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3 Great First Date Tips for Dating Success

As a recognized dating expert helping both single guys and single women to get more dates and enjoy better dates, a frequently asked question I get via twitter (@AprilBraswell), email, facebook, and here at my blog is, “What’re some tips you can give me for a First Date?”

1.  First Date Dating Success Tip:  Have a Great First Date Attitude

First of all, your first date starts before the actual date.  How was the messaging exchange if you two met via an online dating site.  In this 21st century Web 2.0 world (yes, I worked with the Web 2.0s in the early days in Silicon Valley), many many singles are meeting via internet dating sites.  Some singles do still meet and ask each other out on dates having met in-person.  What you both said, messaged, texted, and did before you meet for the date will already establish The Mental Frame for a great First Date experience.

Single Guys: Are you worried that taking her out will crimp your entertainment budget for this week?  You might end up being tense during the date, sending bad body language flirting signals to your date who feels you just weren’t that interested in her and turns off of you.

Single Women: Are you over-excited hoping and wondering if he will be, “The One?” Single guys can feel it when women on are the marriage relationship prowl.  On the First Date that romantic over aggressiveness is just too much pressure and too smothering. 

If that is either of your attitude and how you approach First Dates in your mind, it is time to switch up your internal dialogues.  Dr. Maxy Maulsby teaches, “To feel better, you must first think better.” It’s as simple as that.

Instead decide to think, “I believe that First Dates are fun!  I am about to spend an evening getting to meet and become acquainted with a new wonderful person!  I wonder what is special about them?  I will have to find out!”

First Lady Michelle Obama, Michelle Obama, Official White House Portrait

First Lady Michelle Obama, Official White House Portrait

2. First Date Dating Success Tip:  Do Dress for Dating Success

Have you seen all the internet dating profile pix taken with the person standing in jeans and tshirt, disheveled hair, facing their bathroom mirror, using their smart phone?  Made quite an impression on you didn’t it?  And now picture how Barack and Michelle Obama dress.  Michelle Obama and her classic dressing with a marvelous touch of style is about as trendsetting and simply elegant as 1960s fashion trendsetter first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy.

Whatever your political leaning, you have to admit they look pretty good, don’t they?  Yah think how Michelle Obama dressed helped her to create and establish the rapport with Queen Elizabeth that she was allowed to break Royal Personage Protocol and touch the Queen of England?  Do you think she could have done that dressed in a sloppy manner wearing grungy jeans and tshirt?

Dress to Look Your Best

Treat yourself like royalty and a world class leader, and dress to look your best.  Guys, this means in most cases, a suit, a sports jacket, dress slacks, sharp shoes.  Look spiffy.  Wearing a necktie on your first date makes a powerful statement.  You don’t have to wear them all the time.  However, some single women have an unwritten rule that they won’t date and pursue a relationship with a man who won’t wear neckties.  By wearing one on your first date, you take care of that.  You can wear your sharpest business casual for your second and third dates.  Ladies, aim for a look uniquely feminine to establish contrast with how your date is dressed.  Wear a skirt or dress.  You want to aim for a “Classy Sexy” tone.

3. First Date Dating Success Tip:  Do Show Up On Time

With so many singles living in metropolitan areas, there is always the traffic and commute traffic variables.  It is a running joke in Southern California in Los Angeles and Orange County that there is always an accident on the the 405.  Be sure to know the route you will take to your date and leave plenty of time to get there.  It is even better still to plan to arrive early.

You show the greatest respect and honor to your date and yourself when you arrive early and are on-time for your date.

If you live in a metro area like New York or Los Angeles where evening parking can be a challenge, you know there will be valet parking.  Yes, it will cost something.  Phone the restaurant where you two will be meeting and find out what it costs.  Plan for that cost as part of the cost of the date.  Use valet parking.  Do not keep your date waiting 45 minutes thinking she will wait for you.  When you do that, you are telling her, I value your precious time less than the cost of  a valet.  Yes, you will create a lasting first impression.  It won’t be the one you want.

It is the 21st century.  Things happen.  If worse comes to worse and there is a major traffic accident, you got each other’s cell phone numbers exchanged when you agreed and accepted this First Date, right?  Well then phone them.  This is not the time to text.  That looks whimpie to to both men and women.  Provide them some kind of an adjusted ETA.  It will then be their decision to stay and meet you or cancel.  99% of the time, if you are more than 15 minutes late for your date, you date will leave.  If you don’t phone and check with them, You will show up and he or she will be gone.  If you phone them now and ask them to come back, you have totally disrupted their evening.  This is not how to begin a romantic relationship.  Avoid all that turmoil by simply planning ahead and giving yourself plenty of time.  Better to arrive early and sit at the bar and have a drink of sparkling water for 20 minutes than show up late.

