What Makes a Good First Date?

what makes a good first date

If you’re sick of endless texts from flaky guys… If you’re tired of paying for your own frappucino… If you suspect that dating might be more fun if guys “got it”… Join me for today’s Love U Podcast on what makes a man a good first date.

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  1. 1

    very basic, 101 stuff.

    the last date I had stalked me. Just with my phone # and first name he found out where I lived. I’m a very private person. I do not want a strange guy knowing anything about me until I know more about him. So handing out private emails and numbers isnt the best idea.

    Im considering getting a “throw away ” phone just for online dating.

    Call me crazy, but there’s no shortage of sexual predators out there, no matter what age they are.

    1. 1.1
      Yet Another Guy


      You do not need to share your number with a man in order to have telephone call.   All you need to do is ask for his number and dial *67 before dialing it.   You definitely need to arrange a time when calling anonymously; otherwise, he may not pick up.   A normal guy who is seriously interested getting to know you will understand your need for privacy.   I almost always offer my number and tell a women to dial *67 before dialing it. A lot of women refuse to call a man, but online dating is a unique situation that calls for a unique approach.   If you feel the need to have a second call, you can arrange a time and also do it anonymously.   Any guy who refuses to make this concession until you are comfortable with him is not serious about getting to know you.

  2. 2

    I think anyone can end up being a potential stalker no matter where you meet. While I am not trying to make light of what Jane has gone through, it is quite rare for this to happen in the grand scheme of things.   Also, with my cell phone, if I no longer want to hear from someone, I simply block their number. However, in order for a man to be given my number, I would have had to speak to him enough through email to at least get a good sense of how stable he is. I find that it is very difficult for crazy people to hide ‘crazy’ or maybe I just have a strong bullshyt meter.

    As for what makes a good first date?   If a man is a good listener, is focused on me, doesn’t make sexual innuendos, and is truly interested in who I am as a person, that’s a good first date right there. It’s really not that hard.   Also, if I am the one asked out on the date, I do expect him to pay else there will be no second date. Frankly, I think it’s rude.   However, a first date for me can be free or very inexpensive. I mean, it’s a first date so I do not expect a man to drop a bunch of money at that point.

  3. 3

    Should be, ‘I would have had to speak to him for A WHILE through email (the website email of whatever site I belonged to in the past since I am in a relationship now).’

  4. 4

    Misrepresentation by women of online photos?   I see men doing that a lot.   One admitted to me that his photo was 10 years old.   And he only had 1 photo.   I asked him for a photo for right now.   It’s so easy to do that with selfies on cell phones.   He would not.   It is not so much as how attractive he is or is not, but the idea that he was not confident enough. Most guys do want to see each other right away, saying they do not want a “pen pal.”   I like to get to know a guy over texting, email and phone, first.   And then there’s guys that tell me they are not really living in my state like their profile says, but are stationed in Ethiopia or somewhere, on a UN peace mission–in other words they are scamming me looking for an iTunes card.   They are probably really 350 pound women pretending to be the guys, whose photos they stole from social media.

  5. 5

    Evan asks, If you can’t carry on a conversation on the phone, what is the point of meeting in person? Why not spend four days talking first, so that you are both excited before the date?

    For me, this misses an exceptionally important point: 70% of communication is about how you look (posture, gestures, facial expression), clothing styles, stillness/activity; 20% how you sound (which is distorted over the phone); and 10% what you say. People also tend to make claims about themselves which are believable over the phone but that you can tell are patently untrue by just looking at them (not something you can tell with a picture, again, they distort). See Eddie Izzard clip at end. Spending 4 days talking to someone that I know more about in two minutes, I don’t see as effective.

    An ideal date to me is one that is attractive. If I meet a man and he’s not attractive, it won’t matter how much time I spent emailing him or talking to him on the phone. It’s Dead On Arrival. I personally don’t need to build trust or comfort, I can do that from the get-go (but I get that others need that). However, what’s the point of that if you can see in two minutes that you will never have enough arousal for that guy to move forward?

    Again, I don’t agree that coffee dates are crappy (I’d go just to enjoy the smells in the air) but that is only one way to do it. I tend to invite the men in question into my world. If he wants to meet right away, I’ll invite them to a meetup I plan to attend (or I’ll find one), meet for a walk on the beach/at the park/at the swap meet, a bike ride or a game of tennis/checkers/cards. Bonus: it costs nothing, it’s in public, there’s a defined activity, and you can easily gauge physical fitness. If the guy in question doesn’t want to meet or doesn’t suggest an alternative, then it tells me right away that he just wanted a pen pal.

  6. 6

    Hi Evan,

    As a person who has not tried online dating but wishes to try it soon using your advice and methods (I have bought finding the one online)

    Every Time you do a post on the subject of online dating or just dating period you never address how are we to handle the other person who does do the opposite of what you suggest.

    1). I could be wrong (so maybe other online daters will chime in on this) but it seems to me that if I keep insisting on trying to do the 2-2-2 rule the person will sees me as someone who is trying to hide something.

    Me: “Let’s exchange personal email addresses so we can talk off the dating site”

    Her: “I don’t email lets text”   Or   “We are already emailing here on the site-let’s text”   Or   “I am really busy and don’t have time for email let’s facetime/skype/facebook/text…”

    Me: “I really prefer email because I want us to take our time and build comfort and trust”

    Her: “<Notable pause> “O… k sure”

    It just seems to me Evan that by trying to get a person who is use to instant access to go slow will seem to them like you are either hiding something or you will increase their expectations of the first date (since he made me wait he had better be really impressive on the first date).   And yes I know that you said that this is only for a about 4 days to a week but you also acknowledged why apps like tinder are so popular.


