It seems a consensus has evolved on what constitutes the best first date idea, and it’s not exactly rocket science. Here are the key elements:
- Drinks date that occurs after normal dinner time
- Sit side by side at the bar or better yet a sofa if the venue has them
- Pick a venue as close as possible to your home
I support the consensus around this model for a first date because of a few reasons.
Alcohol is probably the best thing to ever happen to short-term dating. When applied moderately, it stimulates the conversation, it lowers inhibitions, it loosens the two of you up, and it adds to the fun. Yes, there are always more interactive dates you can do with a girl where you can connect with her on a deeper level. Like indoor rock climbing or a driving range. But these are higher investment dates and you need to make her earn these. You also need to make sure you actually enjoy her company before embarking on a full afternoon with her. Also, if you’re reading this blog, I assume you are plenty aware of why movies are a bad date so I won’t go into that here. When it comes to the first date, always make it a one-on-one, laid back drinks date.
Drinks > Dinner
I start my dates around 8:00 or 8:30PM. Dinner, along with interactive dates mentioned above, are higher investment and should be reserved for girls you actually know and like. Lately, I’ve been going on one date a week so arranging the date to occur after dinner saves me over $2,000 a year assuming dinner is $20 per person.
Sitting side by side
A small but important detail not to be overlooked. If your intent is to get physical later, you need to start off with quick and subtle forearm/shoulder/thigh touches as you express your thoughts to her. It’s impossible to do this when you’re staring across a table at her like it’s an interview. When you arrive, just lead her to the bar and pull up a chair. Some bars I’ve been to have sofas which are even better. Of course, don’t try to sit side by side at a table or in a booth since that would be quite awkward and is typically only seen by annoying couples.
Close to Home
Another important detail. Remember that a date is about getting to know a girl. An important thing you may want to know about her is how quickly she sleeps with men. She probably doesn’t go around volunteering this information and many girls will take care to present an image to the world that exaggerates her true standards for getting into bed. This is why you must set up the date to make sex as easy as possible to occur. It’s good for you because not only do you get laid, you also find out how easy she is and then it’s up to you if you want to use this information in your decision to see her again. All the above points are important in this goal, but setting up the date close to your place is probably the most important. You’ll of course need a convenient reason to go back to your place, which is why you had her meet you at your place and park her car there. It won’t always work out that way but aim for it. We’ll discuss other “excuses” to get her back to your place in Pt. 2. It works out best when you’ve got a bar or a choice of bars in walking distance or close driving distance to your place. Talk these bars up like they are God’s gift to the world. When texting, ask her if she’s ever been to the bar near your place and act shocked and appalled if she hasn’t been. Tell her she just HAS to try it. I currently live in Atlanta and tell girls they aren’t true Atlantans until they’ve seen the rooftop patio of the bar next door to my apartment.
After you’ve lost count of how many drinks dates you’ve been on, you may get bored and want to switch it up, which is fine. Just remember the above components are going to always be your friend when it comes to setting up the ideal date.
Setting up the Date
I’m fortunate enough to live walking distance to a dozen or so places that serve alcohol. I realize not everyone has this option so you may need transport to get you from your place to the date venue. The 2010s are great time to be a bachelor so fortunately you can hail a driver straight from your smartphone. If you live in a small town then you’re probably driving.
After I’ve gotten the number and ran some basic text game I’ll suggest a date. I usually say one of the following.
“Well you seem fun and interesting. We should get a drink soon and get to know each other.”
“Well you seem fun to talk to.. we should get a drink soon and get to know each other.”
“Well you seem interesting enough.. we should get a drink soon and get to know each other.”
Feel out the situation and decide which one is best. The idea here is that you’ve decided you want to meet her because she’s proven herself to seem fun or interesting. Not just because she’s cute and you want to fuck her like every other thirsty guy she’s talked to in the last 10 years.
When she agrees, I’ll ask her if she’s ever been to “insert bar name here” bar.. which just so happens to be next to my place. (Don’t reveal that the bar is next to your place.. yet.)
**Pro tip: If you’re backlogged and have 5 or more girls ready to meet but not enough time to meet them, you risk losing momentum and could have difficulty sparking things back up if a couple weeks go by. Put girls in a queue by telling them right off the bat that it may be a couple weeks before you can meet since your work/travel schedule is crazy at the moment.
Scheduling can be a real boner killer if you spend too much time on it so I’ll usually start by suggesting two days to let her pick. If neither work then I’ll just ask her which day works for her and when she tells me, I respond, “Yeah I think I can do that.”
You probably can read between the lines here but the idea is that you have a life and you’re not moving mountains and parting the seas just to sync up your schedules.
Ok so you’ve got the date scheduled. Now comes the hardest part. Keeping her from flaking on you. The time that passes in between scheduling the date and the actual date is the probably more important to pay attention to than the date itself. You must maintain momentum. If you schedule the date and don’t communicate with her until a few hours before the date is supposed to happen, it’s likely she’s already made other plans or has decided to flake on you. I’m always sure to text her or snap her 2-3 days before the date and definitely the day of the date around noon or 1PM.
I usually just send her some low investment texts that keep the connection maintained.
“So tell me something dorky about you”
“So tell me one of your secrets. I’ll give you a good one of mine in return”
“Well if we’re gonna hang out then you’ve got one very important test to pass first” (follow up with some arbitrary question like ‘Chipotle or Moes?’)
“Be sure to wear something hot Thursday. So we’ll match (insert wink emoji).”
If I’m going to an Irish pub:
“Be sure to wear something Irishy Thursday (insert 4 leaf clover emoji)”
Then the day of the date I’ll text a simple:
“So I’m thinking we go around 8 tonight.”
Don’t over do it. Banter around and text just to the point where you leave her wanting more. Reach a high point and then just don’t text back.
Now it’s the day of the date. You texted her around 1PM. If 3-4 hours have gone by and you still haven’t heard back, I’d say “Were you still wanting to get a drink tonight. If you can’t make it no worries, I may go to happy hour with coworkers” or something to that effect. If she was going to flake on you, she’ll at least respond now with her made up excuse so you don’t have to sit and wonder and you can make other plans with your evening hours. If she wasn’t going to flake on you, she’ll respond so you don’t make other plans. It’s rare that a girl wouldn’t text back to this, but if she doesn’t then delete her number and move on to the next one. I’ve found this text to be an effective and non-needy way to give that little extra push when a girl is going radio silent as the date nears. I do also recommend double booking dates when you’ve got plans with a girl who gives a flakey vibe.
Ok so if she hasn’t flaked, I’ll text her around 6:30 and say “So are you driving or ubering”
I don’t know if ‘uber’ is officially a verb yet but it should be. If she’s driving, I’ll say, “Ok I think parking is always pretty bad over there but I live next door if you want to just park at my building and walk over with me. It’s up to you”
This obviously won’t work well if you know the bar is going to have a wide open parking lot in plain sight, but get creative. Or play dumb.
If she’s ubering then I just meet her there. I get there a little early so I can make sure I get two seats up at the bar.
Next we’ll talk about how to keep things moving during the actual date.
Read Next: The Best First Date Guide Part II