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

A couple having their first date

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

Have you ever bothered to ask her?

To my male readers, please share with us what has been successful for you on first dates.

To my female readers, please share with us what has been most enjoyable and memorable about your best first dates.

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

Join our conversation (31 Comments).
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  1. 1

    I’ve had a lot of god first dates. Several things make for a great first date:

    1) good venue (wine tasting, drinks with appetizers, dinner at a lively but still romantic restaurant)

    2) clear plan ahead of what time we were going to meet, where we were meeting, what we were going to do

    3) the guy greets me appropriately (handshake, little hug, kiss on the cheek, depending on how long we have been corresponding before meeting) and doesn’t make we wait for him or leave any ambiguity as to who he is (looks like his photo)

    4) the man looks nice (appropriate) for the date and smells nice and tells me I look nice or likes my perfume, etc.

    5) no lags in the conversation, a sense of having lots to talk about, some humor, a few good laughs

    6) appropriate physical contact during the date (light touch on the hand or arm once in a while)

    7) good eye contact, enough to let me know he is interested in me, not the waitress or all the other women in the restaurant, but not staring so much I’m uncomfortable or talking to my chest

    8) appropriate ending to the date (knowing if a kiss is welcome, not taking out my tonsils if he does kiss me, letting me know he wants to see me again and asking me if he can call me soon to set it up, then following through as he said he would)

    My biggest complaint has been with guys who get lazy after the first date. It’s like they know they have you so they don’t have to pull out all the stops anymore. They get lazy about calling, don’t dress as nicely for subsequent dates, etc. Or they get too pushy on date #2, assuming you’ll spend the night together. It’s the transition from the first date to the next ones that really make or break a relationship to me.

    All that being said, I have to say my best first date was with a man who I saw in a long distance relationship. I’m not a “Rules Girl,” so I flew to him for our first meeting. The anticipation was insane, because we had been corresponding for about 6 weeks, talking on the phone every day, exchanging more photos, etc. He picked me up at the airport in his luxury convertible, gave me a dozen red roses with a nice kiss, and took me on a little drive around his neighborhood then out for a drink before going back to his place. He put on some foxy R&B, lit a candle, and gave me a foot massage before ever trying to kiss me again. Thank goodness the chemistry was there in person (we really tried to ensure it would be before meeting). All I will say from here is that it was a great weekend–like one long incredible first date. The relationship didn’t last, but I’ll always remember that first date.

  2. 2

    What’s up with all the “survey questions as posts” lately? Ugh. 🙁

  3. 3

    These questions are somewhat women-centric (and I am getting the impression the men here don’t care how to please or impress a woman, anyway).

    I’d like to hear from men on what they expect on a first date.

    1. 3.1
      jason harris

      A man on a first date is lookibg for 3 things. A sensible atractive interesting convo topick. A welcome smile is the best thing ever, this alaws the man to no your having a good night. And last but not least, noing boundrese! There is nothing wors then a woman laffing at you if somthing pertenchaly imbarissing happens.

      1. 3.1.1

        Most of us want a man who is literate.

        1. Tom


          That was funny!   I hear what you’re saying.

    2. 3.2

      It’s not that we don’t care – most of us just don’t know. Even when you’re going out to meet a woman in person for the first time. What do you do?

  4. 4

    First dates over lunch are always preferable to meeting in a coffee shop, bookstore, etc. It gives the impression that the man is willing to invest his time to get to know you rather than wanting to take a quick look at you before excusing himself.

  5. 5

    Confidence… that is about the only thing that I can tell you.

    If a woman has a date that seems desperate, she will drop him and take home a guy that does not even know her name.

    On top of that……ummm…. do not talk her ear off. The first date can always be awkward. Find something that you have common ground and that the both of you can talk about. The conversation is not to be one sided. If it becomes that and the chick will not speak, it is best just to walk away.

    After this, I am at a lost as to what a woman wants on a first date.

    1. 5.1

      Remember.         Two ears ., one mouth. Listen twice as much as you. talk. Everyone loves being listened to! X

  6. 6

    Evan is gathering his data for coaching, of course. We’re like his study group.

    Thomas, I am so glad you brought up those salient points. Confidence, not to be confused with cockiness or aloofness, is the number one attractant for women, I’d say. We like to get the idea you like yourself and are okay whether we like you or not. If your date senses you neeeeeeeed her, are trying to get something from her, or are just trying too hard, it’s a no-go.

