Step-by-step tips to ensure you have an amazing Tinder first date… And here’s the thing: it’s advice that you wouldn’t expect.
Tinder dates can be scary… you’re sitting there face to face with a stranger that you’ve been texting non-stop for the past week, but it’s not long before you realize that all that late night text-chemistry you had counts for nothing in person. And by the time that realization hits, it’s too late to fix… you’re stuck on a bad date, full of long, awkward silences, with no escape route in site.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact it’s incredibly easy to have an amazing first date – you just need to know the right things to do. And once you know them, dating will be a breeze. So let’s get right into it, here’s what you need to know:
- Make her feel comfortable… and then uncomfortable – Naturally, a female meeting a stranger can be daunting at the best of times. But meeting a guy she met from a weird app called Tinder is even more daunting. Plus she’s extra-nervous because she’s attracted to this guy she’s meeting (that’s you)… When you think about it from her perspective, you can see that there are lots of reasons for her to be nervous and even wary. You need to accept this and work with it, which I’ll tell you how to do. For the “uncomfortable part”…by the end, you’ll find out why this works :)
- Get to know each other – A persons text-personality is often waaay different than their in-person or “real life” personality. She might have only been texting you whatever her friends have told her to say. And you’ve had the convenience of taking 5 minutes between texts until you come up with a witty reply to all of her comments… What I’m saying is that going on your first date and meeting in person is like starting your relationship from scratch, so you need to take the time and effort to get to know each other in “real life”…. don’t expect this will happen automatically because you get on so well over the phone or text.
- Build a rapport – The first date is supposed to be the launching pad to bigger and better things. Use this opportunity to really explore your “connection”. I’ll give you a number of tips that will fast-track this rapport building stage, avoiding mistakes that many people make and including some advice you wouldn’t expect.
- Enjoy yourselves – Dating should be fun! Enjoy the process of getting to know someone and experiencing different social situations and emotions. If you have that attitude, it’s almost impossible to have a bad first date. A large part of enjoying yourself is just being yourself – don’t try and be the person you think that she will like. Be authentic and genuine… it is much more attractive.
When choosing what you’re going to do on your first date, you should consider the 4 goals above. So ask yourself these questions…
- What would you both be most comfortable doing? You both love the beach? That sounds like a cool date idea right? … Yes, but only in the movies. In reality she’s worried about how her makeup will look if you go swimming. She’s a little hesitant about a bikini viewing on the first date. Plus there’s the sun, the wind and the sand to worry about…. Don’t make things harder for yourself – the more comfortable she is on the date, the more she’ll like you. And on the flipside, if you’re comfortable you’ll be more likely to present your best self.
- What’s easiest? If you know a great bar but it will take her an hour to get to after work, choose something closer. Also consider how hard it is for you to get to the date – you don’t want to show up 20 minutes late because you had to travel through peak hour traffic to get there. Perhaps a Saturday morning brunch will be easiest because you’re both not concerned with mid-week busyness.
- How can you get to know each other best? It’s easier to converse in a quieter indoor environment. But perhaps your date will be more comfortable (and therefore more herself) being a little active and fooling around playing a round of mini-golf.
- What will show off your true personality?
- What will you both get most enjoyment out of?
“That’s all great, but tell me exactly what I should do for my first date Marcus!”
… Ok, ok, I hear you ; ) Here it is, your first date itinerary that gives you the best chance of impressing any girl.
What to do: Go to a bar or restaurant after work, for drinks and a small meal. I recommend a small wine or tapas bar. This option allows you to chat easily with each other and together with a few drinks, gentle background music and dim light, it provides an incredibly seductive environment.
There is something about having a meal together which really bonds people, so use this to your advantage… instead of ordering two separate meals I’ve found it best to share three or so appetizer/tapas items off the menu. Sharing food off the same plate increases the intimacy of the date and connects the two of you – just make sure to use your manners! You can both graze the smaller meals over a longer period which also helps to alleviate any date tension. Also a few appetizers is generally cheaper than two large meals.
When: After work on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. The logic for this is that generally most people are busy early on in the week, and by the end of the week they can’t wait to escape work, go out and relax. It also gives your date something to look forward to which builds anticipation at the start of the week. Then, if the date goes really well you have an opportunity to hang out again a few days later on the weekend for your second date.
*Always make sure that you book a table a few days ahead of time! The last thing that you want to be doing on your first date is walking from restaurant to restaurant together and seeing if there are any free tables.
Although the date is set and you’re both excited, you still need to do a few extra things to make the process as smooth as possible.
You should have been texting a little from the time you organized the date until the day of the date – you don’t want to come in cold. Five days of no contact is likely to make the girl uncertain as to whether it’s still going ahead, and is enough for a girl to cancel on the day because she was unsure. But don’t over-do it with texting! Although you can’t really impress her any more (you’ve already got a date lined up) you can certainly blow your chances if your text convo’s go bad, so stay in a “maintenance” phase.
