8 First Date Dos And Donts

Men's Dating

8 First Date Do’s and Don’ts

Nick Slade

Written by: Nick Slade

Nick Slade

Nick spent 20 years in the dating scene before marriage. He has always been the guy friends would come to for advice on relationships, and he developed a knack for giving helpful insights. After college, Nick was a disc jockey for a few years, when the love generation was still alive, so Nick has a lot of relevant experience to draw from when it comes to every aspect of dating, falling in love and screwing things up. He holds Bachelor's degree in humanities and a slew of master’s credits in journalism. Nick is a news junkie and tries to keep up on the latest non-fiction when he has time. He has published two books on how to win at dating and relationships.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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We only get one chance at a first date, so be prepared and keep your eye on the prize the whole time. The first date may not determine if there will be a relationship, but it does determine if there will be a second date. This is the time to be a doting Prince Charming, so make sure you’re up to the task.

These do’s and don’ts might help:

1. Do clean up.

Show her you take this date seriously. Shower, shave, shampoo and shoe shine. Clean up and dress up in fresh attire that is appropriate for the date. Your cleanest dirty shirt from your closet floor won’t cut it. Neatly combed hair and just a touch of cologne will complete the image.

She will probably spend a couple of hours getting ready for you, so show her you’re worth the fuss. Even if you’re meeting for coffee after work, she probably brought a clean blouse and a pair of casual slacks to change into, and she will still spend 20 minutes in front of the mirror in the ladies room at her office. Arrive fresh and cleanly shaven, with dry, deodorized armpits, at the very least.

2. Don’t be late.

If someone has to wait for the other to arrive or to get ready, it should be you. First dates are tense enough. You don’t need to have your new potential girlfriend wondering if she’ll be stood up — and on the first date, she will be wondering that pretty quickly.

3. Do be a gentleman.

Tell her how beautiful she looks, and be sincere. A gentleman will make the first moments of the meeting all about the lady. Make a bit of a fuss, and be sure to pick out one particular element to compliment — her eyes, her dress, her earrings, her hair.

Offer her your arm, open doors, pull out her chair. Ask her about her day, and share your mood with her. Let her know you are truly glad to be with her right now.


“A kiss may very well be appropriate and appreciated

at the proper time, but make it reasonably

short before anyone gets lost in the moment.”

4. Don’t let your attention stray.

Give the lady your complete attention. Look into her eyes when you speak, and let her see that you are completely unaware of the rest of the world right now. She has captivated you and you don’t know the sexy waitress in the miniskirt even exists. Create your own closed little world for much of the time, and block out the people and distractions all around you.

5. Do put her at ease.

First dates can be awkward and filled with nervous tension, so do your best to create a relaxing mood. If you are relaxed, she will be more relaxed and comfortable, too. Humor is great, when it works, and so is a lot of attention, a smile and a calm demeanor.

Be relaxed and conversational when you’re doing your gentlemanly deeds, rather than formal and rigid. When you pull out her chair, try “Here, let me get that for ya,” instead of awkward silence.

6. Don’t get drunk.

A glass of wine can be a great “social lubricant” to settle the jitters for both of you, but too much of a good thing is definitely a bad thing. This is a time to show her that you are a man of restraint and character, if you expect this girl to ever consider you as her dependable protector and tower of strength.

7. Do let her know you like her.

You don’t want to seem like an over-eager puppy that is always bouncing, barking, licking her face, and humping her leg. But, if things go well, you do want to look her in the eye and simply say, “I like you.”

You can tell her you had a great time, it was fun, or you’re glad you finally did this, but those things could all be true if you didn’t find any spark at all. If you like her, let her know — just make sure you don’t put her on the spot to respond. If she is so moved, she may second that emotion, but a lady has a right to be a bit more reserved.

8. Don’t get frisky.

Yes, you’ve been right next to a beautiful feminine goddess for several hours now, and you want to swallow her whole. Again, you need to be a gentleman of restraint and character. Let the sexual tension build for both of you, and it will pull you back together soon for another date.

A kiss may very well be appropriate and appreciated at the proper time, but make it reasonably short before anyone gets lost in the moment. Let her decide if she wants to pull your head back in for a little more as you back off slowly. If you’re not at all confident that she wants a kiss, at least embrace her, and when you’re eye to eye in the intimate zone, just say, “I wish I could read your mind.” Her head will probably drop slightly if she is not ready for a kiss, or she might move ever so slightly forward. Seize the moment.

These tips should make for a smooth first date. That doesn’t mean the relationship was meant to be — it could still go south. A few final items: Avoid talking about ex-girlfriends, and don’t talk too much about yourself. Engage her as an equal participant in the conversation, and be a good listener. The rest is up to you.

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