First Date Advice: It's a Match! Now What?

Plus, how to get a second date.
ILLUSTRATOR Roland Mae Tanglao

Fact: Not everyone on dating apps is there to date. If you've been swiping for longer than three months, you've already encountered a variety of interesting characters, ranging from those who are looking for chat buddies to those vying for social media superstardom. The in-between is the ideal: The woman is using the app for what it's for, to look for a date. Should you match with her, here's how not to get stuck in that weird “Hey, how are you?” “I'm ok, you?” “I'm okay” limbo where all matches go to die. Plus, how to get a second date.       

1| Make your first message memorable. 

There's a reason Bumble cuts you off with a message suggestion when you try to send a generic “Hey” to a new match—generic heys get ignored along with “hi” and “what's up?” Getting the conversation going increases your chances of getting a date.    


2| Ask her out within the first message exchange. 

If she asks you out, say yes immediately if you are interested. Sparks on dating apps fizzle out faster than sparks flying around in real life. It's an attention span thing. Get on it if you want to get it on.       

3| Be thoughtful.  

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Ask her about her dietary restrictions. Ask her if she drinks or smokes. Ask her if she wants to get pre-dinner drinks. Ask her if she wants to get post-dinner drinks. Ask all of these questions as soon as she agrees to meet you. Again, timing is crucial because things happen faster online and most matches are strangers. Get enough information from your match to make the first date tolerable, if not memorable.      

4| Let her to decide where to meet.

In her mind, the chances that you are a creep decreases by half if you do this. It's not advisable to offer to pick her up at this point. Stranger danger!    

5| Make a good first real-life impression.  


So you've uploaded your four best photos on your dating profile (hopefully you're not hugging a tiger in any of them), will the real you measure up? Provided that you didn't Facetune all your pores to oblivion, it wouldn't matter what you look like. Hey, you've matched. That means she likes your face! It's now time to work on your personality.      

6| Smile and make eye contact when you exchange your first hellos. 

Don't let her catch you with your eyes wandering anywhere that could trigger self-consciousness (i.e. hair, a zit, stomach roll, feet, worst of all, her breasts or her butt).       

7| Let her have a bite of your food. 

It's the sweetest and most intimate thing you could do at this point without touching. The way to woman's heart is through her stomach also.      

8| Be open about yourself, but don't out-talk her. 

When asked, for instance, “So why are you single?” you don't have to tell her everything, but tell her something true. Don't talk about your ex. Technically that question actually translates to, “So what's your damage?” but it would be too early to go into that. Be open but make your answers simple. Return the question. If she asked it, she has to be okay with answering it herself.      


9| For the love of God, make a move. 

Honestly, we're on dating apps because we want immediate results. We're tired of waiting for men in society to send us a text, to ask us out, to tell us whatever the hell is going on. So we check out men online, who basically act like drunk versions of themselves.

A good first date and a bad first date are all the same to us because they're both outcomes. But we're so good at psyching ourselves out that sometimes making the first move can still be tough. If you like your date, tell her. Brush her shoulder or lightly touch her hand if you're feeling brave. If she reciprocates, great. If not, wish her a nice night and a nice life and move along.       

10| Be gracious with goodbyes.  

Don't forget: This person made time for you, a complete stranger. She took a chance on you based on your profile. Show her you appreciate it by being gracious with your goodbyes (that is, if you don't go home with her). If you had fun but had zero chemistry, maybe you could “friend” her on Facebook. And please, don't say you'll call if you don't plan to—there's no place in this dimension, or anywhere, for that.

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Chonx Tibajia
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