    2). Another thing, on the first date if I am just being cool, relaxed and engaging but my date is interviewing me how do you get them to stop without being blunt?

    I tell stories, ask questions hoping she will take my lead but most women just answer the questions and then give me the generic “what about you?” or when I share a story about my life hoping she will do the same or at least comment on it, I often just get a stares like she is analyzing everything I say and then I get more generic interview questions.


    2. a) This kind of goes along with the second scenario but often on dates a woman is so intent on analyzing and interviewing me (lots of pragmatic and intrusive questions and lots of staring as I talk. The staring wouldn’t be so bad if not for the emotionless intense looks on their faces as I talk or joke like she is trying to see right through me) I always feel pressured not to say the wrong thing.


    Evan after 300 dates I am sure you ran into such situations and worse; how did you handle the 1st and 2nd situations that I described?

    Is there a subtle way to handle these situations or do you recommend just being blunt or do you recommend just finishing the date and moving on to someone else? And in the case of the first scenario do you recommend just moving on immediately if she makes you feel weird for wanting to email instead of texting, skyping, etc…?

    I know it is probably just a generational thing but I still believe that your advice is best regardless of age.

    1. 6.1

      @Adrian I know you didn’t ask me, but I think you and I are about the same age, so I wanted to chime in as someone from the group you’re probably seeking. I’m 27 btw, and do a lot of online dating – I haven’t quite hit 300 yet, but it’s a lot.


      I have also found the 2-2-2 rule to simply not fit with the world we live in. Asking for an email is just weird when messaging platforms are mimicking texting as it is. I freely move onto texting and just skip the email.


      I also make a point to meet someone within a week of first connecting. If we can talk on the phone, great, if not I don’t sweat it. Younger people can be put off by phone calls, it’s just how it is. If you meet within a week, you don’t spend an incredible amount of time building the person up in your head only to be disappointed. I try to focus less on the rules in my head and more on connecting with the person. They probably don’t know the 2-2-2 rule, so cut them some slack.


      Interviewing sucks. The only way to handle it is to keep trying to joke and tell stories. Try to remember that the girl is likely putting a lot of pressure on herself and don’t take it personally. When I’m out with guys who talk too much or can’t hold a conversation, I usually lightly touch their arm and say something like “I’m really having fun tonight”. It reassures them they’re doing ok and reminds them what a date is supposed to be about. Maybe that would work for you?


      It’s also good to sometimes get people talking about tv shows or movies. It can make them forget the narrative of their own life and just have a fun conversation.


      Unfortunately, there’s simply no way around having bad dates. Just try to not get too down on yourself or the process. Focus on small wins. Did you try a new bar you liked? Did she recommend a good book? Did you handle your nerves well? Great, then it was a success.

      1. 6.1.1

        Good advice Alex.

        I am older than you and even I see no point of going to email. For that, I will just keep talking on the site if anything (unless he and I feel comfortable when I was on the market).

        Also, the worst is when you build that person up in your head, you have really good chemistry via phone/electronic and then you meet in person and there is absolutely no attraction whatsoever. So yeah, meet up as quick as possible in a public place. If someone is taking too long, be suspicious.

        1. Marika

          Same, Stacy. I strongly agree with the principles behind 2/2/2 and always try to implement a version of it myself (as far as possible), but I would implore Evan to update the email bit. Asking someone to email instead of text in 2017 is like asking someone to write a letter rather than an email in 1999! You can achieve the exact same outcomes using text rather than email. You can ensure they spell, write in full sentences, write funny, interesting comments, build at least a partial connection etc.

          Phone chemistry isn’t always a good indicator of in-person chemistry, but I still try to get the guy on the phone before meeting if possible. I don’t interview or grill them over the phone, but I have screened out people who were clearly very creepy or inappropriate (drunk on the call, swearing their head off, defensive/argumentative) or if we had nothing to say to each other. If they are really resistant to it or we can’t find a time to talk before meeting, that’s okay and I let it go.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Except there IS a difference. If you are part of a guy’s ten-woman texting harem, you know this. If you’ve had texting conversations that leave you hanging, you know this. So if you’re happy with texting as a primary form of communication, keep doing what you’re doing. From what I hear, texting is an abysmal way to get to know/screen someone. 2/2/2 avoids texting. That’s intentional – and effective.

    2. 6.2

      Hi Adrian –

      1) As a woman who hates using the phone for calls and text, hates emails on both sites and gmail, and hates going on dates during the week, I’ll tell you what other people tell me: Just do it their way. The reason I say this is that people of both genders start making up crazy thoughts about why you are doing something other than what they would do. They think, she’s married (otherwise why not go on dates during the week? / is too broke for a cell phone (otherwise she would text)/ unemployed (can’t afford a phone) / underemployed (has to work on the weekend) / must have a weird voice (because why else would she not want to talk on the phone?). See what I mean? None of that is true or terribly rational. But most people are insecure and will start to dream up reasons why anyone who would want to date them must be flawed. Showing up in person relieves these fears and makes your actual, valid reasons believable.

      2) When this happens to me, I just say, “Wow, I feel like I’m being interviewed”. Then I shut up and let them absorb that for a minute. Then I soften it by saying, “I’d really like to know more about you. (A LOT of men are clueless and think asking a woman about herself  makes her realize he likes her, which to some degree it does, but fail to realize they have passed that line and gone into interview mode).

