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6 First Date Tips That Are Actually Useful

August 7th, 2014 by Nick Notas 17 Comments

This guy is doing it right. 

I can hear you cringing already…

“Oh god, not another first date article. This is the 20th one I’ve read online this week.”

I’m right there with you. I’m tired of seeing generic first date tips such as “be positive, be yourself, and be nice to the wait staff.”

The advice may be correct but we’ve heard it a thousand times. And that alone doesn’t always ensure successful romantic connections. We need more.

So let’s talk about some actually useful tips for a first date.

Get closer

There are different levels of personal space. As you get physically closer to someone, it feels more and more intimate for the both of you. When a woman accepts you being in her close, personal space, she will subconsciously feel more comfortable around you. That comfort then paves the way for attraction.

Sit next to her at dinner or drinks rather than across the table. Whenever you’re sitting together (on a bench, on the ground, in a cab) position yourself so that your bodies are touching or nearly touching.

The same goes for when you’re walking or standing in line: your arms and shoulders should graze one another. She should feel your physical presence throughout the entire date.

The worst thing you can do is maintain an awkward distance from her. This can actually cause feelings of unfamiliarity and defensiveness.

If you treat her like a stranger, she’s going to feel like a stranger.

Stop trying to prove yourself

So you’ve got a date with a beautiful woman. You’re thinking, “How do I win her over? How do I convince her I’m good enough? How do I not fuck this up?”

If that’s your thought process, you’ve already lost. Your desperate mindset will be painfully obvious: you’ll be timid, put her on a pedestal, and pay her excessive compliments.

I don’t care how hot this girl is. Beauty is common. I don’t care if this is a rare opportunity for you. Start creating more opportunities for yourself by approaching women regularly.

You have no idea whether or not this girl is good for you. Stop trying to win over someone you barely know.

Your mindset should be:

“Who is she? What are her values, interests, and aspirations? Does she have a good sense of humor? Is she worth my time, energy, and investment?”

This involves speaking less and listening more. Slow down. Let her do most of the talking and take the pressure off of yourself. Ask deeper questions that help you screen for the qualities you desire in a woman. Then share a relevant opinion, story, or joke when it feels natural.

Keep in mind that she chose to go on a date with you, so she’s already open to being romantic.

Don’t suck up to her or try to force your connection.

You don’t need to fill every silence. You don’t need to be amazed at everything she tells you. You don’t need to agree with everything she says. You don’t need to constantly express how similar you two are. And you should only compliment her when she earns it. One real compliment carries far more weight than several fake ones.

Studies confirm these findings as well:

“Women may perceive a responsive stranger as less desirable for different reasons,” said Birnbaum in a press release. “Women may perceive this person as inappropriately nice and manipulative (i.e., trying to obtain sexual favors) or eager to please, perhaps even as desperate, and therefore less sexually appealing.”

Rather than trying to empathize with a new interest, “just really listen, without interrupting,” says Birnbaum.

This isn’t about pretending to be cool. This is about seeing yourself as a worthy catch and giving her the chance to win you over.

Use the environment to your advantage

Don’t just go for dinner or coffee because it’s “what people do”. In fact, those venues can be difficult for inexperienced men because it forces constant conversation in an interview style (sitting across from each other).

Do something you’ll actually enjoy and that helps the date go smoothly. Bonus points if it’s a shared commonality.

You should:

  • Pick something that creates a sense of fun or adventure. Anything that makes you laugh or generates positive emotions will alleviate nervous tension.

    Examples: arcade, go-karts, dancing, comedy show

  • Pick somewhere atmospheric. A romantic setting helps set the right tone. It’s calming, intimate, and makes her feel special.

    Examples: wine tasting event at night, walk on the beach, jazz lounge

  • Choose something where it’s easy to create physical contact. Activities in which you can move around and be close to one another facilitate natural touching.

    Examples: karaoke, hiking, music shows, outdoor festivals

  • Choose somewhere you feel confident. For example, if you’re awesome at pool, play a few games with her. You’ll feel comfortable in your own element. You’ll demonstrate your value by showcasing your skill (and even teaching her something new.)