It’s generally best to make sure the meeting details are fairly specific as it decreases the uncertainty and stress from the girls perspective. Here is an example of being specific, and as you can see, even the most confident girls appreciate a guy who leads:
The initial meeting on the first date can sometimes be difficult and awkward. People often look much different in-person than they do in their profile pics and you’re both generally a little nervous so even finding each other in a busy bar or restaurant can be difficult. However, it is possible to avoid first-date awkwardness… here’s a routine which will start your date of smoothly:
- Text her an hour or so before the date and let her know that you’ll be at the bar/restaurant 10 minutes early and will get your table organised.
- Arrive at the bar/restuarant (make sure you’re 10 minutes early!) and get your waiter to take you to the table you reserved.
- Once you’re at your table, give your date a quick call just to let her know that you’re there. This has two big benefits: firstly it will alleviate her pre-date anxiety, and secondly, having a voice conversation will provide a “warm-up” which makes the transition from Tinder to real-life much smoother. The call should be quick, and go something like this:
- Her: (picks up the phone) Hey!
- You: Hey [Her Name], where are you?
- Her: Just on my way. I’m running a little late, sorry. (Girls almost always run late for the first date!)
- You: That’s cool… take your time, I just got here. Our table is out back near the big window… it’s pretty busy, so give me a call when you’re out the front and I’ll come and get you.
- Her: Ok great!
- You: Alright, take your time… I’ll see you soon.
- Her: See you soon!
- Once she arrives out the front, as you told her, she will give you a call to let you know that she’s there. Answer and tell her you’re on your way over. Don’t hang up the phone and keep talking to her as you walk out toward her. As you get toward the front you should be able to recognize her easily as she will be holding a phone to her ear (and hopefully looks the same as her profile!), she should recognize you also. Once you’ve made eye contact with each other, hang up the phone and continue walking toward her. The little phone-walk-recognition trick makes the meeting process A LOT easier, trust me!
- By this time you’ve had two conversations over the phone in the last 15 minutes, so you’re already “warmed up” to each other which ensures the date starts of smoothly.
- Say a nice hello and give her a hug and or a kiss on the cheek… but don’t get too handsy! Give her a unique compliment about her outfit (girls can put significant thought and deliberation into what they wear, so she’ll likely appreciate it).
- Lead her to your table and then sit down… Congrats! Your Tinder first date has started smoothly and you’re well on your way to sweeping her off her feet :)
The most important tip: focus on her.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you need to be the main event of the date for her to like you. If you can make her feel emotion, feel like she’s interesting, feel like she’s comfortable sharing personal stories with you, then she’ll enjoy the date and like you.
Another benefit of taking that perspective is that when you’re focusing on her you’re too preoccupied to be self-conscious, so you even appear more confident.
DON’T BE BORING!
The conversation should be focused around topics that make her feel good. So talk to her about her passions, let her reminisce about her great memories and get her on a nostalgia high. Keep every-day, mundane conversations topics like work, school and weather to an absolute minimum.
Your conversation should be unwrapped like an onion, starting off reasonably light and general. Then when you both start to feel more comfortable, take things up a notch and ask more revealing questions. Getting stuck in that first layer of conversation is why girls will say “he was ok, but there wasn’t any chemistry“. It’s because the conversation didn’t give chemistry a chance!
If you really want to build rapport and create chemistry, you need to get past the outer layer and into her core (no sexual metaphor there, I promise!)
This is backed up by a social experiment by Dan Ariely, a behavioral scientist who found that generally, people who used online dating didn’t present themselves as interesting people, all because they stayed in their conversational comfort (boring) zone. By trying to be nice they ruined any chance of creating an attraction.
To help this “core” conversation flow, you can agree with your date upfront (playfully of course) that you’ll only talk about interesting topics.
Here are some questions and discussion topics that will really stimulate conversation. They are unique and will be quite challenging, but definitely not boring.
- What were you like in highschool? Then say, “wait… let’s guess what each other was like in highschool, I’ll go first“. Then proceed to guess if she was a nerd, or a bit of a bully, sporty, hung out with the cool group, was a little shy etc.
- Do you have any brothers or sisters? Where do you fit, oldest, youngest? Just like the highschool question, play a little guessing game and say things like “well you seem fairly independent, even like you could be a little wild at times… I definitely think you’re the youngest child!”
- What’s your real passion in life? If you won $20 million dollars tomorrow, how would you spend your life? Explore this, it will give great insights into her personality. Whether she’s motivated, if she has any big future plans, whether she even thinks about the future, or is happy just being in the moment.
