How much effort do you put in to preparing to go on a first date?

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How much effort do you put in to preparing to go on a first date?
When I have a first date with a lady, I may get a haircut in advance. I make reservations at a very nice restaurant. I clean out my car, wash and vacuum it, and do a general detailing. If the date is on a Friday night and I am coming from work, I am wearing a suit and tie. On Saturday night, I wear "business casual" attire and I will occasionally purchase a new shirt or new pants for the occasion. I am well groomed and I apply a SMALL amount of after shave. On the date, my chivalrous manners are out in force. I open doors for her, help her get seated, and I was attentive to her.

Why do I do all of this? It makes a statement to my date: this guy takes dating seriously, he wants to make a good impression on me, and he will treat me nicely if I get into a relationship with him. Yes, I know that many guys on this site will say that this is WAY too much effort and I am making myself subservient to her by "sucking up" so openly. That is not true. I make it clear to a woman that while I am willing to treat her like a queen, I will expect her to treat me like a king.

The women I date have a similar attitude about dating and, in particular, a first date. They arrive for the date dressed very nicely, very nicely groomed, and it is obvious that they, too, want to make a good impression. This is how my generation dates.

I could go the casual route but I fear that my date might think that none of this is a very big deal for me or maybe I am one of those guys who is afraid to show any signs of caring at all. I think that is a horrible impression to give on a first date.

How do you approach a first date?
  • No effort; dating is very casual so, when the time comes, I just get up and go
    Vote A
  • Some effort; I brush my teeth and comb/brush my hair
    Vote B
  • Somewhat more effort; I take a shower, wash my hair, put on some clean clothes
    Vote C
  • Even more effort; I get a haircut/hairstyle before the date and do my nails, shower, clean clothes, etc.
    Vote D
  • Significant effort; I get a haircut/hairstyle before the date, do my nails, shower, clean clothes, etc., and clean out my car if I am doing the driving
    Vote E
  • Major effort: I may buy something new to wear on the date, get a haircut/hairstyle, do my nails, shower, clean clothes, etc., and clean out my car if I am doing the driving
    Vote F
  • Maximum effort: I may buy something new to wear on the date, get a haircut/hairstyle, do my nails, shower, clean clothes, etc., wash and detail my car if I am doing the driving
    Vote G
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
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Most Helpful Girls

  • Since I don't do many dates, only with guys I am already seriously interested in, I put a lot of effort into those few dates, I remember how I made a special hairstyle and put on pretty make up and actually bought some new clothes for the first few dates with my current boyfriend, I think the first impression matters a lot and if it is visible that put in effort, you will be taken more seriously too.

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    • 12 d ago

      "if it is visible that put in effort, you will be taken more seriously too." Precisely! You get it!

  • Significant effort; shower, curl my hair, clean clothes, a little makeup, some perfume, and clean out my car if I am doing the driving.

    I have purchased new clothing for a few first dates but it's because I didn't date for almost a decade and I needed a few things.

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Most Helpful Guys

  • You want to look, feel and be your best. There is no better time to make a first impression then a first date.

    This goes for the short coffee dates too. Don't show up after a yoga class or when you just got done cleaning your car. Have some class!

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  • My 4 rules as a guy

    1) look presentable
    2) don't get a boner
    3) don't look at her chest
    4) and be a gentleman

    eh, I'm just keeping it real as a guy.

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    • 10 d ago

      Not getting a boner is unreal unless you're literally impotent

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What Girls & Guys Said

2527
  • I voted no effort. I don't wear make up or style my hair. I throw on the first thing I see and leave the house but none of my clothes are ugly cause I don't buy ugly clothes.

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  • I would prefer to have a very casual first date because I'm a casual kind of person. I hate getting all dolled up, and showing up like that to a date would just feel like lying.

    I would obviously shower (and most likely wash my hair), put on a little makeup depending on how much time I have and pick out whatever outfit catches my eye (probably just a pair of jeans and a t-shirt).

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  • I technically haven't had one in a really long time, but I did make sure I was dressed nicely and clean-shaven. I put a lot of effort into planning the date if I had asked her out.

