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What Women Want on a First Date

A first date can be a daunting experience for many men. Gender roles have evolved. In dating, some areas can feel like minefields – should a man make the first move/pay the bill/compliment a woman’s appearance? Here, we break down what women want on a first date.

Clear Communication

As a rule, women take a first date seriously. They find vague plans, last minute changes or being stood up highly off-putting. In fact, a man who cannot communicate a clear plan for a first date is very unlikely to make it to a second.

Be sure to agree a venue that you both feel comfortable with. Agree on a time and date that is easily achievable for you and your date. Check out the parking situation or public transport links. Confirm details and stick to the plan.

Don’t be Late

A first date is daunting enough without the added stress of being kept waiting. Whatever you do, be on time!

A Fresh, Clean Appearance

Make an effort to look good! A pressed shirt and a fresh fragrance go along way when it comes to first impressions. For a first date, smart casual is normally fitting.

Get a good night’s sleep before your date. Never show up to a date looking hung-over or in need of a hot shower. Spend a little time on ensuring you’re freshly shaven, have clean hair and nails. These are things women will notice.


Overconfidence and fake confidence are extremely off-putting for women. If you put on an act, both you and your date will start to feel uncomfortable. When a person is being inauthentic, the air changes.

First and foremost, try to feel at ease with yourself. Staying calm, open and friendly will naturally make your date feel more relaxed. True confidence is the ability to be yourself in any given situation.

There are many podcasts, books and life-coaches who can help you build confidence.

Recommended reading:

Self-Confidence: The Remarkable Truth of How a Small Change Can Boost Your Resilience and Increase Your Success, by Paul McGee

Unstoppable Self Confidence: How to create the indestructible, natural confidence of the 1% who achieve their goals, create success on demand and live life on their terms by Andrew Leedham

Turn off Your Phone!

Use the ‘Do not Disturb’ option on your phone or turn it off completely. Your date has made an effort to spend time with you, show her that she has your full focus.

Keep the Conversation Light and Fun

The aim of a first date is to have a good time getting to know someone new. Ask open questions, listen, and share interesting and light information about yourself. Stay clear of conversations about former partners; heavy political topics; controversial views. This is not to say you can’t enjoy great, stimulating conversation on a first date, simply that on a first date it is best to keep things easy as you get to know each other.

Follow up Within Twenty-Four Hours

If you’ve had a wonderful first date, do not wait to let your date know you had a lovely time. Even if you don’t see future potential, thank your date for her time and politely explain you don’t feel a romantic connection is on the cards. Many women deeply appreciate a man with a respectful, courteous manner.

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