So we know it seems like a major score when the girl you’ve been chatting with on OkCupid or Tinder finally agrees to meet up in person. Congrats, bro! Judging by her picture, you’ve picked a winner.
But now what? How can you be sure to impress her, make your date go smoothly, and boost your chances of having a little fun afterwards?
We consulted our female experts and put together 5 Secret Tips for you that will practically guarantee your date will go smoothly… and that she’ll be left hoping for a little more than just dinner!
First Date Trick #1 – Don’t be early.
You’re reading this thinking “What…?” We know you’ve probably been told your whole life to put on a nice shirt and show up to your date a bit early to show that you’re serous. But take it from our female experts – if you show up early and she shows up on time after you, what happens?
Two things – first, she’ll instantly start off the date feeling bad that she’s kept you waiting. She has no way to know how early you showed up or how long you’ve been sitting there. She’ll walk up to you, smile guiltily, and apologize for being late – even if she’s arrived only two minutes after the time you’d planned. (Feeling familiar yet?) First impressions are everything, so you want the date to start off with her feeling excited and happy to meet you…not with her feeling bad and apologizing!
The second thing is even more important. Like we said, if you’re already there when she arrives on time, she has absolutely no way of knowing how long you’ve been there. You could have been there for the past hour, sitting around nervously and waiting for her. Sounds weird, but some weird guys do that kind of thing, and chances are she’s probably seen it happen before. One of your big goals on this date is to prove to her that you’re a cool, normal guy – and not some desperate internet weirdo. So don’t be too early!
But be careful with this one, guys. You definitely don’t want to show up too late and keep her waiting on you for ages – she’ll be wondering if you stood her up and she may even leave! There’s a sweet spot within right on time and about ten minutes late. Aim for the sweet spot.
(And even if she shows up really late and ends up apologizing anyway, don’t sweat it. Since she’s the one who was actually late, she was probably feeling stressed and worried on the way over. Reassure her that it’s no problem, give her a smile to show that you mean it, and tell her you had some phone calls you had to make anyway. You’ll cheer her up instantly and help make sure that she starts the date off on the right foot!)
Here’s the second tip from our short series on tricks to win over your date!
First Date Trick #2 – Ditch the dinner and a movie.
Maybe that worked well in the 50s, but it’s 2015 now. Paying for expensive movie tickets and sitting in the dark without talking isn’t really the best way to spark a connection.
Put your creativity to work and come up with something a little more interesting – it’ll be sure to pay off.
Here’s our top ideas for best first dates.
The Classic: Coffee Shop Date
There’s a reason this is a classic go-to for a first date. It’s low-key, won’t break anybody’s budget, and easy to squeeze into a packed schedule. It gives you two a chance to talk and get to know one another without making anything into a big deal. If it goes well, then you can plan another date that’s a little more involved! Goes poorly? Oh well, it was only 45 minutes of your time. No big deal, right?
The Artistic: The Museum Date
Are you an art lover in search of your soul mate? Or perhaps a nerd who enjoys the exhibits a little too much? Ask your potential sweetie if they’d like to accompany you to the local art or science museum. Walking around a museum is a great way to chat with the other person, and the exhibits will give you plenty to talk about so you won’t have to worry about any awkward silences. Bonus? If you’re walking around together, it’s a lot easier to check out your physical chemistry than if you were sitting on opposite sides of a table.
The Fun-Lover: Pick Your Game!
If you’re more of a fun-loving spirit and you sense that your girl is too, why not skip the formal stuff and cut straight to the good part? Bring her out to a bowling alley, or plan a laser tag date! (Just ignore all the twelve-year olds). Or, find a local bar around you that hosts a game night or karaoke, and give it a shot. All of these ideas will break the ice and put you both in a great mood, all while doing a fun activity.
The Romantic: The Candle-lit Dinner
Sometimes Hollywood actually does know best – you can’t get much more romantic than a candle-lit dinner in a beautiful restaurant. Many girls are a sucker for a romantic evening, and if that sounds like you, then give it a go. Pick your favorite restaurant, make sure you make a reservation so you can get the best table, and treat your lucky girl to a dreamy dinner.
(Skip the whole concern over chivalry and who’s paying the bill by following this simple rule – whoever asks the other person out and suggests a restaurant [and thus the price point] should intend to pay. If the other person offers to pay or cover the tip, it’s your choice to either graciously refuse or accept their offer.)
First Date Trick #3 – Dress cool, from the shoes up.
Most guys probably never think about what shoes they are going to wear, ever. Unless it’s a wedding or funeral and you break out the black dress shoes, you probably wear the same pair every day. But surprisingly enough, our expert ladies tell us that they ALWAYS notice what shoes their dates are wearing. Sounds weird, but it’s true! And a worn out pair of tennis shoes, or ugly hiking shoes is a sure fire way to totally ruin even the coolest outfit and make you look kinda lame in the process. Most guys don’t spend too much time worrying about fashion or their clothing, but if you’re going on a date you definitely should. Aside from wanting to look good, why else should you care?
The biggest reason is that women pay attention to how you dress…. because they pay attention to how they dress. Even girls with the most casual style are still way more attentive and aware of how they dress than you probably are. So it stands to reason that if they care about what they wear, they’ll definitely pay attention to what you wear too.
Lucky for you, the bar is set very low. Most guys have no clue how to dress or what looks good on them, and for women who put effort into their appearance, a lame outfit can be a real turn-off. So, if you come in with an outfit that’s even remotely cool, you’re already beating the first hundred guys out there – your date will definitely notice and be really impressed.
