The Guide to Perfect First Dates

The first step to dating is the first date. If you’re one of those people (like most people) who can’t make it past the first date you might be in a bit of a dating limbo. Don’t worry, I’m here to help. I’ll walk you through how to plan PERFECT First dates. Let’s start with the stages of planning a perfect first date: The Pre-Date, The Date, and The Close Let’s start with The Pre-Date

  1. Location: When selecting a location you want to make sure you pick a place that you can go to that allows for conversation, is a reasonable distance and convenient for you both to get to, and a place that you’re either familiar with or a place that comes highly recommended. The places/events you want to avoid or Movies, anything occurring in a theater or a music venue. While these are good dates in principle, they are bad first dates because you can’t really talk to each other. Going to a bar is a can’t-miss date idea as long as a) you both drink and b) the bar isn’t terrible. If either of you is a non-drinker by all means, do a walking date (museum, zoo, art gallery) or a sit down date at a café or coffee shop.
  2. Styling and Grooming: The simple, can’t miss tip here is Be the Best version of YOU. If you’ve got a certain style or aesthetic, don’t change who you are for a first date. Don’t go out and spend all your money and a new wardrobe for your date. With that said, you do want to put some effort into your appearance. Whether it’s shaving, rushing/combing your air, or ironing your clothes, just put some effort into looking good. They’re on the date because they’re attracted to you so I’m not saying change drastically; just try to look the most presentable version of yourself. As for grooming, simply put, don’t be have a strong smell. Yes, you should definitely shower, practice oral hygiene, etc. but you also want to avoid smelling like the first floor of a department store.
  3. Prior Contact: This is where things can get tricky. After you plan your date, you want to make sure that the plans are still confirmed and they’re still interested in seeing you. You also want to make sure you don’t communicate too much or come off as needy. You also want to make sure that by the time your date happens, you haven’t run out of things to say to each other. So, here’s what I do. If the date is planned more than 7 days away, think of a reason to text them when you’re about 5-7 days away from your date. A great excuse is “How was your weekend?” If you pair that with “I’m excited to meet/see you on (day of date)” it’s just enough to confirm the date and convey interest in the upcoming date. If your date is planned within the next 7 days, text the day of the date with a simple “Looking forward to seeing you later. Let me know if you’re running a bit late”. You want to avoid texting every day or texting every day. I’ll get to why in a second.

So now that The Pre-Date planning and prep is taken care of let’s move on to… The Date

  1. Conversation: The reason you want to avoid texting full on conversations is that you want to save all your getting to know you conversations for the First Date. If you’re not the best conversationalist, you can always fall back on F.O.R.D topics to get you through the awkward parts of conversation (Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams) or you can check out my list of conversation starters.
  2. Body Language: Remember to project positive body language. Smile, sit up straight, have an open, front facing bearing (don’t cross your arms, or sit to the side of them, or turn your side to them). Be sure to be actively listening and engaged in what they have to say
  3. Decorum: You want to match the tone of conversation that your date has. If you’re naturally a foul mouthed sarcastic person and your date is clearly not, maybe dial back a bit. You want to also avoid bringing up sex or being vulgar. That’s not to say you shouldn’t flirt, just be clever about it. Avoid drinking too much since a drunk date is rarely a fun date.

Finally, let’s discuss… The Close

  1. Kiss: Should you kiss this person? Well, ask yourself these questions:
    •  Was this what you would consider a good date?
    • Was there a flirty atmosphere/connection between you both?
    • Was the flirting one sided?
    • Are you interested in this person?
    • Was this what you would consider a good date?
    • Was there a flirty atmosphere/connection between you both?
    • Was the flirting one sided?
    • Are you interested in this person?
    • If you can answer yes to all those questions, definitely lean in for a kiss (or ask if you like consent and boundaries)
  2. Sex on the First Date? : A very divisive topic for sure. On several occasions I’ve written about Sex on the First Date, both for and against it. So let me just say this:

Is there anything inherently wrong with having sex on the first date? No Are you a bad person if you have sex on the first date? No Should your opinion of yourself change if you have sex on the first date? No Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, there is a really simple way to determine if you should have sex on the first date:

  • Do I think it’s wrong to have sex on the first date?
  • Do I think I’m a bad person if I have sex on the first date?
  • Will my opinion of myself change if I have sex on the first date?

Whatever the majority of your answers are to those 3 questions is your answer as to whether or not you should have sex on the first date. Simple as that.

  1. The Next Date: Assuming you hit it off, how do you approach planning the next date. Firstly, you don’t start planning any future dates on the date you’re currently on. When you’re parting ways, just let them know that you had a great time on the date and express your interest in another date. After the date has ended, wait for at least one sunset to pass and call/text (depending on your/their preference for contact) and clearly state that you’re interested in another date.

That my friends is Your Guide to Perfect First Dates. Now, I’ve got a little bonus for all you patient readers who made it to the end. Look, I like to think that I’m a fair and objective writer but I’ve got my own biases just like everyone else. With that in mind, I’m starting a new series called “Ladies on…” The world is full of straight men and their opinions on stuff so why not let the ladies chime in. With that in mind, let me introduce the very first “Ladies On…” segment. Ladies on…Dates! Today’s Lady is named Penny. She’s a 23 year old former Floridian who recently relocated to California. She’s got a Master’s degree, is a part-time model who loves art, cats, and doing yoga (though only by herself). She was kind enough to answer some questions about dates so please check them out. http://youtu.be/0Al5H-F7uJ4 ..and as always, good luck out there

Demetrius Figueroa

Demetrius is a sex, dating, and relationship writer based in Brooklyn.

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