      3) Don’t worry about the staring. It generally just means they think you are good looking and are feeling nervous, because they can’t believe a good looking guy like you would want to date them. Just accept it as your due and be gentle with them. Eventually they will snap out of it.

  7. 7

    Evan I would prefer to date online this way but most men are very resistant to it for all the reasons you state in the beginning.   For one thing it is becoming very difficult to get people of all ages (especially men) to talk on the phone with anyone.   I once had a man who tell me that he refused to “prove himself worthy to meet me” by calling me on the phone beforehand.   I don’t even give out my number anymore until I’ve actually been on a date with a man because, just like some guys like having pen pals on dating apps, some guys are quite happy to text infinitely without ever having an actual date.   Or some men will go on one or two dates but then relegate a woman to text buddy status and never ask her on another date.   Anyway Evan I think OLD would be more effective in actually building relationships for both sexes if men were willing to date this way but as you say we women can’t change the men out there.

    1. 7.1
      Yet Another Guy


      I derived an approach to screening dates much like the 2/2/2 rule before I found this site.   It was the outgrowth of a date gone horribly bad.   I agreed to meet a woman for a drink after exchanging a couple of messages on a dating site.   While I arrived, I saw that she was waiting for a table for dinner.   That was not the plan, but I went along with it.   Saying that the next two hours were horrible is an understatement.   Attempting to hold a conversation with this woman was like attempting to a hold conversation with a package of Melba toast.   It was way beyond boring and bland.   Plus, there was a lot of dead air.   After that night, I instituted the “no telephone call, no date” rule, and I do not waver from it.   At first, I was merely testing to see if we could build rapport; however, over time, I have improved my telephone screening process to target women I know will be a fun date.   I do not need to have a love connection, but I like to have fun dates.   More often than not, I end up breaking the touch barrier with a woman using my refined approach.   Why? Because they are already attracted, and a great telephone call puts them at ease.

      My experience concurs with Evan’s assertion that men want speed, but women want comfort.   A man who is willing to slow down and build rapport is going to have much better dates that actually feel like dates instead of interviews.   Why guys are in such a hurry to go on coffee dates boggles my mind. There is nothing romantic about a coffee date.   It is not even a date.   It is a pre-date where two people who failed to do due diligence site across a table from each other and conduct interviews.   I would rather have a cavity filled without novocaine than sit through a coffee date. 🙂

      1. 7.1.1

        For a while I instituted a “no phone call no date policy” but the result was that most guys just didn’t respond after a polite request for a phone call, or they’d insist on texting, or they’d try to get me to call them.   Getting a man to press the “voice call” button rather than “text” button has proven extremely difficult, even if I spell it out that I will be home after 8 on Thursday and would like to hear his voice.   I get that many people aren’t used to talking on the phone, but if a man won’t call a woman after being given explicit details and an overt assurance that the call is expected and welcome that suggests to me that he’s passive, uninterested, or really insecure.

        1. Fromkin

          This is dating, not a job interview. I was screened out over the phone three times by women who couldn’t even be bothered to meet for coffee after interrogating me at length.

          The fourth time, I refused: hey, we can meet for coffee and chat, or not. Your choice. (No, I’m not God’s gift to very busy women.)

        2. Yet Another Guy


          The number one reason why guys text instead of calling is because they are holding conversations with several women at that same time.   A guy can hold conversations with ten or more women in a night texting; however, he can only speak to one woman at a time.   It is kind of like what Evan mentioned about a man writing only you on Gmail versus multiple women on a dating site.   I know because I have been guilty of the practice.

          You would have to be a desirable guy to understand why this situation occurs (the top twenty percent of men on dating sites date eighty percent of the women because women are much more selective than men).   We start off on dating sites with the best of intentions.   We target a woman that we would like to meet, write her, and receive no response.   After a while of doing what feels like beating one’s head against a wall, we start writing multiple woman at a time, often ten or more women at a time with a response rate of around one reply per ten messages sent.   A month or two into a process that feels like a non-paying internship, a smart man figures out how to write targeted messages that create responses, so now he is receiving five or more responses per ten messages sent.   Around this time, women he messaged weeks ago are starting to respond because he has finally made it to the front their man queues (A woman should never engage in this practice because nothing irritates a man more than a woman who contacts him three weeks after he sent a message and expects him to remember her like she is some kind of special snowflake).   At this point, he is in the driver’s seat.   He can pick and choose the women he wants to date because he has a full pipeline.   He becomes a serial dater.   I know because I became a serial dater and continue to engage in the practice to a lesser extent.   I have been online dating for less than two years and have dated approaching one hundred women.   That number would be even larger had not I developed a post-response screening process and taken months off to recharge.   I had to develop a post-response screening process because I always pay.   Trust me, when a man is meeting fifty or more women a year, some which he continues to date while meeting new women, the cost runs well into four or even five figures.   I could have taken a vacation to Europe and still had money left over on what I spent in my first year of dating.

        3. Kitty

          “The number one reason why guys text instead of calling is because they are holding conversations with several women at that same time.”

          Yep, YAG, I figure that with OLD some men are texting multiple women and don’t have time to date them all.   Respectfully, do you feel this process is working for you?   Are you getting what you want out of OLD, whether it is multiple sex partners or a long term relationship?   If you’re not looking for a long term relationship I don’t judge; I’m just genuinely curious if texting ten women at the same time and going on 50 dates per year is an effective process for you.