    Conversation should *not* be one-sided. As I’ve mentioned, leave room for your date to speak. Sometimes it’s not that the “chick” will not speak, it’s that she hasn’t been given a turn. Take a breathe…wait.

    For me, I prefer simple, common courtesy on a date: call if you’re running late, preferably be on time, turn off your cell phone, make reciprocal conversation. That’s about it. It’s just to get to know each other. I’ve heard that the man is supposed to pay and this is nice, when my guess is almost any man I go out with (at this time) earns more than I do.

    Oh, and if you (the man) plan the date, it is great if it’s a nice or interesting venue/idea. That seems to be more than a lot of men can handle; in fact, they often ask me where we should go.

    On a first date with someone I don’t know, expecting physical contact beyond a handshake or embrace is going too far for me. I dislike it when a man lunges at me and tries to kiss me when I’m not “feeling him” yet, you know? It’s absurd, and not what I’m there for.


  7. 7

    A couple of first dates stick in my mind. As Evan advises HAVE A GOOD TIME first of all..

    My best first date (not meeting) was a walk on a bluff side park to watch the sunset on the ocean followed by dinner at an Indian restaurant. Then we strolled art galleries and ended up in front of the fireplace listening to great guitar music.

    My first meeting best was meeting someone at an ocean view overlook, to see the sunset (that wasn’t there due to the marine layer). But he brought wine, I brought sliced peaches and forgot the forks, feeding him the sliced peaches made for a pretty exciting date, one we’ll both remember.

    What worked on those, good atmosphere, not necessarily expensive, lots of good conversation and that slow gentle approach I love so much.

  8. 8

    I have not had any first dates that would be outstanding in terms of doing something really creative or out of the ordinary. The first dates I have enjoyed the most have been with the guys I liked the most/had the most in common with/shared the most chemistry.

  9. 9

    I really don’t expect quite as much as the first posting although it would be nice. I would think this depends on how you met. If it was through an internet matchmaking site, then likely the guy may be arranging to meet women regularly until he finds one he is really interested. He cannot afford something nice for each and every first date. Plus, if he finds out he is disappointed once they meet (doesn’t resemble picture, etc.), then it would be a strenuous event for both to sit through dinner.

    I find if you are attracted to the man, it doesn’t really matter much where the first date happens. Obviously, nothing too terrible, but we tend to make excuses if we feel a lot of chemistry for the guy.

    I have a male friend who after the first date held all the dates at the woman’s place with rented movies and ordering pizzas, or getting the woman to cook. Since he was good-looking, he only got a complaint once from a woman about this treatment. He told me plainly he didn’t want to waste money. Clearly, women were buying into this for the most part.

    My first date no-no’s would be:

    1. Don’t overload on cologne. Shower, clean hair, etc.

    2. I do not care about the venue, but don’t be painfully cheap. I mean PAINFULLY CHEAP. Here’s a story about one first date I had with a guy. We’d hit it off online for about six months by this point. He sent a blurry photo (sunglasses and baseball cap). When I met him I was disappointed by his looks as he actually bordered on the slightly odd looking side, but he seemed like an interesting person, so I gave it a shot.

    He took me to a coffee place, which is fine since I don’t think there is a point in wasting money on the first date. Then he proceeded to tell me about the $800 he just spent on some comic book collectible.

    When I began to feel really hungry after we’d been sitting there a couple of hours, I hoped he would at least get us a sandwich or something around lunch. He seemed so freaked out about spending even a penny that he told me to go ahead, he wasn’t hungry. He actually didn’t even get a coffee, asked for free water. I didn’t care about paying for my own sandwich, but I felt stupid eating alone. It was getting to the point that I was actually feeling faint.

    He called me again, I gave it a second chance, but packed crackers in my purse. The same thing happened. I ate the crackers in the restroom. By then I had zero interest. It could have worked out because I found him interesting to talk to, but his obvious cheapness and lack of consideration was too much.

    3. Don’t start an argument with the waitress, any sales staff, etc. It turns me off.

    4. Try to act interested in our conversation. I will do the same.

    5. Behaving in a pleasant and easy-going manner is important to me.

  10. 10

    The anxiety level of some women is so high, that, they cancel/postpone/show up very late, to the first date….

  11. 11

    to thomas on post #5,

    Don’t feel so bad, I have known certified/trained/well schooled therapists, who have dificulty defining, the word, “personality”.

  12. 12

    Be prepared. If you don’t time, schedule the date when you do rather than making excuses for the meal/time/venue etc. all evening.

