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50 Things to Do to Make a Date Successful

Andrea writes on various topics from dating, couples, astrology, weddings, interior design, and gardens. She studied film and writing.

You finally scored a date with someone you actually like! Before you head out into the night or the day, here are a few tips on how to have a successful date over a lackluster one.

1. Be willing to laugh: dates are best with a dosage of laughter. It's better to take a date to a funny movie rather than a scary one. Endorphins help connect people, so try to laugh. Even laugh at the corny jokes if you can. This will help you to connect.

2. Shower, smell good, spray perfume: be clean, be sharp dressed. It will make you feel better and be more attractive. It doesn't hurt to continue these things well into a relationship. They're just good habits.

3. Have good manners: open doors for your sweety, say thank you, don't argue, let someone pay for your check or grab the check yourself, be patient, be understanding.

4. Don't be on your cellphone: don't ever pull out your cellphone on a date. Focus on them. When they go to the bathroom is the best time to pull out your phone, but being on it, texting, calling, playing games can come off rude and distracted.

5. Be punctual: if you can't be on time, say something in advance. Arriving late with no notification is rude and frankly stupid.

6. Bring gifts: particularly flowers, chocolate, jewelry, wine, teddy bears, something homemade, etc.

7. Engage your date in conversation: make sure that your date is talking as much as you are, that it's close to 50-50. You don't want them to out talk you too much, and you definitely don't want to out talk them. Make sure you are learning new things about them, and that they are also getting to know you.

8. Compliment: perhaps complimenting appearance is too bold, but do compliment on accomplishments whether with school or jobs, personality quirks, anything that you naturally feel and don't feel awkward revealing.

9. Touch: you don't have to go crazy with this, but touch the arms, shoulders, a hug or two, hold hands.


10. Be agreeable and suggest what to do: it's painfully obnoxious and unhelpful if you can't figure out what to do. Know ahead what you would like to do and be flexible.

11. Have a spare change of clothes: in case you spill something, in case you need tennis shoes, think ahead about what wardrobe changes you may need or what kind of make up fixes you'll need on the way.

12. Try going to places where you can hear each other: music venues and clubs can be fun, but it'll cut down on the amount of conversation you can have, so be careful about these places. You'll end up having to rely more on body language which might not be your cup of tea.

13. Roll with the awkwardness: more than likely if you spend a few hours with someone something embarrassing will happen or something offensive... roll with it. Be easy going rather than easily affronted.

14. Have cash on you: in case anything happens, whether plastic doesn't work or you end up stuck on the road, have cash on you for any emergency. I suggest having at least 20$, but 50$ may be better.

15. Charge your cellphone: depending on what could happen, you'll want to make sure your phone is ready for the whole night in case of any emergencies or in making new plans.

16. Have gum or mints: whether for yourself or your date, this can come in handy after dinner with onions or garlic.

17. Focus on the date: don't be thinking about past relationships, don't think about other people you could be dating. Focus on what is before you and what led you there. If you don't like them as your number one, then don't date them that's unfair. You should give them undivided attention, your date isn't your counselor for your past.

18. Avoid criticism: be careful about what you say. Don't say anything mean about someone's appearance, personality, job situation, etc. Keep these things to yourself or learn to overcome them. An excellent mate will help you to overcome it rather than focus on there esteem. But don't expect that, your criticisms could be taken personally.

19. Avoid too emotionally heavy of topics: especially on a first date with someone new, don't bring out all the heavy emotional, family-related, hardest parts of life. It may be too soon, too revealing, just too much. Try to keep things reasonably light in conversation.

20. Don't be pushy: respect people's boundaries. If they don't want to go physical -- then don't. If they don't want to go rock climbing -- don't.

21. Smile more: smiles are positive, affirming, and are far more attractive than a dead stare or lots of frowning. Frowning is going to confuse your date. Project positive energy.

22. Wear flattering colors: for men wear blue, green, black, or faded red and orange. For women, pink, purple, or black. The least flattering colors are yellow, gray, pink on men, and sometimes red which comes off aggressive.

23. Carry Advil: you may end up going through many different scenes, listening to loud music, coming across questionable food... it would be wise to carry something for a headache in your purse, or even a packet of two Advil for a wallet.

24. Clean your car: if you're picking someone up or you may end up using both cars, be prepared for someone being in your passenger seat. Clean up the car, make sure there's no fast food relics or smelly nonsense.

25. Lookout for cat and dog hair: we all love our pets, but having traces of them isn't exactly attractive. Make sure to smell clean and use a lint roller to take off kitty cat hair.