        4. Kitty


          This is dating, not a job interview. I was screened out over the phone three times by women who couldn’t even be bothered to meet for coffee after interrogating me at length.

          the “interrogating” thing is really annoying, but would you rather have these women reject you over the phone, or devote an evening at a coffee shop with them and get shot down afterwards?   From my perspective those women saved you time and money by deciding not to meet you after a phone call.

        5. Kitty

          When it comes to perpetual texters who don’t want to meet in person I usually return their texts for a couple of weeks but once it becomes clear they’ll never ask for a date I stop responding.   I could reply “If you’re not interested in meeting in person I don’t want to text anymore” but that seems almost like asking them out.   Still, I don’t like “ghosting” people but there doesn’t seem to be an alternative.

        6. Fromkin

          “the “interrogating” thing is really annoying, but would you rather have these women reject you over the phone, or devote an evening at a coffee shop with them and get shot down afterwards? “

          The interrogation is insulting. If you wish to date, make time in your busy schedule.

        7. Yet Another Guy


          This is dating, not a job interview. I was screened out over the phone three times by women who couldn’t even be bothered to meet for coffee after interrogating me at length.

          Like it or not, online dating is a very much like interviewing for a job where one is not being referred by a third party.   The overall goal of the telephone call is to decide if there is mutual interest to meet.   It is very much like a telephone screening interview while applying for job.   Your job is to ensure that a woman wants to meet you after the call and vice versa.

          Coffee dates are complete and utter wastes of time.   They are for people who are too lazy or paranoid to properly screen people before agreeing to meet.   If I met every women with whom I exchanged messages on a dating site, my count would be at least 500.   That is wasteful of my time and a potential date’s time.   A date is not only an investment in time.   It is an investment in emotional energy for both parties.   Nothing sucks worse than meeting someone with whom there is absolutely no chemistry and conversation is stilted.   A date should be fun.   The telephone screen gets the uncomfortable part of meeting a stranger out of the way.   It is a an opportunity for a man to build rapport and make a woman feel comfortable.   It appears that you are failing to achieve one or both of these goals; therefore, you may want to examine your telephone game.

          If a woman agreed to converse with you on the telephone, she was interested.   She had to set aside time to synchronize with you in real time.   That is an entirely different ball of wax than texting.   You dropped the ball, and I am willing to bet that your dismay of feeling like you were being interviewed came through in the conversation.   If you do not like being drilled, take the lead and start asking questions.   Women love to be asked questions.   Women can appear to be quite narcissistic at first, especially well-educated, professional women.   The more time she spends talking, the less time you spend talking, and the more eager she will be to actually meet you.   Trust me, it works almost every time.

        8. Yet Another Guy


          Are you getting what you want out of OLD, whether it is multiple sex partners or a long term relationship?   If you’re not looking for a long term relationship I don’t judge; I’m just genuinely curious if texting ten women at the same time and going on 50 dates per year is an effective process for you.

          I look at online dating as an introduction service.   What most people do not seem to be able to grasp is that both online dating and in real life dating are numbers games.   Let’s be real. How many people does one meet in real life before encountering a person that one wants to date?   For most people, that number is fairly high.   Online dating is no different in that one has to actually meet people.

          The typical hyper-selective approach that the average woman takes on a dating site is a guaranteed way to end up being frustrated because there is no getting around the reality that online dating is a numbers game.   The more people a person meets, the greater the probability that he/she will meet someone who truly rings his/her bell.   Assertive guys with options recognize this reality fairly early in the game.   Too many women seem to want a man to settle if they like him.   This behavior is evident in the language of the average female profile with phrases like “no players” and “no serial daters.”   Most women would not know a true player from an easy to date, desirable guy who is just being selective unless he announced it himself.

          Unless one gets incredibly lucky or is willing to settle, online dating is serial dating.   That is how the game is played.   Any woman who is not willing to serial date or accept that the men she may meet are serial dating has no place on a dating site.   The only men who do not serial date on dating sites are men without options, and the men that women tend to want to date on dating sites are the men with options.

        9. Kitty


          Too many women seem to want a man to settle if they like him.   This behavior is evident in the language of the average female profile with phrases like “no players” and “no serial daters.”   Most women would not know a true player from an easy to date, desirable guy who is just being selective unless he announced it himself.

          Most women just don’t like serial dating, even if they’re good at it.   What you’re probably seeing is women going into “instant relationship mode”, i.e. a woman who goes on one date with an attractive man, gets swept off her feet and decides not to date anyone else and focus on this guy.   Even though she really doesn’t know him at this point and even though he’s not reciprocating her level of interest.   It’s definitely smarter to date two or three men at a time (without sexual involvement) and get to know them before deciding to be exclusive with anyone.   But, except for the most extroverted, most females find that state of affairs to be fatiguing.   I’m highly extroverted and I don’t care for serial dating either but I know it must be done.

          Unless one gets incredibly lucky or is willing to settle, online dating is serial dating.   That is how the game is played.   Any woman who is not willing to serial date or accept that the men she may meet are serial dating has no place on a dating site.  

          And this is exactly why it is so draining and flies in the face of the oft-repeated maxim that “dating should be fun”.   While I certainly serial date and I assume that any man I meet is dating other people unless he explicitly tells me otherwise the whole process feels more like boot camp than courtship or seduction.

          I’m curious: how do you define settling?

