Previously I talked about "First Date Routines
” and their importance. In this article I’m going to talk about what things you should look for when you’re developing a good first date routine.
A good first date routine all starts with the location, and most of my advice will be centered around this. When it comes to a first date routine location, what makes for a good place? What qualities should you be looking for?
It Should Be Accessible
This is by far the most important quality. Repetition is what makes doing something a “routine,” and you can’t get repetition if the place isn’t consistently accessible.
An example of a bad first date routine is, say, going to a pop-up restaurant. Not just because it means a dinner date (although Josh likes those
better than I do), but because the whole concept of “pop-up” means it will eventually relocate. Then what are you going to do? If you have to come up with a new first date routine every time, it’s not a routine!
Another example of a bad first date routine is a place that’s “trendy” and tough to get into. The last thing you want to do on a first date is wait in line for an hour before some bouncer on a power trip deigns you cool enough to get in. You also want to make sure it’s logistically accessible, too: if your date has to jump through several hoops just to get there, she’s probably going to show up annoyed and frustrated, if she even shows up at all!
It Should Demonstrate High Value
I just gave a pop-up restaurant and a trendy club as examples for a bad first date routine, but a good location is still “cool.” Or more importantly, it should make you look cool.
For example, if there’s a dive bar nearby that you go to often, it can make for a good first date routine if you make friends with the staff. Strike up conversions, tip them well, and get to know them in general.
So this way if you bring a date there, even though it’s “just a dive” bar, you’ll still have several opportunities for DHV
. The staff will call you by your first name. They’ll be friendly with her because they’re friendly with you. When you get a drink, they’ll already have “the usual” waiting for you and won’t skimp on the alcohol. Your date will notice these things, and because you have high value to the staff, you’ll also have high value to her.
Barring that, not every trendy night spot is crowded. Currently my first date routine is at a restaurant patio bar. The restaurant is popular and classy, but the patio bar is in the back and somewhat secluded. I never have to worry about finding an open table back there, and every single date always has the girl saying, “wow, this is a pretty cool bar, I had no idea it even existed.” That’s exactly the kind of reaction you want to get when you’re looking for a good location for your first date routine.
It Should Be Versatile
The location for your first date routine shouldn’t have a strict dress code. But it should also not be a place where wearing a nice outfit will make you look completely overdressed. It should also be a good place to go on weekdays as well as weekends. In other words, it should be versatile.
You’re going to have a lot of different types of first dates. They won’t all be on a weekend evening and the girl won’t always have time beforehand to get dolled up for you. If the girl says, “that place sounds good, but can we do Thursday instead?” you should be able to answer “yes.” Conversely, if the girl says “I can meet you after work, but is it okay that I’m wearing jeans?” the answer should also be yes.
In other words, your first date routine shouldn’t shoehorn yourself into only one type of date. You don’t
want your date to say, “well, I don’t think I’d like doing that” or “um, I don’t think I’m dressed for that,” when you suggest this location. It should be versatile enough for dates on lots of different types of occasions, and for lots of different types of girls.
It Should be Conducive to Options Afterwards
A good first routine location should lead to options afterwards. At some point the date will end, but if it’s going well you’re going to want it to continue and she may want to as well. So you’ll want a location that has other good options nearby.
For example, if you live in a coastal city, a good first date routine could be a bar near the beach. This will make it easy for you to suggest a walk on the beach afterwards. And remember, the best option to continue is to suggest, “want to go back to my place?”
So while this goes without saying, make sure your first date routine location makes it easy for you do that!
If It’s Not Broken, Don’t Fix It!
Once you have a location in mind that meets all this criteria, then you have the foundation for a good first date routine. Once you start being consistent with your first date routine, it shouldn’t be long before you start having more success on your first dates. Think of it in terms of “home field advantage.” Your first date routine frees you up from worrying about logistics
, so you can focus on actually getting to know and building attraction with your date. In essence, you’re “redirecting” all that mental energy you would normally expend trying to figure out where to go and whether she’ll like it.
That being said, once you’ve had some success, the worst thing you can do is change things up when you’ve met a girl you’re especially attracted to. If your first date routine is especially good, you’ll start thinking it’s “too easy” with typical girls, and therefore this new exceptional girl will be “more of a challenge.” You’ll think, “I can’t go to the same place with her that I do with every other girl, she’s different!”
This is a mistake.
This is, quite literally, dating based on how much you like her
. Don’t change it up. You invested the effort in figuring out and experimenting with a good first date routine, you’ve come across something that works for you, and now you’re going to toss that entire strategy away? Why? Why would you do this?
This is like a baseball player going up to bat against a really good pitcher and saying, “you know, I’m right-handed, this pitcher may have seen a lot of right-handed batters, so I’ll just bat lefty this time.” It makes no sense for him to do that, and it makes no sense for you to change your first date routine just because she’s “different.”
So stay the course. Stick to the game plan. Dance with the one you brought. You’ll find a good first date routine leads to same success with an “exceptional” girl as it would with all the others, and you’ll be glad you went against your instincts to suggest some super expensive restaurant across town with terrible logistics.