Ultimate First Date tips for guys (3 Science-Based Secrets.)

Want to guarantee yourself a second date?

Look no further. Our ultimate first date tips for guys will show you exactly how.

All backed up by actual data, so you can maximize the chance of having a successful second date.

And ideally more.

How to get a First Date on Tinder (3 Science-Based Secrets)

Choosing the right location for your 1st date is just the start.

There are always 3 proven ways you can make sure your first date is worth remembering.

1 - Break Her 1st Date Expectations

Every girl knows what to expect with her first date.

And if you want to stand out, you’re going to need to break her expectations.

A trick of the human mind is to store behavioral scripts which are a sequence of expected events within a given situation.

We do this so we know what is "normal" given a social situation.

What She Expects

Here's an example of a behavioral script for a common first date, from the girl's perspective:

  1. He texts me when I'm free.

  2. We meet at a bar nearby.

  3. He is dressed well and smells good.

  4. We have a beer.

  5. He walks me to my car.

  6. We hug and have a small kiss.

  7. I go home and decide if I like him enough for a second date.

Now, a 2008 study shows that when there is too much variance in someone's behavioral script for a date, they are less likely to find their date compatible.

When there is too much variance in someone’s behavioral script for a date, they are less likely to find their date compatible.

If the date she pictured in her mind varied too much (while still staying in line with her overall mental picture), things won't go well for you. 

Initially, this seems like an easy fix: just follow her behavioral script and you should be good to go.

Just go on boring first dates she expects, right?

But this is wrong.

Here’s why:

You'll Never Live Up to her Expectations on the First Date.

The problem is that while you can follow the script, our expectations hardly meet reality.

  • You’re too nervous for your first date.

  • The weather is too humid and her hair is a mess when she arrives (and that's all she can think about.)

  • The food she ordered didn’t taste right.

  • Maybe anything happens because life is life.

Basically, you’re competing against the ideal.

And as we know, that’s a game that you can’t win.

Instead of breaking a pre-programed script that she’s run through 1,000 times, be different.

Stray as far away as possible from what she expects - because there's no false reality built around serendipity.

This is exactly why adventurous first dates are so powerful and leave lasting impressions.

More Risk is Less Risk

It's one of those funny catch-22's about life, where being more risk is less risky.

The more that you tip-toe around the mundane, the more likely you are to fail.

Trying new things, breaking the script, and adding a spark to the flame is what life will reward you for. 

In other words, you can either live up to her expectations, or break them entirely. There is no middle ground here.

2 - Forget about Sex on the First Date

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you meet a girl on Tinder that you really connect with.

After setting up the first date, you meet at a bar and discover that you have a LOT in common with this girl. 

So much, in fact, that you begin to question your playboy lifestyle.

Maybe, just maybe, you'd be open to seeing this girl more, and start seeing other girls less. If at all.

All of this occurs in the first hour on the date.

Needless to say, she seems to feel the same way.

Her eyes are laser-focused on yours, she's touching your leg, and twirling her hair.

She can't keep her hands off of you!

So, you settle your bill and go back to your place.

Only minutes later you're in bed together.

The next morning she says goodbye - and never respond to your texts again.

What the hell happened?

Here's Where the Date Went Wrong

This might seem like a common story.

Well, that's because it is. 

When we examine this to find the cause, we suppose that the problem is the having sex part.

  • Did she have buyers remorse?

  • Did we come across as too desperate for sex?

The solution, therefore, is to refrain from having sex on the first date entirely.

... Right?

According to Dr. Fredric Neuman, Director of the Anxiety and Phobia Center of White Plains Hospital and contributing author of Psychology today, says that we're looking at this all wrong.

Dr. Neuman argues that sex really doesn't make a difference at all, what does is the length of the conversation.

Stop Focusing on the Wrong Thing

Back to that anecdote from before: where he went wrong wasn't having sex, but having too little conversation.

The more conversation, the higher the likely hood that you'll connect for that second or third date.

The sex is icing on top.

If the cake sucks, don't expect the frosting to save it.

That’s why we say forget about sex on the first date.

It’s not that you should avoid it.

Just that it’s not what you should focus on.

A date that is one hour of great conversation, with or without sex, will be less effective than a three-hour date with great conversation, with or without sex.

Why Doesn't Sex Matter?

It all comes down to investment.

Jumping into bed and playing around all night takes much less investment than spending that time talking and bonding with her.

The more you invest in her, the more she invests in you.

Not only will this make her less likely to flake on you in the future, but it will probably make the sex a lot more enjoyable too.

As women tend to find sex more enjoyable with partners they know and trust more.

Having sex is much easier than talking all night. People can have sex with someone with whom they have little interest, but talking all night is a different story. - Dr. Frederic Nueman

So if your goal is to see this girl again, don't be so quick to jump into bed with her.

