While I can’t make any promises that this will be the last part to my dating app guide, I can guarantee that this is the 3rd part (check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already) and will discuss where to go for a first date and how to set it up.
At this point, I will assume that you matched with one or more people, built some comfort through friendly conversation and dropped the “Line” on them, to which they responded with their number.
Step 7: Where to go?
Where you prefer to go for first dates can be very subjective, but I’m going to make a strong argument in support of either going for (alcoholic) drinks or a coffee/tea. Now if you’re strictly looking for one night stands and think this sounds absurd, then that’s fair, but convincing a girl to come over or invite you over for the first time can be difficult. Even so, they may not sleep with you that first night. If you’re able to then great, but even when I’m looking for something casual, I still find that suggesting one of my options makes them more willing to meet you in person.
Going for drinks or coffee is great for a first date for many reasons:
- It allows for easy conversation
- It’s personal
- It doesn’t have to be a long time commitment (but can be if things go well)
- It’s relatively cheap
- It can lead to more things
- It shows you are interested in getting to know the person
Referencing my last post, the most important thing you want to do, whether you are trying to find someone to date or just have sex with, is to build comfort with them. And in my experience, drinks or coffee is the most efficient way to do that. You are having a fun (hopefully), one-on-one conversation with the person in a non-pressure environment that gives lots of flexibility. Because of this, you can leave after an hour (or less) if it doesn’t go well, or you can continue for hours or take it to another location or person’s apartment/house if things go really well.
Also, even just suggesting drinks or coffee will build some comfort. It shows that you are willing to get to know the person a little more and are not in it 100% for the sex (this has won me plenty of fwb’s because yes, they were mainly looking for sex too, but knowing I was a normal, down to earth person who they didn’t feel awkward around in person made them that much more willing to hop in bed quicker). For example, the last fwb situation I had resulted from going for drinks on a Monday night that went extremely well, to a kiss good night, to some flirty texts the next day, to having sex with her two nights later and for the next 2 months until I moved away.
The next decision you have to make is whether to go for drinks or for coffee/tea. Again, this is very situational. I like to go for drinks if I think there is a chance for sex on the first night (this depends strictly on the type of person you match with and whether you think he/she is the type to bang on a first date) or if I really like or get a good vibe from the person through the conversations we’ve been having and think it could lead to a relationship or fwb.
As shallow as this may sound, this is mainly because I prefer to pay for the first date, and going for drinks costs way more than coffee/tea. Therefore, if it’s a girl who I can see myself seeing more than once, I’m more willing to shell out a few more bucks. If I’m not as sure about the girl or she seems more innocent/not into drinks, I will suggest coffee/tea. Going for coffee/tea usually costs between 4-10 dollars total (pay for her as well, it’s cheap and makes you look gentlemanly as f***) and doesn’t give you a hangover if it’s during the week 😛
I have stopped going for dinners on first dates because if the girl doesn’t look like you thought she would or the date just doesn’t go well, it’s a much bigger time commitment and hit to the wallet.
So to summarize, if the girl seems like the type or has hinted at banging on the first date, or you have a strong feeling that you will go on at least a second date/start a fwb situation, I like to go for drinks. If not, or you’re tight on cash or are genuinely unsure about the girl, go for coffee/tea. Again, this is up to you and won’t make or break anything.
Lastly, this does not mean you shouldn’t suggest other options. Using the example I mentioned from Part 2, maybe you both are die-hard hikers and you suggest going on a hike. Great. The activity or date doesn’t matter if it’s something that gets the person excited, but I find that drinks or coffee is the most surefire way to building comfort and moving things to the next step.
Step 8: Set It Up
This is the easy part. You’ve already matched with the person, built comfort, got their number and decided on what kind of date you’d like to go on in your head. Now it’s just a matter of deciding on a time and place with the other person. This is directed more at guys, but once you’ve decided on the type of date, it’s time to get a little direct. Girls like a man who knows what he wants and is willing to make decisions, so DON’T try to set up a date like this:
“Hey, you said you wanted to grab drinks or a coffee, which do you wanna do and when are you free?”
Instead, use one of these (depending on what you decide you want) or some similar variation:
“When are you free this week? I was thinking drinks either Wednesday or Friday night” or
“Hey, how about grabbing a coffee on Tuesday night?”
The key here is to suggest a specific activity (drinks or coffee/tea) with days that work for you. Don’t just ask when they’re free, and don’t ask what they’d prefer. If you suggest drinks and they say they aren’t feeling well so would prefer coffee, or that they don’t drink alcohol then that’s completely fine and you can switch to coffee. They may also prefer drinks when you suggest coffee, and if you’re up for it, then by all means make the switch.
In this situation, there is a major difference between being soft and being accommodating. Being soft is asking them what they want and when. Being accommodating for the purposes of setting up this date is making that initial suggestion and adapting to a plan that works for both of you. For example:
“How about drinks, I’m free either Tuesday or Thursday?”
“I have X Tuesday night but Thursday sounds great!”
“Perfect, looking forward to it”
Be direct, be clear, and also don’t forget to be polite. Sometimes people are busy or you have completely conflicting schedules, so you may have to be patient before you can set a specific date. In the meantime, continue with the Step 5 banter to build some comfort, but try not to overdue the chatting. You don’t want to cover everything with the person via text and not have much left to talk about for the date, and sharing too much info about yourself too soon can take away from some of the excitement/mystery of your character as well.
Well, that pretty much concludes my guide on how to set up a date using dating apps. What was supposed to be one post has grown to three, mainly because I think there are a lot of important, yet often overlooked, aspects to online dating that I wanted to share.
If there is interest, I would be glad to go into more detail on particular sections of the guide or to continue on to the date itself, how to move things along, sex itself, or other similar topics. Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!