Making a good impression on a first date

First dates can be stressful, especially if you’re a man. While women’s magazines are full of information (useful and otherwise) about how to appear attractive to the opposite sex, men often struggle to figure out what women are looking for. Of course, there is no magic formula for winning the heart of every woman you meet. You can’t force chemistry where there is none, no matter how much you try. On the other hand, there are some common mistakes men often make that are more than likely to put off any woman. The tips below will tell you what they are and how you can avoid making them.

Personal appearance

Depending on how you and your date first got in touch, your personal appearance may be the very first impression you give. But even if you’re meeting after lengthy Internet chats and phone calls, the way you present yourself carries a lot of weight. While it’s true that some things about looks can’t be helped, you have complete control over others. It almost goes without saying that showering and taking care of Manly Matters such as shaving and ridding yourself of any unwanted hairs is a must before any first date. But guys are often at a loss about what to wear. If in doubt, think smart casual. A clean T-shirt and jeans should be fine for most occasions, unless your first date is somewhere that requires a suit. Trainers should be fine for most places you go to.

Be polite

Undoubtedly, you will be polite to your date, especially if things are going well and you want a second date. But it’s important to be just as polite to other people around you too. Your date will be paying attention to how you interact with people you may view as insignificant, such as serving staff, homeless people begging on the street, annoying people in the next table over, etc. Treat them all well if you want to make a good impression. Also, pay close attention to tipping and make sure you tip any serving staff well. This is one of the things people look out for when trying to tell whether their date is a kind and generous person.

Pay attention

Don’t spend more time on your phone than you do listening to your date. Don’t spend the whole time talking about yourself. If you want to make a good impression, show your date you are interested in her by listening to what she has to say. There’s no need to stare in silence either (that can be a bit creepy), but make sure you’re spending some time letting the other person speak. If you’re paying attention and the other person is rambling on and on about herself, you may be tempted to tell her this and demand your turn to speak. Keep in mind that this may not go down well. Nobody likes being told to shut up when they are in full swing, especially not by a person they’ve only just met. If this is a deal breaker for you, it’s best to just quietly realise this lady is not for you and not ask for a second date.

Don’t be a penny-pincher

Nobody likes being taken advantage of and in this day and age you’d expect most women to at least offer to pay for their own drink or half of the meal. On the other hand, making a big deal out of this when the bill comes is not going to make you popular. Even fiercely independent women who expect to pay their own way don’t often appreciate a big speech about “feminism” from a man. If you want to make a good impression, it’s best not to come off as someone who’s going to argue about every cent or dime. You’ll make the best impression by offering to pay. However, don’t do that unless you’re willing to follow through if the woman accepts. Not all of them will insist on paying for their half. Often enough nowadays, you can just casually ask something like “shall we split the bill?” when it comes without coming across too stingy.

Alternatively, setting your date at a bar where you can buy rounds for each other means you can make a good impression without spending too much money on an expensive dinner.


First the bad news: there is no guarantee that anything you do is going to make a particular woman find you interesting and attractive – some people are not meant for each other. But following the above tips will make women who are attracted to you want to spend more time with you once you meet.

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