26. Think of entertaining topics beforehand: what has been interesting in your life in the past few months? Review this in your head before hand so you are ready to talk about something interesting rather than end up lolling on conversation. What are things you've talked about with others that brighten their eyes or moods?

27. Be encouraging and empathetic: if your date is nervous or having low self-esteem, try to encourage them. Being supportive early on will help you to be likable and seem cool. Letting their woes hang in the air isn't a good deal.

28. Try to avoid getting drunk: we don't usually make the best decisions when we are drunk, so try to go for water or soda or something else. You may have a great time the night of your drunken date, but you may regret it or feel self-conscious about it the next day and this could set the tone for the relationship.

29. Have ideas of where to go next: you may end up really liking each other and need different venues due to places closing, hunger, etc. Have in your head a preset list of things you could do from cute cafes, movies you could see, and make sure to be prepared for such. Make sure that if you are going to a new location you would be dressed appropriately, such as for a sporting event or symphony.

30. Avoid having friends join: you may tell your friends you are on a hot date, but don't tell them where you are going because they may be tempted to go where you are and join as a third wheel. They are not welcome.

31. Dance: if you are music, go along with the beat. This gives opportunity to let yourself be free and perhaps have a partner. It makes you look more confident, even if you are a terrible dancer.


32. Be spontaneous and buy stuff: if she's eyeing the flowers and things are going well, buy her flowers. If she seems to be attracted to a certain book or piece of jewelry, buy it for her. Even surprise her with it at the end of the date.

33. Carry condoms in a place that isn't your wallet: make sure that if you want to get physical later and it is agreed upon that the birth control you use is up to date and not by your money, because money is gross. Condoms should be new, not three years old.

34. Know when to end the date: if it's been on a good note you don't need to drag it till 4:00AM unless you have a reason. End on a good note.

35. Don't bring up past relationships: you are trying something fresh. There is no mood killer like bringing up your ex or comparing your date to someone else. Leave it in the past.

36. Don't talk about work too much: your job is admittedly interesting and pays the bills, but if it's all you talk about you could become the bore of the town. Bring up interesting details from work, not the budgets and meetings unless who you are dating loves that stuff.

37. Avoid having sex on the first date: it may be old fashioned, but you probably don't know enough about each other for this to be a smart idea. You need to know each other more, the history, whether they have STDs, how many partners they have, whether they are dating someone else, etc., etc.

38. Don't introduce them to family on the first date: maybe for five minutes, but it is not okay to take them to dinner with your family. Too much pressure.

39. Pay for her food, open doors for her: suck it up if you feel otherwise, this will make for a much better tone to set if you pay for her food.

40. Give at least two hours of time: you need to talk at least this much. Don't just go for coffee and end it there. You should be spending a good amount of time with each other, not something short.

41. Be romantic and expressive, not vulgar and perverted: watch your language, consider what you are saying, consider how you express yourself. You'll win more with honey than whipping cream.

42. Don't crash at their house: don't crash on their couch because you have no where to go. Go home to your place, unless you are out of town.

43. Compliment their pets: if you are honored enough to meet Mr. Dog or Mr. Cat, you should give the animals a rub on the head and a compliment. They are a part of your date. They want the two of you to get along just as much as with their parents. Heck, you might be living with this fuzz ball later.

44. Do not go to places you did with other people on other dates: this is going to remind you too much of the past and isn't fresh. This could also make people really angry.

45. Be cool, act normal if it is called "hanging out.": in many instances hanging out IS a date, but in some it is not. You could ask what it is at the end of the date, I mean hanging out, if you felt it leaned more romantic. Don't worry if it's "hanging out" if you've got them one on one, then put up your best effort and a romantic connection could bloom.

46. Avoid treating them too much like your own gender (straight couples only): don't treat her like a bro, and don't treat him like your sisters.

47. Play games: board games, video games, any kind of games where you have to think, work against each other, or work with each other. It helps you to bond, it also distracts you and makes you be a tad more subconscious. This can help things to be more emotional.

48. Go to something newly opening: hey, if you guys are new together, it sets the right vibe to go to something that is newly opening to check out, you catch my drift?

49. Go to age appropriate places: don't go to the seniors buffet if you are in your twenties, don't go to teenage movies when you are in your twenties and be surrounded by teenagers.

50. Be mature: don't make a big scene, don't start drama, don't get so embarrassed that you cause things to be even more embarrassing.

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