Do guys get nervous before a first date? This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions on the internet.
The truth is, regardless of gender, first dates can be nerve-wracking. First-date nerves are completely normal, especially because, as a guy, there’s insane pressure to impress a girl.
Now, preparing for a date can be a hard task. You want to ensure you’re having fun and showing interest (whether you’re looking for a serious relationship or a quick fling). But also, you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard to impress. So, how do you accomplish this?
We will give you a breakdown of some of the best first date tips for guys that will ease your nerves, make you feel calm and confident, and probably land you a second date.
Are you ready to impress? Keep reading.
Tips for First Dates for Guys: Before the date
How should you prepare for a first date?
Tip #1: Pick the right location
When choosing a location for a first date, you want to pick a place with a good atmosphere that can inspire good conversations. You don’t want to go somewhere where you can’t talk or where you have to shout while talking to each other, like in a local bar.
A first date allows you to see how well you and your date connect, and it helps you decide if there’s enough connection to want to see them for a second time.
An extravagant dinner, for instance, might not work well for a first date because it’s too intense for some people. Also, a movie date might not be a good idea since you’ll all be focused on the movie rather than the conversation. But grabbing coffee together, walking by the beach, or visiting an art gallery or museum can get the conversation going.
Here are some important things to consider when choosing the right spot for a first date.
- Communication: Choose a place that provides plenty of opportunities for a good conversation in a low-pressure setting.
- Safety: Ideally, a first date should be in a public place where others can see you.
- Convenience: Pick a place that’s easy for your date to find and reach.
- Money: You don’t need to go to an expensive restaurant for a good time. Choose a cool yet affordable place.
Tip #2: Research your date
Let’s say you met your date through a dating site, your conversations flow, and you’ve arranged a first date. Congratulations on that broad move!
Now, what do you actually know about this person?
Some people lie on their dating profile bio. So, it’s important to do your due diligence on your date before you pick up your date outfit. Thanks to social media and the internet, you can easily know someone before actually knowing them.
Let’s call it a background check.
Why is it important?
- To learn about their interests, dislikes, etc. This can help you prepare conversation topics and activities before the date.
- To make sure they’re the person in their photos on the dating profiles.
- To ensure they’re not a troll.
- To check if they have a criminal record.
Checking their social media, LinkedIn profile, or website (if they have any) can help you get a better overall sense of who they are.
However, it’s important to note that someone can create a version of themselves that doesn’t provide an accurate representation of who they are on social media. So, take everything with a pinch of salt.
Tip #3: Be prepared to have an engaging conversation
Aside from what you’ll wear and do, what you’ll talk about is what makes a first date stressful. This is especially hard for guys who are generally quiet or those with social anxiety.
Going on a date with talking points can help reduce anxiety and awkward silence.
So, how can you prepare to have an engaging conversation?
Be prepared with questions and conversation starters that will;
- Help you get to know their history
- Help you determine their personality
- Encourage a great conversation
- Help you determine if you have a connection
This doesn’t mean you walk into a date with a script or a list of random questions that feel like an interview. Prepare beforehand and be ready to hold a natural conversation.
Tip #4: Dress appropriately
Contrary to what most people believe, men don’t have it easier than women when it comes to putting together an outfit for a first date. They still need to make an effort to be presentable, confident, and comfortable.
What should you wear on a first date?
- Dress according to the location and planned activity. Are you grabbing a casual drink or getting ready? Dress appropriately.
- Wear well-fitting clothes (but not skin-tight)
- Pay attention to the tiny details, such as ironing clothes and polishing your shoes.
- Add a masculine and stylish watch.
- Avoid sweatpants
Additionally, don’t forget other aspects of good grooming: wear a cologne, trim your beard, keep your nails short and clean, and moisturize your skin.
Tip #5: Manage your expectations
When you’re excited to meet someone for the first time, you want the date to go well. And while it’s normal to be optimistic, you should manage your expectations. Don’t go on a first date expecting it to lead to something serious.
Well, it may lead somewhere or not, you may like her or not, the date may be awkward or not, you may be compatible or not, and so much more. Therefore, it’s important to have realistic expectations.
Just show up, relax, and be your best version. With realistic expectations, you’ll go into it with an open heart, and regardless of the outcome, you’ll have a good experience.
Tip #6: Shake off the nerves
First-date nerves can hit you even if you’ve had previous first dates. The good news is some tools can help you work through the anxiety, including;
- Pre-date workouts
- Playing some music
- One glass of wine
- Calling a friend for support
Do whatever you can to get in a good headspace.
Tips for First Dates for Guys: During the date
How should you act during a date?
Tip #7: Show up on time
Would you be happy if your date showed up late? Probably not.
Here’s a little dose of truth from us: when you run late for a date (or something else), you show that you lack regard for the other person and that your time is more important than the other person’s.
So what can and should you do?
If you want to impress her, plan to show up at the location earlier so you don’t have to make her wait. It’s better to be 10 minutes early than a second late.
Arrive at least five minutes earlier. This will give you enough time to confirm if your table or activity is ready.
However, sometimes unpreventable or unforeseen circumstances may force you to run late. If this happens, call (don’t text) and inform her of the situation. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be 30 minutes late or 1 minute late. It’s called courtesy.