When you set your attitude to positive expectation, dress for dating success, and show up on time, you are guaranteed to enjoy a great first date!  And so will your date, with you!

Happy Dating and Relationships,

April Braswell

Las Vegas Baby Boomer Dating Expert

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Michelle Mason April 9, 2010, 1:10 PM

    These are good tips. For #1, I was going to suggest doing something less expensive and formal, like an activity (bowling, for example). It takes away some the strain of making conversation over the dinner table, is inexpensive, and fun. I am not a great conversationalist, so I would appreciate having something to look at/do besides staring across the table. I am money conscious too, so I don’t expect the big bucks to be pulled out on the first date.
    This is obviously different for everyone (those necktie women probably wouldn’t think of putting on bowling shoes!), so hopefully the people get a good enough feel of their date to know what is appropriate.

  • Mike Norris April 9, 2010, 2:13 PM

    These are great tips. Can’t imagine being late for a first date unless you have an emergency.


    Safety Is Everyones Business

  • Konaru April 9, 2010, 2:54 PM

    In truth, immediately didn’t understand the essence of dating and dressing. But after re-reading all at once became clear about the dating tips

  • Robert Kaufer April 9, 2010, 5:22 PM

    You know, I think the next time my wife and I go out we will treat it like a first date hopefully without the awkwardness.

    Sounds like it would be fun.


  • Jennifer Battaglino April 9, 2010, 5:47 PM

    Basically it comes down to having some respect for the other person who is also sticking their neck out to go on this first date.
    I like the idea of having the right attitude. It if turns out great then great…if it doesn’t make the best of it and it’ll always make for a good story later.
    Great advice as usual!
    Jen B

  • Trisha Chambers April 9, 2010, 8:39 PM

    Show up on time is a huge investment in any relationship! Great post!

  • Peggy Larson April 10, 2010, 5:16 AM

    First date attitude is so important! I like your advice at the end that paragraph.

    Dressing is important but I think if one of my daughter’s dates showed up in a tie, she’d turn and run! But clean and good posture and good manners are important.

    With today’s technology devices there is no reason to be left in the dark on why someone is running late. But even then, there is a limit to the degree of lateness when the date should either be rescheduled or cancelled.

    Peggy Larson

  • Make Money Gods Way April 10, 2010, 5:33 AM

    April, these are also great tips to use for business. I see myself taking a client out to lunch, and these would be just as important there. That goes to show you that dating is exactly like building a relationship with a client.

    Tim Van Milligan, helping you Make Money Online, God’s Way!

  • Sonya Lenzo April 10, 2010, 5:34 AM

    Very, very good advice! The attitude especially…if one is relaxed about it, then if anything goes wrong, you can laugh about it…
    Sonya Lenzo

  • Dennis Miedema April 10, 2010, 9:49 AM

    This is great for getting in the mood.

    Thanks for all your first date tips for more Dating Success,

    Dennis Miedema

  • Scott Sylvan Bell April 10, 2010, 10:08 AM

    Great post April,
    Your information is very insightful, It is important to be considerate of other people time and feelings especially when it is a first date or even a business venture.
    Scott Sylvan Bell
    Now go implement!

  • Lisa McLellan April 10, 2010, 11:05 AM

    Excellent suggestion about calling your date if you’re going to be late. I tell new babysitters to try to be on time or better, five minutes early. Now I wouldn’t want my date to be five minutes early because I’d probably still be primping. But, some parents ask a sitter to come an hour before they leave so that someone is watching the kids while they shower. Others will ask the sitter to be there at the time they’d like to walk out the door!

    Lisa McLellan
    Babysitting Services, Nanny Services, and Nanny agencies

  • Rob Northrup April 10, 2010, 11:08 AM

    You break it down into such easy to follow advice April.

    These are great ideas for a first date.

    Seize the Day,

  • Mark April 10, 2010, 11:13 AM

    Enjoyed your post! Agree with Tim also, your site is about dating, but more importantly it is about relationships, so your advice applies to some many facets! Thanks and keep them coming!