      2. 7.1.2


        As far as coffee dates go I like them (for first, online dates) because I can’t drink alcohol, and if it turns out that we’re not into each other I’d rather not get stuck having dinner for two hours.   Also, if I end up not liking the guy I feel bad for him for shelling out cash for a dinner whereas a $6 latte leaves me feeling less guilty if I don’t like him.   And yes I do expect a man to pay for a first date but I don’t expect a man to spend a lot of money on a stranger.   So yay for the coffee date as long as the experience is relaxed and low-key.


        1. Yet Another Guy


          I usually choose a low or no cost activity when I am meeting someone who does not drink because sitting across a table from a total stranger in a coffee shop is just a God-awful way to meet someone whom one may be interested in being a romantic partner.   If one gets the question and answer session that is a coffee date out of the way before meeting, then the thing for which one is testing on the date is mutual desire to break the touch barrier. That is not going to happen in a coffee shop. My philosophy is that if there is not a possibility for romance to occur on the first date, then I am wasting my time and that of my date.   Neither of us is on a dating site to find yet another friend.

  8. 8

    No way i am speaking for 4 days with someone on the phone. These conversations would be tortured because you don’t know each other and have no natural topics to talk about yet. And if you spend all that time talking about the “basics” – likes/dislikes, families, etc. what would you have left to talk to on the first date?? I do think that a man’s inability to carry out a phone conversation is a red flag – anything from being a fraud of some sort to being socially inadequate could be the reason.

  9. 9

    Hello Kitty,

    You said, “When it comes to perpetual texters who don’t want to meet in person I usually return their texts for a couple of weeks but once it becomes clear they’ll never ask for a date I stop responding.   I could reply “If you’re not interested in meeting in person I don’t want to text anymore” but that seems almost like asking them out.

    This rationale confuses me; would you mind explaining it?

    How is being direct about someone stringing   you along and wasting your time equivalent to asking him out?

    1. 9.1


      Because it leaves the door open for them to ask me out.   Of course after two weeks of banal, chit chat texting the likelihood that they’ll make the effort is slim.

  10. 10

    Hi Yet Another Guy,

    I have a first date question for you, specifically concerning health and weight. You speak about it more than anyone else so I take it that you have more experience than I do dealing with it.

    Now this is hard for me to write because I hate being or sounding shallow but as Karl R advised I should not hurt myself by suppressing my desires which are not evil they are just human in the pursuit of trying to be “too” good of a person. Plus my new year’s resolution is to be on this site less and real life date more-so I want to get as many questions in as I can before the 1st (^_^).

    I workout 6 days a week and have a very toned athletic physique, 6pack, chiseled jawline, cobra back, etc etc. I don’t enjoy exercising hardcore almost 2 hours everyday but I know looking strong and being in shape has many benefits, especially when dating and I really really really hate not eating fast food, sweets, and pastries. I eat junk maybe once or twice a month but again I know the long-term benefits outweigh the short term delicious pleasures (picture me doing the homer simpson salivating right now (^_^) so I force myself to eat healthy.

    So anyway for the past few weeks after much prompting I have been allowing co-workers to set me up with friends and relatives that they know would just “love” to have a guy like me (I guess in hindsight I should have asked would I love these type of women back). These past few blind dates have been… interesting.

    Now I am 31 but all these women have been say 35-40ish and all have fallen into 2 categories as far as strictly their bodies, overweight or skinny fat-I agree with you that many men and women when they age don’t take care of themselves.

    Neither body type is attractive to me but I usually still smile, joke, and act friendly on the date and we both leave having a good time. So my first question is: is my warm friendly energy towards a women I am not attracted to a mistake? I ask because when I tell them I don’t think we would be a good match but the date was fun (avoiding going into specifics) their disappointment always makes me feel really guilty.

    As much as you talk about health and fitness YAG how do you handle dealing with women who are much fatter than you expected on first dates?

    What do you do?

    What do you say to let them know you are not interested in seeing them again?

    When they show up and you know that you are not attracted to them how do you act while on the date? Being funny and friendly, and warm is my natural default state but I think I am somehow misleading them; how should I act?

    …     …     …

    So this is just a side observation but I would also like to know how do you handle arrogant skinny fat women?

    I get so very annoyed when skinny fat women bad mouth overweight women in my presence (I always say I don’t approve of belittling another human because of their appearance) but what I want to say is “you do know that with those noticeable love handles and that little but very noticeable belly you are also fat right?!!”

    Oh course I don’t say that but the arrogance of people just is such a turn off! It always amazes me when we focus on fat shaming that we don’t acknowledge that women do it too! Or that many people who are slender but no where near being healthy or in shape are great hypocrites.

    Also another thing I noticed is that skinny fat women are great at wearing clothes to hide or cover up their protruding bellies and love handles.

    Anyway sorry for going on a tirade, how do you handle those type of self deluded female hecklers?


    1. 10.1


      Lmao, your first mistake was allowing female co-workers to set you up without asking to see pics. They generally won’t care whether you’d find the women physically attractive and are simply basing their decision on the criteria ‘she’s so nice!’

      If you’re as fit and attractive as you say just go to a college area bar and start hitting on fit girls between 25-30. Either that or download tinder/bumble. The apps are all about looks and you can swipe left on skinny fat/overweight prospects.

      1. 10.1.1

        Yes, Adrian, Shaukat is right. I was set up a few times by coworkers and decided that 1) my coworkers secretly hate me, 2) think I am butt ugly and/or stupid. Which isn’t true, it’s more that they just think, “Hey, both of these people are [insert race and gender] and single, they should date!”

