"Almost everyone will make a good first impression, but only a few will make a good lasting impression." – Sonya Parker
1. PLAN AHEAD
There’s nothing sexier than a guy who’s confident, so avoid any uncertainty on your end by planning ahead. This includes researching the restaurant ahead of time to find out what their specialties are, what time the movie starts, where to go afterwards and so on.
The goal here is to look like you know what you’re doing at all times (even if you really don’t).
2. DRESS APPROPRIATELY
We’re not saying you should suit up every time, but you’ll need to look decent at the very least. Chill is one thing, but sloppy is another entirely. Avoid flip-flops, ragged shorts with holes in them and so-on.
Show up early— but not too early. Whether you’re picking her up or meeting her at the restaurant, keeping your date waiting is impolite and definitely something you should avoid. On the flip side, don’t be too early if you’re picking her up. Otherwise your date might feel rushed.
TIP: A good rule of thumb is to try and arrive just 5-10 minutes ahead of time. That way you’re not waiting too long either and she doesn’t feel that awkward.
4. BE A GENTLEMAN
Open the door for her, let her go first, pull out her chair and so on. This is basic stuff. Also – and we can’t stress this enough—be confident. She wants to be there.
We’re not talking about the app here. On the contrary, we suggest you avoid looking at your phone as much as possible and instead look at your date. If you keep glancing at your phone, your date may feel like she’s boring you, or like you have somewhere better to be. Using it WHILE talking to her and without looking at her is just plain rude.
TIP: Keep your phone face down to resist temptation if necessary. Anything short of an emergency can be put off until after the date.
6. BODY LANGUAGE
People say that 93% of communication is nonverbal. This means that how you say something is just as important as what you say, if not more. So make eye contact, smile and adapt an open, welcoming posture. Whether consciously or not, these will affect your date’s perception of you.
7. MAKE CONVERSATION
The whole point of a first date is to get to know the person you’re with, so listen up! Understand what your date has to say and respond accordingly. Asking follow-up questions is a good way to show that you’re paying attention to what she’s saying.
Of course, this goes both ways. Be open and willing to talk about yourself so that your date can get to know you as well. Just make sure you don’t go overboard and make it all about yourself.
TIP: In reference to #1, plan a first date at a place that can initiate easy conversation—like dinner at a restaurant both of you have been wanting to try, or at the concert of a musician you’re both fans of.
8. BE AUTHENTIC
Be the best version of yourself—and the “yourself “ part is important. Preparing ahead and putting your best foot forward is key, of course, but you should be honest with your date as well.
Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, because that could lead to big problems down the road. Besides, if she doesn’t like you for who you really are, then she’s someone you probably don’t want to be with anyway.
9. DON’T ARGUE OVER THE BILL
This one is definitely controversial and your mileage may vary, but our position is this: Just do it—no questions asked. If your date offers to pay, decline politely and say she can pay next time.
TIP: If she insists though, and it looks like she’s dead set on paying for herself, just give in. It’s better than making a scene and ending the date with an argument.
10. FOLLOW THROUGH
Two-day rule? Three-day rule? A gentleman has no time for games like that. If you liked her, follow through the next day with a text—maybe opening the door to a second date.
In truth, these aren’t just tips for a first date, but are in fact basic manners applicable to meetings with clients, bosses and friends. That’s actually one of the traits of being a gentleman—treating everyone you meet with the same level of respect, regardless of who they are or where they come from.
What are your favorite first date tips? Share your stories in the comments!