Do You Know What a Man Expects out of a First Date?

couple dating over a cup of coffee

Do you know what a man expects out of a first date?

Have you ever bothered to ask him?

If you’re a female reader, please share some of the things you’ve done on first dates that you feel ensure a second date.

If you’re a male reader, please share with us what your date can do to ensure a second date.

If you’re serious about securing that second date, you’ll want to check out my Finding the One Online CD series.

Join our conversation (89 Comments).
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  1. 1

    When I was dating when I was young, I almost never got second dates and had no idea what I was doing wrong. Now that I’m older I always get asked for second dates. The difference? When I was younger I used to spend the date trying to make him like me. Now I spend the date trying to determine if I like him. The difference in confidence that must come across is striking, I imagine.

  2. 2

    Good one.
    I think a man expects to have a good time (no stress, no drama, no peppering him with a million questions) with someone who is good company (no complaining, no negativity, a strong willingness to laugh and be friendly) and, if he plans and pays, he expects to have his efforts acknowledged and appreciated. I think a man also appreciates a woman that looked like she put some effort into her appearance prior to going out, to show that the event is ‘special’ to her, but nothing over the top.

  3. 3
    Karl R

    I deliberately keep my expectations low. My goal for a first date is for both of us to enjoy ourselves, and for us to get to know each other better.

    If you’re a male reader, please share with us what your date can do to ensure a second date.
    Starting with the most important:

    1) Relax and be yourself: My decision will be primarily based on who you are, not on what you do during the date. Furthermore, being comfortable with being yourself is a sign of confidence, and self-confidence looks good on everybody.

    2) Let me know you’re interested: I realize some men like to chase the women who aren’t interested in them. I don’t. Unless a woman is interested in me, I won’t waste my time on a second date.

    3) Have fun: Men want women to enjoy their company. If you’re enjoying yourself, that makes us feel good.

    Ultimately, you can’t “ensure” a second date, since it’s so heavily based on who you are (looks, personality, etc.), but you can improve your odds.

    1. 3.1

      As a man, first dates for me are almost as job interviews… without the stress… pretty much

      if her phone rings, she doesn t answer, she gets a point

      if she answers in front of me and makes it quick she gets a point

      if she excuses herself to answer her phone she loses a point

      if she smells good, she gets a point

      she doesn’t have to be all dressed up (but put on your best pair of shoes… not one that s worn out, it looks careless… there for not very interested).

      Most important, the effort. Relationships go two ways… if am the only one putting effort during the date… definitely no second date… if she asks me to surprise her for a first date, definitely no first date…








      1. 3.1.1

        I agree with making an effort on your appearance on a date. It shows that you not only care about yourself but you are showing some respect to your date. In regards to the phone. As a single mum I always tell a date that I have my phone with me but will only answer if it is my daughter as she is my priority. If they are not on board with that then he is the wrong person for me.

        1. ScottH

          I agree about the kids being top priority and the phone.   Within the last year, my kids had a car accident and an ER visit (separate occasions).      If I wasn’t available to them because I was on a date and “couldn’t answer my phone” to be polite, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.   If the date doesn’t understand that, FLUSH, NEXT!!   I will explain to a date that I have kids and need to be available to them in case of emergency and that I know that proper etiquette on a date is not to answer the phone.   Usually they understand once it’s explained.

  4. 4
    how to build my relationship

    I agree with Carl on his three points, relax and be yourself. The main reason is that it is a waste of both of your time if you are pretending to be someone else. I am a firm believer of loving someone for who they are, don’t expect to change anyone! If there is something annoying about a person, you better be able to handle it if you are thinking about marriage…

  5. 5

    I never know when I am on a first date.

    I have a tendency to meet people at random. I am rarely in one spot and always on the move. I am constantly around a new face on a regualr basis.

    I have a lot of moments where I meet someone, then meet another, in an hour, there is a large group of people that I am with. When things come around, I might be sharing a soda at dawn in the park with that new someone special. That night out on the town turned into a morning of talking to someone over a cup of coffee.

    I have been one not to know that I was on a date. I had to be told later that I was considered to be on one. I guess that comes with being wrapped up in your own thoughts and busy all the time.

    If you want to know what it takes to go out with you a second time, give us “the look”. A man can not help not to notice it. If you give it, even if there is a slight attraction, he will call you up the following day. Even if you are across a busy and packed room, if you give the look from across a busy bar, the crowd will spread like the Red Sea as the guy walks over to her. “The look” is that powerful.

    I do not know how to describe it other than it will stop a speeding bus quicker than super man. When you give the look, the guy will put down his cell phone, he will stop in mid-conversation, he will forget where he is and what he doing. When you give us “the look”, we even forget our own name.

    You want to go out a second time, towards the end of the first date, give us “the look”, and the second date will be within the next couple of days. There is no way to describe it, you just know it when you see it.

  6. 6
    Lou Brusco

    I agree with what is said above….

    What about the third date?

    I sometimes get to the second date, and things seem to have gone backwards. Maybe she gave me a kiss on the first date – maybe we held hands…then, the second date, it is like they don’t want to go anywhere near you. That turns me off and I probably would not want to go out a third time. Likewise, I have heard of guys who take a kiss on the first date to mean it is open season for the second date – and the woman does not want to go out a third time.

