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First Date Etiquette: 30 Tips for Making a Lasting Impression

Have you ever gone on a date with someone you’ve liked for a long time, only to feel rejected by the end of the night? Or maybe you’ve been on a bunch of first dates but never heard back from any of them afterward? First dates can be really intimidating. Sure! But that’s because you haven’t prepared well for your first date and you haven’t read this article about first-date etiquette yet.

In case you’re looking to start a relationship, it’s important to make a good first impression. So, it’s helpful to have the right attitude and avoid doing things that might turn off your date. Remember not to be stressed too much. Keep calm and read on for more advice on first dates!

30 Essential First Date Etiquette Rules You Must Know

1. Don’t be late

Showing up punctually indicates that you respect the other person’s time. It sets a positive tone for the date from the beginning. Whether it’s your first coffee meet-up or lunch, being on time matters because first impressions are important.

2. Avoid using your phone

Avoid using your phone

When it comes to dating and relationships, it can get a bit tricky. You might have a busy life with lots of calls and texts coming in. But during your first date, it’s important to give your full time and attention to the other person. Put your phone away, keep it in your pocket or bag, and focus completely on the person in front of you without any distractions!

3. Avoid controlling the conversation

On your first date, steer clear of heavy topics like future plans, marriage, and kids. This is a time to explore each other rather than make firm commitments. Avoid dominating the conversation or guiding it in a certain direction. Instead, ask thoughtful questions to learn more about your date and encourage them to join in the conversation comfortably. 

4. Pay attention to basic table manners

Pay attention to basic table manners

Having good table manners is important in dating. It reflects well on you and shows that you’re polite and considerate. Because how you eat and behave while eating can tell a lot about your personality. Make sure your manners are good, so you don’t embarrass yourself or your date.

5. Avoid overindulgence

The goal is to make a good impression on your date, right? Don’t ruin it by drinking too much and regretting it later. Having too many drinks on the first date can make you lose control and act messy. You don’t want to show that side of yourself to your date. So, avoid drinking too much alcohol and stay in control of yourself and what you say.

6. Always be open-minded

Always be open-minded

When meeting someone for the first time, there may be things you don’t know about them. If you’ve connected on a dating app, the person might not match exactly what their profile shows. It’s important to keep your reactions in check, even if you’re surprised by aspects of their personality or life.

7. Enjoy yourself

It’s normal to feel anxious when dating. Whether the date is going well, try to have fun and enjoy yourself. Remind yourself that you’re here to have a good time. This can help ease the tension. Encourage your date to relax and have fun, too, so you both don’t regret planning the date.

8. Offer to pay (or split the bill)

Offer to pay (or split the bill)

Paying for the date used to be seen as a rule for men, but now it’s important for everyone to consider. In today’s world, where women seek equality, it’s common courtesy for both parties to be ready to cover the bill. The fair way to do it is to split the cost so no one feels pressured or used. It can also set a positive tone for future dates.

9. Show kindness towards those nearby

Whether you’re meeting for coffee or a meal, good manners always matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s a casual date or an arranged one; basic courtesy is key. Treat everyone you encounter, like waiters or valets, with respect. Being rude or swearing at people shows a lack of character that nobody likes.

10. Let your body language exude positivity

Let your body language exude positivity

If your date is talking, focus on them. Avoid looking around or giving signals that you want to leave. Instead, show interest by eye contact, leaning in, and smiling genuinely. These actions improve the conversation and increase the chance of a second date. But don’t be too clingy.

11. Send your friends their info

Think of this rule as advice from your mom, but it’s super important. Before any first date, give a photo and phone number of your date to your friends or family. Also, let them know where you’ll be going. We’re not trying to make you overly worried, but safety comes first.

12. Don’t talks about the ex

Don’t talks about the ex

We’ve all had past relationships, but your first date doesn’t need to hear all about them. Try not to talk about your dating history for now. Instead, focus on learning about each other’s hobbies and personalities. If your date brings it up, you can discuss it briefly, but don’t let it dominate the conversation all night.

13. Don’t lie about yourself

Not lying about yourself is an essential first-date etiquette rule because honesty forms the foundation of any relationship. If you start off with lies, it undermines trust and can lead to complications later on. Being truthful allows both individuals to get to know each other and build a connection based on authenticity.

14. Actually listen your partner

Actually listen your partner

Seriously, being a good listener is important in any situation, but it’s especially crucial on a first date. It helps keep the conversation flowing, and you’ll learn a lot more about your date if you really listen to what they’re saying. It’s surprising how much you can discover just by paying attention! So, make sure to perk up those ears and focus on what they’re saying.

15. Ask questions

On the first date, it’s important to ask your date questions to get to know them better. It shows you’re interested in them and helps you both feel more comfortable together. If you’ve had trouble thinking of questions before, try reading up on good conversation starters for first dates.

16. Don’t “interview them”

Having a two-way conversation means you shouldn’t just fire off questions at your date one after another like they’re in a job interview. Instead, aim for a more balanced exchange where you both can share and discuss things naturally. Avoid making it feel like an interrogation by asking too many rapid-fire questions without giving them a chance to participate in the conversation.

17. Follow up if you like them

Follow up if you like them

If you agree to see them again, be honest and follow through. Don’t just say you’ll call if you don’t plan to. Instead, make sure to reach out in a reasonable time frame to arrange another date. Don’t leave them hanging without making plans for the future.

18. Leave if it is boring

It’s totally okay to end the date early if you realize it’s not going anywhere. There’s no point in wasting your time or your date’s time pretending to be interested if you’re not feeling it. If things aren’t clicking, it’s perfectly fine to call it quits and move on.

19. Suggest a second date

In case you felt a spark and enjoyed each other’s company during the first date, it’s perfectly fine to suggest going out again. Taking the initiative to express your interest in seeing them once more can be a positive step forward. This openness can help establish trust and set the stage for future interactions. 

20. Tell them your circumstances

Tell them your circumstances

If you’ve recently come out of a divorce or a significant long-term relationship, it’s vital to communicate this to your date. Recovering from such experiences requires time and emotional healing. Your date may prefer to wait until you’re ready to fully engage in a new relationship.

21. Consider making it short 

Here’s a simple rule: Keep your first date short and simple. You could meet for coffee in the afternoon or have a quick lunch break together. This way, if you’re not feeling a connection, you have a polite way to end the date without any pressure.

22. Accept that feeling awkward is a natural aspect of dating

Accept that feeling awkward is a natural aspect of dating

First dates can feel really awkward. If you’re stuck in an uncomfortable silence, it’s actually nice to acknowledge it by saying something like, “This feels awkward, doesn’t it? But hey, I’m sure we’ll have more of these moments.” Bringing up the awkwardness can help break the tension and make both of you feel more at ease. Plus, it can even create a connection between you.

23. Don’t be too judgmental

It’s good to have your own standards, but it’s also good to be open-minded. If your date wears something you don’t like or has a feature you’re not crazy about, try not to jump to conclusions. It’s natural to have opinions, but being too quick to judge without giving them a chance isn’t fair.

24. Stay within your comfort zone

Stay within your comfort zone

If your date suggests something that makes you uncomfortable, it’s okay to say no. Even if they propose doing shots or leaving without paying, don’t feel pressured to go along with it. You have every right to refuse to do anything that doesn’t sit right with you, whether you’re on a date or not.

25. Marriage or children should not come up

On your first date, it’s best not to bring up topics like marriage or having children. It might make your date feel uncomfortable, especially when you’re not even sure if there will be a second date. Save these discussions for when you’ve established a real connection and can see a future together. 

26. Make it a weekday

It’s a weekday. But if it’s your first date, you don’t know how it’ll turn out. So, why not plan it for a Tuesday or Thursday? This gives you a chance to meet but also an easy out if needed – you’ve got work or school the next day. And if things go well, you can always plan to meet up again on the weekend.

27. Gracefully handle silences

Gracefully handle silences

Gracefully handling silences demonstrates confidence and self-assurance. It shows that you’re comfortable with yourself and don’t need to fill every moment with conversation, allowing you and your date to relax and enjoy each other’s company without pressure.

28. Address uncomfortable situations tactfully

Dealing with awkward moments in a nice way is like showing a good example of how to handle things in the future with your date. It’s like setting up a rule for how to talk nicely and solve problems without fighting. This is the beginning of a relationship built on respect and understanding, which is really important to be healthy and happy.

29. Don’t rush things

By allowing the connection to unfold naturally and respecting each other’s pace, you set the stage for a relationship built on a solid foundation of trust, understanding, and mutual respect. Ultimately, taking the time to nurture the bond between you and your date will increase the likelihood of a fulfilling and lasting partnership in the long run.

30. Dress appropriately

Dress appropriately

We’re not saying you must spend ages getting ready for a date, but it’s important to make a good first impression when meeting someone new. Take a little time to ensure your clothes look neat and clean, fix your hair, and bring out your best personality traits. It’s not just about how you look on the outside; letting your inner beauty shine through is just as important.

Final Words, 

A first date can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’ve experienced rejection in the past. However, with the right preparation and understanding of first-date etiquette, you can increase your chances of success. By staying calm and following the advice in this article, you can confidently navigate first dates and increase your chances of finding a relationship. Now, are you ready to date?

Luna Miller

I’m Luna Miller, a helpful employee at Loveable. I excel at giving great advice on birthday gifts. I love suggesting memorable experiences like concerts, spas, and getaways. As a reliable and supportive colleague, I’m always there to assist.

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