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What To Do On A First Date in 2024 (With Expert Examples)

First date at night with fireworks

Ever wondered what exactly you need to do on a first date with a girl? Yes, dates with women can be confusing. Some people opt for fancy dinners, others keep it light. Then there are the questions ranging from how do you get to know her on a date? Can first dates with a girl lead to sex?

In my experience, as a general principle, as a male, you need to be a leader in your dates. You need to take the lead in conversations, changing venues and so on.

How well you connect with her is going to be dependent on your conversation skills and ability to connect with her.

Man and woman having fun on a date

Where to go on a first date and what to do

  • Fancy First Date Idea? No, Stick to Coffee 

In general, I only plan for low-cost investment first dates.

This usually means coffee at Starbucks or some random cafe. If you're giving off a creepy vibe, she's free to excuse herself since it's a public area. If she doesn't turn out like who she is on her online dating profile, your investment is a mere coffee. 

  • Pick a Central Location

Psychological research also shows that people value things more when they invest personal time, money, and effort.

When picking a location, there's no need to get fancy or come up with crazy date ideas. For first dates, you should choose a neutral location between your place and hers. This way, she'll be investing time and effort to travel to meet you. I almost never ever drive to pick anyone up for a first date.

However, you'll soon figure out that even time and money aren’t extremely powerful forms of investment at all.

It's the emotional investment that counts.

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  • Time: Evenings

You should ideally plan dates in the evening to generate more expectations.

  • Set the Tone

The first date is going to set the tone of your relationship with her. If she's attracted to you and you don't act upon it, she is going to lose that attraction fast.

Oh yes, do note that a night out with her friends is NOT a date. 

  • Create Opportunities for Physical Intimacy 

In general, try to create opportunities for physical intimacy on the first date. This means, forget movies and dinner dates.

They are not that interactive and don't introduce any physical intimacy: in the movie theatre, you're are sitting beside her, silent and facing forward. That's not a good idea to get to know each other.

If you're at a restaurant, depending on how smart you are with your sitting position, you might end up sitting across her and facing her like you're going in for an interview. That's not good.

You want to try to introduce touch during the first date. The problem with fancy dinner dates is that they're costly. Not to mention that it could get boring to just sit across from someone and converse for the entire date, especially if the conversation is going nowhere.

A great plan for what to do on a first date

  • Meet her midway for coffee at a relatively nice-ish cafe
  • I would suggest moving to another place for another cup, dinner, or drink (assuming she and I get along)
  • Sometimes I add in something casual: walk in the parks, visit the bookstore, or get her to join you in one of your hobbies

Note: These days, I don't really plan out anything special for first dates. If you are generating enough response through approaching women or online dating apps, then you want your first date to be more of a screening process.

There are going to be first dates that don't go anywhere. Hence, there's no need to come up with fanciful ideas. I like the idea of going to a cafe and then straight to drinks. If you want to plan out more special dates, then make sure both of you really like each other and that the both of you get along. Then only you plan something out on the second or third date.

Sitting on a bench resting on a date

How to Plan Out Future Dates

In general, you are not actually going to spend 4-5 hours in ONE venue on a date. You're going to have to plan for at least three activities that aren't too high of an investment for both of you. Ideally, start your date at around 6 pm. You want to be peaking together at around 10 pm or 11 pm. The key is to give her the "I need to go home, but I don't want to yet" feeling.

The Heavy Dinner Date? Yes or No?

I'm not saying 100% no to dinner dates. The majority of my coffee dates end up with dinner. That's after if both of us get along well. Contrary to popular belief, women do not like heavily planned romantic and expensive dinners for first dates. (Read: gold diggers are an exception)

However, I'm stating a hard NO to romantic, expensive, high expectations kind of dinner first dates: the ones where you roll up in your Dad's Mercedes Benz to some fancy restaurant. (read: the ones that you pretend to understand the menu.)

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Lastly, you want your dates to be efficient: not all dates are going to lead to sex. You're not going to enjoy every single date and not every girl is going to be into you. If you're not attracted to her or she's not showing any interest in you, feel free to walk away and end the date right there and then. Other than not wasting your time or hers, it's also a demonstration of strong boundaries.

How to Plan out a Great Date

I generally do this for women I am seeing on a regular basis. This depends on her personality. The artsy types will prefer cafes, art galleries, and music events. The more adventurous and sporty ones are going to prefer outdoor activities. The shopaholics will prefer, ehem... the shopping malls. 

