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First date advice | 11 tips for the perfect first date

Do you need some help and advice on your first date? Our dating expert tells you some secrets you should definitely know about!

Author picture of Janet Smith
Dating Expert Janet Smith November 15, 2023 • 9 minutes read
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Dating sucks? It doesn’t have to! At one point in time, we all had our first dates. Some went well, some didn’t – and that’s completely normal. But what if you just don’t know what to do or say on a first date?

Well, don’t worry. In general, experience is key – and that’s where I come into play. With these tips, you’ll become a pro-dater in no time!

Here is some amazing first-date advice you need to know!

1. Do you research

1. Do you research

Research can save you a lot of trouble. And I don’t just mean you should do your research like you’re doing right now (good job, by the way, but continue reading 😉), but you should also do a little bit of research on the person you’re going on a date with.

It’s really beneficial to know their interests before going into the date. What kind of person they are. What they like and don’t like. It gives you something to talk about and helps you connect with them on a deeper level – without even trying too hard.

But I don’t mean you should stalk them online to find out all that information. Nowadays, most people text a little before going on a date – so just ask them about those things!

But what if it’s a blind date or you can’t do any research? Well, then you just can’t do your research. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Just read on and find out what to do next.

But before your date stalls because you have no idea what to say or ask, prepare yourself with these 36 first-date questions that will make your date a success!

2. Make sure you’re comfortable

When you’re feeling comfortable on your date, you’re more yourself, and the date will more likely be a success. This doesn’t just mean being comfortable in your outfit, even though that’s important, too. (If you need some help with that, everyone should know these 8 tips on what to wear on a first date!) It rather means that you should feel comfortable with yourself.

So, how can you make sure you’re feeling comfortable on your date?

By doing things that make you feel good. I know this might sound selfish, but it really isn’t. When you’re comfortable with yourself, it shows – and people will react positively to it.

Some things that help me feel good are working out, listening to music, or just taking some time for myself before the date. You should definitely do something that makes you feel good, too!

3. Be the best version of yourself

3. Be the best version of yourself

Instead of telling you to be yourself, I’d say be the best version of yourself. But what does that mean? It means that you should show your date the best parts of you. The parts you’re most proud of, without bragging, of course.

Of course, you shouldn’t put up a false persona or pretend to be someone you’re not. But we all have different sides to us – and not all of them might be appropriate for a first date.

But what’s always appropriate is the following: good hygiene. Take a shower, brush your teeth, and put on some deodorant without overdoing it. You know, the basics. And don’t forget about your breath! No one wants to kiss someone with bad breath. By the way, should you kiss on the first date or not? Find out!

Other than that: just be confident, be polite, and have fun!

4. Don’t stress too much

One of the worst things you can do on a first date is to stress out about it. I know it’s easier said than done, especially when it’s one of your very first first dates. But if you’re too stressed out, it will show – and that’s not attractive.

So how can you prevent your date from turning into a total disaster because you’re stressing out too much? First of all, keep in mind that it’s just a date. It might be with someone you really like and eventually want to have a relationship with. But it’s still just a date.

Second of all, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If it goes well, great! If not, that’s okay, too. You’ll find someone else. Remember: there is plenty of fish in the sea!

If you need some help relaxing before going on a date, try doing some breathwork or meditation. It really helps! If that’s not your thing, try dancing to your favorite music.

5. Don’t be late

5. Don't be late

I can’t stress this enough: nobody likes waiting around for someone who’s late. It’s really inconsiderate and makes you seem like you don’t care. So, try to be on time, or at least close to on time. It’ll make a much better impression.

This is becoming more and more of a problem nowadays, and it’s just rude. So, just be on time. And if your date comes late, don’t stress about it too much. Just let them know that you don’t appreciate it and move on.

6. Don’t do all the talking

Listen more than you talk. It’s important to remember that a date is not a one-way street. Yes, you want your date to get to know you better. But that doesn’t mean that you should just talk about yourself the whole time.