    I think people expect a reasonable progression of closeness – and the difference in the pace of that progression is a major problem even between otherwise compatible people as a relationship is starting out.

  7. 7
    Lou B

    I agree with what has been said above – but ask – what about a third date?

    I have been on first dates that go very well – and it ends up in some hand holding – maybe a nice kiss goodnight – and you look forward to the second date and it as if the woman reconsidered moving so fast and shuts it down – and does not touch you at all. Similarly, I have heard of guys who get a first date kiss and think it is open season – then are all over the woman on a second date. In both instances, a third date does not happen.

    People are looking for a progression of closeness in dating – and the differences in the desired pace of progression is many times the reason a couple that is otherwise compatible may not develop in to relationship. Usually it is the men who want things to move faster than the women – but, the progression (or lack of it) frequently derails couples.

  8. 8

    I think a man expects to have someone who is fun, can hold a conversation, will be herself,comfortable with who is she is, not overpowering,not trying to prove anything. Someone who is great company. interesting and also interested in him.I try not to ask the usual questions so that we both have an interesting conversation and laughs along the way. It is a first date not a job intervieuw.

    In the past I used to really try hard to impress someone, maybe it was my insecurity entering the dating world, but now I am very relaxed, entertaining and I ensure I have a great time during the first date. I guess it shows. I do get second dates , third and fourth dates.

  9. 9

    When on a first date, a man selects the restaurant, try not to make a comment about the restaraunt around the corner, after the man pays for dinner.

  10. 10

    If you don’t suffer from allergies, try and remember to wear some perfume or scent. It works our olfactory tubes….

  11. 11

    Jennifer and Karl pretty much had it..

    “If he plans and pays, he expects to have his efforts acknowledged and appreciated”
    One woman i dated a few times never even thanked me for paying or offered to pay. I wouldn’t have let her pay of course, the guy really has to pay on the first few dates. But please make the fake offer. (do the “Fake reach”) If you don’t at least offer to pay the guy might get the impression you are just freeloading (i still kinda think she was).

  12. 12

    re: post 11

    I dunno, I wouldn’t feel right about not offering the money in earnest. Especially if I am not in reality prepared to pay or cannot afford to.

  13. 13

    In addition to being appreciated, a guy likes to feel like the girl is with him, is present with him–not looking around the room, not engaging with others, but paying attention to him. This says he is interesting, attractive, and totally worth the time being invested. Listen, laugh, look at him.

  14. 14

    Xpuff, you are spot on and I like what you said about deciding whether or not you like him rather than worrying about him liking you. It doesn’t matter how gracious, dignified, classy, funny, or whatever positve you are, you can’t control it if he doesn’t like you enough to desire a 2nd date. Ladies, we forget that little thing called “the feminine mystique”. There is a way to not wear your heart on your sleeve without being aloof or cold. Karl, I agree with what you say about a woman being interested and having fun. Women, being gracious, self-assured, and able to be in the moment are the most attractive things we can project on a date besides wearing a smile. If you know you are fabulous and you don’t get a second date, then blame it on ADHD.

  15. 15

    Hunter, some of us don’t care for very strong scents. Usually whatever a woman uses for her skin and hair (lotion, shampoo) has enough scent for me.

  16. 16

    to Thomas on post #5,

    I think you are dreaming pal. Even in these modern times that we live in with all kinds of civil rights, the average woman “cannot” hold a glance for 3 seconds and smile at a man she is attracted to. Mostly, they will feel the attraction and look elsewhere, and walk away. And carry you in their sweet little heart for days, thinking/wishing/fantasizing…..hhmmhhhh..

    1. 16.1

      hunter, you are absolutely right. Now a days if someone is intrigued by someone else and gives them a look, the usual Response is to look away even if that person is attracted or interested. I find myself in those situations. I tend to fantasize and create scenerios in my head of how that moment could have gone differently Afterwards. I guess its the lack of communication us human beings have Because if we are interested in people, we sometimes don’t approach or bluntly tell them “hey I’m interested In you lets talk”. Although if you’re actually on a date, giving “the look” is a good way of letting them know you like them.  

  17. 17

    I agree with Jane. When I’m out with someone new, either on a first date or second date or third, I want to know if she is attracted. That is a must. I don’t care what the truth is, I just want to know the truth. I’ll pay, I’ll show you a good time, but if your not really interested tell me somehow, and if you are, Thomas was right…give me “the Look”…I’ll know it and it will make my week! You will get a call back, I guarantee it, especially if there was a delicious kiss that went along with it! Other than that, every woman should read Jennifers comments above, they are right on.

  18. 18

    The problem is, we (women) may not know we’re attracted on the first date. People act oddly sometimes (nerves, I think) and come up as a, “definite maybe.” So, for me, personally, I would have to fake “the look” or feign interest, because I simply do not know right off the bat, most of the time. I know men don’t want that. My guess is many women do this, and that is why the second date appears to go, “backwards.” Offer a second date to allow a second take, preferably different (setting, tone) than the first.


  19. 19

    I’d feel uh…fake doing the “fake reach”. I can’t imagine not offering a sincere “thank you” though. Whoever that woman was, she showed a notable lack of manners. If I were a guy I don’t think I’d want to ask her out again just on that basis.

  20. 20

    on post #18,

    “People act oddly sometimes(nerves, I think)”……….better name for that is “anxiety.”

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