Your palms are sweaty. Knees weak, arms are heavy. There’s vomit on your sweater already, mom’s spaghetti. He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready – sound familiar? First dates can be nervewracking sometimes, but like most things, we’ve got you covered.
It doesn’t really matter how it happened. Whether you met them on Tinder, were introduced by a friend or whether you decided to stop making small talk at the coffee shop and start making boss moves, you got yourself a first date. Awesome! A first date is potentially the beginning of something big and special, and you should treat it with the kind of gravity and respect it deserves.
But what does that mean? The thing with first dates is that there’s never really a one-size-fits-all protocol. No two people are the same, which means no first dates are ever the same.
After our previous article on how to have a great Valentine's Day this year, a few of you guys reached out to us for tips an awesome first date. To help you guys out, we spent quite a bit of time scouring the internet for first date tips, and quite frankly, we’re a little appalled. What’s with everybody treating first dates like a suit-and-tie job interview? Sure, you’re getting to know someone, but isn’t the point of a first date is to feel the other person out and see if you vibe with them?
The list below is a little advanced – we’re not gonna bore you with things that should be common sense like “put your phone down” and “get to know the other person”. Instead, we’ve made a guide for a with the perfect first date tips for guys who are really trying to nail it (no pun intended).
What Type of Date is it?
First things first – are you sure it’s really a date? It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many guys mistake a friendly hangout for a date. If there’s some chemistry between you two, then a one-on-one hangout could potentially be one, but it never hurts to make sure. If you’re direct, you can just come out with it – “Let’s go out on a date” works wonders. No confusion – you’ll get a straight “yes” or “no”. There’s nothing embarrassing about wanting to be more than friends with a person, and you should let them know if that’s your intention.
If it’s a “no”, so be it. At least you had the courage to ask them out and can move on.
Next, you have to know what kind of date it is. We’re gonna go ahead and assume that since you’re taking them out on a date, you know at least a little bit about the other person. Find out what they like and take them somewhere they’ll have fun. If they’re into rock climbing, take them to a bouldering gym. If they’re foodies, take them to an awesome food joint. If they’re beach babes, pack up your swim trunks and head to the beach.
But also, don’t forget about yourself. You probably don’t want to spend a bucket-load of money trying to impress them, and that’s alright. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a little selfish sometimes, especially if you don’t know if the date will go anywhere. The whole point of a first date is to see if you two mesh well with eachother. A basket of beer-battered fries or a cup of coffee can go a long way. Interestingly, we’ve also found that simple dates usually carry less pressure and makes it easier to get to know your date. Win-win.
Pro-tip: the best first dates I’ve ever had were almost always “activity” dates. A beach trip, hiking, skating or a downtown-crawl are all a great ways to see if you mesh with the other person while avoiding the “interview” style date. Your attention isn’t 100% on eachother the whole time, which means less pressure to constantly make conversation. Add onto that the fact that you'll have something to talk about during the date and you have the recipe for an awesome first date.
Perfect First Date Tip #1: Be Cool
Your date is just as nervous as you are. Be cool. We don’t mean that you should try to look cool (don’t wear your sunglasses inside and flex your credit card), but just take it easy. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. If it does, awesome!
The anxiousness of a first date is part of what makes it so damn exciting. Rather than tripping over your nerves, embrace them for the completely normal impulses that they are. When you understand that your date is feeling the same way, it can help put your mind at ease.
I mean, think about it. Worst case scenario, you end up having a nice time with someone who may not be a great fit for you. Best case, this is the start of something new!
If the date does go south, it’ll be a funny story to tell your friends one day.
Point is: take it easy – you’re both anxious and it’s completely normal. Embrace the nerves and have a good time.
Perfect First Date Tip #2: Be Confident
Confidence is sexy – humble confidence, that is. People are hardwired to smell desperation a mile away, so avoid that. They’re not out of your league, and you’re definitely not “lucky” to be going on a date with them. You’re a badass and they liked you enough to go out with you, so there’s no need to act like they did you a huge favor.
Be confident, be humble and be polite. But also know your worth. It’ll make you feel better during the date and it’s attractive.
Pro tip: find a way to feel more confident before the date. Here are some tips:
- Get a fresh haircut
- Accomplish something earlier in the day – work or non-work related
- Hang out with friends/family before the date. Some pre-date socializing can get you feeling more comfortable
- Pick out a kick-ass outfit to wear on the date. Few things can make you feel as confident as an outfit that fits well and makes you look like the awesome dude that you are
Perfect First Date Tip #3: Embrace Rejection
Of course, not every date ends up leading to something more. Sometimes, two people aren’t compatible, and that’s fine.
