First Date Do’s and Dont’s

Before heading out in your red-bottom heels with that cutie you met last week, or the blind date your co-worker has insisted you go on, consider these do’s and don’ts to make the best of your evening with Mr. Right Now.


Smile – Your big, bright smile will make him feel comfortable. Being happy and positive will start the night off right.

Dress feminine – Most guys don’t get the hipster flannel and combat boot trend, so try to make an effort with your wardrobe without ditching your own personal style.

Offer to split to bill – It’s polite, and shows you’re not a princess. If he’s a gentleman, he won’t let you pay, but the offer should still be extended.

Pay for Post-Dinner Drinks – Since your chivalrous dude just paid for an expensive meal, get a round of drinks afterwards.  It will show you appreciated him paying for picking up the tab at dinner and that you are an independent woman.

Be Touchy Feely - Brush his arm or leg when you’re chatting. This makes your interaction more intimate and signals that you’re interested.

Know what you want – Are you looking for a relationship or just a hook up?  Knowing what you’re looking for will set the tone for the night and possibly for the relationship.


Bring up your ex - Duh.

Start a Presidential Debate – Discussing money, politics, same sex marriage, abortion or any other controversial topics, is a no-no.  It’s too early for a potential drag down fight in public.

Reveal Past Indiscretions – Try not to admit that you don’t want to sleep with him because you want to take this seriously — unlike the past few guys you’ve dated.

Yawn - His financial bullshit job may be uninteresting in your world of television producers and musicians, but please behave and listen.  Who knows, you might even learn a thing or two about your 401k.

Get Wasted - Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages at dinner is okay — followed by a third after dinner at the bar — but then cut yourself off. No guy wants to date a sloppy drunk.

Be negative - No one likes a Debbie Downer.  Be your positive, optimistic, lovely self.

Go home with him - Unless you’re only looking for a one-night stand, you should hold off on sleeping with a guy on the first date.  After you’ve had a night between the sheets together, you may become attached to him or run the risk of him losing respect for you.

Whether Mr. Right Now becomes Prince Charming or a thing of the past, just remember to be yourself and have fun!

Sarah Shaker is an ex-soap opera producer, living, writing, and dating in the East Village.  After launching Bright Lights, My City, a niche NYC lifestyle blog, she began working in community management and social media.  Sarah is currently working for as the Regional Community Coordinator for, a hyperlocal website connecting neighbors to make their block a better place.



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  • Steve Herring

    I don’t think you need to hate on drunken first dates. Not like anything bad ever happens…especially if the last of your “Do’s” has been decided after drink #1.haha

    Like the new site set-up…reminds me of late-night cocktails in a dimly lit NYC lounge.

  • Ski

    What an interesting article! Looking forward to reading more of this type of writing. Great job!