Cut out the bad etiquette and brush up your conversation starters.

From what to talk about  to going in for the kiss - Here's all the tips you need to nail your first date.

 

 

Summary:

  1. Basic tips - Drop the lines and tactics. Your intention should never be to impress a girl.
  2. Being yourself - Be honest about yourself without apology.
  3. Eye contact -  Get comfortable with holding eye contact for longer.
  4. Conversation - Use assumptions and statements to encourage conversation. Avoid interview style questioning.
  5. The kiss - Don't fret over choosing the right moment. a couple hours in, or toward the end is ideal. Don't make a good deal of it.
  6. At the end of the date - Thank her for a great time and leave. There's no need to suggest another meeting. Leave it open to build tension.
  7. Etiquette -  Wear appropriate clothing and groom/wash.

 

Have you ever watched First Dates? - The popular British reality T.V show that sees single men and women on blind dates at a restaurant filled with cameras and staff that don’t really work there. It really is an entertaining watch, but If you’re looking for good examples of how to nail a first date – you’re looking in the wrong place. Through awkward silences, off jokes and undeniably staged scenes, the audience are taken on a journey – A journey of meals being eaten by two people, with as many courses as there are same sex couples, who will inevitably never see each other again (as revealed at the end of each episode).

You may also feel inclined to seek dating advice from your close friends. Other than restaurant recommendations, generally, this advice should be ignored. Friends give bad romantic advice. Their opinion is driven by their narrow field of experience (no offence) and influenced by their efforts to not offend you. Besides, how many of your friends have enviable dating lives? Do many of them have the type of relationship you long for? Did they really seduce their girlfriend through the cold dating process? Or did they meet each other at university, at work or through mutual friends?

There exists a wealth of dating guidance online. Some of which is good, some of it bad. The problem is, most masculinity coaches and bloggers would have you prepare for a first date in the same way you’d prepare for a job interview, or a sales pitch for a Florida timeshare. Their advice is either not applicable in the real world like - “Say X, when she tells you Y whilst pretending to be disappointed with Z”, or just too vague - “be yourself”.  I rarely advise men to adopt dating techniques as they don’t tackle the underlying problems. However, for you to navigate the apparent minefield, I’ve exposed the utter nonsense and laid down some basic advice that will change the way she responds to you.

 

1. Basic tips

 

For starters, a first date isn’t your opportunity to impress a girl you fancy, or to trick her into liking you. It’s a chance to find out if you’re compatible enough to develop a romantic and sexual relationship. In simpler terms - It’s a chance to see if you like each other.

Let’s get this out of the way. If your intention is merely to sleep with as many women as possible, as soon as possible, then I suggest you stop reading. It’s not what I’m about. Yes, sex is important and one-night stands do happen, but it’s not the way to start a fulfilling relationship. Similarly, a belief that you can learn to become attractive to every single girl you meet is a delusion of immense proportions. Enough said.

Let’s kick it off with advice you should ignore

Conversation is what scares guys most - It’s a heavily debated element. Staring into the abyss with a blank mind and a dry mouth may be the pinnacle of your nightmares. I know how awkward it feels to sit silently in front of a girl desperately searching for things to say. Some voices on the internet claim they’ve discovered questions that are “scientifically proven” to make her interested. I’ve read so many articles that “know the secret formula” - Questions that strike a balance between impressing someone and learning about them, or topics that challenge her whilst secretly figuring out what she likes. It’s just counterintuitive bollocks that most girls will see through. If you’re sat in a bar with a girl, desperately analysing what to say next, how will you be able to listen to what she’s saying? These guys think they’re Jason Bourne, meticulously executing a plan, when in reality, they don’t know what the fuck’s been going on for the last two drinks because they weren’t paying attention.

The same goes for rehearsed lines and other tricks you may be hiding up your sleeve. You’ve probably heard that if you offend a girl she’ll actually end up liking you (it’s called negging). But put-downs and insults are fraught with danger. They will more than likely backfire. The problem is that it’s inauthentic, and ingenuine. The words being said aren’t congruent with the intention behind them, and girls will intuitively sense this. You’ll come across needy, dishonest and it’ll be obvious you care too much about impressing her. It’s like spraying yourself with sex repellent.

 If you don’t want girls to play games with you, don’t play games with them. If you haven't already, click here to hear more about what you should and shouldn't do to become more attractive, in my podcast.