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  • First date I go all out. However, after I few dates, I insist on both the guy and myself not dressing up whatsoever. No make up, no hair style, wearing sweat pants and t-shirt. Like we would be around eachother long term. Just to make sure it is not just about physical attraction

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  • Im casual on the first date but i make a major effort. I usually cut my hair. Shower, clean clothes, etc.

    But... i also clean my house early that day or the day before. I clean my bathroom and make sure the house smells fresh. So... why is this?

    Well. First, im pretty metrosexual overrall. I take one hour to get ready each day. Second, I am insecure about people coming to my home. So if there's a whiff of a chance at that then I will freak out and clean.

    Lastly, I know its a first date but I typically do well on first dates. Srx on the first or second date IS a possibility for me.

    I have usually had sex on the second date. But I have done it on the first date as well. Strangely, the majority of the time I've had sex without a date. Thats right. Most of the time Ove had sex it's been random. Like hanging out with a coworker for the first time but no official recognition of it being a date. Or seeing an old acquaintance, working my charm, and then boom. They are at my place.

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  • Between E and F for me. I put in a great deal of effort for pretty much any date. Sometimes I buy new clothes, hair, makeup, toe and finger nails etc. My car is never really dirty so I don't worry about that so much.

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    • 12 d ago

      You still date?

    • Show All
    • 11 d ago

      @OlderAndWiser is she an older chic? ;)

    • 11 d ago

      @DianaWest No, I robbed from the cradle. She is 57. December, 2017, I had a date with a woman who is 82 years old and, in January-February, 2018, I had several dates with a lady who is 78 years old. Both were relatively healthy, active, and looked younger than their chronological age. When I was 52, I dated a lady who was in her early 20's. I don't expect younger women to be interested in an older guy (I am an older guy, but I am not an old fool!) but my decision to date someone is based on common interests and mutual attraction and not age per se.

  • A lot of effort. I want to make the best impression I can on a first date because first impressions last.

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    • 13 d ago

      Precisely!

    • 13 d ago

      -Women = Just look pretty
      -Men: Have to say the perfect things, dress perfect, have the perfect fit body, be tall, pay for everything, pick the right place, know when to kiss or hold her hands, have the perfect amount of confidence

    • 13 d ago

      @Nyotengu Your perspective is a bit biased, yes? "Nobody know the troubles I've seen!"

  • never been on a date, but obviously i'd make a good amount of effort. i'd dress in an elegant dress, with a heel, do something with my hair. but it's not my wedding day, so i won't show up in a ball gown or anything. it also depends on how much i like the dude. so if i am not that interested, i may not put in that much effort. but if i am interested, hell, you're gonna see my chanel bag make an appearance and my diamond necklace. i hope i don't scare the poor guys away, lol.

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  • Honestly depends on the person and how much I'm into them. Everyone gets a standard, hair teeth brushed, clean everything, minimal makeup, but if I REALLY like the person, I'll fret over what to wear for a day in advance. Meeting for drinks after work? Gotta plan the whole outfit and maybe extra shoes for the day. If its just like a "sure why not date" I dress the same as I would everyday to be a decently functioning/ attractive member of working society.

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  • That much effort would scare me. Just be your normal self and don’t throw a huge party to try to win a girl over, it looks like you’re trying to cover up something

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    • 11 d ago

      That is not the way it works with my generation and about 40% of your generation. They take the effort as a sign that we approach dating seriously.

    • 11 d ago

      I guess I’m just more a reserved person and don’t like all that attention maybe. Who knows

  • I put in what I consider to be a reasonable amount of effort. If I'm coming from work, I'm in a dress or a skirt and blouse, otherwise I'm wearing jeans and a tshirt. I will shower, shave (legs and pits specifically, I'm never in bed on a first date), brush my teeth, put on nice clothes (not the ones I paint in), some perfume, and I head out the door. I dont have a car, so I either walk, ride a bike, or get an uber.

    Going on a first date with someone who's playing the part of an extremely chivalrous guy would be very intimidating for me. It wouldn't feel genuine, like he's trying too hard to impress me. I'm all about making a good first impression, but I want it to be real. I likely wouldn't go on a second date with someone who tries too hard. Its flattering, but I dont want that sort of dynamic in my own relationship.

