First Date Tips From A Dating Expert

By Guest Writer

5 months ago

Everything you need to know

Heading out on a first date and looking for some dating tips? Whether you’ve met on an app or through friends, first encounters are often a mix of nerves and excitement, and it’s often difficult to know what to do. We asked Natalie Rowland, senior matchmaker at dating agency Drawing Down The Moon about how best to navigate dating and, more importantly, how to have fun in the process. Read on for her top tips.

The Dos & Don’ts Of Dating

Young man and woman sitting outside a coffee shop, looking into each other's eyes.


How To Arrange A First Date

  • Crafting the invitation is the initial step in setting the stage for a successful first date. Instead of vague propositions, make sure to be specific. Propose a concrete date at least a week in advance, offering an alternative for flexibility. Mid-week days are best, steering clear of crowded Friday and Saturday night clichés. Avoid movies (you can’t talk to each other) and dinners (too much pressure to be stuck with someone for an entire meal). For a first encounter, meeting for a drink or walk in a park are ideal. 
  • Select a venue in a public place accessible to both of you (as this avoids the pitfalls of meeting at a home or a secluded spot). A venue with a good atmosphere, but not too noisy, allows for meaningful conversation without unnecessary stress.
  • Taking charge of logistics is a sign of thoughtfulness. Share contact numbers for any last-minute adjustments and keep the first date relatively short, around 90 minutes, leaving room for anticipation and excitement about future meetings.
  • Punctuality is a virtue in the world of dating. Being on time demonstrates respect for your date’s schedule and avoids awkward solo waiting moments. It sets a positive tone for the entire encounter.

Making Conversation

  • Being well-informed about current events is a powerful tool in making engaging conversation. Pay attention to your date’s signals and body language — interest or boredom, engagement or disengagement. Creating rapport involves mirroring positive body language, voice tone, and pacing. This subtle synchronization fosters a sense of connection and comfort.
  • The power of names shouldn’t be underestimated – using your date’s name in conversation adds a personal touch. Balance compliments:  keep them friendly, genuine, and non-sexual. Focus on appreciating choices like the venue or their outfit.
  • Genuine curiosity is a hallmark of seductive individuals. Ask open-ended questions about thoughts and feelings, steering away from yes/no interrogations. This approach transforms the date into a meaningful exchange rather than a scripted interview.
  • Good manners are timeless and acts of courtesy leave a lasting positive impression.

Should You Split The Bill On A First Date?

  • The question of splitting the bill requires open communication, so make sure to be considerate of the situation.
  • Discuss it candidly to avoid awkwardness and ensure a smooth end to the evening.

What To Do After A First Date

  • Respecting boundaries is paramount. Avoid pressuring your date sexually on the first meeting. Consent and comfort should be prioritized, creating a respectful and enjoyable atmosphere.
  • Following up after the date to express enjoyment is courteous. It leaves a positive impression and sets the stage for potential future encounters.
  • Keep promises: if you say you will call, follow through. Failing to do so can be perceived as rudeness, undermining the positive experiences of the date.
  • Avoiding hasty judgments is crucial. First dates are not marriage proposals, so relax and enjoy the moment without overthinking. Allow the date to unfold naturally.
  • Being honest in declining further dates is important. If not interested, be polite but honest. Avoid vague statements that may give false hope, as clear communication is key.
  • Most importantly, give people a chance.