Tip #8: Be polite
Be polite throughout the date—from the start to the end.
What does this mean?
- Offer to open doors without making a big deal out of it.
- Pull out a chair for her.
- Be nice to the waiter or other people. A simple rule to abide by; is “a person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter or others is not a nice person.” This rule is from 33 Unwritten Rules of Management by William H. Swanson.
- Offer honest and sincere compliments. Compliments are great to make your date feel comfortable around you. However, don’t overdo the compliments or compliment her about her body- you don’t want her to feel objectified.
- Keep your language clean- keep the cursing at a minimum, or avoid it altogether if you can.
- Don’t be super touchy. Touch on a first date should be limited, casual, and light but not sexual.
Tip #9: Have an engaging conversation
In most cases, a first date is with a total stranger. So, you want to know as much as you can about them and impress them while still trying to figure out compatibility.
Small talk and awkward silence are the best ways to ruin a first date. To avoid this, you have to keep the conversation flowing.
First, start with a casual conversation. If you’re meeting in a restaurant, ask if she has been there before, what she likes about the place, etc.
Then go back to the basics. You can talk about her background, where she lives, how she spends her days, what she does for a living, her favorite foods, books, movies, TV shows, etc. The basics are great for building a conversation.
Additionally, ask open-ended questions. These questions can’t be answered by a simple yes or no. They can help you understand who she is—her behavior, attitude, or perception.
Here are some questions to ask to know about her on a deeper level
- What are you most passionate about?
- What is something I couldn’t guess about you?
- What does your ideal day look like?
- What does your ideal weekend look like?
- What’s your biggest pet peeve?
- How do you relax when you’re feeling stressed?
- What’s your dream job?
- What’s on your bucket list?
- What inspires you?
- What do you think your best quality is?
- What makes you laugh the most?
Of course, a conversation needs to be two-way. She should also learn as much about you as possible.
Tip #10: Listen actively
You know those occasions when you’re talking with a friend or colleague, and you feel the need to jump in and get your point heard while they’re still talking? Or when you’re listening to someone, but you’re scrolling through social media?
Unfortunately, that is not active listening.
Listening is an essential communication skill. Active listening goes beyond hearing. It involves listening with all your senses and understanding what the other person is saying.
The idea of “active listening” involves:
- Being fully present in the conversation
- Maintaining eye contact
- Using nonverbal cues, such as nodding, eye contact, facial expressions, body movement, posture, etc
- Asking questions to encourage her to keep talking
- Paraphrasing her answers
- Avoiding judgment and giving advice
Tip # 11: Be honest
Honesty is one of the more challenging things to bring to the table on a first date. Because, in most cases, you want to put your best face forward and have a pleasant personality to seem cool, interesting, and intriguing.
As scary as being honest may be at this initial stage, it’s worth it. You can have a successful first date when you’re honest.
So, did she say she loves dancing or visiting museums, and you don’t? You don’t have to pretend or lie just to please her. Lies can be detected from a mile away. And even if you get away with them, the truth eventually comes out.
Therefore, be honest about everything you’re asked: likes, dislikes, interests, thoughts, values, and views (political or religious). After all, your date is trying to determine compatibility as much as you are.
Tip # 12: Respect boundaries
The limits of how far you can go on a first date can only be decided by both of you. There are things you may have shared or done during previous first dates that you shouldn’t expect on this one, regardless of whether you’re meeting a stranger or somebody you know.
There may be topics you don’t mind discussing, such as your family background, work, previous relationships, etc., that may be uncomfortable or triggering for your date. So, if your date expresses their wish not to discuss certain aspects of their lives on this date, don’t insist.
In addition, respect physical boundaries. Don’t touch or kiss your date without their consent.
Finally, respect your own boundaries. Don’t talk about something or do things you’d rather not, no matter how much you like your date.
Tips for First Dates for Guys: After the date
What should you do after a first date?
Tip #13: Reflect on how the date went
After the date, it’s important to take a few minutes to reflect on how it went—how do you feel about the date? Was there any chemistry? What did you like the most? What would have made the date better? What did you learn about her? Did your date seem interested in you?
After you’ve reflected on the date, it’s time to do something with that information. If your answers are mostly positive, you can pursue a second date. If your answers were mostly negative and you don’t want to move forward, you can pass on the second date.
Tip #14: Send a follow-up message
After reflecting on the date, you can send a follow-up message later in the evening or the next day. You don’t want to text her immediately after the date because it might be too soon. Also, you don’t want to wait too long since the excitement may wear off.
Examples of what to text after a first date:
- “Got home safe, had a great time.”
- “Hey, how are you doing? I’ve been thinking about our date. I had a great time and I hope to see you again.”
- “Last night was so much fun. We should do it again sometime.”
- “Thanks for a great time. I had fun today.”
- “Hey, I listened to the podcast you recommended. I have so much to discuss.”
- “I enjoyed our date. I thought it was cool that (ABC).”
Dating is a process, and it’s more complicated now than ever. And when you get lucky and land a first date with someone you’re interested in, you might know what to do, from where to go to what to wear and talk about.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry anymore because we have shared the perfect tips for first dates for guys. Now focus on the part where it’s more fun than scary.