Introduction: How to Have a Good First Date

A first date is an important step to falling in love, second only to meeting that someone for the first time. It is important that a first date runs smoothly, otherwise you risk not developing a lasting relationship with that person. The purpose of this instructable is to give you a general outline of how to plan and carry out an excellent first date. While everyone is different and has different preferences and styles, this instructable will give you the basic principles that can then be adapted to suit your individual circumstance.

Having been on first dates with over 50 different women, I would attest that I am reasonably qualified to give instructions on what to do to have a date go well.

Step 1: Pre-date/ Supplies

To have a good first date, the basic materials that are required include:

  • A phone
  • Money (You should need no more that $40)
  • Transportation
  • Cologne/perfume
  • The basics of personal hygiene

You should also have someone in mind that you want to go on a date with.

Step 2: Planning

Dinner and a movie is not sufficient for a first date. The purpose of a first date is to get to know the other person better by creating an atmosphere that allows for a natural conversation to occur. This will create feelings of trust and respect towards one another, which will ideally lead to something more.

Plan out a few ideas of what you would like to do on the date before you ask the other person out. The ideas should differ enough from each other that they fall into different categories. For example, your ideas should not all revolve around exercising. Having a few different ideas ahead of time shows that you are prepared and that you are willing to put forth effort in a relationship.

Here are some date ideas that have worked well for me:

  • A picnic and a short hike to a waterfall
  • Fingerpainting
  • Make diet coke and mentos rockets
  • Ice cream sculpting
  • Make dinner together
  • Make cookies and ding-dong ditch them to someone you both know
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Go to a museum
  • If it's close to Halloween, go to a haunted corn maze

For additional ideas, visit this website:

Plan on having the date last at least an hour, but no longer than three hours. You want to make it worth their while, but you don't want the date to drag on. The date should also not be overly expensive.

Step 3: Asking

Never never never ask someone out through a text message! Even though it's easy, it is boring and come across as lazy. Either call them on the phone, or if possible, ask them in person.

While you may be nervous to ask someone out, nothing will happen unless you actually ask them. So ask! Here are some tips

  1. Relax. Having some small talk at the beginning will help you to calm down. If you're struggling for something to small talk about, you can always talk about the weather and what they plan to do because of it. Ex: "Man it's been snowing a lot recently! Are you going to go skiing this snow season?"
  2. Be straightforward when asking. You don't need any cheesy pick-up lines. Say "Hey I'd like to go on a date with you this weekend. Are you available either Friday or Saturday night?" By stating that it is a date, there is no confusion as to what you're expecting, and it will avoid them bringing their roommates along.
  3. If you do not already know the person very well, let them choose between the activities that you planned. If you know the person fairly well and they trust you, you can keep the date idea a little more mysterious.
  4. Tell them what the activity will be like and if you will be getting food. They will have a better time with you if they're wearing the appropriate clothing for the activity. Also nothing is worse than having a date that was expecting to be fed when you had no plans to do so. #hangry #vibekiller

If you do ask them in person, it is best to not ask in front of other people, that way your date doesn't feel pressured to say yes.

Step 4: Date Prep

  1. Now that you have decided on a what you'll do and when you'll do it, make all the proper arraignments before the date, such as:
    • Making reservations
    • Ensuring that you'll have transportation.
    • Double-checking on closing time (I once failed to check on closing times, and ended up just driving around with my date for an hour and a half trying to find stuff to do. Don't do that)

  2. The day of, double check with your date that everything is still good for the time your arraigned. You can do this through a text message. This is a nice courtesy and again shows that you're prepared.
  3. Wear clothes that are clean and a little nicer than your regular clothing. Don't wear your nicest clothes, but wear something that shows that you care about what you look like. See picture.
  4. Don't wear too much cologne/perfume, and be sure that you practice good personal hygiene, including taking a shower, brushing your teeth, and wearing deodorant.

