15 Men Share First Dates Do’s and Don’t’s

First dates are real make-or-break situations. It’s tough to get to that second date, so why not take a tip from one of the guys on this list and make sure you do as well as you hope? But remember — it’s just one date and nobody is obligated to give you a second!

1. Casual Meal

My ideal first date is a lunch or dinner at a casual restaurant where we can have a couple of drinks and some light food, maybe somewhere outside where we can people-watch, but most important, TALK. I do think the “couple drinks” part is kind of important as they usually help both of us settle the nerves. Nobody needs to get drunk, but having a couple of drinks definitely helps.

I usually wear jeans, Converse shoes, and a collared shirt with the sleeves rolled up – casual, but not too casual.

A good first date for me could last anywhere from 3-6 hours. I have no trouble carrying a conversation, so if I connect with someone, we’ll end up talking for hours. I sometimes claim to have loose plans after the date. If I’m not enjoying myself, I have an exit strategy. If I am, I can tell the girl it wasn’t a big deal and that I’m having fun hanging out with her.

One thing I always try to do that has always worked for me is AVOID BOOTHS AND TWO-SEAT TABLES AT ALL COSTS. I want to sit at a four-seat table where we can both occupy one corner. This allows both of us to initiate subtle physical contact that shows interest. Things like arm touching, or knees or feet touching (with knees or feet, not hands!). I find it a lot harder to do that kind of stuff if you’re sitting across from each other.

As far as physicality is concerned, “success” for me is kissing/making out during the first date, maybe a couple of hours in, or at least a kiss at the end. I want there to be enough of a spark to where we want to be kissing each other by the end of the date. If I think someone has potential, I’m not really interested in making any effort to sleep with her or get too hot and heavy right away – that can wait.

I always pick up the full tab. The girl usually makes an effort (she grabs purse, I say I got it, she says are you sure, I say absolutely), but if she REALLY insists, we’ll split it.


2. Chill

Remember that you are both there BY CHOICE. The other person most likely wouldn’t be there if they weren’t at least a little curious about you. With that in mind, relax.


3. Public

Go somewhere [that] is public and easy to “get out.” I would avoid an amusement park, for example, but I would also avoid meeting them at home.

I prefer a casual setting.

Length is determined by how successful it is. Coffee could be anywhere from 5 minutes to 7 hours.

Physical contact, I’m really not looking to go much past a goodbye kiss.

Be myself is usually my strategy. I tend to talk a little more around new people to prevent them from being uncomfortable with the silence (most women start off shy).

Seriously, be mostly yourself; you may turn a lot of them away at the door, but at least you didn’t waste a bunch of your life. Maybe keep World of Warcraft stories for later dates though. Lastly, don’t be afraid to decide she’s not right for you; if she’s boring, she’s boring, it’s not your responsibility to make this thing work.

former Redditor

4. Smile

Tips and tricks:

Smile and listen

Offer to pay… it is only a cup of coffee.

Be clean.

Do not try to be funny.

Have a mental list of conversation topics should things stall.

Do not be afraid to walk away if she looks like she is not into you.

Do not be afraid to stay if she is.

You will live in fear of doing something dumb to embarrass yourself in front of her, so cut her some slack if she does something dumb.

Contrary to your gut instinct, be totally open and honest.

former Redditor


I like to keep it simple. A girl I was seeing for a few months until just recently told me that our first date was the best she’d ever had, and I don’t think we did anything really special.

We met for a drink in a pub for a chat, to get to know each other and see if there was an attraction. There was instant chemistry and a definite attraction on both sides, but we both played it cool and just talked. Because we got on so well, I took her to dinner at her favourite restaurant and we just talked, flirted, and cozied up for most of the evening.


6. Ice cream

I think this is good advice for anyone, but if you don’t know the person very well, for a first date, I would suggest getting coffee or ice cream. Do not go out for dinner or something that takes long, because if you realize within the first five minutes you don’t like them, it’s going to be really hard for you to escape. Getting coffee can be short and sweet, but if you’re really feeling them, you can then suggest doing something longer.

former Redditor

7. Stay real

Your objective isn’t to please them. Your objective is to be as genuine as possible to give them the necessary information to decide to go on a second date.

This doesn’t mean that you should aim to be unpleasant; it just means that you shouldn’t compliment everything about them and bend over backward to their every whim. That comes off as highly insecure.


8. Avoid awkward

I like to keep it very casual and just make it for coffee. Go to a café or something. That way, if anyone is not interested, they can leave quickly without it being awkward. It avoids the hours of commitment to a movie or dinner. If the date ends after 15 minutes, it’s probably not going to work out. If it lasts more than an hour, you know you’ve probably got something. This allows you to talk more, learn more about each other, and significantly reduces the chances of the awkward “Oh god how much longer do I need to sit here” glances.


9. Breakfast

Breakfast is excellent for first dates! If you like the person you could choose to do more with them and continue on your day. If things don’t work out you can both go your separate ways. It’s normally cheaper than a dinner, and you don’t even have to dress up that well because it tends to a relaxed atmosphere. Breakfast dates all the way!

former Redditor

10. Dress up

Well here’s my drabble…

Tip number 1, dress properly.
No torn jeans, no T-shirts with holes, no dirty shoes. Be neat and tidy even if the setting is more casual. Make sure your nails are neat, you’ve shaved or even trimmed your beard.

If you’re in your late 20s, you may perhaps have an idea of where you are going and how you are going to get there; stick to your guns. Don’t dumb yourself down, don’t act weirdly, and don’t let the other person make you feel bad about yourself.

Lastly, be friendly and open to new ideas. Ask questions, pay attention, and smile.

former Redditor

11. Ask

Talk about your passions with confidence and ask questions!


12. Chillllll

Less about first date and more about dating in general:

Learn not to rely on external approval. Dating can be really hard, and sometimes you go on a bunch of first dates that never go anywhere and that can lead you to spend time with people you don’t really like for validation.

It can be rough. It can be anxiety-provoking and not fun. (This largely depends on your personality, but if you’re anxious, the repeated putting yourself out there is not fun.) I bring this up because partnered people will hear dating and think “fun!” because they are thinking of spending time with their partner.


13. Walks

I like the first date to be a walk in the park or along the beach. You can get to know each other better, plus if it’s summer you can chill out on the grass with each other. Then once you’ve walked around you can go get coffee or food.

When it’s cold, go for the coffee date.

former Redditor

14. Real talk

Pick somewhere that you can have a real conversation. Hope that she’s interesting and that my wallet comes home only half empty.

former Redditor

15. Have fun

I try for something fun and low commitment – got rock climbing lined up for next week, for instance. There’s always the possibility of a followup thing, like drinks or something (I plan to have something available if things go that way).

What i want? find out if I want date 2, kissing if things go really well.