Be A Great First Date, Men!

A noted dating expert and author shares his very simple success strategies. Read them, use them—and enjoy the results!

by Evan Marc Katz

n a perfect world, all first dates would result in second dates. But in reality, some women are not going respond to you. But do you have any idea why? Did you know that there’s actually a skill to dating?

Oh, yes, there is. And the reason that you may fail the first-date test is not what you think. It has
Go ahead—be a man with a plan.
nothing to do with being tall, dark, and handsome, or taking her to the nicest restaurant in town. Being a great date has to do with one thing and one thing only: getting rid of your agenda and focusing on hers.

So what is her agenda? What do women want from men on first dates? I’m so glad you asked…

Have a plan
It’s not that “So…what do you want to do?” is a bad question, per se. I mean, of course you want to choose an activity that you know she likes. The thing is that, in asking her to come up with her own plan, you’re not establishing yourself as a leader. And generally, that’s what women want. A man who has ideas, a man who knows cool places, a man who can make reservations, name a time, and tell her when to be ready. Whether you choose a moderately priced, atmospheric bar in her part of town or suggest a museum that has an outdoor sculpture garden for strolling, by making a plan, you’re showing that you’re not just an average guy. And that’s the first step to building attraction and getting a second date.

Don’t try to impress
Have you ever met someone who tried too hard to impress you? Maybe it was some woman showing off about how many countries she’s visited or some coworker yapping about his Porsche, but either way, I’ll bet it was a turn-off. Then what is it
Warning: Over-complimenting is creepy.
about dating that turns us all into braggarts? I know there’s a temptation to show off all of the things that make you different, but resist it. Any woman worth dating will not be impressed by a man who’s trying to impress. The best dates are those who are confident without flaunting their wallet, resume, and a laundry list of accomplishments. And, by the way, if you think that “first date” means “nicest restaurant in the city,” think again. Women don’t want to be bought; they want to be valued and understood. Until you can do that, you’re going to have a hard time connecting on a date.

Be interested. Be interesting
Good conversation is like tennis. There’s a flow that can’t be scripted. She tells a story. You ask a question. She answers the question and asks you a different question. You tell a story. She relates another anecdote. Back and forth the conversation goes, until you’re both looking at your watches and wondering how it got to be so late. The key to making successful conversation is to ask relevant questions and genuinely listen to her answers. Too many times, we go on about ourselves without ever considering that our date might have something that she wants to say. So while you may come home thinking you had an amazing date who was a great listener, she’s wondering who the egomaniac was who couldn’t stop talking about himself.

Make her feel comfortable, not hunted
Yes, you think she’s attractive. Yes, there was some email flirting. Yes, it would be nice to eventually see each other naked. But now isn’t the time. Because it’s not about getting an immediate return on your investment. It’s about building trust. It’s about making it clear that your heart is in the right place. It’s about talking about connections with friends and family. It’s about alluding to a relationship in the future. While attraction is a part of dating, it’s easy to let your sexual desires turn her off. A compliment is nice. Over-complimenting is creepy. Ogling her—creepier still.

So with all these rules in your head, how can you possibly be yourself on date? Simple. Just channel your best self—the one you are around your best friends from college, the one you are with your closest family members. Around these people, you don’t try to “be” a certain way. You don’t want anything from them. You’re comfortable. You’re effortless. You’re yourself. Now you’re in a great space to date. Go ahead and enjoy it!

Dating coach Evan Marc Katz is the author of Why You're Still Single: Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised Not To Get Mad". You can reach him at and read his blog at
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