At any given moment you can find singles in coffee shops, on park benches, and at fancy restaurants meeting for their first date. But with all the changing rules in dating, who knows what’s appropriate pre-, during, and post-date these days? Match.com’s relationship expert Whitney Casey reveals the dos and don’ts to first dates in the modern world, based on data from the Match.com Singles in America Study.
First things first—where do you find a date? Try enlisting the troops! In other words, utilize the people and resources you have at your fingertips in order to find someone new to go out with. Tell everyone you know that you’re single and ready to mingle— Match.com found that 22% of singles met their most recent first date through a friend. After letting your friends get in on the matchmaking action, you can also take things into your own hands by getting online. After all, 20% of singles met their last first date through an online dating site (in contrast, only 7% met their date in a bar). Once you’ve found a date to meet up with, do your best to make sure all your social “ducks” are in a row before asking someone out. Match.com found that 48% of single women said they research a date on Facebook before the first meeting, even though 49% of men said Facebook research was completely unacceptable. Bottom line? Women are still checking out your profile! Make sure that there’s nothing that would have her running for the door before even getting to meet you in person. Instead of the keg-stand profile picture you might have currently, opt for a subtler picture to depict that you like to have a good time.
During your date
So you made it to your first date, and you find yourself approaching your date with the age-old question… how do I greet this person? 92% of males and females polled say a peck on the cheek is appropriate on a first date, so you’ll most likely earn points with a friendly peck “hello.” And it’s not just a Southern thing—singles in both Houston and Detroit were the most comfortable with the cheek kiss. But guys, don’t go straight for the mouth… only 65% of women said they were comfortable kissing on a first date! Although, if you’re set on locking lips during the first date, you might want to consider relocating to Miami: 83% of singles in the sexy beach city find kissing appropriate.
If you’re thinking of taking things between the sheets during a successful first date, think again: only 6% of singles admit to actually having sex on the first date! It’s best to keep things PG during the first few stages of a developing relationship.
After you’ve sailed smoothly through your first date and avoided any major faux pas, what’s the best way to follow up? Not surprisingly, an overwhelming 61% of singles prefer reconnecting via phone call rather than text, though 14% think that texting is an acceptable way to follow up. However you decide to reach out, keep in mind the old “wait three days to call” rule is out: 78% of males and 49% of females typically reach out to the other person within three days or less after a good first date.
Who’s already acing their first date?
Some singles just have first dates in the bag! When it comes to technology owners, Apple devotees and tablet toters dated more frequently than any other gadget holders in 2012; in fact, 45% of singles that own iPhones went on one or more dates in the last year. Along with techies, perhaps the story hunters have some knowledge they could share with the rest of us—single journalists went on the most dates of any other surveyed occupation! Lastly, singles in Denver, CO went on the most first dates in 2012 than residents in any other city, with 47% having gone on one or more dates last year.