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  • Writer's pictureJill Hinckley

Top Ten Do’s and Don’ts of a First Date

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Sharing my clients’ experiences means I get the inside scoop on what works – and what doesn’t – on the dating scene. Here are my top ten tips for what you should – and shouldn’t – do on a first date.

1. DO pick a place you enjoy. Love that little bistro downtown? Love being out on the water? Pick a place and activity for your date that makes you happy. Not only will your enthusiasm rub off on your date, but you’ll reveal much about who you are without saying a word. And how the other person responds will help you figure out whether he or she is a good match for you.

2. DON’T be distracted. You want to be there, right? Getting to know this person across from you? So why are you looking at your phone, texting your friend, checking out that attractive (possibly single?) person at the bar? Don’t do it. Show your date that he or she has your undivided attention.

3. DO dress up. Even if you accepted an invitation with hesitations and aren’t sure where you want the date to go, put some effort into your appearance. Bathe, shave, smell good. Wear nice shoes. Your efforts will be noticed and appreciated – and if you find yourself unexpectedly crazy about the person, the last thing you want is to be wishing you’d worn something better, something that would show you in your best light.

4. DO stay positive. Talk about subjects you’re enthusiastic about, things that make you smile. It’s an almost sure-fire way to bring a smile to the face of the person you’re with, too. And when everybody’s smiling, that typically translates to feeling good – and to liking each other.

5. DON’T talk about depressing topics. See above. The person you’re with is apt not to feel so good hearing about your dog’s tragic death or your son’s refusal to move out of the garage or the bunion that was sadly immune to surgery, and they’ll think that means they don’t like you. Whereas you are so much more charming than your dog or your son or your bunion.

6. DON’T interview your date. Nobody wants to be grilled on a first date about their background and future plans. Keep the conversation light, easy, and flowing.

7. DON’T talk about past relationships. You’ll give the impression you’re not only uninterested in the person you’re with, but that you’re still hung up on your ex.

8. DO share the conversation. There’s a fine balance to the art of conversation. Don’t get so carried away talking about the things you love that you don’t bother to listen to the other person or ask questions. Good listening skills are an important part of successful conversation – and successful dating. After all, what’s a better turn-on than feeling you’re being truly seen and truly heard?

9. DON’T drink more than two drinks. You might say or do something you’ll regret – and, at the very least, you’ll look like you like to drink, which could be red flag for some.

10. DON’T overthink it – it’s just a date. Dating should be fun, so follow these do’s and don’ts of dating and get out there and have a good time. Who knows where it will lead?


Jill Hinckley -Founder of Hinckley Introductions

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