    2. 10.2


      I think where you are going wrong is in feeling guilty when the women are disappointed that you don’t want to pursue anything.   By all means be friendly and try to have fun on the dates.   There’s no reason to be unfriendly or curt.   Just don’t lead the women on.   And you are not leading them on.   Disappointment in life is inevitable.   It isn’t healthy to both deal with your own disappointment and take on the guilt of others’ at the same time.

      As far as set ups go, you can give your coworkers parameters.   I do.   My rule is no guys that have the I’m going to drop dead of a heart attack at any moment look.   Because at my age, physical appearance isn’t just about what’s sexy or not.   It’s also about whether someone is going to actually be around long enough to have to put the long term in LTR.

      Obesity and overweight is a tough discussion to have these days.   I have many primary care colleagues who have to do that talk every day where they encourage patients to lose weight for their health, while at the same time not shaming them or making them feel that they aren’t worthy of human dignity.

      Also, don’t leave in January!   Stay and let us know how things are going.   I have faith that there is someone out there for you and you will be a wonderful partner 😉

    3. 10.3
      Emily, the original

      Adrian, buddy,

      I hope you don’t mind me saying this (and by doing so I am not implying that I have all my shit together, because I clearly have things to work on), but you ask a LOT of questions, and the subtext of most is that you are about to bust out of your skin but something is holding you back. Find an aggressive woman, get a hotel room and let her have her way with you. Get out of your head … and into the bed. HA! That rhymes. I was a really late bloomer myself. Until one day, I said, ‘That’s it. It’s time.”

    4. 10.4


      After you decline a second date with these women, are they texting and calling you, stalking you or keying your car?   If not, what is the downside of being a decent human being and having a friendly and enjoyable date with them?   I am certain that many of these women have done the same – were friendly and warm to men they had no desire to see again.      It’s called dating like an adult.   Based on the situation you described, these women didn’t deceive you so if you don’t like their body type (and there is no need to feel bad that you don’t), what do you lose from being nice?    You say that you feel guilty for not wanting to see them again.   Well, if you behaved in a manner that made the date unpleasant for them and you, wouldn’t that make you feel guitly too?    Are you asking for permission to be mean to women you don’t find physically attractive?   If so, I don’t think that is a good tactic.   I think the one guy was right about not letting friends set you up or tell them that you are only interested in fit women who workout 3-5 times a week.   Finally, how do you handle fat skinny women that criticize far women, don’t go out with the again    – easy peasy.

    5. 10.5
      Yet Another Guy


      As an older man, exercise is a 100% health thing.   Looking good is second to being and feeling healthy.   However, to answer your question, fat can be lost and a body can be reshaped at any age; therefore, I never rule out overweight women who are honestly trying to live a healthy lifestyle.     Most people do not know how to exercise properly, nor do they understand that diet is an individual thing.   If I like a woman and she is serious about her health, I will work with her.   I did the same thing when I was bodybuilder when I was younger, and I can assure you that it was 100% cosmetic at the point in my life.   A couple of women I dated who were a good bit overweight when I met them went on to be serious hotties after being introduced to the lifestyle.

      As far as the flabby thin versus overweight woman thing, that is a merely a case of genetics.   Flabby thin women are fat women who won the genetic lottery because they store fat subcutaneously versus intra-abdominally.   I would not pay attention to a word that these women are say when they speak harshly about other overweight women.

      1. 10.5.1
        Yet Another Guy

        *say, not are say

    6. 10.6


      I am a 39 year old woman with a 6 pack. I am also pretty shallow as far as body type so I get it.

      Do not let people set you up on dates without pictures – period.   This is the only way to avoid this. Other than that, there is nothing you can say without being insulting.

  11. 11

    I liked the thought of online dating in my head. We get to chat a bit and see if we have similar interests and a desire to meet before actually meeting. I feel like this used to happen for me. Now it feels as though things have changed. Most suggestions for a date don’t lead to a date. Women (not saying men don’t do the same) flake on the date or worse yet just stand you up. Even after a week or so of substantive messaging/phone conversation. If I manage to get to the actual date great. In my opinion, I’ve had relatively few terrible first dates. But even if the date is good/great/amazing, I could still get the “I had a great time but didn’t feel the chemistry” speech (if you even get any other responses at all). Over time it started to offend me rather than be a fun experience meeting new people. Finding out you’ve been buying dinners for someone’s wife. Going on a 7 hours date becasue she said she didn’t want it to end so we did various activities at my expense and seemed to have a great time – but she didn’t feel the sparks.   Serial daters admitting that they go on dates dinner dates everyday and will try to”squeeze you in”. Women not looking like their photos and admitting that they did it intentionally. Telling me that I must be lying and hiding something because of my (intentional) lack of online/social media presence. Being interrogated. Women working things out with their supposed ex’s while dating. And being told after paying for numerous dates that I am just considered a friend.


    It made me wonder why I am going through so much trouble to try to spend my hard earned money on women when they generally seem so opposed to wanting to talk, meet and get to know me. So I felt like I needed to do something different.


    That is what lead me to the meet quick coffee style first dates. Easy on my wallet, not a lot of time commitment. If she didn’t feel the spark, no one’s time was significantly wasted. If she didn’t look like she claimed to, no big deal – the date will be over soon. Interrogations can’t go on long enough to seriously irritate me. If we don’t talk the day before/day of the date I assume its not going to happen and the flake move isn’t a surprise.


