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


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).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  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.”

  21. 21

    to Paul on #17

    Most of the time, if a woman is out with you, she is attracted to you, in some way. Very few women go out with a man, just because he asked.

  22. 22

    I have to say…I’m afraid to admit this, but when I saw the heading for this blog (“Do you know what a man expects out of a first date?”) the first thing that popped into my mind was: What, are we supposed to care? I’m showing you my dark side now. It’s horrible, I know.

    Whether reality or perception I get the impression that women put A LOT more time into thinking about their date, their appearance, being prepared, etc. then men do. There was a man I liked in town that I asked to a dance a while back…I already had a little familiarity with him and did not meet him on-line…anyway, when he showed up, he was still tucking in his shirt, had not put gas in the car, had not gone to the bank, and so on. So, we had to RUN ERRANDS before going on our date! Fine, whatever, but really… Shower, shave, iron a clean shirt rather than just pulling on something from your work week, go to the bank, put gas in the car…c’mon people!

    I TOTALLY APPRECIATE a man who is clean, clean shaven, and has a fresh shirt on, and (if we’re dating from on-line) looks like his photo. And I am eager to say so: “I so appreciate a man in a collared shirt.” “Wow! You’re so prepared.” Or, “You thought of everything.”

    Men should expect and deserve appreciation for effort, when effort is demonstrated. It’s great when men pay (they deserve appreciation here, too), but really that’s easier than, and does not make up for, all the little things.



    To me, the fake reach IS fake. If HE asked YOU on a date, then he can cover the cost and enjoy your company. Your job is to be good company. That’s it.

    1. 22.1

      I have just one tidbit in all that you said. You stated that if a guy ask a woman out HE should pay because HE asked amd that her “role” is to be good company.

      So do you believe then that there is a double standard? (i.e if a woman asks a man out she should pay and his role then is to be good company?)


  23. 23

    A good reminder from hunter that if someone goes out with you, they probably ARE attracted to you in some way. I am always trying to tease that out (in myself) as I learn more about my date. But I get the impression that men expect a HUGE attraction, on day one.


  24. 24

    Ok, the fake reach is fake. But, all i’m saying is, it’s better than nothing. And is appreciated.

    “Showing some appreciation” is a subset of Moon’s being “good company”. Not even saying thank you to your date for paying is not “good company”.

    Also, Ms. Moon, this post is for ‘what a man expects out of a first date”, not for women to post “What a man SHOULD expect out of a first date”.

  25. 25

    to Moon on post #22

    Pink Floyd always said, the moon had a dark side!…..LOL!… that dry humor or what?……

    You said, “Your job is to be good company. That is it.” I would suggest you rewrite that statement in bold letters and underline it twice!……..hhhmmhhh, yes!…..

  26. 26

    Lol…Ben wants everyone to stick EXACTLY TO TEXT, apparently. Gosh. Just trying to back up you guys that you deserve appreciation and should be able to expect as much, including app for paying. You’re hard to support, eh? Ben, since you’re sticking exactly to the question, what (besides the fake reach, which is down in the polls) can a woman do to ensure a second date with you?

    hunter, if I were html literate, or however people bold and underline, I’d do it. Would you say a lot of women are not good company on dates? In what way(s)? Maybe they were flirting with the waitstaff!


    Moral of the story: if you want appreciation, GIVE GOOD DATE! If the woman is a female version of a cad, better to know sooner than later.

  27. 27

    moon, you dismissed every person’s opinion in the entire thread with your dismissive “be good company. that is it”. Well, there are a lot of parts to being “good company”. That is the point of the question. How does a woman “be good company”, *in the eyes of a man*? Well, one thing, is to show some appreciation by at least saying thank you to the guy for paying. That is what a guy “expects”. That’s my input to answer the question.

    moon gave a nice list of what a woman expects a man to do, but that was the previous thread. Running errands is pretty ridiculous. 🙂

    I get the impression that some women here think dating is a one way street, that he only needs to impress the woman, and that the guy is the woman’s to reject. While this may well be true for some insecure guys, some of us have standards of behavior we “Expect”. The women is being graded too, and not just on looks.

  28. 28

    good company

    All I can say to this is just do not sit there awkward and silent. I have walked away from plenty to chill with someone that I could have a conversation with. Simply just say, “hey this is not working out” and end the date. Keep it friendly and keep her as a contact. It is all about networking. Even if things do not work out, the woman is a door to others that you are more compatible with. Do not “use” women as a door to get to more desirable women, but do not close the door to keeping in touch so that you can meet others. A woman’s influence on her freinds is greater than any on-line profile or anything that comes to mind. Be nice to her and treat her with respect. In turn, she will introduce you to someone that you find more to your liking.

    The more people you talk to, the more you extend your network.

    As far as a first date, us men do expect something out of it. We don’t all expect the same thing.

    If I sit with someone that is not good company, I might as well sit by myself and look at the wall. Watching television and drinking a beer in the comfort of my home should not be better than a first date.

    The only thing that I can think of not to do is try too hard. When I am out with a woman and she tries too hard to impress me, that is kind of creepy, makes her look kind of desperate.

    Do not give us too much information all at once and do not give us too much personal information. There have been plenty of times that I have first met someone, things are going good and they are relaxed. Then bam, they hit me with something so personal about themselves that it should have waited at least 5 to 10 dates on down the road. For some odd reason, within the first 30 minutes of meeting them, 25% of the women I meet tell me about the first time they had intercourse with a man. The more they go into detail, the more I want to push them away. It is too much personal information for the first I met you.

    Again, do not give us too much information the first time we meet you. A few years ago, I made eye contact with a young woman. I am the type of person that if you make eye contact with, I am going to say hi or at least something. A few minutes later we were having lunch together and the conversation was silent. There were potatoes on the table, and I asked her what she thought about them, it was something to break the silence. She started crying. I asked why, she said because no one had ever asked her how she felt about potatoes before. She started sobbing and rambling on about stuff in her life. I did not know her name, I did not even know her. There were tears and snot all over the table. I did not say a word for an hour, she just sat there and cried telling me about a bunch of random stuff. In the end, it was a horrible first encounter.

    Girls, they cry, they cry a lot. If it the first time that I have met you, try to keep it under control.

    1. 28.1

      Thomas, it is close to impossible for a woman to keep it under control, that is more of the mans job, i think you didn’t find the potato woman sexy and didn’t like her…

  29. 29

    I have another question for everyone: how do you react when upon meeting the person for the first time you totally do not find them attractive?

    Do you still go through the motions?

    Do you say something instead of wasting your evening (or whatever time of the day it is)? If yes, what?

    1. 29.1

      juju, that is one reason why men go on short dates, coffee, yogurt, etc…

    2. 29.2

      Hunter nailed it. If you feel like its a waste of time, just say so at the very beginning and part ways.

      I was on a dinner date once and the woman actually told me that she wasn’t “feeling me” before we’d even received our drinks or ordered food. But she added that it was ok becasue we could just go ahead and eat, chat, and have a decent time. I figured that was fair enough. Until the check came and she still expected me to pay the entire bill. I was not willing to do that, so all of a sudden I was a cheap asshole and she was right for not being into me, etc. I said I didn’t care and I still wasn’t going to pay her portion. So I had the waiter split the check. Then she changed her tone a bit because it turned out she’d showed up on this date with no money (or at least that’s what she claimed). I told her that was unfortunate, got up and handed my money to the waiter on my way out, telling him to keep an eye on the girl I was sitting with in case she tried to skip out on her tab.

  30. 30

    Thomas, your potatoes story was like something out of a movie–LOL LOL LOL. I have tears in MY eyes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *