How to Prepare for a First Date
Here’s how to get to the finish line:
1) Ask her out!
What to Say: At the end of a message, simply say something like, “I’m really enjoying talking to you. Would you be interested in meeting for coffee/lunch/a drink sometime this week?”
(How do you know if it’s the right time to ask her out? Here’s a more in-depth article on when and how to do it.)
2) Pick a convenient location.
When she agrees to meet, she might suggest a specific place. If she doesn’t, then she’s waiting to see if you’ve got what it takes to plan a date.
Which you obviously do.
Plan for a Short Date: Coffee, happy hour, lunch – there’s a reason these are the preferred first dates for seasoned online daters. You get in, see if there’s chemistry in person, and get out. Leave her wanting more.
How to Pick a Place: When it comes to location, suggest someplace halfway between you both (so neither of you has to do all the traveling).
If you don’t know the area, or you need ideas, Yelp is always helpful. Its reviews and pictures will tip you off to first date-killers, like if the place is a shit-hole, or too loud for conversation.
What to Say: Write something casual like: “I’ve been meaning to try X Café. Would you be up for that? I’m free Saturday or Sunday afternoons.”
If you want to be a real gentleman, or sense she’s nervous about meeting, you can add: “Or if there’s someplace you like, I’m happy to meet there.”
This way, she gets to pick a place that’s convenient for her – and she notices how capable and considerate you are.
3) Exchange phone numbers.
It’s always good to give her your number before a date.
What to Say: “Here’s my number in case you’re running late or something comes up.”
She’ll probably give you her number, too. If she does, it’s not an invitation to start texting the hell out of her. This is coming on too strong.
But if she starts texting you the days leading up to your date, follow her lead and go for it.
4) Continue messaging before your date.
You have her number and a date set. So now just keep your communication similar to what it’s been up to this point.
If your date is a week away, and you’ve been messaging every day or two, keep that pace. But save your best material for your date.
To up your gentleman factor, message her the day of your meeting. If you haven’t texted her yet, now’s a good time.
What to Say: “Hey (her name), it’s (your name). I’m looking forward to meeting you today. Wanted to confirm I’ll be at X Café at 2pm. See you there!”
As far as additional texting goes, follow her lead again. If she confirms the date and then asks you a question, go ahead and continue the conversation. Otherwise, end the communication there.
5) Prepare for your date.
Don’t forget to quickly re-read her profile and the messages you’ve exchanged before your date. (This is especially important if you’ve been talking to more than one girl!)
Reviewing her profile/messages can inspire a couple things to talk about, or give you follow-up questions to ask about topics you’ve already covered.
When a guy shows up prepared with stuff to talk about, it’s kinda old-school and really smoking hot.
It’s also nice to keep in mind that this is a date, no matter how casually you’re both approaching it.
It’s not the prom; you don’t need to bring flowers. But she will notice that you made an effort to wear a clean t-shirt.
You’re meeting a cool person. You’re curious about her. You’ve got stuff to talk about.
And it’s only gonna take an hour.
You’ll be on the other side in no time: glad you met her, and ready for what comes next.
Remember: she’s probably a little nervous too. She likes you and you have a lot in common! These are exciting times!
7) Remember the purpose of the date.
You want to make sure there’s chemistry in person.
If there’s no chemistry, you won’t waste anyone’s time with a long dinner when you know you’re not feeling it.
That’s why you picked a short date – a quick, low-pressure way to meet. You can both make sure you’re attracted to each other, then leave each other wanting more.
Knowing you’re into each other, but not draining all the excitement with a three-hour dinner…
That cliff-hanger ending gets the second date in the bag.
Now get out there.
Be yourself, ask questions, and have fun!