How to enjoy a first date


Everyone gets anxious about a first date: what to wear, what to talk about, should you offer to pay? Janis Spindel, a professional matchmaker who's arranged thousands of first dates, has tips to help you enjoy a first date.

How to enjoy a first date

Should I meet at an agreed upon location or should my date pick me up?

Ideally, your date should pick you up as it enables you to set the ground rules and establishes respect from the beginning. However, there are two schools of thought about this and you should do what you are comfortable with. (Note, however, that you should never have a date you've met only online pick you up. In these cases, meet at a neutral location.)

 Should I have a "First Date Outfit"?

100% yes! It should be feminine, tasteful and stylish. Preferably a dress or skirt, and heels are mandatory. Chose a feminine cut and a feminine color, and avoid revealing styles.

 Should I eat like a bird on my first date?

No! Men like women who eat. It demonstrates that you are real, and that you have no 'food issues' that will require high maintenance.

What should I talk about?

Sports, travel, friends and other easy and light subjects. Avoid discussions about your ex-anythings and avoid negative topics. Learn about your date -- what he does for fun, where he grew up, what he values.

Should I offer to pay for my share of the meal?

No! A survey of 5,000 men reveals that when women offer to pay, men believe that is a signal that they don't like them! Don't reach for the bill and don't offer to pay. However, if you continue to date, do offer to treat him on your third date.

If we're really getting along after that third date, is it okay to invite him "upstairs"?

No. While there is no "rule" for when it's okay to have sex -- either number of dates or length of time -- it has to grow out of your developing relationship. How frequently are you seeing him? What's your comfort level? Does it just seem "right" to you now?


Lisa: I'm Lisa Birnbach for Dating is such a roller coaster for most of us and really who isn't anxious about the first date? How much should I talk; what should I wear; what if I hate him? Professional matchmaker Janis Spindel has sent thousands of people on their first dates, both men and women and she's got some tips on how to enjoy the first close encounter. Thanks for being here Janis. On my date, is it better for me to meet the man at the place or should he pick me up?

Janis: Well there's two schools of thought. What you're comfortable with is the honest answer. I believe that a man should pick you up. You're a lady, it's the first date, you want to set the rules from the ground. But it depends on how you met him. For argument's sake, if you met him online, no. Depends.

Lisa: Janis, do you think that we women should have kind of a first date outfit? Should we think about how conservative, how sexy, how form-fitting our outfit is?

Janis: 100% yes. 

Lisa: So a first date outfit, what would that be?

Janis: Well assuming that you're going out for dinner or for that matter lunch, the first date outfit should be feminine, tasteful, stylish, 100% either a dress or a skirt, heels are mandatory. Something feminine, something probably in a feminine color. And surely not revealing. 

Lisa: At the restaurant, should I pretend that I eat like a bird? Should I eat first or can I actually eat a dinner?

Janis: You definitely should eat a dinner. Men love women that eat. 

Lisa: Because it shows that she's lusty; that she enjoys life, right? 

Janis: It shows that she's real. And she doesn't have food issues and she's not high maintenance. Men like to eat. They want women that eat. 

Lisa: How about conversational subjects for those of us like me who are tongue-tied?

Janis: Sports, travel, friends, where did you grow you up? What do you do for fun? Just keep the conversation easy and light.

Lisa: Don't talk about your exes. Don't talk about your children if you have them.

Janis: Don't talk about anything ex and don't talk about anything negative.

Lisa: Should I offer to pay my share of dinner when the bill comes?

Janis: No.

Lisa: What?

Janis: I've interviewed and surveyed 5000 men all over the country. Men feel that if a woman pays for dinner, she doesn't like you.

Lisa: Can't you offer to pay because--

Janis:You mean do the reach when you have no intentions whatsoever of paying?

Lisa: No, no, no I don't mean do the reach, but I mean actually offer, no reaching. Just offering and if he says no thank you.

Janis:No. An insult. But I'll tell you what you do do. On the third date, you're on. 

Lisa: Okay the date is over.  And I really liked him. Can I invite him to my house for tea?

Janis: NO. 

Lisa: Oh. Alright.  For I'm Lisa Birnbach. 



meet theexpert
  • Janis Spindel

    Janis Spindel Founder, Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking, Inc. Janis Spindel, a former fashion executive, is the president and founder of Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking, Inc., Janis specializes in pairing up highly successful, well-educated, attractive professionals, including public figures and celebrities. more about this expert »

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