    It wasn’t perfect but it somewhat worked. When I decide to end my dating hiatus I think I will try something different.

    1. 11.1

      It’s like a vicious cycle, you burn out and decide to have only coffee dates and a lot of women, including me, will not except a coffee date.   I work till 5, so if we meet right after, I am not relaxed and I am tired and hungry. Another option is to go home, relax for a bit, change, refresh my makeup and eat and then meet you for a coffee. I am not going to spend all this time and energy for a coffee date, because, honestly, I don’t want a coffee at 7 pm and it looks so lame, lazy and cheap that literally I’ve lost interest in guys after they offered coffee dates. I’ve had a guy who invited me to a very nice coffee house with a nice patio to sit outside and great desserts. I had a great time but when a guy wants to meet me at the Starbucks, I instantly lose interest in him.

      1. 11.1.1


        That’s perfectly valid. I would lose interest in a woman that thought a coffee date was lazy, lame and cheap. Many other people also work until 5. They also may be hungry right after work. And they also would spend time and energy going on a coffee date. But as the man, I am still expected to pay for said date. So I don’t think a cheap, low key, potentially short date/meet is the worst thing in the world. You or I don’t feel the sparks? We both invested the minimum amount of time and energy and I invested a minimum amount of money. We have a good time and feel a possible connection? You get your non-coffee date.

    2. 11.2
      Yet Another Guy


      If I ever feel the need to start doing coffee dates, I will just quit meeting women from online dating sites.   Call me a romantic, but coffee dates are not dates.   I still say that coffee dates are a sign that one or both people are not willing to do due diligence before deciding to meet because I do not experience the problems that most guys complain about when meeting women online.   Most of the women that I decide to meet look as good if not better than their photos in person, and most have very little in the way of embellishment on their profiles.

      1. 11.2.1

        @Yet Another Guy

        I don’t consider the coffee date a   real date, but more of a pre-date face to face. I never really expect to feel a lot during a first date. I ask a woman out that I am attracted to and talk to her for a bit to see if she is a decent person with possible a few similar interests. Everyone has their best foot forward when you first meet  and I don’t think I can get to know a person well enough (unless they do something egregious during the meet) during an initial meeting, so I don’t go in expecting immediate chemistry or anything other than a hopefully enjoyable experience. But I have been told that there is no chemistry enough to know that not everyone feels that way, which is perfectly fine.


        I have spoken with women for days, weeks, and a even a month or longer in some cases. I’ve experienced the same thing. What is the due diligence if you talk to a woman for several weeks and she tells you she would like to meet but is busy with xyz for a bit, but then when you meet, she says she feels no chemistry? Of if the pictures she sends to you or the pictures on her profile and social media are 2 years old – which she admits on the first date? I suppose I could ask women for pictures holding a piece of paper with today’s date on it. I think these things just happen sometimes. But if you haven’t experienced them personally, I can understand why you’d not seek to minimize their occurrences.

        1. Yet Another Guy


          I believe that the difference may have to do with age.   At my age, I do not care if a woman looks exactly like her photos.   I care if the photos are more than five years old, but most profile photos are usually between a week and three years old.   That is good enough for me.   Anyone who is going to be in a long-term relationship with another person is going to have to accept that his/her partner’s appearance is going to change over time.

          I use the time before meeting a woman to determine if there is anything there other than the possibility for chemistry.   Chemistry appears to be the main driver with people under age fifty, but chemistry is nowhere near as important as compatibility.   A couple with strong compatibility and weak chemistry can survive.   The relationship may become asexual over time, but it is not the volatile disaster in the making that is strong chemistry combined with weak compatibility.    I was with a woman for the better part of two decades with whom I had weak chemistry at best, but we were able to build a life together because we came from similar backgrounds and were good financial partners.   That marriage would have exploded in a couple of years if the reverse were true.   In fact, the longest relationship I had before marrying lasted one year because all of my pre-marriage relationships were chemical romances.

          The truth is that chemistry can be made or at least enhanced, that is, unless a man is a total toad who is passive and lacks social grace.   While men tend to lead with physical chemistry, women tend lead with emotional and intellectual chemistry.   Many men are completely oblivious to this reality, and to be completely honest, I was too when I was younger man.   What a woman means when she says that she did not feel chemistry is that you failed to connect with her on an emotional and/or intellectual level(s).    That is because you were too busy gawking at her assets to take the time to truly connect with her.   You should look into her eyes without doing it intimidately so when you are speaking, make her laugh, read how she responds to what you say, and finally touch her in a non-threatening way and escalate touch to the first kiss when the time is right, and she will be yours.    Not taking the time to read and respond to a woman combined with failure to escalate touch at the right time is where most men mess up on a first date.   Why? Because men tend to be in too much of a hurry to get down to business!   Women want to be desired by men who are confident and sensitive to their needs. I rarely meet a woman in whom I am interested who does not say that she felt a connection.   That result is due to the fact that I was focused on making emotional and intellectual connections with her as well as breaking the touch barrier and escalating touch at the right time.   You will never make a physical connection with a woman who is looking for more than roll in the hay without making emotional and intellectual connections with her first.   The number one problem with coffee dates is that there is little opportunity to break the touch barrier, and that is why most coffee dates go down in flames as do most first meets/dates that occur before the evening.     Touch is a powerful thing.   It sets off a flood of hormones.

