First Date

First dates and impressions matter, a lot. More often than not, it’s the first date that determines whether the person you’re interested in agrees to go out with you again. You’re both nervous but a great first date definitely makes up for all the uncertainty that may arise beforehand. Do girls really like surprise flower bouquets on the first date? Here’s how to impress your date so that you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to clinch the next one.

It’s almost 6pm and you’re all nerves while looking at yourself in the mirror, questioning yourself if you’re too overdressed or if your date would appreciate the bouquet of flowers you ordered from an online florist. Plenty of other guys have been in your shoes too. It’s perfectly normal to be excited yet worried about the first date because first impressions stick and if you’re keen on pursuing the girl of your dreams, you definitely won’t want the first date to be your last.

With online dating and the prevalence of technology, it’s easier to score a first date as compared to the past. However, it’s a known fact that girls and guys have very different perspective of what constitutes as a great first date and first dates have always been a tricky thing to get right. Coming off as awkward and overly strong may not be attractive to your date, and neither would be choosing the wrong restaurant, place to visit or even the wrong topics to converse about. To spare you from the trouble of having to worry about that, here’s some tips on what girls like on first dates.

What do girls really like on first dates?

Flowers On First Date

A study called “Singles in America” was conducted by Match, where they asked 5,000 singles across the country how it feels, what it looks like and what it means to be single in 2018. According to the study, 79% of respondents said that the one thing women want to feel on a first date is comfortable. Below are some other survey results:

Which first date behaviour impresses them:

90% – Compliments your appearance

67% – Offers a taste of their food

65% – Asks a lot of questions

38% – Orders for you

What women want on a first date:

94% – Compliment her appearance

91% – Insist on paying

90% – Be waiting for her when she arrives

82% – Hug hello

71% – A kiss on the cheek

What women DON’T want on a first date:

90% – Checking your phone

90% – Being more than 15 minutes late

81% – Having more than two drinks

68% – Ordering food for them

38% – Being rude to wait staff

First date behaviour is vital because this is what cements your date’s impression of you. It’s hard for her to see how great you are as a person if nerves get in the way and you rub her the wrong way. And generally, the survey results hold truth.

Although the survey was based on results from Americans, most of the results are generally true with the exception of those involving body contact. 90% of girls said that they liked it if their date hugged hello with 71% saying that they liked a kiss on the cheek. However, these actions may not be suitable for first dates in Singapore, unless the girl you’re courting is comfortable with that. In Singapore, not many girls may feel comfortable with such close body contact and whilst they are harmless, it may come across as too touchy. However, on the flip side, if the girl you’re on a date with appreciates such gestures then go ahead.

By complimenting her appearance you’re not only showing her that you appreciate the effort she had put into planning her outfit for the special occasion but that you’re observant and detailed as well. By offering a taste of your food, it means that you’re considerate enough to think of her and you’re also open to trying new experiences. Asking a lot of questions is a given because it shows that you’re interested in knowing her as a person. Ordering for your date however is tricky because while 38% had said that this was a behaviour which impressed them, many also said that they did NOT appreciate this action on a date. This could be because it comes across as domineering and controlling. On a first date, girls appreciate feeling valued – and this means their orders and opinions too. By choosing what to order for her, unless she specifically asked you to or if you two are sharing a meal, may come across the wrong way.

How should guys behave when you first arrive on the date?

Punctually Counts

90% of women said that they like it when their date arrives before them. To girls, punctuality is attractive and what might make it even nicer? If a guy turns up with a small gift or a small bouquet of flowers.

There’s nothing wrong with going classic, and sometimes, old school romance is the best. Most girls enjoy the sight of flowers and by purchasing a bouquet of flowers, this shows that you’ve not only put thought into the date but that you care enough to want to make a good impression. That does not mean that if you’re short for time and you don’t manage to buy a gift or bouquet of flowers that her impression of you would be less positive.

When it comes to meeting a girl that you like, keep it casual and stay confident. Here are some steps you can follow if you’re feeling nervous:

  1. Smile and greet her nicely
  2. Stay polite and ask her how her day was
  3. Keep the conversation flowing

How to keep the conversation going?

  1. Keep the conversation going

Relationships, or even friendships for that matter, work because it’s a two-way street. On first dates, many have the tendency to tend to talk excessively about themselves, mainly because they might be nervous and secondly because there might be awkward silent gaps which the individual feels the need to fill. However, these are actually huge no-nos. By talking excessively about yourself, it closes off the conversation and becomes more of a monologue. Your date might be interested to know all about you but if you don’t show any interest in reciprocating, asking questions back and giving her the chance to respond, you may come across as too insensitive.