Or, after you do, uncork the wine and have a great conversation on your patio until daybreak.

That's what will make the difference.

3 - Speak Directly and Confidently

Studies on speed dating provide a treasure trove of interesting data points that we can apply to our own dating strategies. Not all of it is so intuitive. 

If it's not already apparent to you, what you talk about really doesn't matter so much as how you talk about it.

Side note: this doesn't just apply to first dates either if you see a girl you want to approach go say hi -- there is no perfect line.

The fact is, how you communicate with her plays as much of a role in whether you'll be successful in your interaction as does any other relevant factor. 

Just by listening to a recording of a first date you can have a good indication of how well the partners clicked, according to a study by Stanford University.

Here are some highlights from the study, broken down into "obvious" and "not so obvious."


  • The more excited the man and the woman sounded in their speech inflections, the more likely it is that they "clicked."

  • More click potential if the man varied their volume and laughed more. Likewise for women, modulation in volume and pitch.

  • Women are less likely to "click" than men. Expect it to be a numbers game. There are more women out there you'll like than women that will like you.

  • Avoid "grilling" your date with lots of boring interview questions. Seriously! This is a big one.

Not So Obvious

  • Vague language, "Like", "Kind of", "Sort of" actively hurts you. "It's as if you are feeling so uncomfortable with the date that they can't even commit to their sentences."

  • Women, as a whole, seemed to actually like being Interrupted throughout the conversation, so long as the man was sympathizing with her.

  • Both men and women want the woman to be the focus of the conversation. If you notice that you're talking an awful lot about yourself, you're shooting yourself in the foot! Put her on stage.

How can we apply this to our own first dates?

We've got a lot of information on our plate.

Now comes the tough part - incorporating this into our own strategy.

Here are the 3 points we covered so far:

  1. iBreak Her 1st Date Expectations.

  2. Forget About Sex on the First Date.

  3. Speak Directly and Confidently.

Even our first point and breaking the script applies here too: we don't want to fall into the familiar patterns of communication most guys make on their first date.

Namely, the boring interview questions...

  • Where do you work?

  • What do you do?

  • What's your hobby?

  • This. Is. So. Boring. Please. Kill. Me... I mean, what's your favorite food?

If you make your conversation exciting - and you commit to your words, you're on the right track.

Communicating, as in, actually enjoying the conversation and not second guessing yourself with those boring "kind of"/"sort of" shit bombs that explode in our own mouths.

This also applies when you're texting women.

Take the First Date Conversation Quiz

Here's an easy exercise for you to begin the process of improving your conversational skills.

To make sure that you’re good to go on your first date.

After you read this article grab your iPhone and earbuds.

  1. Approach a woman and set your iPhone to record.

  2. Ask her for directions to the nearest coffee shop.

  3. When she tells you, make an assumption about her like, “Thanks, and by y the way, you look like an artist."

  4. From there, continue the conversation for a bit before saying bye.

Score Yourself

Now you have some audio of you having “small talk” like you would on a date.

At this point we can start to score how well you did.

Give yourself 1 point for every time you…

  • Talk too softly.

  • Have too much of a rising voice inflection. (As if you were asking a question, when you weren't.)

  • Say a filler word like "uh," "erm," "umm," "like."

Give yourself 2 points each time you…

  • Ask a boring "interview" question.

  • Using vague language like "sort kind," "maybe," "kind of."

And give yourself 5 points if you…

  • Talk about yourself more than 50% of the conversation.

  • Found that you talked more than 60% than she talked (after you get a minute or two in.) You're always going to be talking more initially because you're the one approaching her. But you need to transition after that to getting closer to 50/50.

  • Were looking for an excuse to end the conversation because felt nervous about what you would say next.

Review your Score

Now we can calculate how well you did.

This will give you a good indication of how you’d be on an actual date.

Count up your total point, and remember that your goal is to be at 0.

  • 8+ points - Your conversational skills need to be improved.

  • 4-8 points - About average. You have things to work on.

  • 0-3 points - Great! You’re communicating well.

If you're like most guys, you're going to be at 10 points or more.

It's totally normal, and if you're reading this blog post it's most likely because you want to be getting more results anyway.

After calculating all of this, pick one area to work on.

Don't try to fix everything at once, trust me.

It's best to pick an area that has the most points and spend a week lowering the points in that category. 

Maybe you speak too quietly.

Fix that before fixing how much you say "uhm" and "like."

Wax on, wax off.

Put the time in and you'll find yourself becoming stronger on your first date and ending up with more second dates

Zirby Founder Marc Falzon

Marc Falzon

Marc is the founder of Zirby, the world’s most read Tinder & Online Dating resource, with over 3 million readers a year. You can reach out to Marc via email here, or follow him on Instagram.