Planning out dates based on her or your interests is also a good opportunity to expand your identity and your interests.

  • Interested in singing? Invite her to your weekly karaoke session.
  • Interested in martial arts? Get her to sign up for a trial class at your gym.

The Multiple Location Strategy

Ideally, on most dates, you want to take her to different locations. Psychological research suggests that if you're the only constant among all these changing places, she'll feel that she 'got to know you more'. However, you can't be wandering around aimlessly, you need to progress your date to a location where increased intimacy can occur. This requires you to be spontaneous and armed with knowledge about your city

So Who Pays on the Dates?

In my experience, I've been on dates with women who were earning a higher income than me. 

In general, most of the women I've been on dates with don't mind going dutch. However, Mark Manson suggested in his book Models that there's an intrinsic sense of chivalry that women enjoy that makes them feel feminine when you pay for them on dates. He also argued that one of the primary psychological needs in women is security: paying for them lends itself to that.

Here's how I normally do it: I make it a team effort. I'll often pay first and then tell her to buy something else in return later. You can get her to make it a team activity and get her to pay for something cheaper such as dessert or drinks after. There’s no need to be uptight and stingy if you're doing okay. If your income is significantly higher than her, it would make sense for you to pay for her.

The key is not to make the paying part too awkward. 

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How to Touch Her on the First Date

Ideally, you should be trying to flirt with her physically right from the get-go. You should be teasing her in your conversations and punctuating your sentences with slight touches. 

If you grew up in a traditional Asian culture, you are probably told to be polite, be nice, and not to be pushy with women. Let alone on first dates. I'm going to differ. It’s pointless to approach hundreds of girls, do all the work texting her but be unable to make a move on the date itself.

It's also a good strategy to walk, talk, poke fun at her when she says something cute. Pro tip: when you're walking beside each other on dates, you can punctuate your conversations with physical touches on her shoulder or elbows.

Note: it’s always on YOU to initiate touch as early as the first date. In modern culture, women are perceived in a negative light if they initiate romantic/ sexual advances. That’s because by initiating interest, she’ll be judged by society as a… ‘slut’. This is why women mostly will never initiate. Even if she really wants to. 

Setting the right mood on a date

If both of you are comfortable with physical intimacy on your date, it's a positive sign. You'll want to take your date to somewhere more private. I recommend bars and cafes that are along beaches. I personally think evening beach dates are great for intimacy and privacy. It can be playgrounds or small parks. You can simply say you know an awesome bar near yours, grab her hand and lead her there.

The key is to lead, lead and always lead. 

There is going to be a percentage of women who aren't comfortable with physical intimacy on the first couple of dates. There are going to be women who aren't comfortable with physical intimacy at all. However, like I always say: lead, take a step back and apologize if she's uncomfortable.

If you plan a date at a cafe or a coffee shop, choose a seat that plants you beside her instead of in front of her. It might seem awkward, however, I've done that it a couple of times and if she's attracted to you, she won't reject you. 

The ability to be physically intimate with women is going to differentiate your dating results by a mile.

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How to Get Her to Your place on Dates

If you are physically intimate with a woman towards the end of a date then good... now you need an excuse to get her to your place. There’s no need for any fancy excuse. I used to ask women to get in my car and drive to my place without saying anything. These days, I simply say: "let's chill at my place."

The point is to make sure you are "not making her feel uncomfortable". Take the societal pressure off her, but keep the sexual tension high. I'll tell her not to mess up my room. I'll tell a woman if she stays over she's sleeping on the floor and you're the one who’s sleeping on the bed. Saying stuff like that can take the pressure off her.

When you're finally back at your place... get her to feel comfortable. You can play card games and keep the situation light-hearted and playful. Then, you can slowly be physically intimate with her. If she resists your advances... take a step back and apologize

My personal belief is that if you come from a standpoint of empathy, you can be that empathetic and sexually attractive male that she’ll break all rules for you. 

Usually, after you start kissing and there's a bedroom nearby... the rest is usually history. In my experience, you can get sexually intimate on first dates. However, the majority of them are simply going to happen on the second to fourth time you meet her. It all depends on the comfort level and her values on sexual relationships.

Lastly, do note that if you're not at the final base by the fourth or fifth date, she's either not comfortable with casual relationships or she's just not interested in you.


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