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15 First Date Rules Everyone Should Follow for a Memorable Night

First dates can be nerve wracking and stressful. If you know the first date rules, you’ll soar through your first date. Maybe even land yourself a second.

first date rules

I’m not someone who likes rules. Okay, I kind of like rules, but only when they benefit me. But other than that, I enjoy beating to the sound of my own drum. Isn’t that usually how it goes? After my experience with first dates, I’ve learned a couple of things. Something like first date rules.

First of all, before you go on a date, you should understand what you’re looking for. Trust me, you’ll save yourself a lot of awkward conversations if you’re honest with the person from the beginning. If they want something serious, and you don’t or vice versa. It’s going to be drama.

And as Mary J. Blige said, no more drama in my life. If you don’t know who Mary J Blige is, I’m getting old.

15 first date rules you need to know

You have yourself all figured out, you know what you want and that’s great. But now comes the first date. What do you do? Do you go out for dinner? Do you talk about politics? Do you have sex after?

[Read: The 15 signs that will tell you your first date went well]

These are all normal questions to ask yourself and you should be asking yourself these things. So, I decided to make up a little page of first date rules.

By all means, you don’t need to follow them. If something isn’t working for you, no one said you have to stick to the rules. But you should take a look at them, and see if there are any you’d like to follow. These rules could make or break a fabulous first date.

Let’s get you a second date by following these first date rules.

#1 Land a first date. I don’t care what dating platform you use, but at the end of the day, you need to get yourself past texting and calling. Meet this person. If you don’t, this is just a big waste of time. So, my first rule about the first date is to make the date a reality. [Read: 16 flirty moves to help you ask someone out on a date]

#2 Follow your gut instinct. Everyone has a gut instinct, but most of us aren’t in tune with it. If you’ve talked to someone online and you’re not getting a good vibe, don’t meet them. Maybe you get a fishy feeling about them, or they seem boring on the phone. It’s not going to magically improve when you meet them in person. Follow your gut always. [Read: 25 early-warning signs someone shows traits of being a toxic person]

#3 Send your friends their info. I know I sound like a fifty-year-old mother, but this is really important. Before you go on any first date, you should always give your friends or family members the photo and phone number of your date. And don’t forget to tell them where you’re going. I’m not trying to make you paranoid, but you need to stay safe.

#4 Take it easy on the alcohol. You’re probably nervous, so a drink to calm down isn’t such a bad idea. But you need to know your limit. Firstly, you don’t know this person, and secondly, no one wants to see their first date completely wasted. Your date may be drinking the same amount as you, but everyone is different. So, just be mindful.

#5 Put your phone away. You’re not five, you can sit for an hour or two without touching your phone. Honestly, if your date is on their phone half of the time, leave. Yes, that’s right. Get up and leave. You don’t even need to say anything, in fact, they probably won’t even notice. But seriously, on a first date, you’re getting to know the other person, not your phone.

#6 Make it a weekday. Yes, I know. A weekday. But really, if this is your first date, you have no idea how it’s going to go. So, make the date on a Tuesday or Thursday. This gives you enough time to meet them but with a way out. You have work or school tomorrow. Plus, if things go well, you can meet each other at the weekend.

#7 Be on time. Yes! Do you know how many times I’ve had to wait for my date? Countless! Okay, probably two times, but both of those dates never went anywhere. Just be on time. It’s a horrible feeling having to wait for someone, and it shows a lack of respect. Now, if something happened, like an accident, that’s different. But focus on respecting you and your date’s time.

#8 Go eye heavy. If you’re into them, lay on the eye contact. How else can you tell them non-verbally that you like them? The eyes are the windows into the soul. And if your soul is thinking, “you are so sexy, I can’t handle it,” show it with eye contact. [Read: Prolonged eye contact flirting – What it means and how to do it right]

#9 No talks about the ex. We all have an ex, but that doesn’t mean your first date needs to hear about it. Refrain from bringing up your dating history right now.

Focus on getting to know each other’s interests and personality instead. If they bring it up, you can talk about it, but not for the entire night. [Read: 20 ways to perfect your first date conversation]

#10 Don’t lie about yourself. I know we’re all trying to make ourselves appear amazing on the first date, but don’t fabricate things about yourself. If you lost your job last week, tell them. If you live with your mom, tell them. There’s no point lying, and plus, if they like you, these things won’t matter. But if they find out you’re lying, that’s a deal breaker.

#11 Actually listen. No, but actually. You need to be an active listener in general. But on a first date, it’s crucial. Not only does it keep the conversation going, but if you listen, you’ll be able to learn more about them. Who would have thought? So, it’s time for you to clean those ears.

#12 Be open-minded… to a point. Of course, you need to listen to their opinions, rather than shutting them down when they state a belief. Instead of being close-minded, ask them questions and try to understand their point of view. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something. But at the same time, don’t stray too far from your comfort zone.

#13 Don’t fight over the bill. Ah yes, I love this part. It’s the part where you see who’s going to pay. If the guy offers to pay, and you’re fine with it, then let them. If you would like to pay half, that’s also fine. But don’t argue about it just to show that you’re willing to pay. 

#14 Is it boring? Leave. Yes, I’ll say it again. If you’re noticing right away the date isn’t going to go anywhere, then it’s okay to cut it short. Why waste you and your date’s time by hanging around and pretending to be interested? If it’s not right, it’s not right, and that’s completely fine. [Read: The signs you and your first date have a total lack of chemistry]

#15 If things get weird, point it out. If some point on the date, things are getting a little uncomfortable, you need to acknowledge it. If your personal boundaries are being pushed, don’t be afraid to voice it. If you don’t communicate your feelings and needs, they won’t know.

[Read: Strong feelings after a first date? How to read the right signs]

No one likes to follow rules, but you should always follow first date rules. You want to have a successful first date, right?

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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