A conversation should be a two-way street. So, make sure you’re also asking your date questions and getting to know them better, too. Ask follow-up questions as well!

And when they’re talking, really listen to what they’re saying. Show that you’re interested in what they have to say by making eye contact and nodding along.

But you shouldn’t be afraid to talk about yourself as well. Two-way street, remember?

You don’t know what to talk about? This guide will tell you what to talk about and what not to talk about on a first date!

7. Make sure you’re both on the same page

7. Make sure you're both on the same page

One of the most important things to do before going on a first date is to make sure you’re both on the same page. What does that mean? It means that you should make sure you’re both looking for the same thing.

For example, if you’re looking for a serious relationship and your date just wants to hook up, that’s not going to work out. So, it’s important to ask each other what you’re looking for before things get too complicated.

You can do this in a casual way, for example, by asking each other what you’re looking for on Tinder or Bumble. Or, you can wait until you’re actually on the date and then ask. It’s up to you!

And even if you’re on the same page, look out for these 30 first-date red flags. Thank me later!

8. Don’t drink too much

Alcohol can be a great way to loosen up and have more fun on a first date. But it’s important not to drink too much because then things can quickly go downhill.

For one, you might say or do something you’ll regret later. And two, it makes you look bad. Nobody likes a sloppy drunk! So, just be aware of how much you’re drinking, and don’t overdo it.

And if your date is drinking too much, maybe you should consider cutting them off. It’s not your responsibility to take care of them, but it might be the right thing to do.

Do you need some more tips for your first date? This is the right place to look for!

9. Don’t bring up exes

9. Don't bring up exes

This one should be obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway: DON’T bring up your exes. It’s just not appropriate, and it could make you look bad. You’re on a date with someone new, so focus on them and leave your ex in the past where they belong.

You can politely change the subject if your date brings up their ex. Or, you can just tell them that you’re not interested in talking about exes. Either way, it’s important to be respectful and make sure the conversation stays on track.

10. Everybody’s got baggage

We’ve all got baggage. And that’s okay! Everybody’s got a past, sometimes even a painful past. Your baggage shouldn’t be a topic for the first date, but if you or your date accidentally open up about it, don’t judge each other.

We all have our own stories, and we all deal with things in our own way. So, be understanding and try to see things from the other person’s perspective. You never know what somebody has been through.

11. Don’t have unrealistic expectations

11. Don't have unrealistic expectations

Last but not least, don’t have unrealistic expectations for your first date. Yes, you want things to go well. But that doesn’t mean you should expect perfection.

Things might not always go the way you want them to, but that’s okay. Just roll with the punches and enjoy yourself. The most important thing is that you’re both having a good time!

And if things do happen to go wrong, don’t bother. Everybody makes mistakes, and the most important thing is that you learn from them. So, don’t sweat it if things don’t go according to plan. Just relax and have fun!

Follow these tips, and you’re sure to have a great first date! And if you’re looking for more dating advice, be sure to check out our other articles!

And if everything went well, you should definitely be prepared and know how to ask for a second date!

How to win at early stages dating: The ultimate list of books

If you're looking for books about the early stages of dating, you've come to the right place. We've put together a list of some of our favorite books about dating, all of which are perfect for early stages in a relationship.

  1. Dating Sucks, but You Don't: The Modern Guy's Guide to Total Confidence, Romantic Connection, and Finding the Perfect Partner
  2. Seven Secrets of Modern Dating: The He Said, She Said Guide for Getting from Single to Spouse
  3. First Date Mastery: The Complete First Date Psychology Guide For Men
  4. Just Send the Text: An Expert's Guide to Letting Go of the Stress and Anxiety of Modern Dating
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Author picture of Janet Smith
Dating Expert

Janet Smith

Janet Smith is a freelance writer who writes about psychology, relationships, and dating. She has always been interested in understanding the human brain and how it affects our …

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