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37 Secrets for Guys & Girls to Prepare for a Date & Get Ready to Impress

If you want to know how to prepare for a date, it’s not too difficult. Here are all the tips you need to know to impress your date and have fun.

how to prepare for a date

You swipe through endless faces on Tinder, waiting for that one face you feel deserves your time and attention. You chat and see how it goes. And if you manage to play your cards right, you land a date. Now, you’re left wondering how to prepare for a date.

Usually, when you prepare to go out, you’re not putting that much thought into it. But when it’s a date, things are different. When you’re preparing for a date, you’re going to meet someone that could potentially be your partner. 

[Read: First date moves that will guarantee a second date]

You want to impress them. No, you want to blow their mind. So, how do you do this? It’s not as easy as you think, especially with the anxiety you’re probably feeling about it. 

We’re going to help you out by showing you what needs to be done to prepare for a date and have you feeling relaxed and ready to go.

Warnings on how to prepare for a date

Let’s start out with just a few general warnings to think about before you head out on your date. [Read: 42 flirty first date tips for girls to leave a guy smitten and wanting more]

1. Don’t make drastic changes to your appearance

Of course, you want your date to like you and think you’re hot. That’s understandable. But if you met on a dating app, you don’t want to look very different from your photos. 

Don’t do a drastic cut and color to your hair or make any other major changes to your appearance. They obviously liked what they saw, so make sure you look the same.

2. Don’t do harsh facial procedures

You might want to look younger or have your skin look its best, but don’t do any harsh facial procedures. For example, don’t get Botox or anything like that right before your date. You don’t want your face to swell or to look wildly different. [Read: How to look younger – Capture the fountain of youth in 15 steps]

General tips for how to prepare for a date

Whether you’re a man or a woman, there are some general tips that you should follow and keep in mind before your date. Here are some things you can try.

1. Jam out to your favorite music

You want to appear happy and in a good mood when you meet your date, right? Well, the best way you can accomplish that is to jam out to some of your favorite music as you are getting ready for and on your way to the date.

Pick some upbeat music so you can be upbeat yourself when you arrive and meet your date for the first time. [Read: 40 fun and upbeat songs to groove you out of that funk]

2. Have a backup plan

Not all dates go as planned. You might have a fantasy of who you think this person is, but maybe when you meet them, you’ll want to look for the nearest exit. 

Have a backup plan in the event that you find you don’t like the person. Have a friend call you and give you an “out” with some sort of “emergency.” [Read: 42 believable excuses and ways to get out of a date and not be rude]

3. Have a safety plan

There are all sorts of people that go on dating apps, and not all of them are safe, normal people. Have a safety plan. If you’re a woman, don’t let the man pick you up. Instead, meet him out in a public place. 

Also, don’t go anywhere secluded like hiking in the woods. You want to have people around just in case your date turns out to be a psycho! [Read: 30 first date rules for guys and girls that’ll make your date adore you]

How to prepare for a date for women

Okay, ladies – we’re going to start with you and your tips on how to prepare for a date. Because you can never be too prepared… right?

1. Keep your makeup natural

Sure, you want to look your best. But you don’t want to look like a prostitute, right? So, don’t overdo your makeup.

Keep it natural and how you would normally wear it when you go out. Some men don’t even like makeup, so less is sometimes more. [Read: How to look hot – 24 sexy tips to go from boring to irresistibly desirable]

2. Stick to your tried and tested makeup products

You might want to be adventurous and try new makeup products for the date. If you haven’t used any of them before, then you don’t know how they will look. If you wait until the last minute to apply your makeup, you might not have time to redo it before the date. So, just stick to what you’re familiar with.         

3. Bring makeup for touch-ups

You also want to bring your makeup with you for some touch-ups. For example, if you’re going somewhere outside and it’s hot out, your makeup might melt off a little.

Even if you’re just having dinner, you will at least have to re-apply your lipstick.

4. Consider exfoliating your skin

Of course, you want to look your best and that includes your skin. While we just said earlier not to do anything drastic to your face, it wouldn’t hurt to exfoliate your skin.

It will give it a brighter, more youthful look. It doesn’t take very long, and you can just do it in the shower. [Read: First date nerves – 18 ways to not be nervous for a date and be calm]

5. Choose the right footwear

High heels can be sexy to men, but they aren’t always practical. Depending on where your date is, make sure they’re appropriate. Sure, wearing high heels is fine if you’re going to a restaurant or bar. But if you’re going miniature golfing or doing something else outdoors, you might want to wear flats.

6. Review your purse items you might need

Make sure you have everything you need in your purse. Your phone, credit cards, money, mirror, makeup, driver’s license, and anything else that you think should be in there. You don’t want to be unprepared.

7. Set up a plan for a possible bailout

As we talked about earlier with your backup plan, you should have a way to bail out of the date if you want or need to. Make up an excuse as to why you need to leave early. Just be prepared to get out of there if you need to. [Read: 15 warning signs of a bad first date and red flags in the first few dates]

8. Chill out

Listen, you don’t know where this date is going to take you, so why freak out? There is a 50/50 chance that you’ll end up seeing them again. If you don’t, it’s not a big deal.

