10 First Date Tips for Women

date First dates can be pretty scary–especially if you really want it to go well. But it doesn’t have to be scary. If you think about it, it’s just two people talking and doing activities together. Not too hard, right?

Still, to help make the whole thing a little less nerve-wracking, here are 10 first date tips to keep in mind the next time you go out with someone new:

1. Dress appropriately for the venue and activity.

I know it’s tempting to break out your sexiest dress and your highest heels, but you must–and I repeat, you MUST–resist the temptation. When picking out your outfit, consider the venue and the activities you’re going to be doing. If he’s taking you to a bowling alley or a movie, it wouldn’t really make sense to wear a skintight mini skirt or a maxi dress, would it? You want to look beautiful, yes–but you also want to feel comfortable. If you’re wearing something that’s not suited for the venue of your date, you’re going to feel awkward and uncomfortable. And it will show.

2. Go easy on the makeup.

This one’s pretty hard, too. Women often can’t resist piling on the makeup (false eyelashes, bright red lipstick, the works) whenever they want to be noticed, but in this case you’re going to want to refrain from doing that. Stick to a lighter, more natural look so that you can show your date your natural (or almost natural) beauty. Keep in mind that a lot of guys find heavy makeup off-putting. Of course you don’t have to go barefaced, but at least try to keep it as natural as possible–makeup should be applied carefully so that you look good, but it’s not obvious that you’re wearing any.

3. Be decisive.

Men appreciate a woman who knows how to make up her own mind. Aside from the fact that it saves them the time and effort involved in trying to guess what you want, it also shows them that you’re independent, that you know what you want, and that you’re not a pushover. If he asks you where you want to go, tell him. Don’t say things like, “It’s up to you” or “I don’t know” or “Whatever you want.” Some women tend to leave all the decisions to the men (often in an effort to appear easygoing and low-maintenance), but that’s really not the way to go. Help him out and take some of the decision-making off his hands.

4. Eat normally.

Don’t order a salad (unless you really want a salad, of course) or some other meal that won’t satisfy you when you go out to dinner. Order what you want, and eat like you normally would. Men appreciate a woman who can eat in front of them without being self-conscious. Want to order a steak? Go ahead! Just try to choose something that won’t make a huge mess. You still want to appear ladylike, don’t you?

5. Talk about yourself.

Don’t just smile and bat your eyelashes–let him get to know you! Some women will allow their date to steer the conversation because they’re afraid of scaring him off with a topic that he might not be interested in–and this is a mistake. Don’t be afraid to talk about what you want to talk about… and don’t be afraid to tell him about yourself. The point of the date, after all, is to get to know each other. He won’t get to know you if you let him do all the talking!

6. Be a good listener.

This doesn’t mean just listening, of course. You need to make eye contact and really listen to your date when he’s speaking. React at the appropriate moments and make an effort to comment on what he’s saying–don’t just nod your head or make non-committal responses or gestures. And don’t check your phone or look around while he’s speaking. It’s rude, and you don’t want him doing the same thing to you, do you?

7. Handle the bill with grace.

If he asked you out, it’s assumed that he will pay for the bill. And most men will do just that even if you were the one who asked him out. Still, you need to offer to pay your share–but do it subtly. Don’t loudly announce that you’ll be happy to foot the bill or pay for your share. You don’t want to embarrass him! When the bill arrives, reach for your purse. In most cases, he will take out his own wallet and tell you not to worry, because it’s on him. When this happens, ask him if he’s sure, then thank him politely when he says yes. If he doesn’t stop you from paying your share, then pay it. It’s only fair, after all.

8. Dictate the goodbye, but let him initiate the goodbye kiss.

Yep. Don’t be the first one to lean in for that goodbye kiss. It may not be fair, but that’s just how it goes–it’s one of those times where you need to let the man be a man. Before you part ways, place a hand lightly on his arm, look into his eyes, and sincerely thank him for a lovely evening. Give him a few seconds to lean in. If he doesn’t, you can just give him a hug or a quick, friendly peck on the cheek. He may be too shy to make a move, and by showing him affection you are letting him know that you are open to him kissing you.

9. Try not to have sex on the first date.

This goes without saying, of course. You’re free to do this if you really want to–don’t worry about how it’s going to make you look. Women shouldn’t be vilified for doing the same things that men are able to do freely, right? And chances are, he won’t hold it against you. However, if you’re looking to get a serious relationship out of this, putting out on the first date might not be a good idea, because this will make him think that you’re just looking for a fling.

10. Wait for him to call you afterwards.

Unfortunately, this is how it goes. Some women may argue that we are living in a more enlightened time, and women no longer need to wait around for a man to ask her out or call her. That may be true, but while women are getting bolder when it comes to dating, men have stayed pretty much the same. If they didn’t enjoy the date or didn’t like you, they won’t call you after. They won’t ask for a second date. You don’t need to make the first move and contact him the next day, because if he really wants to, he will call you.

Photo by Amber de Bruin / CC BY 2.0

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