        2. Tyrone

          @Yet Another Guy


          I don’t necessarily care about the age of the picture or if she looks EXACTLY like her picture. She may have cut or styled her hair, gained/lost a little weight, etc. I just want to be able to recognize her on sight. She should basically look how she has claimed (via posting photos of herself) to look. I have had women admit that their posted photos don’t look like them. I have had women tell me they did it intentionally. I went met a woman for a dinner date that was at least 100lbs heavier than in her photos. To me, that means that the first thing I knew about you – the way you basically look – was a lie. I would expect a female to feel the same if I did it.


          We’ve had different dating experiences. I also enjoy talking to people in general. So based on things that various women have told me along with my dating experiences, I chose to go down the “coffee date” route. If they decide I am not worth taking more time to get to know for whatever reason (becasue “lack of chemistry can actually mean that but it can also be just a nice way of saying there is something about you that the other party doesn’t care for) then not much was lost in the process. My primary goals were to save time, save money. And it worked well in that manner. Where I feel it falls short is with time and intimacy – as you suggest. One thing I started trying to do to offset that was to schedule the coffee date for a time when we were both free afterwards. If all went well, it could just naturally transition into a “real” date immediately and we can go do some other activity that I had looked into beforehand. I had success with that. Another downside (that I overtime started to view as an upside) are that some women dislike or won’t accept a coffee date.  CaliforniaGirl made mention of this, specifically saying she felt it was cheap and lazy. I came to view it this way – if  a man  not spending enough money is a reason for a woman not to go on the date, then I think that woman isn’t compatible with me and it’s not really a lost opportunity.


        3. Emily, the original


          What a woman means when she says that she did not feel chemistry is that you failed to connect with her on an emotional and/or intellectual level(s).

          No, it means she didn’t want to get sexual.

    3. 11.3


      I agree. But, for the life of me I don’t understand why coffee dates are the only alternative people can come up with.   How about meeting at a bar  briefly for a drink in the  evening  to see if there is any chemistry? Not expensive at  all.

      However, I agree with your premise, why on earth would someone want to spend 2 hours at dinner with someone you have never seen is beyond me (unless we skyped).   I met men who were great over the phone and ended up being duds in person so phone convos aren’t a guarantee of chemistry.

      1. 11.3.1


        I don’t have a problem meeting for a drink as opposed to coffee. I have done that many times. I have done some ice cream dates as well.

      2. 11.3.2

        I live in LA and in 2 years I’ve dated and had about 45 first dates, only maybe 5 guys invited me for a dinner and I paid my share with 4 of them, all others asked to have a drink, which worked for me the best.   On the other hand, my girlfriend in NY area – every guy invites her for dinner and they never let her pay. In LA, only if a women is 20 years younger, a guy can actually pay for her dinner, otherwise he’ll ask a woman to pay for him 🙂

  12. 12


    I respectfully disagree. You say we shouldn’t bemoan how things are for how they should  (or we want them) to be. Slowing a guy down a bit, getting him to make a call, the basic 2/2/2 premise = effective. Asking him to use an outdated form of communication that is clunky, likely shows his last name/where he works (before you even meet)  and makes no sense to most online daters in the age of apps = ineffective.

    1. 12.1

      Marika- I agree with you.   Why would you give out your personal email which likely has your whole name?   All dating sites provide an email platform that functions the same way.   If someone asked me for my personal email before meeting, I would find it strange.   Texting and talking before meeting seem pretty standard.

    2. 12.2

      I think both points have merit: yes email is in many ways an outdated method of communication especially to millenials, and yes texting is a very ineffective way to get to know someone you haven’t met.   Instead of arguing about the relevance of email the real issue is how to find a middle ground between meeting someone you’ve never spoken to and never meeting at all because you fall into a texting hole.

      1. 12.2.1


        It’s not really about arguing. It’s about the real life experiences and realities of dating online in 2017 (almost 2018). I don’t love texting and I always try to get a phone call in before meeting wherever possible (it doesn’t always work out, but it’s worth trying). I’ve fallen into texting holes and I’ve been guilty of stopping texting myself.

        But I do know this: trying to make a guy email you (when that is no longer the natural progression from a dating site) doesn’t solve any of these problems, and in fact can create more. People don’t want to share their work email or often don’t even want to share their last name, people don’t understand the mentality behind why you’re asking (why can’t we just exchange numbers?) and you can come across as difficult and high maintenance for pushing the point.

        So I think it’s important to make the point that the philosophy is great, but in the execution, email is not effective. App-text-phone call-meet can build rapport and get things moving not too fast/not too slow without creating undue confusion or make you seem unreasonable.

        Ideal world : we’d deal with none of this, but this is the way dating apps have developed. We’re not going to turn back the clock.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Marika, I have much to say in response, but I’ll keep it brief. As long as you’re happy with the status quo, keep doing what you’re doing. I can assure you: my private clients who learn how to use 2/2/2 properly have far greater joy and success than women who don’t.

  13. 13

    You know what would fix this problem? Having a video of each person attached to their profile, answering basic questions.   I’m sure the only reason sites like Match don’t have it is because it would take up too much bandwidth / storage space. If I do online dating again, I’m going to figure out a way to link a video to my profile. Then the potential date sees exactly what he’s getting.

    1. 13.1

      Nissa, Hinge allows video, and even bumps you a little higher on the viewing list if you have it.


      however, they’ve moved their platform to be more like Instagram, so there are downsides. You can’t write as much. But it might be worth looking into.

      1. 13.1.1

        Go0d to know! Thanks 🙂

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