Step 5: Picking Up Your Date

  1. Do not be late to pick up your date. Leave your home with plenty of time to get to their place, but do not show up super early either. Generally you want to get to their doorstep between 1-3 minutes early. If that means that you leave early and end up waiting in the parking lot, then do so.
  2. Do not text your date "Here" and expect them to come out. Buck up, go to their door and knock.
  3. You will most likely interact with whoever your date is living with, be it family or roommates. Be friendly and courteous to them, as they will have an influence on whether or not there will be a second date. To get on their good side, have some small talk with them. If you're still struggling with small talk, visit this website for more tips:

Step 6: Ice Breakers

The first 10 minutes of the date sets the tone for the rest of the time. While it is possible to recover if the date starts off rough, it will be much easier if you start the date smoothly. Here is what to do in those first 10 minutes:

  1. Compliment them. It doesn't have to be anything big, it can be as simple as "Hey your hair looks nice today". This shows that you payed attention to the extra work that they did to look good for your date.
  2. Talk about what interests them. If you met at a ping-pong tournament, talk about ping pong. If you know that they love harry potter, ask them their opinion on the new harry potter movie. It doesn't matter so much what you talk about, as long as the conversation is natural and relaxed.
  3. Ask them about the activity that you are about to do. For example, if you are going to a museum, ask them which section they are excited to visit. If you're going to a Mexican restaurant, ask them about their experience with spicy food. You want to be able to gauge how excited they are for the activity, which will tell you how long you should expect to spend there.

The important part is to just get the conversation flowing. Don't dominate the conversation- if anything, allow them to speak more than you. People love to talk about themselves. Allowing them to do so will help to build those feelings of respect and trust.

Step 7: Date Activity

  1. With whatever activity you chose, make sure that it is engaging and that you are both having a fun time. It is ok if there are some short periods of silence while you are doing an activity (such as when thinking about your next move in a board game), but these periods of silence should last no longer than 30 seconds.
  2. If your chosen activity involves some sort of competition, don't get so competitive that you place more importance on winning than on having fun. It is advisable to let your date win, but make it close.

Generally this is the easiest part of the date, since you can both enjoy each other's company while taking part in something fun. Just relax and be yourself.

Step 8: Continued Conversation

Throughout the date there may be times when the conversation starts to lull. If you ever run out of things to say, stick to the FORD model of conversation. FORD stands for:





These are things that everybody has some sort of experience in, and are generally open to talking about. Generally you should talk about dreams after you have talked about the other three topics, since people's dreams and goals can be more personal and require trust in order to be shared.

Additional Conversational Tips:

  1. Don't ask rapid fire questions that will turn this conversation into an interrogation.
  2. After asking them about a subject, comment on it. This shows that you are listening and that you care about what they are interested in. For example, after asking them about their occupation, to which they may reply that they are studying to be a English teacher, say, "That is really interesting! In high school I had an English teacher that really impacted me and changed my opinion on Shakespeare. What about teaching do you find fulfilling?"

Step 9: Additional Tips

  1. Open doors for your date. If they insist on opening it themselves, so be it, but you need to at least make the effort.
  2. Be nice to everybody on the date. Your date will be watching how you interact with others just as much as they watch how you will interact with them.
  3. Don't criticize or complain. It fosters an atmosphere of negativity.
  4. Don't show physical affection too fast. If you do, the date can become uncomfortable and awkward very quickly. Slow and steady wins the race.
  5. When your activity is over and you start to take them back home, make sure that you give honest and sincere appreciation for them going on the date with you. Most people have busy schedules, so them making the time for you should be acknowledged.

Step 10: The Doorstep

  1. Don't linger on the doorstep.
  2. Thank them again for going with you, and tell them that you "had a fun time spending time with them".
  3. Show an appropriate amount of affection, whether it be a hug, or if the date went very well a quick kiss, though don't force it.
  4. Leave. The more you linger the more awkward it will be.

Step 11: Post Date

Congrats! You finished your date! Oftentimes your date will text you afterwards thanking you for the date, but if they don't, don't be too worried. If you want to go on a date with them again, call them to ask them.

Good luck!