    Keep your tongue to yourself when saying goodnight. It’s a first date not an invitation to stick your tongue down my throat in the parking lot.

    Don’t assume we’ve begun a relationship if it goes well. Again, it’s a first date. Time will tell if it will become more.

    Don’t be afraid to let me know you’ve enjoyed yourself. One of the best first dates I ever had was extended because he called after leaving the restaurant to tell me he wasn’t ready for the evening to end.

  13. 13

    The best first dates in terms of activities where ones suggested by me (there is plenty going on in NYC on any given day / night, and I try to be in the know). The men I date (prefer, actually) are usually way dorkier than I, so I don’t mind taking the initiative in the planning department.

    I don’t know what recommendations I can make, so I’ll compile a list of things that struck me as odd or that I plainly did not like, from my own experience:

    1) this one guy came on the first date wearing white sneakers (hopefully, I don’t have to explain this one);

    2) we were at Starbucks or some coffee joint like that and the guy actually rushed to the cashier to pay for our coffees instead of waiting to see if I possibly wanted to order something else with mine, or asking me if I did – mind you, this was a guy obviously very attracted to and interested in me, AND I was actually standing by the counter examining their selection;

    3) another extreme: we were at a tea lounge and the guy kept asking what I want with my tea. I was full at the time and didn’t want anything, and repeatedly told him as much. He bought me a pastry anyway. Which I didn’t even want to take home with me, since it’s not the kind I like, anyway.

    4) No arguments on the first dates, please. Also, try to refrain from expressing any strong opinions if you know they will be offensive to me. After we saw “The Hours” with this one guy (and I thought it was a beautiful artistic film and he was totally disgusted by it (the word he used)), he actually stopped in the street outside the movie theater, as we were discussing the film, and exclaimed incredulously, “You mean to tell me you actually LIKED it?”

    Talk about manners.

    5) If you choose to bring flowers (which is totally unnecessary in my opinion), please don’t skimp. This one guy brought three (3) carnations, and actually ADDED VERBALLY that the bouquet was inexpensive. I thought to myself, “yeah, probably cost all of a dollar”.

    Such class.

    If I think of any other examples, I’ll write more.

  14. 14

    Oh, I don’t know…I think the man *should* try and pick a fight with the staff of the establishment, if that’s the kind of man he is. Better to know up front!


  15. 15

    Oh, I know: Not only don’t pick fights with the waitstaff, don’t FLIRT with the waitstaff. This has never happened to me on an actual date (although I have had one beau oogle the waitresses’ breasts, but then, I was too–they kind of got right in between us for a moment!), but I have a great male friend I go out with who loves to launch into his dramatic peanut allergy stories when he is attracted to the hostess. And I’m standing beside him, rolling my eyes and hoping she will just get us a table someday soon…


  16. 16

    Cilla, in response to what you say about a man getting lazy when he knows he has you? Don’t let him know he has you. And I say this because I’ve made this mistake. Again, I refer to the “feminine mystique”. The self-assured woman who knows her happiness doesn’t depend on how the date goes is most attractive. And you know, I realize that’s easier said than done. We are human and those little nagging doubts and insecurities bother us. But we don’t have to believe the negative; we can take the positives about ourselves as the truth!

  17. 17

    to Moon on post #15,

    Some therpist say it is alright to flirt with the waitress one time, during the date.

  18. 18

    @ Starthrower

    By “have you” I only meant that you have agreed to go on a second date with them. I never let a man know initially if I am dating just him or 10 other guys. I agree, you need to maintain a little mystery.

  19. 19

    Hunter…lol…yes, well, if a, “therpist,” says it’s okay, it must be. I guess it depends on who the man wants to date. Maybe he should excuse himself and ask the waitress out.

    I can only imagine if not done with a considerable amount of finesse and respect (which excludes a large percentage of both genders) it could make for a very long and uncomfortable date for the woman, the waitress and the man. My advice: don’t try it. Remember the reason you’re there: to get to know the woman you’re with.

    There was a man in a Greek restaurant near a gallery I worked in way back when…I think he might have been the owner…now he knew how to flirt in a way that just said, “Hey! You look great today and I appreciate it!” Cheerful and fun and nothing leery about it. But many men just make a gal uncomfortable. Which brings me back to: the longest date of your entire life.


  20. 20

    hi moon,

    I saw the misspelled word, but it was too late, I had already ‘clicked’ on it.

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