If you’re like most people, you’re probably a little burned out of dating.

You’ve spent a lot of time and money on “relationships” that never went anywhere… or even if they did, the investment wasn’t worth it.

And you’re tired of it.

You want to know how to navigate dating efficiently.

You want to make sure the cream is rising to the top, and the losers are getting discarded early and painlessly.
Fear not dear reader, for I have the goods.

I went on scores of dates and found a system that really worked.

That maximized enjoyment while preserving resources.

Follow these rules and I promise you will see your dates go more smoothly, your schedule will become freer, and your wallet will sit fatter.

Are you ready?

Let’s dive in.

How To Handle A First Date — Rule #1: Look Good But Casual

Ah yes, the dreaded first date. You’ve got to meet that strange human you’ve been talking to on a screen the last few days. This could either go great or awfully.

First things first: Make sure you look good.

I probably don’t even have to say this, so ingrained is it in us subconsciously, but first impressions matter. If she thinks you’re a slob or have poor fashion sense there’s a good chance she’ll write you off then and there.

But here’s the thing: while you want to look good, you don’t want to look too flashy or you’re going to subcommunicate higher investment in the date than you should.

The ideal is to look good, maybe slightly above how you’d normally dress in the situation. And of course, be clean. But be casual.

The only time where you should be in something like a suit is if you have a reason for it. For instance, if you wear a suit to work and you meet her for a coffee break, then no big deal. In fact, that can be GOOD.

But the intention can’t in any way shape or form be ascribed to her.

Anyway, this rule is more of a throwaway. Most knew it, but some needed to hear it so it needed to be said.

If your clothes fit, are appropriate, and you don’t smell like a sewer you should be OK.

Much more under dispute is where to go… so let’s clear some things up.

How To Handle A First Date — Rule #2: Keep The Place Cheap and Simple

The problem most guys make with first dates is that they take them too seriously. They think “well I want to impress her, so we should go someplace nice.”


Dude, you don’t even know if you like spending time around her. I don’t care if her instagram-filtered image was hot. Do not trap yourself in her presence.

Instead, follow the second rule of first dates: keep it cheap and simple.

Understand, first dates are designed to determine basic compatibility, nothing more.

Ergo, they should be short (more on this later) and in low-expense, casual locations.

Great ideas for this?

A coffee shop, a bar, or a walk in the park.

If you’re in a more outdoorsy location, you might even like to do something a little more physical, like a mild hike (props to Cresanthea for the tip! You can follow her on Twitter here.)

The point is that it is low cost and low investment.

No dinners. No shows.

If you’re the kind of guy who likes to take girls on journeys and adventures (such as yours truly), save it for later on. Yes, some girls do expect special treatment on first dates… but even though a few of these girls might be great, entitled mindsets are dangerous. In the current dating market there is zero reason to invest in a woman up front… and frankly, vice-versa.

The only exception to this rule is if a date is going well and has an opportunity for natural “evolution,” you may take it.

For example, occasionally when I’d take a girl out for drinks we’d really hit it off. So even though we had intended to only hang out for an hour and grab some wine, that hour turned into two. We were hungry, so food naturally followed. No big deal.

But notice one thing there — I only planned to be there for an hour. Which leads us to Rule #3…

How To Handle A First Date — Rule #3: Always Have A Time Constraint

You never know how a date is going to go; yes, this is true even if you guys were both attracted to each other and had great chemistry over text.

People look different than they did in photos, they smell strange, and banter that worked well online too often doesn’t synch up in the real world.

Time is precious, and you need to make sure you don’t waste it on such interactions… for both of your sakes.

Enter the third rule of first dates: always have a time constraint.

A time constraint is the statement that “I can only be here for X amount of time because I have to meet / do Y.” You say it at the beginning of an interaction before you even sit down, and it hangs over the conversation like a sword of damocles, ready to strike if necessary.