What you should do -

Forget about the silly tips you’ve read elsewhere and read carefully.

First and foremost – Get the right intention.

Your intention on a first date should never be to impress a girl. If it is, you’ll find yourself doing all sorts of weird and needy things you never knew you were capable of.

Your intention should be to express yourself genuinely. Take it or leave it.

Perhaps the best advice, yet hardest to grasp (bearing in mind I’ve already slated it a few paragraphs ago) is to be yourself.

I could write a small book on being yourself, but I’ll teach you the basic principles. 

 

2. Being Yourself

 

Being yourself doesn’t mean to lean forward and let out a fart during your main course. It’s just an attitude. It’s the intention to be honest about who you are, without apology, and to care more about your opinion of yourself, than some other person’s opinion of you.

It means not changing what you say and do to be liked – disagreeing with a girl, rather than pretending to agree. It means being honest about some of the things you find embarrassing to talk about (your geeky interests, religious beliefs or your disinterest in sports). You have to think “fuck the implications! This is who I am”

Girls find honesty attractive. It’s a sign of strength and independence. By being yourself and standing up for what you believe, regardless of being liked, it proves to girls you aren’t needy, you’re not desperate for affection, and you won’t stalk her relentlessly if she decides she doesn’t like you. Trying to win a girl’s affection through compliments, favours, lines and impressive stories communicates the opposite. It’s like you’re desperate for her to like you, which is obviously unattractive. That doesn’t mean to say compliments are a no. If your date turns up looking smoking hot – tell her. You could honestly say “hey, how are you doing? You look really sexy tonight”. Don’t make a big deal about it or wait in silence for her to compliment you in return, just slip it in because you mean it. A gift from you to her.

Worried you’re not interesting enough for a hot girl to like you? Think again. You don’t have to be like Tony Stark to have an interesting life. You’re interesting and unique just as you are. Despite what some rappers would have you believe, most girls aren’t looking for the most rich, obnoxious, playboy. They’re normal people, just like you, with normal mediocre lives. They want to meet a man who they connect with, and makes them feel good.

 

3. Eye Contact

 

Good eye contact is a must. Eye contact is to a girl what ass contact is to a guy – thrilling. The next time you talk to someone in person, pay attention to their eyes. Most people won’t look you in the eye for very long. They might face your direction, look around your eyes or glance at a wall just behind you. But rarely will they actually stare you dead in the eye for more than a couple of seconds. Why is that? Because it builds tension…and people find tension uncomfortable. That tension is released the moment you look away.

It’s the same for most girl’s. They’re used to poor eye contact at work, with friends and with family. So, when you look them in the eye for more than a couple of seconds, they’ll be completely unfamiliar with it. They may well feel uncomfortable, and release the tension by glancing aside a lot.

 Because you’re on a date, a mutual attraction is implied – for this reason, your piercing eye contact will be communicated sexually. It’ll make them hot under the collar and begging for more.

So look into her eyes. Actually, look into one of her eyes. Because if you don’t focus on one, you will naturally switch between both or around the general eye area, which isn’t as effective (most people do this, really, when you get the chance, pay attention). I’ll say it again, stare dead into one of her eyes, and don’t budge for a little bit. Enjoy it. Gaze into her soul. Smile. You’ll find it surprisingly exposing and probably quite uncomfortable at first. Obviously don’t stare for minutes on end - that would be weird. Look away every now and then to ease up on the pressure. Just make the effort to hold eye contact for a little longer than usual. Don’t overthink it.

4. Conversation

 

Conversation is a lot simpler than you think - there’s no need to prepare interesting topics. But I do have some great conversation guidance for you to bear in mind.

Mainly…just relax. Slow it down. Be chilled.

Getting caught up in the moment happens. It’s easy to want talk about yourself - all the things you have and everything you’ve accomplished. It’s nice to think that another person would be interested. In reality, everybody’s favourite topic is themselves. People get bored of listening if they haven’t been able to make a comment for even just a few seconds.

Most guys tend to be talkers, and blissfully unaware they’ve been rambling. If you have a habit of talking about yourself a lot, or if you tend to dominate conversations, you need to stop. You’re talking yourself out of future dates. You probably don’t even realise you’re doing it, so take heed of this advice regardless.

Your rule on a date is to let the girl do most of the talking. You can lead the conversation and subjects, but after you ask a question just shut the hell up and let her talk. Sit back, look into her eyes and listen. Don’t interrupt, don’t change the subject to you, just let her enjoy talking about herself. Let her finish. Pause. Then it’s your turn.