  • Confidence is key

Stay confident and speak at a volume that is comfortable for both of you. While you don’t have to be loud, be confident and speak with passion about the items that you love. Your date will be able to tell when you’re being genuine and confidence is attractive.

  • Keep it fun

First dates are all about the surprises and the joy of getting to know someone else. Keep it light-hearted and don’t bring up your baggage from the past. It doesn’t mean that you’re hiding facts from her, it just means that you want her to know how you are as a person before she decides if you’re someone whom she wants to get closer to. Keep it comfortable and fun.

  • Do not constantly use your phone

Nobody likes being disrespected, especially your date. Award her the basic respect and attention she deserves by keeping your phone aside and take it out only for emergencies. By constantly checking your phone, it gives off the impression that you would rather be somewhere else than on the date with her.

  • Be friendly – not only to her but to the people around

How you behave or speak to the wait staff does affect her impression of you. Kindness is attractive and so is being polite. Score points by being considerate to the wait staff. (Of course, do make sure this is not an act as every wait staff deserves to be treated with respect).

What are some good first date places/ experiences?

The first date location is important. It sets the tone and with the right atmosphere, can help with scoring a second.

Here are some ideas on where to go for the first date:

  1. Coffee at a nice café

Keeping it simple and short sometimes, is key. More often that not, having a long dinner followed by drinks might not work to your advantage if you’re lacking chemistry. Keeping it simple by having lunch or coffee/tea might work out the best!

It also doesn’t hurt to know how she takes her coffee/tea and get to know each other in a more casual setting where there’s no pressure. If it goes well, you can always suggest an activity followed by grabbing dinner after!

  • The zoo

After you’ve been talking to her on the phone or communicating through text, planning for a fun activity might be a good step to take. And with the zoo, you can’t go wrong with coo-ing over animals together.

What’s more, visiting the zoo means that your meal plans are settled too as they’ve food joints for you to eat at!

  • Gardens by the bay
Gardens By The Bay in Singapore

Take a nice stroll around and admire the greenery and gorgeous blooms together. This might be a good time for you to start practicing and using those cheesy pick up lines! (But please, keep it minimal, you don’t want to come across as corny)

Be With Nature
  • Go hiking/ explore a nature trail

There’s some beginner nature trails that would be great for first dates.

  • Macritchie Reservoir Park
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Bukit Timah Hill

But do let her know beforehand as you wouldn’t want your date to dress inappropriately! Trekking together means spending quality time and can also help you learn more about her!

  • Dinner and a movie

The most typical of all – sometimes works best for working professionals especially. If you’re working a 9-5 job, you’d likely understand the struggles of planning a date that works for your schedule.

Having a simple dinner followed by a movie, is also a simple yet effective way of getting to know your date well.

What should guys wear for the first date?

Smart Casuals

Do guys have to dress up to the nines for the first date? The answer is, it depends on what your first date experience is like.

If you intend to keep it casual and have a simple meal together followed by heading to the movies then the answer is no. But if you’re planning on bringing her to a fine-dining restaurant followed by a cocktail party then, yes.

This depends on the situation and experience that you’re headed for. Most importantly, dress appropriately and comfortably. You may feel the need to impress your date by wearing a particular pair of expensive pants or by flashing your expensive watch. However, at the end of the day, being comfortable in your skin is the most attractive and it definitely shows. Be genuine and if your dressing reflects who you are – that’s good!

There’s no need to worry about whether she would judge your outfit. However, there is an expected baseline of how he should dress. The basic would be to look presentable. That means, no slippers (unless it’s a beach date) and in terms of personal grooming – to look neat and clean.

What is the guy expected to do on the first date?

Chivalry is appreciated. Therefore, girls appreciate it when guys do simple little acts like opening the door for her and pulling out her chair. Being polite is charming and there’s nothing wrong with showing your date that you care.

During the date, paying for the meal would be a tricky thing. While most girls don’t mind the guy picking up the cheque, some prefer to go dutch. As such, understanding your date’s preference is the most important. Having a guy offer to pick up the bill is a nice gesture but that doesn’t mean that all girls like that. Keep it open and if she prefers to go dutch, respect that and let her pay her share!

Another thing that a girl appreciates during and after a first date would definitely be either sending her back home or texting her to check if she had reached home safely. This sweet act goes to show that you care about her and want ensure that she’s home safe.

So how do I get the perfect first date?

Every relationship is unique and special. No first date is ever the same and when you go out for a first date with someone, try to make it different and fun.

Keep it real and impress your date with who you are. A perfect first date doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, it just has to be fun and real. Get to know your date and make sure that it’s memorable for the both of you.

Written by: Elizabeth Tan

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