The point of the time constraint is to:

  • give you an easy out if the date isn’t going well, and
  • subcommunicate low investment from the outset

Generally the best time constraints run 45 minutes to an hour. 30 minutes is the absolute minimum, but considering people are often 5-10 minutes late, if you go with that you’re looking at barely any time together at all, which starts to feel like wasted time. More than 1.5 hours and it’s not really a time constraint anymore.

You might be scoffing at this concept, but as usual you’d be wrong. Implying to a girl you haven’t opened up your day to her lets her know you have your own life… and reminds her she is just trying out for a role in it.

Also, anybody who has been on a bad date knows its great to be able to leave without having to be abrupt… or to avoid having to sit there for an hour wanting to sow your ears shut.

Plus, the magic of the time constraint is that if the date goes well… you don’t have to act immediately on it.

Of course, I wouldn’t linger too long afterwords. In my example of transitioning from drinks to dinner earlier, I still paid attention to the tension. Even if it’s clear you both like each other, you still want to keep at least some of that low investment vibe.

Plus, she might ask: “didn’t you have an appointment?”

You can manage this easily with something like: “I actually do have to leave soon, but I just said it that in case you were a serial killer”

What’s more key is that you leave on a high note.

Normally following the time constraint alone does a pretty good job of doing that. But you also need to watch it being too early — you don’t want to still-born a romance.

Leaving when intrigue is high is HUGE for attraction and almost always guarantees a second date. But if you leave before intrigue has been created, you’re done.

So use the time constraint if you have a hard time overdoing it and need some objective trigger to get you out. You can even set an alarm (after all, you told her you had to leave right?). Get this handled — there’s truly nothing worse than a good date that had it’s magic killed because it went on too long.

(One of the most tragic things I hear from guys is “We were on a date for 6 hours, it went great but now she wont return my texts. What happened?” Yep.)

How To Handle A First Date — Rule #4: No Third Wheels… Unless Maybe They’re Yours

This last rule is another one I hate to even mention. But the thirst out there is real and too many guys are willing to put themselves through humiliation for just a taste of female attention.

So I’m going to be clear and direct:

Do not under any circumstances allow her to bring a friend.

This should go without saying, but it’s not a first date if it’s not just the two of you. You cannot imagine how bad the dynamics are for you while her friend is there. Nothing, literally nothing, is happening. I am rarely one to call 100% on anything, but unless the purpose of this is for you to date both her and her friend (a whole different article), this is guaranteed waste of your time.

You have two options if she says this, or invites you to something with her friends. One is to simply bail and attempt to reschedule a 1-1 later. The other is to say directly something like: “I’m not interested in meeting your friends, I’m interested in you. Let me know when you’re ready to meet up one on one.”

Understand, this whole pivot on her part is to reframe the interaction. She is attempting to put you in the platonic zone.

Don’t let her.

Being direct about your sexual interest in her throws that strategy in a loop, and more often than not these girls will stop fucking around.

Note, however that whenever a girl does this to begin with it’s a pretty bad sign. This is high school girl behavior, and only happens when a girl is immature, unserious, and/or romantically anxious.

Perhaps just better to avoid.

The only time you can possibly consider having other people around on a first date is when you have very high preselection. As in, she is coming into your den of friends, and you are the leader of the pack.

This is a different style of game, and one I’ll talk about another time — but just keep it in mind for now.

How To Handle A First Date — Conclusions

First dates are often fun, sometimes ridiculous, and occasionally like pulling toenails.

Welcome to modern dating 😉

If you want a little insight into how to escalate on first dates, go here: (How To Get Physical With A Girl)

Wondering who should pay for them? Better check this out: (Should You Pay For Your Date?)

And, if you want to look for the signs of a good first date, go here: (How To Know If You Had A Good First Date)

All of that will help a lot.

But you know what the real secret to getting good dates is?


Because if you can’t build attraction in between the dates, if you’re even able to get on a date at all, you’re going to be starting from ground zero.

Good text game makes dates easy, because she’s already been looking forward to seeing you for days.

Which is why I put all my secrets in Tackling Texting, so you have a clear and straightforward guide to follow.

Get the book, spare yourself lost dates and dead numbers, and enjoy some feminine rewards:


how to handle a first date