How to Begin and End a First Date

by Michael on May 14, 2010 · 5 comments

"So, um...uh...David Bowie, hot or not?" (Photo by charlietphoto)

The first date is often the most awkward time an any potential relationship. I often work on the blog at a local coffee shop that’s a frequent meeting place for first-time daters. I frequently observe the awkward way guys greet their dates, and the awkward way they say goodbye. (First-date kiss? Forget it!) If they’d only known how to start and end that first date, their chances for a second would be so much better.

Recently two of the bloggers I follow offered their personal insight into how to make a first date a better date. Are they right? Let’s see.

How to Greet Your Date

First, Bobby Rio offers up the personal story of the night he discovered exactly how to start the evening:

When Marissa (the Portuguese girl) showed up, I was loose, energetic, and completely unattached to the outcome of the date. Fresh from a really entertaining conversation with my friends, I was in no mood for “small talk” so I just jumped right into repeating a funny story my friend had just told me about a custody battle him and his ex were having over a GOLDFISH. (Seriously.)

The back-story to this tale is the fact that Bobby had a Cinco de Mayo buzz on, but that part is optional and unnecessary. What he did was:

  • Skip the formalities and assume she’s there because she likes him. He treated her as someone he was comfortable with, which made her comfortable with him.
  • Start with an engaging line of discussion. The story itself was unimportant. The way he drew her into his world was very important.
  • Be different. Every guy in the world is going to start with, “Um, hi, so how was your drive? Yeah, traffic can be awful. Nice day, huh?” Is any girl in the world going to remember that?

There are other details you can read in his blog post, but these are the big three. From experience I can tell you that this is the way to start a date if you want it to end up well. And if it ends up well, you may not need advice on how to end it.

How to End the Date

On the other hand, if you do need help with that awkward moment just before you part ways, The Rugged‘s Ryan Austin has it for you:

Skip the awkward hug, failed kiss attempt or emasculating handshake. Look right at the girl, smile like you’re Harrison Ford and say, “Well, Anna (or whatever her name is) have a good night.”

I would suggest that if you’re not going to see her again, she’s a cold fish, or if you’re unsure, this is the way to go. Whatever you do, never say “I’ll call you” or “we should do it again.” I beg this of you, for my sake at least (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been cornered by girls begging me to explain why a supposedly smart guy would say he’ll call then doesn’t).

On the other hand, if the date has truly gotten off on the right foot, the Han Solo treatment is unnecessary (if perhaps unintentionally funny—I can picture Bobby Rio trying this at the end of his date and then cracking up). You should take care of second-date-seeking before the goodbye, and maybe even touched the girl once or twice, so a good, lingering hug or kiss doesn’t come out of the blue.

Don’t Sweat the First-Date Kiss

In fact, if you can find a moment to kiss her before the end of the date, do it. Maybe you’re sitting close and she’s looking into your eyes. Or you’ve managed to hold her hand to cross a busy street, and you shared a knowing glance.

You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) stick your tongue down her throat. Give her a short, soft kiss on the lips, and pull back slightly. If she looks like she’s in dreamland and isn’t pulling back herself, give her one more. Then continue your date.

All in all, Bobby and Ryan offer some solid advice on the bookends of that all-important first date. The rest is up to you.

Have you got any first-date questions? Ask in the comments!

The First Five Minutes of a Date [TSB Magazine]

The End-of-Date Awkwardness [The Rugged]

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