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How Gentlemen Should Prepare for a First Date

Kevin Peters of Groom Journal

Going on a first date can be nerve-racking even for the most seasoned gentlemen. Whether you’re new to the game, been on the dating circuit for a while, or recently ended a relationship and getting back into the dating pool; first dates can be stressful.

However, with proper preparation, you will maximize your chances of making a good first impression.

In the Week Leading Up to the First Date

Hopefully, you’ve planned your date in advance and have sufficient time to prepare. Ideally, you would want the following checklist to be ticked off a week or so in advance of the date.

1. Get a Haircut

Gentlemen, regardless of whether you’re going on a date or not, keeping your hair kempt is very important. Unless you’re rocking long hair, you should be visiting your barber at least once a month to get a haircut. If you haven’t been in a while, take this opportunity to get it trimmed before the date.

2. Learn About Your Date

This tip definitely does not mean stalk every corner of the web to learn everything about your date – definitely don’t do that, as you will come across as a creep. What it means is, if you’ve already had an online conversation with your date beforehand, it would be good to recall past messages and prepare a few conversation starters. Not only will this show that you’ve been paying attention to her messages, but it will also create for much more interesting conversations and leave a great impression.

3. Plan and Book Ahead

Have restaurants and other activities planned and booked in advance to avoid any hiccups on the day. There is nothing less romantic than getting turned away by a fully booked restaurant or going to an art museum to realize that it’s been closed for renovations. The gentlemanly thing to do is to propose a few restaurants and/or activities to your date in advance and allow her to pick. This is where learning about your date will help. Brownie points will be won for proposing restaurants and activities that excite her!

On the Day of the First Date

The big day is here and you are hours away from the date. Whether you are going to brunch, hitting the beach or having dinner, the below tips are a must to do before you leave your house.

1. Take a Shower

This one is self-explanatory. If you’ve been out and about during the day, you will want to clean up before you see your date. Nobody wants to get intimate with your stench.

2. Moisturize

I’m hoping you have a skincare routine already, but if you don’t, at least moisturize your face before your date. Dry and flaky skin is highly unappealing. If you have dry lips, make sure to use lip balm too. Who knows how lucky you will get on your date.

3. Trim Your Nails

A woman will seriously appreciate this. Long nails with grime underneath is a huge turnoff.

4. Apply Some Cologne

The key here is to apply conservatively. You don’t need the whole restaurant to smell your fragrance. The idea is for her to get a whiff of the scent as she gets close to you. As a guideline, spray once behind each ear, and once on each inner wrist. These are pulse points and will maximize the effect of your fragrance. With regards to picking the right cologne, this will depend on where you are going on the date. If its a day time activity, I would recommend more lively and citrusy notes. If you are going to a romantic dinner, I would recommend muskier notes.

5. Dress for the Occasion

Don’t feel the need to dress formally just for the sake of it. It is more important to dress appropriately for wherever you are going. If it’s a casual walk in the park, it’s alright to put on a t-shirt and bring your shades. But if you’re going to a fancy restaurant, respect the occasion. There’s no need to put on a suit, but at least go smart casual. More importantly, make sure whatever you are wearing is clean and ironed out properly. Also, make sure your clothes fit well. A baggy shirt or oversized blazer will raise red flags to your date that you’re not mature and unable to dress properly.

Being fully prepared, well in advance, will mean you are able to focus on making the actual date a great experience. Trust me, proper preparation will fill you with confidence and give you the best possible start. As a final tip, be yourself during the date and enjoy it!