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Our Guide to Holding Hands on the First Date

A couple holding hands on the first date

Welcome to your ultimate guide to holding hands with a girl on the first date. If you’re reading this article, it can be safely assumed that you want to be holding hands on the first date, and probably going a lot further.

But perhaps you’re finding it awkward to initiate this physical contact with a woman you barely know. Maybe you’re worried about it being too soon to hold hands, or you’re simply looking for a smooth way to do it. We’ll cover all these concerns in this guide. By the time you finish, you’ll be a master at holding hands with a girl.

So, let’s dive in.

Should You Hold a Girl’s Hand on the First Date?

You should definitely try to be holding hands on the first date.

In fact, you should try to lead a first date as far as you physically want it to go. You are the man and it’s therefore your job to lead.

However, it’s also important that you don’t become too physical too quickly. You need to move at a pace that a woman is physically comfortable with.

If you try to hold a woman’s hand and she tenses up or removes her hand from yours, it’s important to respect that. Do not force yourself on a woman in any physical manner.

With that said, if she does initially refuse to hold your hand, that doesn’t mean she won’t want to do so later.

You were probably progressing too quickly for her at that moment. But, as a woman gets to know you on a first date, she’ll often become more open to physical contact.

So, don’t become disheartened if she doesn’t hold your hand on your first attempt. Instead, move your hand back like it’s no big deal, keep getting to know her and try again later.

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Why Is Holding Hands on the First Date Important?

Holding hands with a girl isn’t essential to make her like you on the first date.

However, it is important to flirt with her, both physically and verbally. If you don’t, she’s either going to think that you’re a coward or you’re not attracted to her. Neither conclusion will have her excited to meet you again.

With physical flirting in particular, it’s important to start slowly, get a sense of what she’s comfortable with, then ramp it up as the date goes on. This is how you know when she’s ready to be kissed or invited back to your place. You start small and build up to these milestones.

Holding hands is one of the first physical checkpoints you want to try and pass. If she’s happy to do that, perhaps you want to try playful taps on the arms and legs, hugs, small massages, getting closer into her personal space, whispering in her ear, etc.

Do all this without her tensing up, and she’s almost definitely ready to be kissed. You can go for that first smooch with little fear of her freaking out or giving you the cheek.

If you don’t try to hold her hand or make any of these other moves on the first date, you’ll have far less of an idea if she’s ready to be kissed. What’s more, she’ll be far less warmed up to the idea of kissing you because you’ve barely touched her for the whole date.

Any move you do make to kiss her will therefore come completely out of the blue, and will most likely be rejected for that reason.

Essentially, holding hands is one of your first stepping stones to kissing her or getting intimate back at your place. Without these initial stepping stones, it’s likely to be too much of a leap to do either of these things.

With that said, there are plenty of women who are too uncomfortable to hold your hand in public but will come back to your place if you invite them - and might even have sex with you if you’ve done a good job on the first date.

This is particularly common in countries with stricter cultures, where women are only expected to hold hands with their boyfriends or husbands. There are plenty of women in these cultures who don’t want to follow these rules but do so in public because they fear judgment from other people.

So, if she doesn’t hold your hand, don’t give up entirely on flirting with her or inviting her back to your place. Holding hands with a girl is just one of the stepping stones to making her physically comfortable with you.

IMPORTANT: It is not gentlemanly to completely forego physical contact on the first date. Even if you’re looking for a serious relationship and not a hook-up, a woman needs to feel that initial sense of attraction for you on a first date, otherwise she won’t be excited to see you again. Physical flirting is one of the best ways to help her feel that sexual attraction for you. Just make sure to do it at a pace she’s comfortable with.

Dating Apps That Work For Guys Who Aren't Super Experienced

If you're still looking for that girl to hold hands with you need to try out a couple of these apps. If you haven't had a great time using dating apps to this point it's probably because you're using the wrong ones.

Even if you aren't particularly great with women there are a couple of apps that dating experts have been recommending to regular guys that will work for you:

SiteOur ExperienceOur RatingFree Trial Link
Best Casual Encounter Site
Experience Highlights
Experience Highlights
  • Top option for local hookups by far
  • Best results for regular guys
  • Over 60 million active members
  • The design needs an update
Try AFF For Free
Great If You're Handsome
Tinder Highlights
Tinder Highlights
  • Great if you're pretty good looking
  • Very popular, especially if you're 18-22
  • Really focused on photos
  • Becoming more of a dating than hookup app
Try Tinder
2nd Best For Most Guys
Experience Highlights
Experience Highlights
  • 2nd best option to find hookups for most
  • Attracts an older crowd than most hookup apps
  • Pretty popular
  • Solid free trial
Try Passion

How Do You Hold Hands on a First Date?

When smoothly ease into holding hands, the more comfortable she will feel. So, here are 9 smooth methods to achieve that small milestone of holding hands on a first date.

  • The easiest moment to take a woman’s hand is when you’re leading her somewhere. Without hesitation, simply take her hand and start walking to your chosen date venue. There’s little reason why this wouldn’t work at the very start of a date if you’re meeting outside.
  • Alternatively, instead of grabbing her hand, you can say “hold this” and offer your hand completely nonchalantly as if it’s no big deal.
  • Before you move to a new location, extend your elbow towards her, don’t move until she locks arms with you. You can transition into holding hands really easily from there if you want.
  • If she’s holding something in the hand nearest to you as you’re walking side-by-side, offer to hold it for her. Hold it in the hand furthest away from her. Then, offer her your other hand and say “you can hold this”.
  • If you’re sitting at a table, place your hand on it, palm down. Then, as you’re telling her a compelling story, take her hand and place it on top of yours. (Hint: if she keeps it there for more than 10-15 seconds, she’s almost definitely ready to be kissed).
  • If she’s wearing weird rings or bracelets, ask if you can take a closer look. Once you’re done, keep hold of her hand and start talking about something else.
  • Make a joke saying that these streets are really dangerous, so we better hold hands to stay safe. It works best in classy high-end neighborhoods, which are clearly incredibly safe.
  • Learn basic palm-reading. You can learn how to read a girl’s love line in less than five minutes. If she ever mentions horoscopes or anything spiritual, tell her you can read her future, then ask for her hand. You’ll have to hold her hand to show her what certain parts of her palm mean. This works better when you’re standing still or sitting together.
  • This hand-holding technique from YouTuber Angrypicnic is incredibly corny and freaks a lot of girls out, but it did go viral. If you’re kind of a corny guy and you sense the woman really likes you, maybe you’ll both enjoy this silly technique.

H apps promo

How to Hold a Girl's Hand without Being Awkward

The key is to make your move without hesitation. In fact, that’s the key to doing anything without being awkward.

If you own it, the girl will feel comfortable with you. If you’re embarrassed and hesitant, the girl will feel she has something to lose if she complies.

With that said, it’s important to read a girl’s body language. If she tenses up and doesn’t want to hold your hand, do not force yourself on her. That will make it more awkward!

If you try to make any physical move and the girl turns you down, just carry on with the date as if nothing happened. Don’t dwell on it, don’t mention it and it won’t be awkward.

Maybe as you get to know each other, she’ll be comfortable the next time you try to hold her hand on the first date.


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