So…what to wear? Firstly, definitely nix the beat up sneakers or hiking boots – it just screams “my mom still buys my clothes”. You want to show her that you’re cool, you’re an adult who knows how to dress himself, and definitely not a man-child.
Aim for a more casual dress shoe that’s brown or blue in color (not black) or a classic winter boot like Tims or Bean boots. And definitely consider investing in a pair of what I’ll call dress jeans – dark blue jeans that are higher quality and fit better than your daily jeans. Check out stores like Express or H&M and aim for something that’s slightly fitted or bootcut; these styles, as women say, will be ‘flattering’ to your body and make you look great. On top? Just make sure it’s something in a solid color that fits you well – again, aim for slightly fitted and definitely not baggy.
No idea what I’m talking about? That’s okay, you’re not alone. Seek out female friends, or stylish male friends, for advice. Ask them to go shopping with you – it might feel a little silly to have them pick out your clothes, but at the end of it, you’ll go home with an outfit that is friend-approved and definitely looks good!
First Date Trick #4 – Listen to her.
I know, this one sounds pretty obvious. Who’s not going to listen on a date?
But this is actually another example where the bar is set very, very low. Most girls have gone on countless dates with guys who just wanted to blah blah blah about themselves and don’t really care about hearing anything that she has to say. Or, even worse, guys who ask them questions and then interrupt them as soon as they start talking. After a while, girls get very tired of guys who just expect them to nod, smile, and laugh at their jokes. They want to meet people who want to actually get to know them – not just be smiling arm candy.
But hey, those dudes’ loss is your gain! Again, the bar is very low, so being an attentive listener and actually caring about what she has to say will often be a wonderfully pleasant surprise to a girl, since it happens so rarely!
This might sound odd, but it’s actually very simple. The key is to just actually be interested. If she’s listed her favorite books/movies/bands online, actually read through them to see what she’s into. Go into the date thinking that you want to learn about this girl – let yourself get a little excited about it!
Once you’re there, the key to being a great listener is to stop that internal monologue in your head that’s going “Oh god, what do I say next?” while she’s talking. I know it’s tempting to indulge in, but just turn it off as best you can and focus in on what she’s actually saying. Once you’re doing that, the conversation will flow much more naturally anyway. Ask her questions about what she’s telling you instead of just responding with something about yourself, and actually be interested in the answer. Look at her when she’s talking and make it clear that you’re listening and you care what she’s saying.
I know this sounds simple, but this is really powerful stuff. Even scientific studies have shown that people feel wonderful when they think someone else is interested in what they have to say and cares about them. Of course you do want to make sure you talk about yourself a bit too, so she can get to know you as well – but when you ask questions about her little brother or what kind of stuff she does everyday as an EMT, and listen to her answers, it makes her feel like she must be very special and interesting. She’ll be delighted – and what girl doesn’t want to be around a guy who makes her feel great?
The best part is that this one little trick actually makes you much more aware of body language. When you’re actually paying attention to her and listening, it’s easier to notice the little details of flirting. And once you’ve noticed, you can respond appropriately… and hopefully by the end of the night, she’ll be feeling the chemistry too!
First date coming up? Check this out (as well as our past articles) to learn the five best tricks to making your date a slam dunk!
First Date Trick #5 – Be the Good Guy.
You’re thinking, “Well I already am!”
We know that. You know that.
But she doesn’t know that… yet.
She hasn’t met you before, and talking online or texting isn’t really the same.
You have to remember that girls, ESPECIALLY pretty girls, get hit on by a lot of creeps.
Creepy guys follow them and cat-call them on the streets, creepy guys try to grope them on the subway, creepy guys message them online… the list goes on.
Most women are understandably cautious about going out to meet a new person for the first time… because they don’t want him to end up being one of those creepy guys!
So, you want to make sure that you prove to her that you’re definitely not one of those creepy guys. Thankfully this is very easy.
If you’re planning to ask her to come home with you for some hanky-panky afterwards, or asking her to go out somewhere sexy like a bar or club, ask ONCE… and only once.
Girls pay attention to this because they really don’t want you to do the creepy guy thing if they say no, which is ask again…. and again…. and again.
This standard creepy move is a huge turn-off for girls. Firstly, it comes across as desperate and pathetic. Even if she had been interested in hooking up on the second date, she’s gonna lose interest fast if it sounds like you’re a desperate loser won’t accept no for an answer.
And even if she eventually gives in to your relentless pressure and says ok, you do not want to be doing the naughty with a girl who doesn’t really want to be there. Trust us.
So if she says no, accept her answer gracefully and say you’d love to another time. She’ll be so relieved at your gentlemanly response. Let her go home happy, knowing you’re one of the good guys, thinking how great your date was, and your chances of having some fun on the second date go up exponentially!
(Our experts want us to remind you that there is a *small* group of girls this might not apply to. These girls might be shy or less confident, and even if they want to go home with you, they worry it’ll make them sound slutty if they say yes. Thankfully it’s pretty easy to spot, because their responses will sound different. Look for an answer that is anything but confident and assertive and seems to leave some room open for ambiguity: “Umm, I don’t know, I kind of told my roommate I’d come home after, but…”
The easiest thing to spot is the very expectant look that follows. If you’ve been listening well and paying attention to her body language, you should notice that she’ll start looking at you as if she’s waiting for you to do or say something. This is one case where you can ask again. Just don’t go overboard)