Dos and Don’ts for First Dates. 20+ Things You Need To Know

We asked some of our favorite relationship writers what you should wear, where you should go, and what mistakes you should never make on a first date. So, come on over to Teenime and learn how to know the dos and don’ts for first dates.


DON’T think too far ahead

It’s fine to get excited before going out with a new person, but don’t lose sight of reality. Even though this sounds gloomy, if you don’t expect much from a date, a good date will be a pleasant surprise and a bad date won’t be a big deal.


DO be open to unexpected date ideas

A home-cooked meal, a PBR, and Guitar Hero might be a better way to get to know each other than going to a restaurant and a movie. Also, in this economy, are you really going to ask someone to take you out for filets, cocktails, and the theater? The Daily Dish by Tango, Tom Miller


DON’T go somewhere overflowing with eye candy

I took a girl out to breakfast a while ago at a restaurant that is always packed with gorgeous hipsters. Naturally, there was a Kate Hudson impersonator seated behind my date, directly in my line of sight. Worse, she was wearing this ridiculously low-cut dress, and when she leaned forward, I could see her entire breast—making eye contact had never been more difficult. —Ryan Dodge, Single


DO wear sexy underwear

Even if you don’t take off your clothes, your non-Hanes undies will boost your self-esteem. Plus, if you do end up stripping down to your skivvies, you DON’T want to end up looking like Bridget Jones in granny panties. Dating Makes You Want to Die, by Daniel Holloway and Dorothy Robinson (But You Have to Do It Anyway)


DO wear flats

Although heels might be quite seductive, you never know where a first date will take you. I’ve gone on first dates that culminated in a wonderful walk around town (hello, blisters!) or a trip to a local playground (tripping all over myself!). Flats will allow you to feel open to whatever the night may bring. —Smitten author Joanna Goddard


DO bring dental supplies with you

When I ordered a shredded beef burrito, a strand of meat got trapped in my teeth. I would have excused myself to the restroom to mend it, but I hadn’t brought my floss. So I sat there, not paying attention to him and going insane. I now bring mints, gum, spray, floss, and anything else. Seriously. Besides, you never know when you’ll want to kiss. Single-ish Erin Meanley


DO call a friend for a pep talk

If you have first-date anxiety, call a buddy for some words of encouragement before meeting the guy. Before my first dates, you could always find me in a cab with my mom on the phone, telling her that the guy would be insane not to admire me. Despite the fact that she had to say it (she is my mother), a few encouraging words let me walk into my date with confidence. —Smitten author Joanna Goddard


DON’T wear anything too sexy over the underwear

We hope you’re not heading to a club on your first date! So don’t dress in a way that makes him want to grind to Rihanna’s latest hit. — Dating Makes You Want to Die, by Daniel Holloway and Dorothy Robinson (But You Have to Do It Anyway)


DO Facebook him

Don’t mix up what he says with what you’ve read about him. If you run out of things to say, you could talk about a YouTube video on his page. —Tango’s Daily Dish, Tom Miller


But DON’T let him know you’ve been Google-stalking him all week

We know you’ve been looking into this individual online since you found out his surname. (We don’t blame you, and chances are he’s done the same to you.) But if you start in on his alma mater, favorite bands, and how his hair looked in 2004 (which you discovered thanks to your insane picture searching skills), you’re going to spook him out. Big-time. —Daniel Holloway and Dorothy Robinson, authors of Dating Makes You Want to Die (But You Have to Do It Anyway)


DON’T drink and date

One glass of wine is sufficient. Two or more could cause a potential relationship to die suddenly, instantly, or otherwise. My buddy Katherine is a lovely and intelligent young lady, but after a few drinks, she begins swearing like a sailor. She would never say such a thing if she wasn’t a little tipsy. Guys are turned off by her manner, and she frequently wonders why first dates seldom progress into second dates. *—Jess McCann, You Lost Him at Hello author


DO have a positive attitude

I tried to organize an interesting first date—something out of the ordinary. So I pick her up, it’s freezing outside, and the restaurant I was planning on taking her to is closed. We’re in an abandoned area, it’s freezing, and I’m not looking good. Finally, we discover a restaurant, but the menu is entirely in Korean. When we point to anything, it tastes like rubber chicken. Then, when we get at the bowling alley, we appear to be the only non-gang members present. But it was a fantastic date because she was really chill. Her upbeat demeanor dictated the course of the evening. —Evan Marc Katz, dating counselor and Why You’re Still Single author


DO order a big-girl meal

Do you really think a puny salad will hold you over all night?—The Frisky


DON’T question his height

If he’s 5’10” on his driver’s license, and in his heart, suspend your disbelief. Feel free to store it for something to make fun of later. —Tom Miller, Tango’s Daily Dish


DO act interested in what he is saying

Nobody wants to go on a first date with the human equivalent of a dead fish. If you don’t like where the date is going, you can end it early. But whether you’re weary, hungover, or unhappy about the impending economic collapse, don’t let it ruin your time together. Talk. Pose inquiries. Make direct eye contact. Dating Makes You Want to Die, by Daniel Holloway and Dorothy Robinson (But You Have to Do It Anyway)


DON’T turn your dates into therapy sessions

My friend Isabel just went through the worst year of her life. She lost her house to foreclosure and got into a lot of debt. When she went out with a guy, she would dump all of her problems on his plate. No one wants to hear about your sick cat, annoying boss, or ex-boyfriend who keeps following you around. Isabel should have asked more questions and listened more than she talked if she wanted to go on a second date. * —Jess McCann, who wrote the book “You Lost Him at Hello.”


On that note, DON’T psychoanalyze your date

A guy once got all Freud on me and asked me if I had trouble getting close to men because of my relationship with my father. Totally inappropriate, considering we’d just met.—The Frisky


But DON’T get too personal

One woman on our message boards talked about a guy who asked her how many kids she wanted. “I hope there will be at least one girl,” he said. Sweet, but a little early. Another woman wanted to know if it was normal for a guy to ask her about her credit score and credit limit. No, that’s not normal. —Josey Miller, “Sex on My Desk” on iVillage


DON’T talk about your ex

No good can come of this! You’ll seem either bitter, heartless or still hung-up—and any one of these is a huge turnoff.—Em and Lo, Daily Bedpost


No, really, DON’T talk about your ex

“What if” questions that start with “would you” or “can you believe” are obvious and show that your mind is elsewhere. So DON’T ask your date, “Would you ever, I mean ever, skip someone’s cousin’s wedding to go to a Final Four game?” —Tango’s Daily Dish, Tom Miller


DO discuss issues that are important to you

Why wait to find out that the two of you don’t see eye to eye on something you feel passionately about?—The Frisky


DON’T talk about sex

Unless you intend to have sex on the first date, in which case you should absolutely discuss your sexual history. However, if not, it’s fine to leave something to the imagination—and to store something for the second date. —Em and Lo from Daily Bedpost


DON’T let him take you to a second location if you don’t like him

Too often, I politely follow the guy to another bar after another when I really just want to go home and read. Both of you will be better off if you just say something. Single-ish, Erin Meanley


DON’T try to add him as a Facebook friend after the first date

It will only scare him and make him think you’re spying on him, which you are, of course. But that’s why Google exists!). —From Daily Bedpost, Em and Lo


DO break the dating rules

If you want to talk to him, give him a call. He’ll be glad you did. Why not make the first move if you want to? —DearSugar

Thanks for reading!