- First impressions are a really interesting topic, don’t you agree. So… let’s tell each other our first impressions. You might be surprised what I thought about you… Just be completely honest, but still nice. You can tell her that she has a really bubbly energy to her that you didn’t pick up through text. Or that she’s a little taller than you were expecting. Or that she gives a good hello-hug. This topic is a great opportunity to break down barriers and build chemistry, but you need to be confident and completely honest…otherwise it will work against you.
- What’s one of your favorite childhood memories? Take time to really explore this memory of hers and take an interest in it, inquiring into all the emotions that she felt during that memory. Let her feel those emotions again.
- Why do you think we’d get on well in a relationship? List off things that you have in common and compatible personality features.
- Tell me something you find attractive about me? If she is a bit uncertain or uneasy about answering that, say “ok I’ll go first”. Then select a few really unique things about her that you find attractive, a mix of physical and mental. An example would be “Well from a mentally aspect, from what I can tell you’re quite a deep thinker, and to me that’s a really attractive quality. Physically, those cute dimples of yours have definitely caught my attention… But I’ve already told you that on Tinder”. The more unique the qualities you tell her, the more flattered she’ll be. Then sit back and hear the compliments she gives you… to which all you need to say is, “thank you”.
The key is to find topics that are slightly uncomfortable (in a good way) and unique to talk about. Prod carefully and feel for her conversational boundaries, then explore those boundaries from all areas. Remember, to receive you need to give… so be prepared to reveal a little about yourself in the conversation.
It’s the uncharted areas of her’s that will make her feel in the moment with you, and have her telling her friends how interesting you were.
**Note, under no circumstances should you vent and pour your heart out. Girls don’t want to hear your problems on a first date.
When we first meet people we quickly make judgements about their friendliness, dominance and potential as a sexual partner. Body language plays a huge role in how other people perceive us, and how we perceive others… it is a worth a blog post on it’s own, but here are some quick tips that will help you on your date.
Smile – it’s obvious, smiling is contagious and makes each other feel better. Your date will see that you’re smiling, and will be more likely to smile as well, making her feel better.
Maintain “open” body language throughout your date – don’t cross your arms or legs and lean slightly toward your date. Open body language basically shows that you’re genuine, honest and have nothing to hide. It also demonstrates confidence.
Watch her body language – You also want to see open body language from her, which shows she’s comfortable with you.
At the start of the date she’s likely to show signs of closed body language, her arms and legs may be crossed or hands clasped closed. Don’t let this worry you! This is relatively normal as she is meeting a stranger so will be slightly wary and also nervous because she is on a date with someone she likes. Slowly but surely you’ll see her body language open up, which is a sure sign that you are making a good impression.
Also be on the lookout for indications that she is very interested in you/flirting. Signs include touching your arm in conversation, caressing something like her glass or earring, preening herself and flicking or playing with her hair. They are great signs to see, but as long as you see her at least slightly leaning in toward you (and not away!) then you know you’re going well.
Here’s another secret tip: A lot of girls are nervous in the first 5 or 10 minutes of the date which isn’t ideal. So if you notice this, tell her “you seem pretty comfortable and confident, I’m impressed” with a warming smile on your face. We humans are incredibly suggestible, and the fact that she thinks you see her as being comfortable, will make her feel more comfortable.
Maintain a good amount of eye contact – looking into each others eyes increases attraction and intimacy. You can help this along by talking about the colors of each others eyes, and asking her what color yours are. This will get her looking into you eyes and help fast-track the intimacy process. But don’t over do the eye contact and stare into her eyes all night otherwise she’ll think you’re a massive creep!
I highly recommend you learn how to read body language – it is so easily to learn but gives you an enormous advantage socially. When you learn to read peoples body language, you’ll almost feel as though you have a super power. The book that I learned from which was incredibly easy and quick, is called The Definitive Book of Body Language, which you can find here. I definitively recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their dating success.
Take care of the check – It makes you feel good… maybe it’s some type of primordial pride to being the provider, maybe it’s a control thing or maybe it’s just nice to give. If only because of the reason that it makes you feel good, you should pay. But there are also many other reasons why you should….
If you don’t make a big deal about it, taking care of the check will also make you look confident and in control which will be attractive to your date.
Both you and your date want to experience a seamlessly smooth, chemistry-filled date night – don’t let something as insignificant as a few dollars ruin that. In 10 years you won’t remember those dollars coming out of your bank account, but you will remember those warm feelings of having the perfect date night.
Some girls will suggest that they contribute to the check (even if it’s only a polite gesture and don’t really want to pay, they are usually the best type of girls). Handle this by politely saying “thanks, that’s nice. But I’ll look after it” if she continues to persist, have a smile on your face and say “look I’ll take care of tonight, and you can look after our second date”. She will be absolutely flattered, and impressed that you’re already talking about your second date.
Line up your second date, before the first has finished – if during the date you are interested in her, and are pretty sure she is interested in you, then bring up the topic of a second date. This takes away all of the post-date stress by knowing that you have a second date planned, or at least in mind.
