The First Date Formula

There’s a right way and a wrong way to have a first date. 

The right way sets you up for success with whichever form of relationship you want to have with a girl –whether monogamous and long-term or casual and short-term. 

Sexual chemistry alone will not allow a strong bond and relationship to develop between two people. This must be brought to the surface by establishing common ground and knowing each other’s likes and dislikes.

In this modern age, looking for dates has never been easier, and you really only have one chance to make a good first impression. 

If that first date is a dud —chances are that you’re probably not going to have a second date. 

Hence, that potential relationship –that future –is gone. 

You’ll miss your chance, and your date will go on to see other people instead!

Of course, we all want our first dates to go as smoothly as possible and succeed right on the first date. Here is a tried-and-tested formula to remember to have a good first date:

Activity + Good Conversation + Location + Later Time of Day + Ambience + Low Cost – Meal = Good First Date

First Date Formula


This is important to have during a date because this sets you both up with a common experience. It is nerve-wracking to not know how to act or what to talk about, and activities keep you busy and distracted from the initial awkwardness that comes with a first date. 

It is common to feel anxious on the first date, as you may wonder what the other person might think of you, or if you’re going to get along at all. 

Physical activities can help you get more involved in something more than a conversation. This way, the date will become more memorable and enjoyable for both of you.

Good Conversation

Good appropriate conversation is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL in getting to know your date. There are very few things that I won’t talk about on a date because almost anything can be spoken about in the right context. 

That said, it is valuable to make sure the conversation is focused on your date significantly and to avoid controversial topics*, such as:

  • Death
  • Politics
  • Past relationships
  • Causes on divisive causes like social justice, prison reform, death penalty, abortion, religion, global warming… and 
  • Other emotionally-charged topics

Better relating conversation topics are:

  • Pets
  • Vacation spots (previous trips or future hopes)
  • Passion projects
  • Dream life
  • Hobbies

*Note: Controversial topics can be okay if you don’t mind a date crashing and burning if there’s a disagreement… the more conviction you have with the type of woman you want and values you’d like that person to have, the more I’d recommend this… It’s always useful to get curious about what you really need to agree on when it comes to a relationship… This can be a whole topic in itself, so I’ll leave that here for now…

Specific Location

The venue matters! This should be near your place (or their place given circumstances). 

The biggest mistake people usually make is to meet halfway!

Being near your place (or her place) can make your date feel more comfortable being near your area. You are sharing worlds with each other and a greater level of comfort will be felt by each of you because she is either comfortable in her part of town or is comofrtable knowing you and her are in an area you are familiar with.

This also raises the chances that she might go even closer (or into) your place… and continues building that intimacy factor even if sex isn’t top-of-mind for your first date with her. 

I typically choose a bar, coffee shop, or some type of adventure within a two-mile radius of my place, but this will vary based on your location and how densely populated the area you live is.

Time of the Day

The preferred time to get things going for your date is around  6:30PM to 9:00PM. Personally, I like to start my date at around 7:30PM to assure that she’s already had dinner. 

An evening date is best because her day is winding down, so she’s a little more mellow and will rarely have plans following your date aside from sleep (or sex based on how things go). 

Having no later plans gives you more time to converse and get to know your date. Dates during the day usually have tighter time constraints, and this can make the date feel constricted and may not go as well as an evening date.

This time of day is accompanied by a dusk or early night in most times of the year, which builds a seductive atmosphere. 

More romance happens at night than day, so roll with the odds. 

Alcohol is also consumed more readily at night than during the day, which isn’t necessary for a date but can often lubricate the conversation (among other things).


The place you choose shouldn’t be too loud to distract from the conversation you and her are having. Also the place shouldn’t be too elegant. Bars and lounges are great, while coffee shops are mediocre at best.

Also be aware if there are any events going on at the place you choose. If you choose a bar and arrive to find out it’s karaoke or trivia night… this could be fun or could distract from your intention of connecting with her through conversation.

Less crowded places that allow an easy conversation are best. 

Also movies are out. Never ever take a date to a movie as a first date. You will know nothing extra about each other following the movie, which makes for a lousy date when getting to know the person is the primary goal.

Low Cost

First dates are ideally low-pressure. 

Rule of thumb… a first date shouldn’t run you more than about $50 if you’re paying the whole bill. I encourage letting your date split the tab when offered because then you are both contributing equally to the date. This is in the face of many concepts of chivalry… I just haven’t seen a negative response to it…

My philosophy on paying in general is that I treat the bill for a date the same way I do as were it with a good friend… If I invited the friend out and the friend offered to pay, we’d likely split… otherwise, I’d probably pay the whole thing… or I’d pay the whole thing if I just felt like it in spite of my friend offering…

I like splitting the check (when offered) because it sets an equal splitting of the bill into motion throughout the courting process… inevitably there will come a time when the money convo comes up and it will likely be to split 50/50 unless there’s a large gap in financial capacity or some other reason (perhaps cultural) related to who should be paying… so abide by what makes sense for you…

I’ll also cover the whole bill if splitting will be a larger inconvenience on the staff… as in a great deal of time on their part to figure it out.. and I might playfully tell her, “You can get drinks the next time” if she wanted to pay in some way.

Since you are just getting to know each other and the first day should be about connecting, stay cheap. Spending too much money puts pressure on everyone. 

One thing I do to keep things cheap is to take a date to a place with BYOB, and bringing a bottle of wine or having drinks at the bar. Not an option everywhere but where possible, it’s a fun one…

Afterwards, I invite her back to my place for another drink or doing an activity that costs nothing. An example of this was when I took a date to an outdoor graffiti park where we spray-painted some fun murals.

Determine what activities you can do in your area and see if you can keep things cheap.

I’m not saying that you have to be a tightwad!

I’ve spent more than what I’m indicating here on dates because the mood was right or I had misjudged the costs of a place we went (wine bars can get pricey really quick…) or it was a last minute game change… it happens, and it’s best to just shrug it off as a learning lesson or the cost to meet someone new.

This should go without saying, but I also never tell a date to pick cheap drinks. 

And I tip the staff twenty percent or more (that’s at least $2 per drink I order even at happy hour where drinks might run $5 each). 

In my experience, my date has even wanted to pay the whole tab at least half the time… so allow all options but just anticipate paying the whole thing, so you’re never putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation…

No Meals

I usually recommend only appetizers or desserts for the first date. Meals make the date far too serious and put the brakes on the momentum of the date. 

Going out for a meal is bad news! This adds stress, takes away from rapport building since you’re often seated across from each other, and sets expectations for more expensive future dates.

Start cheap. If your date likes you, food is not a big issue. Statistically, of the hundreds of first dates I’ve been on, less than 10 have involved food. I’ve done a date in an ice cream parlor, a few to a cafe where you can roast s’mores, and another at a tapas bar.  See if there’s a connection before you start getting reservations.


Now you know it all! It’s about implementation now! Take inventory on a handful of venues in your area you’d like to take a woman on a date… I recommend visiting once on a weekday and weekend around the time you’d go with a date to get a sense of the ambiance and flow of people to determine if it truly will be a good option for you.

And most importantly, remember that these are all guidelines… so find what works for you!

Want help in the dating and to have me walk you through every step of the dating process? Schedule a call with me and we’ll discuss where you’re at and if working with me can be the right option for you.