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    • 12 d ago

      This may be a foreign concept to your generation, but for me, chivalry is a part of who I am. It is not an act; it is how I behave every day.

    • Show All
    • 12 d ago

      I can appreciate that.

      People come across a lot of mean folk nowadays, or just people that feel like they deserve the world. Those people are immature. Being a nice and mature person comes with age. It's not that entire generations forget it, it's just that they're not there yet. Older generations tend to forget what they were like all those years before developing a community-focused mindset over the selfish one we're all born with.

    • 12 d ago

      That is a very valid observation!

  • You've just read the first chapter of the book "How to die virgin".

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    • 11 d ago

      Actually, my approach has worked very well for me over the years. I am far from being a virgin!

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    • 11 d ago

      I'm sorry you've had that experience. I have had a lady arrive about an hour late but I have never had a lady stand me up for a date.

    • 11 d ago

      I don't think I've ever waited more than 30 minutes... The most amazing f.. ck though comes from some unplanned meeting. Like in train/cafe/taxi/airplane and stuff. F.. ck from the first sight.

  • Since I never ask to go out on a first date and that others always want something from me, I see no reason to get prepared in any way.

    They take me the way I am or they skip the date. As simple as that.

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  • I guess it depends where are we going and what are we doing, but at least I'd take ''somewhat more effort'' I have to be presentable at least lol. I do what I'd want him to do before the first date too

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  • I once spent 4h in front of the mirror to decide how to style my hair and what make up to put on. Then another 2 in front of the closet, trying on almost every single item that was hanging in there. I was so nervous and thought my heart was going to burst... he was worth the effort... ☺

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  • I make sure to take a shower and dress nicely. Thats about it.
    I normally do the cheapest date possible for a first date.
    A trip to the park, a farm or a petting zoo. Something like that.

    Dinner dates are a rip-off and every guy does that anyways.

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  • Somethings are given, like shower, clean clothes, clean car inside and outside and basically clean yourself first.

    Then I see where the date will be--some fancy place that needs fancy clothes? Or somewhere casual which needs its own proper clothes? Whichever... just clean your shit and don't smell like a monkey--applicable to both male and female.

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  • Ill put a whole 3 days into it. But then i endup just going in tshirt and jeans cause my self esteem gets the best of me and im just like nvm fck it. Im wearng what i already got

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    • 12 d ago

      I throw my hair up in a bun, slip on a bra/tee/jeans/converse, throw on some lip gloss and earrings. Shabam 😂🙈

  • I put in a lot of effort. I dress to the nines and style my hair.

    I think it's pathetic that nobody puts any effort for anything anymore. Trip on a plane... sweatpants. Date night... sweatpants. Dinner with family... sweatpants etc.

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  • C, but for me C doesn't mean any effort, I usually shower before any date, I brush my teeth everyday and I try to always wear clean clothes everyday

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  • I'm going with medium effort...
    I do some basic self maintenance, and wear something that looks good but I'd rather not risk going all out and then not feeling comfortable, complain about my shoes hurting etc. At the end of the day, if they want someone who dolls up all the time it wouldn't work out.

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  • A lot, new haircut and newly pressed clothes are a must.

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  • If I didn't already, trim the beard. Brush teeth, shower, cologne. Pickup any loose clothing on bedroom floor. Suck on 2 Altoids on the way. That's the standard

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  • I dont drive so take that out completely
    I would dress up nicely and would sure take the shower and all that (isn't that a must do anyway)

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  • I keep things simple. But, washing up and clean clothes are pretty much my norm. My car is always clean, I'm kinda OCD about that.

    I don't do fancy things on first dates. I usually just do a coffee thing, maybe a luncheon. This way if it isn't going well, either of us can bail at any time. Keeping things light lessens the pressures. We can be ourselves without trying to overly impress.

    If we make it to a 3rd or 4th then it's time to step things up. At the 6th or 7th I'm breaking out the cookware to show off how well I can use a microwave.
    Kidding, I can actually cook some mean dishes (complete with wine pairing) that have people making yummy noises.