    Direct Selling Advice, Tips, Skills & Techniques

  • Shane Kester April 10, 2010, 12:55 PM

    You’re right about making sure your head is in the game so to speak. Your subconscious anxieties, attitudes and body language can really speak loudly to your date and others. Make sure you aren’t bringing your bad day, bad attitude or negative projections on your date.

    Shane Kester

  • Steve Chambers April 10, 2010, 3:21 PM

    All this advice is good for making a first date a great experience whether it leads to something long term or not.

    Steve Chambers
    Body Language Expert

  • David Escalante April 10, 2010, 9:14 PM

    These tips work great with any relationship. When you Showing up on time and area well dressed you leave a great first impression.

    David Escalante
    Bay Area Roofing San Francisco CA

  • Jerrie April 11, 2010, 5:15 AM

    Hi Apriil, great first date tips. thanks. Do keep posting dating advice and tips like this. They really help single women. And I really like it

  • Hui Hui April 11, 2010, 6:24 AM

    These tips are great!!
    I think it can be applied in different situations such as interviews.
    I hate people who are always late.It does show disrespect.

    Thanks for the tips.

    Hui Hui

  • Hezron April 11, 2010, 8:56 AM

    You said this

    “However, some single women have an unwritten rule that they won’t date and pursue a relationship with a man who won’t wear neckties. By wearing one on your first date, you take care of that. ”

    The above statement is shallow.

    Next, how does wearing a dress or skirt, exude femininity as you see it, Ms. Braswell?

  • Lori McFarland April 12, 2010, 9:53 AM

    I enjoyed these tips and follow mostly all of them. I also do not accept a first date over coffee as it doesn’t allow you enough to go on- meaning- there isn’t much to talk about- oh the coffee is really good- mmmkay. I like to suggest an appetizer and drink somewhere easy for both parties. I always also suggest to my date that I have no problem picking up half the tab- though I usually won’t offer unless I hear hesitation. By sitting down over a bit of food it allows for a conversation topic, plus you can see how your date communicates with the wait staff, which can tell you a lot. In addition, the wait staff can be a topic to discuss if things are quiet. I am not typically the shy type, buut have found that often my date is, so I try to ease into a conversation by asking some simple questions like how was your day- did you find this place okay – or complimenting if it makes sense too. Also, I agree with the no texting, I also think that if after the first date your date focuses solely on texting that you either say that you’d rather speak to them over the phone, I think that is a good idea to be up front about.

  • Eileen O'Neill April 12, 2010, 12:51 PM

    Your 3 First Date Tips touch the essentials.

    I’m going to work them into an ESL lesson and have the students do a comparison between cultures. However, I’m expecting the tips to be similiar …

    Eileen O’Neill

  • Michael D Walker May 31, 2010, 1:52 AM

    Excellent advice for both people on a first date!
    It’s a shame how many people make such simple mistakes that could be easily avoided if they followed your advice.

    The Success Secrets

  • Spencer August 14, 2010, 11:29 PM

    Great tips for a first date

  • Lora September 24, 2010, 7:41 PM

    Dressing well and showing up on time are so important! And dressing well doesn’t mean dressing up, as some people take it to mean. Just don’t show up with mud on your shoes, etc. Common sense goes a long way!

  • Beth November 8, 2010, 9:22 PM

    Thanks for your sense of humor and reminders for a good first date. First impressions matter most. I’m still new with online dating, so I printed this off to put in my file, any better way to go about keeping track of it then printing?

  • Lowell Cremonese December 17, 2010, 1:59 AM

    Your dating tips are fun and I like your sense of humor, April. I could read your website for hours you have so much here.

  • Cynthia December 17, 2010, 4:33 AM

    April from your expert view what do you think of the aging baby boomer mature dating singles with old photos in their dating profiles?

  • Vanna December 18, 2010, 1:26 PM

    Do you think it matters to show up early for the first date?

  • Sandra May 21, 2012, 3:10 PM

    I do agree with most of Ms Braswell tips on dating but I don’t think that on a first date a guy should wear a necktie. Unless he’s taking you out somewhere very special and expensive which I doubt very much, that will happen. I don’t think that guys on first dates take their dates somewhere that expensive to be wearing long dresses and they neckties. In my opinion a guy should take his first date to a good restaurant where they’ll both be comfortable. He should be well groomed and nicely dressed, with a long sleeve shirt and dress pants but not a necktie. The second date could be somewhere expensive where you’ll both have to be dressed up, long dress and necktie.

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