It should be done in a light and playful manner. You can say something like (after she tells a joke) “haha you’re reasonably funny… I hope you’re this funny on our second date”. It will be enough to plant the seed in her mind of your second date.
Or if during conversation you’re talking about something you both love doing, you could use that as an excuse for a second date, like watching your favorite baseball team or band the following weekend.
Lock in the second date early and you’ll only get her more excited!
*Note that this should only be done very late in the date, and only if you’re almost certain that she’s very interested in you, otherwise you’ll look too clingy.
Get an immediate post-date text – Picture this: The date is done and you’ve both gone home. That night you don’t receive a text from her, and you don’t send one to her either. The next morning, both of you are happy with last nights date but there’s still some confusion (and stress) over whether you should text first, or wait a few days. Then you start getting worried, thinking that maybe she didn’t even like you….. It’s totally unnecessary.
Just like organizing your second date before your first has ended, you can eliminate post-date stress by getting the post-date text from her immediately. When you’re saying your goodbye’s (read about the magic first-date goodbye below) and she’s about to get in her car or a cab, say to her:
“Make sure you text me when you get home safe, I don’t want to be up all night worried about you” (said with a half-cheeky smile)
Besides the fact that it helps you, looking out for her safety is a nice thing to do.
Then when she gets home she’ll send you a “home safe :)” text, which will break that post-date ice. And if you’re not careful, that can build very quickly and make things difficult for you. If she forgets to text you, then send her a message the next day saying something sarcastic and playful like “I’ve been up allll night worried sick… did you get home safe? ;)”
The Magic First Date Goodbye
One of the most important (and overlooked) parts of the first date is the Goodbye. It’s only a tiny fraction of the date, but an awkward, fumbled and inappropriate goodbye can totally demolish all of your hard work. A bad goodbye will leave behind an underwhelming impression of you – something your date will remember like the disappointing ending to a movie.
And really, it’s not easy.
A million thoughts are running through your head:
Should I kiss her on the lips?… Or will I scare her off
Hug her? Shake her hand?… Or is that not intimate enough?
It’s confusing and sometimes scary to know what you should do in that situation.
I think you know what I’m talking about!
But on the other hand, an amazing first date goodbye can make you a hero in her eyes. You can create a special moment that she will remember with a smile on her face. Something that she’ll race home and gloat to her friends about.
A perfect goodbye will leave her craving more of you, setting you up for easy follow up dates (or more).
So how do you achieve the perfect goodbye?
Luckily there’s a very, very simple goodbye that’s certain to end the date in style, without the worry, without the stress. And it works everytime. Girls will literally blush with excitement when you use it… it’s as close to magic as you can get.
You can download the very magic, the very perfect and very secret first date goodbye here.
“This is unbelievably good. If want to impress your date, you really need to download this. Seriously, download it like right now.”
From Part 1
- When texting (on Tinder or via text) casually bring up the topic of your first date. See Part 2 for date venues and activities.
- Still via text, quickly lock down a day for your date by asking “when are you free?”
- Call her a few days before the date – firm up date details, flirt a little then wrap it up quickly with the “don’t ruin the pre-date magic” line.
From Part 2
- Select an appropriate date venue and activity – I suggest a casual tapas or wine bar.
- Ensure you’ve reserved your date venue, if possible.
- After you called her the first time, ensure you at least keep a “maintenance” text conversation with her until your date day. Don’t go overboard with texting.
- Send a couple more warm-up texts on the day of the date, firming and specifying any date logistics.
- Arrive at your date venue around 10 minutes early, then give her a call to let her know you’re there and tell her to give you a call when she arrives.
- She will call you when she arrives, stay on the phone and walk out the front. You will be able to recognize her easily now and will be “warmed up” to each other.
- Show her to your table.
- Focus your attention on her during the date and don’t try to show off, in an attempt to impress her.
- Be aware of body language, both yours (stay open) and hers (try to get hers to open up). Maintain good eye contact.
- Start off with light conversation, then slowly un-peel the conversational onion…
- Keep the conversation to interesting topics that make her feel good – great memories, passions etc.
- Once comfortable, incorporate a few conversation topics that push the boundaries a little – if performed correctly, this is where chemistry and a connection is created.
- If the signs are there, plant the idea for your second date in her mind.
- Take care of the check.
- After using your secret first date goodbye, tell her to make sure she texts your when she gets home safe.
And that’s it, the date template that is almost certain to leave your date completely giddy with lust. If you haven’t been on many first dates, follow this template and you will do fine. Once you start to have a little experience, change things around to suit you, your personality and your date – this is just one of a million ways to have an amazing first date. I’d be interested to hear your date stories, so leave a comment below and let me know what has and hasn’t worked for you…