    Examples: pool hall, bowling, science museum

Hitting one or two of these points will make things that much easier for you. You can get additional ideas from my article on how to plan a first date.

Move with her

You want to lead a woman on an experience with you throughout the date. The only exception is if either of you explicitly have somewhere else to be later.

There are three important reasons for changing venues. It…

  1. Creates a memorable adventure. Different settings and activities makes it feel like you spent more time together than you actually did. She’s also more likely to remember this special journey with you.
  2. Gets her to invest in you. We place a higher value on things we invest in. If she accepts your lead, she’ll feel more trusting and comfortable with you. It also uses the foot-in-the-door technique so she’ll have an easier time saying yes to going back to her place or yours.
  3. Allows for more privacy and intimacy. You’re probably not going to kiss her or talk about personal subjects in Starbucks with 20 people around. But you will when you’re sitting alone at the beach.

Some examples of this are:

Coffee shop -> walk through downtown -> sit on the grass or bench at the park

Skee ball at an arcade -> ice cream -> romantic stroll on boardwalk

Drinks at a bar -> bowling or a comedy show -> wine back at your place

Have her accept her feelings for you 

You’re on a DATE with a girl and you want a romantic connection, right? For that to happen, the girl needs to accept you as a potential intimate partner. She needs to admit to you and to herself that she sees you that way.

Do this by getting her to show interest in you or return your flirtatious advances. This can be though spoken or non-spoken cues. But you need to lead it there by flirting first.

  • Give her a seductive look. Prolonged eye contact, devilish smirks, and biting your lip show your intentions. If she returns these non-verbal cues, it’s on.
  • Pay her a bold compliment. Saying something like, “Are you always this cute?” or “I think it’s sexy you’re so dedicated to your career.”  If she accepts them or returns a compliment, “Yeah, are you always that handsome in a polo?” or “Well I think it’s sexy you just said that.”, she’s returning that interest.
  • Roleplaying and discussing the future (playfully). Making lighthearted statements about you two being together after the date can cement things in her mind. This also removes the feeling of you as strangers. You can jokingly talk about your upcoming vacation plans together, her being your new legal secretary, or even getting married in Vegas.
  • Get into more intimate topics. When she’s talking about sex with you, that means she’s thinking about sex – maybe with you. Don’t be afraid to ask more forward questions.

    You can segue into it with, “Now that we’ve been getting to know each other, tell me something I don’t know…” Or “It may be the drinks but I want to ask you something personal.” Then you go into, “So what do you find most attractive in a man?” or “What’s something that secretly turns you on?” 

  • Accuse her of liking you. “Aww, you must really like me…” Or “You’re definitely hitting on me right now.” She’s into you if she responds with something like, “Maybe I do ;)” Or “Only a little.”

However, one of the most concrete ways to secure her interest in you is…

Go for a kiss, damn it — sometimes twice

This one point will greatly influence your success rate.

Notice I said go for a kiss and not get a kiss? Yes, I’ve found that even the men who attempt a kiss but don’t get it immediately have a higher chance of building a romantic connection. The guys who don’t try at all are the least likely to get another opportunity.

But how do you know when to go for a kiss?

Use touch as a litmus test and read her body language. Create physical contact early and often. If she’s receptive (positive, smiling, still engaged in conversation) increase the intimacy of the touches.

If you’ve made it at least halfway through a date and she’s still having fun – assume she’s ready for a kiss. You don’t need to wait for a blatant signal because most women will never give it to you. And please don’t wait until the very last minute, it will spoil the surprise.

You can do this anywhere. While sitting next to her, while standing together, or even while walking. Here’s how…

Wherever you are, stop talking. You can even get her attention by softly saying, “Come here” or “Sshhh…” Look her deep in the eyes for a few seconds. You want her to gaze back into yours.

Then either step towards her or bring her into you. Pull her in by the hand or by the waist. Move in slowly and kiss her.

Don’t rush any of this. Take your time. Looking into her eyes and moving in slowly lets her realize you’re going in for a kiss. It gives her a chance to accept or deny your advance.

She’s going to respond one of three ways:

  • Positive: She kisses you back.
  • Neutral: She gently turns to give you her cheek. She hesitates or looks shy about it. Or she says something like, “I’m not ready yet.” Or “Not here.”
  • Negative: She completely pulls away. She looks upset. Or she flat out says, “I’m sorry but I don’t see you that way.” Or “I don’t kiss on the first date.”

If you get a positive response, the romantic barrier is broken. You can keep kissing her periodically throughout the date and see where things go. With a strong negative response, you shouldn’t try to kiss her again – at least on this date.

But with a neutral response, this is where things become interesting (and controversial). Many times women are simply caught off guard, nervous, or need a little bit more time.

In those instances, roll back into conversation with her for a while. Then consider attempting the kiss again before the end of the date. Often all women need is a little more time to feel comfortable and the second attempt is a success. 

Want my personal 1-on-1 help to implement what you’ve just learned? I work with guys just like you to magnetically attract women, increase their confidence, and become the man girls really want.

Click here to learn more about what I can do for you.

  1. William on August 7, 2014

    I don’t live in a city so moving locations for a date would involve driving. Is it weird to ask her to get in the car with you on a first date?

    • Nick Notas on August 7, 2014

      It’s not weird at all. But her accepting the request will be dependent on the connection you built during the first parts of the date. If she feels comfortable / attracted enough, she’ll say yes.

      Can you walk around somewhere close at least? If not, your other option is to suggest she drives if she brought her car. Many women will be more comfortable doing so with that level of control.

      Otherwise, go for it — you’ve got nothing to lose. If she’s not ready, she’ll let you know and it won’t be a big deal.

  2. Bryan on August 7, 2014

    Oh man, the moment I stopped doing dinner dates, I had way more fun. Too much pressure on having serious conversation. Doing something also gives you more stuff to talk about.

    • Nick Notas on August 7, 2014

      Outside activities definitely help fuel conversation. I think dinner can be great if you’re experienced and confident in that environment. But for guys still learning the ropes, I generally recommend doing something which gives you that boost.

  3. John on August 7, 2014

    I have to say, these actually were helpful. I’ve heard the same old advise a thousand times, and honestly the overall aspect of each of these I’ve heard. But the way you explained it filled in the blanks and made a LOT more sense. I really appreciate it, especially the part about the first kiss. My brain is a potato up until then (but after, I have all the confidence in the world and my date goes crazy for me). Honestly, I’m the classic nerd asking the cheerleader out in the movies because I have NO clue where I stand and spend WAY too much time thinking about it. Now I’ve learned to pay a lot less attention to it recently, but it never helped me know when to go for the kiss… I always had to hint until they gave a solid hint back that it was ok (essentially begging for a kiss). You might have just changed my life with that one well spoken tip. Last 5 minutes of a date will no longer be the date’s climax and most stressful moment for me.

    • Nick Notas on August 7, 2014

      Wow, that’s a huge compliment — thank you John. I’m happy you found the article valuable.

  4. Phil on August 7, 2014

    Hi Nick,

    Thanks for your valuable advice. I haven’t personally consulted you yet, but I read your blogs whenever I get a notification, whether or not it’s a topic I need help on.

    I went out on a first date last Friday, and she countered with a second date on Saturday. This was my first date in three years and I was anxious. I sat next to her instead of across from her, and that made all the difference. The first date ended with a fair amount of kissing.

    We’re both in our late 30’s and she is a career-woman, making roughly 3 times the amount that I do, as an entrepreneur. Regardless, I paid the bill at every bar, restaurant and pool hall we went to. This went over well, because she knows what I do and that I make less than she does. I think it proved to her that I’m not a cheap-ass, and don’t expect her to be a bread-winner.

    The next night, she insisted on paying for the bottle of wine we consumed, and the rest of the date was very inexpensive, because it only involved the laundering of her bed sheets the next morning…

    So, these are the things that worked well for me: An adventure of bar/restaurant hopping, sitting side by side, an activity (driving to a pool hall together in my car), and picking up the tab.

    Thanks for the advice, and the good writing!

    • Nick Notas on August 7, 2014

      Hi Phil,

      You’re welcome.

      That’s amazing! Good job on gaining the courage to sit next to her. I’m happy it worked out so well.

      Good luck with the new girl 🙂

    • EZ on August 7, 2014

      “The next night, she insisted on paying for the bottle of wine we consumed, and the rest of the date was very inexpensive, because it only involved the laundering of her bed sheets the next morning…”

      ^^ Haha awesome note. Loved the wording on it. 😉

  5. EZ on August 7, 2014

    Good points. I thought the “Move With Her” section to be the most critical/important for an enjoyable/memorable date (*from my experience*), and makes every other point in your write-up, including going for a kiss, just a natural progression of scenery bounces. Any time I moved to difference venues/scenery, it always resulted in a make-out – the key to success of course going from public space to intimate/private space progression.

  6. Mitch on August 7, 2014

    Hey Nick. Good article as per usual. Could you please give an example of when a woman would ‘earn’ a compliment?

  7. Mark on August 12, 2014

    I have to agree most with the “go for a kiss.” advice. I think just the mindset of going for a spontaneous kiss tends to give you the right attitude in a lot of the other areas also, such as being close, and being in a good listener. Remember that she is probably just as nervous, if not more, about that first kiss. For example, If she is eating an ice cream cone, just say, “wait you have a little something on your chin” as you put your hand to her face follow it in and give her a small polite kiss on the lips. Then, here is the important part. Go right back to the conversation you were having before the kiss. See. No big deal. She never even had time to be nervous. Neither did you. Give her a flirty smile but keep up the conversation. Now she won’t wonder if you are going to kiss her, because you already have. Confident guys don’t give kissing a girl they are on a date with a second thought. First kisses with perfect moments, like fire works, or sunsets, and tons of buildup and tension are for movies. They excite us to watch. They are not reality. A very spontaneous, very confident, almost casual, first kiss, is almost always the best. Don’t put pressure on yourself, or on her. This is also one of the main reasons you want to be clear about your intentions to “take her on a date.” If you just “hang out” then you have not been clear. Asking a girl out, picking her up, or at least walking to her place to get her if you live in a urban environment, all are a subtle and polite way of saying “I want to be more than just your friend.” After your first kiss she will either start sanding noticeably further away or she will stay or ever get closer. And now you have your answer as to whether she wants another. Be respectful, if she seems to be standing further away, she may like you but just want to slow things down, so don’t feel bad.

  8. DorahSteller on February 16, 2015


    As a girl, I firmly do believe your tips work fine 🙂 Nice job and I hope there are many guys out there who take your advise 🙂

  9. Chris on March 27, 2015

    Great advice. This shall definitely be useful one day.

  10. Bryan on September 7, 2015

    thanx very much nick….this has been very helpful 🙂

  11. Travis on December 19, 2015

    Wow. Great advice man! Ive been looking around because I’m very anxious for my first date. You’re advice was very specific and helpful, as opposed to the other crap online that is all super vague. I have a question though. So I’m the sorta guy who has no problem talking to girls or even being Flirty….until it comes to someone I actually like. Then I go completely mind blank! I already know the girl I’ll be taking out, we’re friends (hopefully not for long). Otherwise I would open a casual conversation getting to know her. Since I already do though, what the he’ll am I supposed to talk about? I’m terrible at this stuff lol. And another thing. Should the first date be more on the shorter or longer period of time? This is going to be my first date ever. And hers as well…

  12. Matt C. on October 5, 2016

    Good stuff, Nick. I couldn’t agree more about using the environment to your advantage. I usually wait to push into her personal space until the 2nd date – different styles, I guess – I think it leaves time for her to start wanting me in her personal space. Keep up the good work, sir.


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