She’s said “yes”, now what?
1. Location, Location, Location
Ideally a first date should be in a non-threatening environment where there’s not a lot of pressure to perform in any sense. But you also don’t want to come off as so laidback you don’t care. So, after asking her out, don’t say “It’s up to you” as to where you go because it’ll seem like you’re not that invested and can’t be bothered coming up with a plan. Similarly, suggesting you go to a Michelin-rated restaurant is likely to make her wonder who’s paying and what might be expected in return. You can also strike these off your list: downscale greasy spoon, thrash metal concert, bungee jumping afternoon or the local pub where you and your mates plan to watch the footy. Instead, choose a location that’s neutral territory where you can relax and focus on each other.
2. Coffee, Drink or Dinner?
A café date is okay but doesn’t feel particularly special. It’s more like a pre-date date. Drinks at a bar come loaded with the idea that you can’t do a date without being liquored up. Or that you’re hoping to get her drunk. That makes dinner your best bet because shared eating is associated with intimacy. Select a restaurant with a bar where you can have a pre-dinner beverage to put you both at ease and because it facilitates ease of movement to your table. While taking her to one of your favourite eateries can show you’re an urbane gent, it can also make her feel like she’s on the back foot. Instead, maybe choose a place you’ll both be experiencing for the first time. If the first date is a success, you’ve got a venue “belongs” to you as a couple.
3. Movies Won’t Move Her
Don’t fall back on the movies for a first date. How are you supposed to talk, flirt and find out about each other if you’re in a darkened cinema? Save the movie for a few dates in, when you’ve established chemistry and feel more comfortable sharing an experience.
4. Dress To Impress
Turning up looking like you’ve taken time with your appearance because it shows that the date is something you care about. You don’t have to wear a suit and a carnation like some chap from the 1930s. But your shirt should be clean, sharply pressed and look like it’s just come off the rack rather than something you’ve had in the back of the cupboard for years. Same goes for your jacket. Torn jeans are a no-no. Opt for denim that’s new and smart. Don’t rock up in flip-flops or frayed sneakers. Spotless casual leather shoes or polished boots declare that you’re a man, not some street urchin.
5. Groom For Improvement
Exfoliate and moisturise your skin for a healthy glow. Clean and trim your nails. Brush and floss your teeth. Comb your hair and get a cut if necessary. Shave or ensure your stubble or beard looks deliberate rather than ragged. Use deodorant and a modest splash of a quality fragrance. Don’t turn up over-tired or hungover. Don’t have a few nerve-calming drinks because arriving smelling of booze or slurring isn’t going to win you any points. Before you arrive, heck your breath and pop a mint if needed. Don’t be late!
6. Ask & Listen
Nothing turns a woman off faster than a bloke who dominates conversation by talking about himself, his achievements, his opinions, his friends and family, etc, to the exclusion of her getting a word in. You’ll impress more by asking questions and listening than by boasting and blathering on. Aim for a balance of she-said/he-said but err on the side of letting her do more of the talking. When you ask a question, take note of how good TV interviewers do it. A “closed question” is one that only requires a “Yes” or “No” answer. “Do you like music?” sucks but “What sort of music do you like?” gives her the chance to give you details. Follow-up questions that get beneath the surface – particularly along the lines of “Why?” and “How does/did that make you feel?” – allow her to bring her emotions into the conversation. Don’t be afraid of opening up in kind. Women love gents who aren’t afraid of their feelings or talking about them.
7. Don’t Be A Downer
That said: don’t emphasise the negative. If you hate your job, don’t dwell on every little problem you have. Instead content yourself with mentioning that it’s not ideal before focusing on any positives—fun colleagues, good pay, plenty of flexibility—and then talking about the things outside of work that you are passionate about, whether it’s sport, a hobby or travelling. Aim to be upbeat and try to see the lighter side of things. A brooding companion breeds discomfort, whereas a funny fella is likely to make her feel at ease and receptive. Whatever you do: don’t talk about exes at any length.
8. Boasters Aren’t The Mostest
Sure you earn great money. Sure your BMI is the best it has ever been. Sure your house is worth twice what it was when you bought it. But there’s nothing that’ll turn a woman off faster than a man who can’t stop singing his own praises. Being modest about your achievements and possessions is a surer way to impress her. After all: great people don’t need to actually talk about their greatness.
9. Don’t Fuss Over Finances
When the dinner bill arrives, offer to pay for both of you. If she accepts, be sure to not make any sort of big deal about it. All she needs to say is “Thank you”. There are no strings attached. But if, as is likely, she insists on splitting the bill, don’t argue the point but instead accept graciously. However, if the date is going well, you can use this as a springboard, by jovially saying something along the lines of, “Well, I invited you so I expected to pay—at the very least let me buy you a drink”. This will feel like a natural segue to moving to another venue where you can continue the night side-by-side rather than across a table.
10. Make A Move (If It Feels Right)
By saying yes to your invitation to a first date, the woman you’re interested in has already indicated she’s interested in you. If you’ve done the above and are feeling the vibe, then be prepared to make the first move, whether it’s getting cosy on a couch at an after-dinner venue or as you’re saying your goodbyes. If the vibe is there and you don’t progress the date, you risk her wondering if you actually find her attractive. If she doesn’t respond in kind, don’t be a dick about it. Just tell her you’re sorry for misreading the situation. She might then tell you it’s not necessarily that she’s not into you, but that it’s too soon or there’s another factor at play. If she does respond, let the intensity of her response guide where you both take things next.