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Dating Tips for Men: The First Date

by Christie Hartman, studioD

The first date is important: it’s a chance to establish whether there’s chemistry between you and your date, to find out how much you have in common, and to determine whether there’s enough of a connection to warrant a second date. It’s also a crucial time to make a good impression. Follow a few guidelines to make the date go smoothly and increase your chances of getting to the second date.

Keep It Simple

Because you want to make a good impression, first dates can feel like a lot of pressure. However, your primary goal is to get acquainted with your date and to establish a connection between you. Keep the first date simple and short. If you met your date online, stick to a brief 60 to 90 minute coffee or happy hour date. If you’ve already met in person, go with lunch or a casual dinner. Avoid anything long (for example, a hike) or potentially awkward (for example, a wedding), which is too much pressure for a first date. Save these ideas for future dates.

Have a Plan

People like to go on a date that has been planned. Pick a day and a time, and do a little research on venues that are inexpensive but have a good vibe. Ask your friends or coworkers for good ideas. It can be helpful to have one option that would work for nearly anyone, such as Italian food, and a more interesting but less conventional option, such as Indian or Moroccan food. Run your plan by your date and make sure your date is on board with it.

Be a Good Listener

One of the most common dating complaints is the guy who talks about himself the entire time. Men may do this because they’re nervous and trying to keep the conversation afloat or they’re trying to impress their date by talking about what they do. You don’t need to work this hard. Share things about yourself, but be sure to engage your date in the conversation. Asking about your date's work or hobbies and taking a genuine interest in the answers will impress your date more than talking about your own accomplishments.

Avoid Taboo Topics

To avoid scaring (or turning) your date off, stay away from controversial, personal and heavy topics. The standard taboo subjects include religion, politics and sex. Also avoid talking about your exes, any breakups or divorce or significant problems you’ve faced such as a problem with anxiety or substance abuse. These are important topics and worth sharing, but wait until you get to know your date better.


  • First Date Tips for Men: The Complete Dating Psychology Guide for Men; Charlie Valention

About the Author

Christie Hartman is a psychologist and author of five dating and relationship books. She has written for several online publications and has been published in numerous scientific journals in the areas of mental health and addiction. Christie earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Colorado.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images