So, look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I’m going to have a great time, and whatever happens, happens.” You don’t need to psych yourself out. [Read: Signs you’re ruining your first dates unknowingly]

9. Don’t dress to impress them – dress to impress yourself

Many women worry that their dates won’t like them, so they go overboard trying to impress them with their clothes. Many people will tell you to dress to impress your date. Scratch that advice. 

Instead, you need to dress to impress yourself. Are you feeling sexy and confident in what you’re wearing? If so, then you’re ready to go. Don’t dress in clothes that you think they’ll like. Always dress for yourself. That’s the best way to prepare for a date.

10. Get ready to talk

When you go on a date, you want to have an engaging conversation. Social anxiety can hit any of us when going on a first date. To help ease your anxiety, come up with interesting topics to discuss before you go, just in case. [Read: 40 first date questions that’ll lead to interesting conversations]

Get ready to ask him all about himself to get him talking. People find it easy to talk about themselves because it’s a topic they are intimately familiar with!

11. But get ready to listen

Talking on a first date is essential, but so is listening. Women are notorious for being the “talkers” and not as good at listening. If you’re the kind that starts jabbering when you’re nervous, watch that. 

If you’re not actively listening to your partner, you won’t be able to gauge if they’re a good match for you. Actually, if you’re not listening, it’s a good sign that this person isn’t for you. If you’re not a good listener in general, it’s time you practiced. [Read: 20 ways to perfect your first date conversation]

12. Are you mentally ready for the date? 

Before heading on your date, get yourself in the right headspace even if you’re really nervous. Of course, you can’t control the connection you will have, but you can control your emotions going into the date.

If you enter the date feeling like you’re not worthy of being around this person, that’s the vibe you’re going to give off. Give yourself a little compassion before the date.

13. Practice self-compassion

What does practicing self-compassion mean? Reflect on your feelings and understand that everyone is experiencing the same thoughts and emotions when dating. 

If the date doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean it’s your fault. You can’t connect with everyone you meet. You win some, and you lose some. The right man will cross your path eventually. [Read: Understanding and calming the stages of first date panic]

14. Take each date as a lesson

Go back into your memory and think about other dates you’ve been on. What worked and didn’t work? What could you have done differently that would have changed the outcome for the better? 

Use your past dates as a learning tool for your future ones. Is there something you could have done to improve past dates? Take some time to think about this.

15. Don’t aim for intimacy

You don’t need to have sex with a man on the first date. Actually, we recommend not having sex on the first date. You don’t want him to think you’re a slut, do you? 

You want to get to know this guy, and your goal shouldn’t be to have sex with him – at least not now. If you’re aiming for sex, it’s going to destroy the date and put pressure on your partner. [Read: The real requirements of a perfect first date]

16. You are what makes you desirable 

Before the date, understand that what makes you attractive is you. It’s not if you have an expensive car or a high-paying job. 

Those aren’t things that will attract genuine people. Your personality, charm, and charisma are what make you desirable. Be self-confident and he can’t help but like you.

17. A good date doesn’t mean you’re 100% compatible

Some of the best dates you might have are the ones in which you aren’t fully compatible with the person. It makes for great conversation and opens you up to different lifestyles. [Read: What to do on a first date and make your date fall for you]

So, when going on a date, don’t be so quick to cut them off because they don’t enjoy the same sports or fashion as you. You don’t have to be clones of each other, so keep an open mind and get to know him before you make a judgment about compatibility.

18. Be yourself

If you feel uncomfortable or like you have to change parts of yourself for your date, then maybe you shouldn’t be going on the date. If you want to prepare for your date, check in and make sure you’re being genuine to yourself. [Read: How to be likable without changing who you are]

How to prepare for a date for men

Men are inherently confident when it comes to asking women out. They know that the proposition is finally on the table, and the only thing left to do is to seal the deal. But how can you do that if you’re not prepared to impress her on your date?

Men will rarely ask for advice about getting ready for a date. They quickly assume that a girl will immediately fall for them just because they look good, smell good, and have a wallet with enough money to pay for dinner. 

That’s why a man’s success rate when it comes to wooing a woman is not statistically impressive at all. [Read: The reasons men get rejected by the women they want]

Why do men need to prepare for their date?

Men should look into making themselves more presentable when they’re taking a woman out. They do not have to change the way they act or look altogether, but they do have to make an effort to look respectable.

Women go out of their way to look amazing when they go out with a guy. They fix their hair, wear pretty clothes, and carry themselves accordingly. 

If a man fails to meet the standards that a woman has set for herself, there won’t be any point in investing more into the relationship. She had already made up her mind when she saw you wearing a t-shirt at a fancy restaurant. [Read: Charming ways to impress her on the first date]

What are your goals when taking a woman out?

A man’s goals will differ depending on their personality, but the point of you taking a woman out is to set the stage for her to like you. You want a woman to see the best side of you without having to lie.

