweaty, run.

Teachable Moment-A Well Groomed Man: Even though your date might have already seen you in workout mode, consider practicing basic hygiene habits when meeting for a date.


Anna is a 30-something San Diegan and the blogger at Are Ya Gonna Eat That, a blog about running, personal finance, food, and travel that was created to pass the time until her next meal.

Featured Image by


  1. “he then asked if I spoke Filipinese.”

    Ha! What a genius!

    I love hearing others dating experiences: the good, the bad, and the ugly. 🙂

    • He asked with such confidence, too, so I almost felt bad about correcting him… almost! 🙂 It was pretty fun to reminisce about all the humorous scenarios, thanks again!

  2. “Throwing a -nese or -ish at the end does not necessarily make it an official language.” Lol! One would think that something like that would be a given to most, I guess not though. 😉

    • Haha, unfortunately not… I can’t talk, though, my family member who shall remain anonymous thinks adding an “o” at the end makes words instantly turn to Spanish (i.e., he asked a staff member in Cancun to “remove-o the bed-o” in a room – face palm!!).

  3. There are many times that I am glad that I am not on the dating scene. There are so many things that have to be done and I don’t know if I could keep up anymore.

    • I liked meeting new people, but do admit I really like not having to date anymore. Now I just hear about dating vicariously through others!

  4. This is funny. I’m sure I made some mistakes when I was dating, but some of these are unreal.
    I get annoyed when they ask me if I’m from North or South after they find out that I’m Korean. Do they think I’m a spy or a defector? There’s less than 10,000 North Korean defectors in America vs. over 1,000,000 South Korean immigrants. The chances are, I’m from South Korea.

    • Oh man, that is very awkward! I don’t even know if I could even answer that diplomatically without making a “really??” face.

  5. Striking a balance between questions and answers seems to be key. No one likes the showoff, which is true not just for dating.

    • I agree, for both showoffs and the “one-uppers” who make it seem like a contest. I tend to appreciate inclusiveness and sharing of knowledge when conversing with someone.

  6. My most awkward dating moment: after picking my date up at her place, I drove to the restaurant and missed the entrance. We were on a side road with no traffic so I started backing up. Not entirely legal, I know. Then I found out that the reason she didn’t have a car is because somebody had backed into it!

    • Haha, oh no, hopefully she wasn’t getting horrible flashbacks from it! 🙂 As long as there was no accident from it, though, I don’t think that’s too much of a deal breaker.

  7. Wow you have had some experiences lol! I loved this post. Guys, you need to be considerate and I especially agree with #1 make the woman feel comfortable. No woman wants to have a first date at your house is she barely knows you. Creepy.

    • Thanks! I know, I thought once I suggested to meet at a public place that he would get the hint, but he just became more persistent. We didn’t go out again, probably unsurprisingly.

  8. Anna you are so awesome. I even enjoyed editing the post!! Great to have another San Diegan on here.

    • No problem, it was fun to write. Thanks for the edits, you did a great job and it really pulled everything together. 🙂

Speak Your Mind