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  • Zero efforts. He might as well see the real deal straight up

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  • I voted C--Somewhat more effort. For me, all of my first dates have been kinda low-key casual, just so we can kinda get a feel for each other without the pressure/obligation of spending a lot of money on a stranger.

    Some first dates for me have included going to an arcade, casual dining, and meeting up at a comic convention so it doesn't really seem appropriate to get dressed up nice and be fancy for there types of activities.

    If we go out again in the future and plan something a little nicer, then I'll up my effort to match the kind of date it is.

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  • 0 effort from me. No woman wanted me to begin with 😐

    It'll change as soon as i get a woman interested.

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  • I try to go as best as I can, except changing the haircut, I rarely change my haircut, even when I go to the barber is just for maintenance, I like as it is. But the rest yeah, I do.

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  • I dress well, am a suit guy if am inviting the lady to a fancy restaurant, put on some nice clean shiny shoes, grooming must be done the hair, the face. Casual date, some nice chinos pants with nice shirt that goes well in colors and the weather, maybe some good blazer just in case it gets cold or if the lady forgot her coat at home, she can have my blazer and some good casual shoes, usually suede material or leather (synthetic) it's not that much effort for me, because i like to look good for my self and i do take care of my self. The real daily casual clothing might happen if i am going to a bar or to some park like jeans, t shirt and sport jacket with nice sneakers. It depends and am not looking for first impression it's just my style to wear nice clothes

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  • ALOTT!! It might even come off as gay. And to some people, they really believe it. Idgaf about their opinion though 🖕. Im for whatever gets you laid.

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  • yes, i put time, effort into how I present myself since i started earning an income. i pamper myself with goig to spas, getting massages and i used to get facial...
    i get my nails done almost weekly, have clothes that are nice fitted. i do for work to show professionsim (one job location, they said i dress too nice)
    for dates, i will put a bit more make up on, smell nice, may buy a new outfit.
    i think even after you have been dating for a long time, you should still put in your best whenever you go out... make date nights fun, special and that he/she means a lot to you.
    thank you for putting effort into

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  • Basic grooming and venue appropriate attire. I don't go overboard on a first date because that creates false expectations

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  • A FIRST date? Idgaf about a first date. We'll see if there's anything there and then maybe I'll turn it up a notch.

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    • 11 d ago

      ah, so do the ladies go and "powder their noses" for about an hour till you give up and leave, lol? seriously though, you gotta put in some effort, otherwise, if you look like a slob, the first impression is not gonna be pretty.

    • 11 d ago

      "Powder their noses"? I don't know what that means.

  • I'm just myself. I don't do any bullshit. I'd want them to know me from the beginning.

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  • Never been on date so I don't know. I'll tell you when I'm 27 or something, when I actually will date.

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  • I haven't gone on a first date in almost ten years.

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  • Major efforts I try to make that first date as perfect as possible

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  • I put in max effort, especially when I think there's huge potential for a relationship. I’ll plan an awesome date, and not worry about expense, buy a new outfit, thoroughly groom myself, get my car detailed... basically the whole 9 yards. I will keep that up minus buying a new outfit for every date. For me, what it took to get me is what it takes to keep me. So likewise I will run a tight ship and continue to always court whoever I’m with for however long I’m with them.

    I think when people get too comfortable and take each other for granted the relationship becomes boring and flatlines. There will be a certain amount a familiarity after time but when either of you takes a shit and leaves the bathroom door wide open while doing so... I’d have to say standards have taken a nose dive and you’re both too comfortable.

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  • The way I get ready for work = how I would get ready for a date (depends where).

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  • Shower, hair, clean clothes, brush teeth and perfum and deo

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  • No effort at all. I shower, wear some decent clothes but I do that everyday anyway.

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  • The first impression counts in the first date. I would say a major effort.

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  • I voted C. I don't see much point in putting in a lot of effort as you might not like the person.

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  • I shower and put on clean clothes

    Works pretty good for me

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  • Maximum effort 😇

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  • I dress the way i normally do for venue planned

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  • To make the right impression

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  • No effort, since no one wants to date me

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  • I've stopped wasting my time on dating

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