Probably the biggest worry during dates is “what if they don’t like me?”. The fear of rejection makes a lot of people nervous and afraid to put themselves out there. But there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Remember – you already landed the date. Now it’s up to you to just show the other person who you really are. You’re halfway there, now finish strong. If they don’t like you, so what? Doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you.
Embrace rejection. If it happens, it happens. It’s not the end of the world.
Perfect First Date Tip #4: Take Care of Yourself
I’ll give it to you straight - nobody wants to go out with a slob. Get a haircut, shower, trim the hedges and dress for the occasion. Put your best foot forward.
Pro-tip: do a little research on where you’re taking them (or they’re taking you). Don’t overdress or underdress. Pick something that fits the atmosphere and rock it.
For example, you can never go wrong with a well fitting t-shirt, jacket, dark jeans and badass shoes on a casual date.
Don’t forget to slip into some fresh socks (no holes) and some awesome underwear – we recommend boxer briefs. Their classic look, comfort and form-fitting style will have you prepared for whatever ends up happening.
Doing something athletic? Slip into some nice track pants (joggers always look best).
Going to the beach? Invest in some nice swim shorts (above the knee, please)
Showering and trimming the hedges don’t really need much explanation. Be clean and smell good, man.
Finally, hit the gym earlier in the day. Working out releases endorphins - our body's natural painkiller. Working out puts our body under stress and endorphins help protect our body during and after training and give awesome mental clarity and feeling of euphoria post-workout.
Again, the better you feel, the more at-ease you’ll be during the date. But these are just suggestions – if you find video games relaxing, then take the time to play video games before your date. If you’re happy with your hair, then forget the haircut.
But please shower and use soap – that one is non-negotiable.
Perfect First Date Tip #5: Be a Gentleman
This should go without saying, but don’t be a prick on the date. Hold the door, don’t be a jerk and be conscious of how the other person feels during the date Don’t brag, don’t put the other person down and definitely don’t be rude to other people. Some playful teasing can be a great way to build rapport between the two of you, but if they’re ever visibly uncomfortable or not responding, cut it out.
What about paying for the date?
Convention says that you should pay for everything, but that’s definitely not always the case these days. If you want to pay, pay. If you want to go Dutch, go Dutch. It all depends on your values. Personally, I like to pay if I invited the person out. 9 times out of 10, they’ll offer to pay for the next one.
Pro-tip: if the first date is going well and your date wants to pay at the end, I recommend paying and slipping in a “you’ll get the next one”. It’s a great way to lay the foundation for the next date (if you’re both down for that).
Perfect First Date Tip #6: End with a Bang
Not that type of bang. Unless…. 🤔.
We talked about how important first impressions are, but the ending of the date is just as important as the beginning. The way you end the date will stick in the other person’s mind as they head home, so make sure to end it with a bang.
First things first, let’s get the uncomfortable stuff out of the way. Lots of people don’t like first dates because they feel like they’re obligated to kiss at the end. Not everybody moves at the same pace and you should never pressure the other person into doing anything. Plus, everything is better when it happens naturally. If you both want to kiss, you’ll know. You’ll be talking and there’ll be a sudden lull in conversation followed by electric (and slightly uncomfortable, in a good way) silence and eye contact. That may be your cue – but it never hurts to ask. A simple “I want to kiss you” can go a long way.
If the other person doesn’t want to, no biggie. Maybe next time.
What if the date didn’t go well? Then just say goodbye and be on your way – take it as an experience to learn from for your next date.
Perfect First Date Tip #7: After the Date
One of the most popular first date dips over the last couple of decades is that you should never text a person too fast after the date, as to not seem too eager.
Sure, it can make sense sometimes. But it can also be pretty rude.
It’s perfectly acceptable to text someone after a date (morning is probably best) to let them know you had a good time. If that feeling is mutual, then you can also plan when to see eachother next. Boom – there’s your second date.
One thing we advise against, though, is ghosting. If your date contacts you and wants to see you again, please don’t ignore them. It takes a lot of guts for someone to put themselves in a vulnerable position, so at least do them the courtesy of responding. In fact, ghosting may be psychologically damaging. Be forthright and tell them that you didn’t feel a connection – that’s perfectly okay.
You now have everything you need for a kick-ass first date! Godspeed!