Try your best not to assault your date with question after question. Men commonly make this mistake. It gets boring. Instead, I want you to use statements to your benefit…

So, you’ve asked a girl a question – she answers – instead of asking another question immediately, or rambling on about you, make a statement or an assumption about what she just said.

For instance:

You – “Tell me, what do you do for work?”

Her – “I’m a marketing executive”

You – “Do you know what? I know nothing about marketing, but I get the impression it must be very male dominated and stressful as fuck”

Your date will have verbal diarrhoea! She’ll chat away whilst you sit back to listen with a furrowed brow like Sherlock Holmes learning the facts of his next case. It doesn’t matter if your statement is completely incorrect. You’ll prompt her to tell you how it really is, or freak her out for being spot on.

Another example –

You – “I have no idea what you do for work, but you look a bit bookish. I bet you do something creative.” – that’s a fun one right there.

Girls will love your confidence and it’ll make for great conversations.

Keep your questions simple and open. Don’t interrogate her with anything long or convoluted that feels interviewey (which had a wiggly red line under before I posted it - definitely isn’t a word). Some great questions to ask early on can simply be - “so, what do you like?” or say “tell me something” - You’ll get fun responses with loads of subjects you can branch into. She’ll say “what do you mean?” and you could say – “Well, what do you like to do? What’s your thing that you love?

 A good question to ask can be – “Why do you say that?”, or “What makes you feel that way?”

For example –  Her - “I love Paris, it’s so nice!”

                           You - “Oh right, what’s nice about it?”

Get her to justify herself. Challenge her.

Inexperienced guys find it hard to disagree with or challenge girls. They’ll sit back and listen to them talk shit about something they like whilst smiling and nodding as if they feel the same way. It could be a T.V show they love, a highly publicised campaign they care about or even a lifestyle choice they’re aware of. When she says something you don’t agree with, or you find it offensive, you need to let her know. Remember, don’t pretend – be yourself. Girls aren’t used to it, they’ll find it refreshing and dare I say attractive. Don’t be a prick about it - respect her point of view, just let her know it’s not how you feel. If it’s not something you’ve given much thought to, just say that.

Her - “I love Paris, it’s so nice!”

              You - “Really? I saw a lot of litter and homeless people. I found the restaurant staff rude and slow.”

Teasing

It’s good to tease sometimes. Not offend, not put-down – tease. You don’t need me to explain what a tease looks like. I’m sure you make fun of your friends and family most days – and that’s all it is. It’s not something you can consciously look out for, it’s natural, it just comes. It might be something dumb that she says, or pretentious. It could be situational also. 

For an in-depth lesson in how to have fun flirty conversations with women subscribe to my email list for free training.

 

5. The kiss

 

Some girls swear they never kiss on first dates. But if they like you enough and you decide to take the plunge, they will reciprocate. If I were you, I’d definitely go for it. Unless of course, you’ve decided you aren’t actually that into her or if it’s blatantly obvious she isn’t into you. Of course, the most common time to go for a kiss is just before the end of the date. Though, It’s not your only option. If you’ve built up some rapport and you can feel some sexual tension, then do it. Whether that’s an hour in or 1 minute before you part ways.

Never ask permission to kiss a girl. It’s a complete turn-off. It kills all tension and it’s a sign of low self-worth. So don’t do it.

There isn’t a magic moment. You don’t have to wait until you’re up dancing. You could be sat next to each other, deep in conversation. When there’s a pause of silence after she’s finished her sentence, look into her eyes, glance at her lips if you like, as you lean in to kiss her. Just go for it. It may sound scary, but it’s charming and confident. The longer you judge and wait for the “right time” the more likely you’ll never do it.

 

6.  At the end of the date

 

At the end of the date, don’t let your guard down.

