In this post, we're breaking down a list of things to do on dates.
Dates are tricky for both men and women. I've shared a lot of dating tips helping women navigate the complicated world of dating- from helping women over 40 have amazing first dates to breaking down a list of romantic date ideas beyond a Netflix binge.
If you have no idea how to date someone, this list of things to do on dates will be your best guide.
How To Have A Successful Date - 5 Things To Do on Dates
First of all, way to go! You just got yourself a date! Now all you have to do is pick a perfect place and come up with a memorable date night idea. Easier said than done, huh? Luckily for you, I've got a handful of romantic things you and your future beau could do.
Here are 5 first date do's and don't you need to keep in mind:
Tip #1: Set the vibe.
Here's a pro tip: according to psychologist John Bargh, there is an underlying connection between body temperature and personality; feeling physically warm makes us behave more warmly toward others. So if you want to set the vibe and spark a connection right on your first date, go for warm places and food. Perhaps a brunch at your local coffee shop, an afternoon tea, a romantic candlelit dinner, or a picnic by the beach.
Having a home-court advantage also makes a great difference. Now I know that sounds like a thing for basketball players, but hear me out. In basketball, having a home-court advantage refers to the psychological and physical benefits players gain when competing in their own arena. Basically, they're more comfortable and confident playing in a place they're familiar with- the same goes when dating.
Choosing the right location where you and your date can comfortably get to know and enjoy each other's company increases your likelihood of having a great first date. This is why going to a coffee shop is a great idea. I mean, a fancy and romantic restaurant seems like a perfect place to have a first date, but nothing beats cozying up to a hot cup of joe or getting to know each other over a glass of craft beer.
Tip #2: Do a quick background check.
For your safety, it's best to do a background check before meeting your date, especially if you met him online. I mean, you don't want to end up being catfished, right? Doing a background check also allows you to double-check his credentials and verify whether or not all the information he's sharing with you is true.
But more than that, knowing something about your date before the actual meet-up will give you clues about what gets their attention and what to do to make a great impression.
You'd want to start with his social media. His photos will usually tell you what he likes to do for fun and the kind of company he keeps. Maybe he enjoys live music. Perhaps he's more eccentric and enjoys wine tasting. Or he could be an art enthusiast- in that case, an art gallery date is a great idea. If he's more laidback or loves the outdoors, a movie night or a hike at a national park are great examples of a fun date idea.
Tip #3: Make a great first impression.
Speaking of making a great first impression, here's another pro tip- show up on time! Waiting for hours for your date is never a fun thing and is always a hassle, so make sure to be there on time. If you're supposed to meet him by 7 PM, be there at 7 PM. Better yet, be there 10 minutes early.
How you carry yourself is also important. If you want to have a fun date night, be confident and positive. Walk in with confidence, a straight posture, and a smile on your face. Don't be a snob, avoid talking about anything negative, and move beyond small talk- that means talking beyond the weather and what's on TV. If you feel good about yourself and your look and can seriously spark a great conversation, your date is sure to pick up on those vibes.
Tip #4: Pick what to wear.
Experts suggest wearing the colors red and black during a date as these colors can make you appear more attractive and desirable. Studies have also shown that wearing red makes men feel more romantic and generous towards spending on a woman.
Of course, your body language also matters, and you don't want to appear closed-off and uneasy. Crossing your arms, holding an object close to your chest or stomach, or keeping your hands tucked away in your pocket make you look unavailable and are huge turn-offs.
If you want to avoid sending bad nonverbal signals to your date, make sure to wear something comfortable for your date. Not having to worry about whether or not your dress is too tight will allow you to focus and fully engage in your conversation.
Lastly, let your natural beauty shine and go easy with your makeup. You'd want to improve your features, but you wouldn't want to look like another person! In fact, a study found that a full face of heavy makeup can negatively impact how you're perceived.
Tip #5: Ditch the pick-up lines.
You might want to forget the cheesy pick-up lines during the date and opt for an interesting conversation starter instead. If you want to get to know your date on a deeper level, ask meaningful questions about them. Self-disclosure and reciprocity in conversations go a long way.
After your first date, it's important to ask yourself whether you'd like to continue seeing that person again. You won't want to waste each other's time. If you decide you'd like a second date with that person, follow up. It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman. Let them know that you'd want to see them again.
