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).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 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.

  2. 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?)


  3. 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.


  4. 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”.

  5. 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!…..

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 30

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

  11. 31
    Lou B

    Re: #29

    To be polite – I go through the motions and complete the date – tough when you have planned a nice dinner!!

    I am a doctor and have contemplated getting paged out of the date – but I just think that is wrong (and probably bad luck – might get paged out of a GREAT date next time!!).

  12. 32

    Lou– This is why you never plan a ‘nice dinner’ for a first meeting.

    Coffee dates (or other similar low investment meetings) can always be ‘extended’ into dinner, if desired..

    I haven’t gone out with any women yet that i wasn’t at least a little bit attracted to. Certainly, less attracted once i met them, but not bad enough to end the date. If i did, i’d probably have a nice chat for an hour and get to know them anyway.


  13. 33

    A-number-one suggestion for women… DON”T tell me ANYTHING about former boyfriends/fiancs/husbands. I’m imagining how it would feel to kiss you and they really get in the way.

  14. 34

    Ben, I am deeply offended at your perception that I, ‘dismissed every person’s opinion in the entire thread with your dismissive be good company. that is it.’ That is very harsh. Though that is your perception, that is not at all what was happening as I wrote.


  15. 35

    RE: #29. Yes, go through the date, but don’t just go through the motions. As Evan might say, “be in the moment.” Be your most interesting, engaged, polite self and see if things improve. Even if things don’t things might turn around or he doesn’t end up introducing you to someone great, it’s still the polite (and right) thing to do.

    As far as some of these first date stories (ie, crying lady in #28)…where do you meet some of these people? I’m not saying this as an insult to the posters, but thankfully none of my dates have been anywhere near as bad as some of y’alls’. I can’t imagine any of my friends behaving in such a way, so I have a hard time imagining others doing so. Guess I’m lucky. 🙂

  16. 36

    Oh gosh, that first paragraph was terrible. That’s what I get for not double-checking it. Here’s the redo:

    RE: #29. Yes, go through the date, but don’t just go through the motions. As Evan might say, be in the moment. Be your most interesting, engaged, polite self and see if things improve. Even if things don’t turn around or he doesn’t end up introducing you to someone great, it’s still the polite (and right) thing to do.

  17. 37

    When I met men I didn’t think were physically attractive, I always continued the dates. And with few exceptions, I had a pleasant time and didn’t view the date as a waste. I think that in the quest for finding the right one, treating the wrong ones along the way poorly is not good for the soul. Just because someone doesn’t appeal to you physically there is no reason to be rude to them…even if they deceived you. The only time I actually regretted continuing a date was when I went out with one guy that had a really, really, really bitter attitude about women and the world in general. A negative and defeated view on life is 1000 times more difficult to tolerate than an unattractive face or body.

    On the occasions that I have had pleasant dates, but no physical attraction, I use to suggest let’s be friends, but the guys wanted romance or nothing. I guess some men are insulted by the offer. When a guy made the “let’s be friends” offer to me, I turned him down because I felt that he just wanted to use me for networking connections — he wanted to transfer to my field. In general, I have no problem helping people out, but for some reason, I just felt like he was being deceptive about his true intensions so I told him no thanks. Sorry for rambling.

  18. 38

    Why, Kenley, I find every response very interesting. Wish more people “rambled.” 🙂

    I am not sure, though, that at this point I will even want to be polite in a case of outright deception on my date’s part – he was obviously disrespectful of my time and effort when he did that, so why should I be respectful in return?

  19. 39


    I guess I try to be respectful because the times when I’ve been rude or mean to other people, I’ve never felt good or gotten any satisfaction out of that type of behavior. In my on-line experience, a few guys did send me misleading photos — the ones from 10 years ago when they were younger and lighter. I still treated these guys respectfully because I felt sad that they were not confident enough in their appearance to be truthful. Now, would I date the guys long term — probably not because if a man is deceptive at the beginning there is a good chance he will be deceptive right to the end. So, even though I wouldn’t date them long term, I could still be polite and try to enjoy their company for just for an hour or so. Being nice doesn’t cost me anything. Being mean costs me a little bit of my soul.

  20. 40

    Hi JuJu,

    I also practice keeping the date, regardless of physical attraction, even in (the few) cases where the man had obviously not posted near recent photos and had added a few things (waistline, jowls) in the physique area. I guess I believe along the lines of Kenley that you pay every soul that respect and keep the commitment of the time. I don’t linger or drag it out though. It seems to me it is even more painful for the man, to see how into him you are not, and realize the that part of those results were caused by deception on his part. Perhaps lesson learned for some.


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