The way you carry yourself is a truth in itself. If you aren’t confident enough, she’ll see you as weak. If you look unkempt, she will assume that you are slovenly. 

You can defend yourself by saying that you’re just keeping it real, but the truth is that you aren’t making an effort because you don’t believe that you can impress a girl anyway. [Read: Top 16 first date tips for men that all guys should know by heart]

You don’t have to be rich or wear expensive clothes to impress your date. All she wants is for you to make her feel special, and you can do that by presenting yourself properly. 

You do this by wearing the appropriate attire, making sure that you look and smell clean, and being a gentleman.

Tips for men on how to prepare for your date

The basics of being presentable may be fine for your casual days, but a little added effort is required when it comes to meeting a girl for a date. [Read: 16 first date tips and rules for men to charm her and make her fall for you]

1. Do your research

If you’re going out with a stranger, make sure that their identity is legitimate. It’s easy to Google someone, especially if they’re active on social media. 

If they don’t exist online, be wary of the person that you’re seeing. Still try to have fun even if they’re a mystery.

2. Choose an appropriate venue 

Don’t bring a girl to a “guy place” unless she’s the type that likes it. Do your research before getting a reservation. [Read: 20 fun and unconventional date ideas]

The success rate of your date lies in her comfort and enjoyment. Pick a place that both of you will like.

3. Don’t overdo the outfit

You know where you’re going on the date, so dress appropriately for it. If it’s a five-star restaurant, wear a dinner jacket. If it’s a movie, wear a clean shirt. If you’re going to a play, wear a collared shirt.

Make sure that you know the appropriate attire for every event and setting. Don’t wear loud colors if you’re not confident in your outfit. Don’t overthink it either. Wear what makes you comfortable. [Read: First kiss tips – 29 secrets to make the first smooch sexy and irresistible]

4. Clean yourself up

If you set the date, you should have prepared for the whole affair. Get off work early so you can go home and change. If you smell bad, shower – a real shower, not with your cologne. Brush your teeth and comb your hair. 

Make sure your face isn’t shiny. A woman won’t appreciate a glare from your face on your first date.

5. Clip and clean your fingernails 

You don’t want to show up to your date with dirty, long, and unkempt fingernails, do you? Make sure they are clean and trimmed. If you don’t, she will definitely notice and be unimpressed. [Read: What do girls like in guys? 30 desirable traits and turn offs women hate]

6. Clean your car

Your car is basically an extension of yourself. Make sure that it is at least as clean as you are. A woman will be impressed with the way you take care of your vehicle. It gives her the impression that you’re the same way with yourself and your home.

7. Make sure that your gas tank is full

Nothing is more embarrassing than having your car die in the middle of a date. She’ll be unimpressed and irritated. [Read: How to ask for a second date and not fumble or appear too eager]

8. Bring an extra shirt in your car

Don’t bother if you’re taking a cab. Most men prefer not to bring bags while on dates. Keeping a shirt in your car allows you to prepare for emergencies like spills or excessive nervous sweating

9. Make sure that your wallet is full

Prepare your budget for the date itself and add a little extra in case it gets extended. Consider your maximum limit for the dinner bill, additional items like dessert and recreation, and backup funds for an emergency. 

Don’t use a credit card if you’re not sure that it’s paid off. [Read: Tips to transform you from a nice guy to a real man]

10. Be on time

Check for traffic an hour before your estimated time of arrival. If it looks like you won’t get there on time due to traffic, make sure that you leave early. Even if your date is late, wait at least an hour before giving up on her.

11. Prepare for unexpected circumstances

Anything can happen before your date. If you get caught up with something, make sure that you have a plausible explanation. Ask for a rain check and respect your date’s decision if she declines.

12. Check your breath

Before facing your date, make sure that your dry mouth hasn’t produced any obnoxious fumes. Keep a pack of mints in your pocket or drink some water before you talk to your date. [Read: Kissing on the first date – is it a yes or a no?]

13. Wipe your brow

If you ended up sweating up a storm before you arrive at the venue, don’t barge in and drip all over the place. Bring a handkerchief so you can clean yourself up before you see your date.

Those are just the basic tips that you need to think about before going out on a date. It’s not very hard to make yourself as presentable as possible. 

It all depends on your willingness to make an effort for the woman that you like. It’s not just about your appearance. You need to be on your best behavior, tool. [Read: Casual first date ideas for a dreamy and fun date]

14. Pick the right location

It’s really all about location, location, location. Where you’re going to have your date will set the tone. Opt for low-key, neutral activities where you can focus on getting to know each other. 

Go for a walk or grab a coffee. Avoid dinner in case the two of you don’t click. That would be one awkward meal you’d have to sit through.

Final thoughts

The things you need to do while on the date are a different story. You can’t control what happens during the date, but you can control how you react to it. You’re on a date with a person you really like. You may end up acting goofy or nervous, but the reality is that all you want to do is make her like you back.

[Read: The rules of etiquette for the modern gentleman]

Now that you know how to prepare for a date, just have fun and enjoy your night together. You’ve done your part by getting ready for the date. It’s time you made the most of it with the person you really like.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...