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Why Making an A+ Effort on Dates Is so Important
Dating in my 20s (we've also discussed in Mantelligence) is what I consider a series of bad dates and crying late at night on the New York subway. I've dated a guy who showed up wearing cargo pants and bed hair for our first date, a guy who showed up an hour late, and a guy who obviously didn't even bother to shower.
What I'm trying to say is that if you're going on a date, you might as well go all out for it. I mean, you've already signed up for it, so you might as well wear your perfect little black dress, do your hair and makeup extra pretty, and prepare some awesome tidbits and anecdotes to make your dinner date or afternoon tea even more engaging.
And be involved in planning a fun date idea. It's 2022, and having a guy plan out your entire date is outdated. Have a plan of what you're going to do but be flexible in case your date wants to change things up. The best way to do that is to ask him questions and find out what he wants from the night. Where does he want to go? What kind of food does he prefer? Would he enjoy a romantic dinner, or does he prefer quality time over a cocktail?
You're more likely to have quality time with your date if you both had a say in it. A fun idea isn't fun if only one of you thinks it s. Besides, if you're going to be a couple, you should be able to agree to disagree on these kinds of things.
Undeniable Signs A Date Went Well
If you made an effort and the feeling is mutual, the chances of your date going well is immense. Here are some more green flags a date is a success.
1. He Gave You His Full Attention
There is nothing more obvious than this. A guy giving you his full and undivided attention means he's interested in you and enjoying your company. Better yet, he asked questions about you. If he was enthusiastic about getting to know you better, it's a good sign that he's looking for something more serious than a blind date.
2. Everything Felt Easy
You certainly didn't have a fun date when you didn't laugh together. If you find yourself laughing and smiling throughout your date, that could be a sign of a budding romance. More than that, if your conversation went smoothly and you felt like you never ran out of something to talk about, that's a serious sign that there's a spark between you.
3. He Hinted at a Future Date
Another strong sign a date went well is if he hinted at a future date with you. If you share a common interest, and the guy suggested you two try it out next time, congratulations because you just got yourself a second date!
4. He Was a Complete Gentleman the Whole Time
As I said, not all dates are great, and sometimes you'll meet douchebags along the way, but if a guy remained a complete gentleman the whole time you two were together, you might have found yourself a keeper. You'd notice that he would open doors for you, offer his jacket, respect your personal space, doesn't get all touchy with you, buy you a drink, and walk you home.
5. He Flirts Back
If the attraction is mutual, the guy you're dating will reciprocate your attempts to flirt and even mirror your body language. If you had a great time together, he complimented you, and it felt like he was hitting on you too- that's a surefire sign he likes you.
6. He Reached Out After Your Date
If you had a great time together and the date went well, he a guy will surely reach out to you after your date.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some more pointers to help you out on your first date.
Who should pay on the first date?
If a guy offers to pay, great. But generally, chipping in for the bill is always a good idea. What I would do during dates is if a guy offered to pay for movie night, for example, I take the initiative to pay for food, or I offer to buy him a cocktail. Sharing is caring, and the guy would appreciate it.
What are some good questions for a date?
Dates are always a great opportunity to get to know a guy better, especially if you're meeting for the first time. Asking about his hobbies, what he does for a living, his childhood, and his favorite things are some examples of great questions to ask a guy on a date. If you want to go deeper, you can ask about things like an event that changed his life or the principles and values he upholds in his life. Doing so will give you a hint about his character and let you know whether or not he's the type of guy you'd want to date.
What do guys notice during a date?
Men are visual creatures, so they notice your appearance and how you carry yourself first and foremost. This is why it's important to move confidently and display open body language during your date. If he's not just trying to get into your pants, he'd also care about how you think, speak about yourself and other people, and view the world around you.
How do I make a lasting impression on a date?
Like I said, show up on time, dress your best, show your pretty smile, move confidently, and take a handful of great conversation starters with you. Nothing is more attractive than a woman who can carry herself, make a guy laugh, and stir up a meaningful and engaging conversation.
More Interesting Articles To Explore
Here are some more pointers to help ease out your first date jitters:
- Should you kiss on the first date or not? Let this guide be your judge.
- Not big on small talk? These fun conversation starters will help you out.
- Wondering how to tell if a guy likes you? I break down all the sites in this article.
And that is it on this list of things to do on dates.
Now that you know the do's and don'ts of first dates, how to date someone and all the green flags of a successful date, you wouldn't have to worry so much about it being a flop and can actually have fun.
If you're preparing for a date, following this list of things to do on dates might just help you get the guy.