You’ve walked her to the station or driven her home. It’s time to part ways. This is where most guys would ask politely for a kiss and try to set a second date… “When are you free next?”…. “I’ll text you later to set another date”… “See you soon”…etc. As I said before - if your gonna kiss, just go for it, don’t ask - she’ll most likely be waiting for you to do it anyway. Whilst it seems common courtesy to suggest you meet again, the rules are different on a first date. Men are generally the more dominate species. Women have a lot to lose when they spend time alone with a random guy, for obvious reasons. With that in mind – Most girl’s worst nightmare is that they meet a guy who turns out to be really desperate and obsessed with her from day one. That sounds extreme but when a guy keeps dropping hints that he wants to see her again, go see a movie next time, take her to this cool bar etc, it’s like you’ve already decided that the two of you are a couple. This freaks girls out. They feel suffocated and see no option but to never see you again through fear of leading you on. Anyway…It’s far better to offer her space, and communicate that you aren’t a needy psycho. You know that a first date is just a chance to see if there’s anything there – not the beginning of the rest of your lives together. So when it’s time to leave, you kiss her on the lips and simply say “I had a great time tonight ‘Sarah’, You get home safe. Bye” – then leave. Or, if you’ve walked her home already – “I had a great time tonight ‘Sarah’, Enjoy the rest of your week/weekend”.

If the date went well then the next thing on your mind will be meeting again. Nevertheless, I recommend you continue to use the principles laid down in my text guide

 

7. Etiquette

 

I shouldn’t have to run through the basic etiquette to remember for your first date – but just in case…

If you haven’t been dating for a long time, you’ll probably feel that your wardrobe needs updating. Try not to break the bank. If you’re going to a bar, A nice pair of dark jeans, a shirt and some clean shoes will suffice. Your shoes don’t have to be smart, you could wear a nice new pair of trainers if that’s your style. You’re first date shouldn’t be too fancy anyway.

Needless to say, hygiene is paramount. Clean clothes, washed hair and a fragrant body should be your absolute minimum standard, no excuses.

Who pays? It’s a point of contempt that some argue is an outdated idea. I believe it’s expected that the guy should pay for the meal himself. Even if she offers, let her know that this one’s on you. It’s good manners and after all, you were probably the one to invite her out. However, there’s nothing stopping her buying a round of drinks if you visit a bar after your meal. In fact, you should accept that. You don’t have to pay for the whole evening, the meal is enough. If you insist on covering every penny then you risk patronising her. It also implies that you’re only worth the money you spend, like you’re buying her love. It can be a real turn off as most girls aren’t looking for a sugar daddy.

What should you plan for a first date? Keep it simple. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Your first date could be a meal in a restaurant, then a round or two of drinks in a bar nearby. Or if you’d prefer not to have a meal then a few rounds of drinks in a bar or two is also fine.

If you’re going for dinner, always book! If the restaurant only takes walk-ins, book a plan B. It’s annoying to be told there’s no room at the inn. I don’t know where you’re from, but in central London on most nights, you’ll be waiting 30 minutes – 2 hours for a walk-in table at a popular spot. Your first date shouldn’t be spent bouncing from restaurant to restaurant with hungry bellies.

Don’t choose anywhere too fancy either. Pick a restaurant or bar that’s inexpensive and has a fun vibe. Nowhere too loud. Just a place with a relaxed atmosphere for the two of you to enjoy.

 

Let's sum that all up...

 

Before you rush off, remember, not every girl is going to like you. They are entitled to feel the way they do. Just as you are. They are under no obligation to pay you love and attention in exchange for a free meal or drinks. Dealing with rejection is another topic that I’ll cover some other time. But have you considered how you’d feel on a date with a girl that’s really into you, who you don’t feel attracted to? It can be awkward. You might feel obliged to pretend you’re interested. You may feel like you owe her something (even though you don’t), you could feel bad for cutting the date short or not kissing her at all. Nobody likes to offend people. This is how girls feel as well. Just bear this in mind if your attraction isn’t reciprocated.

For those that are new to the dating scene, you’ll most likely go on many first dates. Try not take them too seriously. Approach them with a casual attitude. You’re just going to see if you like each other, that’s it. If you don’t, then it doesn’t matter, but if you do – “Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner”.

 

Bullet Point reminders:

Be yourself –

  • Don’t try to impress
  • Tell her what you really think
  • Disagree and challenge if that’s how you feel

 

Eye Contact –

  • Try to look into her eyes more when you’re having a conversation
  • Look dead into one of her eyes for maximum effect
  • Don’t become unnatural – ease up now and then

 

Conversation –

  • Slow down
  • Shut up and let her talk
  • Don’t try to impress her,
  • Make assumptions, statements and ask good questions
  • Challenge her – “what do you like about it?” etc
  • Tease

 

Kissing –

  • Never ask permission
  • You don’t need to wait until the end of the date

 

End of the date –

  • Don’t arrange date two
  • Tell her you had a nice time

 

 

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