There are plenty of things to consider before, and on, the first date. What you are looking for, where you want to go, what you can live with, what your deal-breakers are, and then, things like, what to wear, where to go and whether you want to go home with your date or not. Then there are normal feelings, like nervous jitters, excitement, and maybe a little bit of fear (since it’s 2016 and you really don’t know who you’re meeting when you meet online). It’s also perfectly all right if you don’t know the answers to some of these questions before you go on the date. One thing that you cannot consider, or control, or prepare for, is what’s going on inside your date’s head. What will he think of you? Will he like you? Will there be chemistry? Many of these things you cannot control, but it’s good to keep them in the back of your mind.
15 How formal/informal is she?
It’s probably no shock to say that guys want to go out with a fun, friendly person, especially on the first date. Being friendly helps with the first date jitters that he probably has too. Your male counterparts are great at feigning confidence but on the inside, they can be just as insecure as you are. He’s going to notice a few things: how did you greet him? Did you shake hands? Hug? Kiss on the cheek? And he’s going to think about those things throughout the evening as he takes in his first impressions and makes his judgments of you. That being said, you are surely going to make similar calls about him. Did he hold the door open for you? Did he front the bill? Etc, etc. First impressions can either make or break an evening and they most certainly play a key role in determining if there will be a second date.
14 Will she notice that I’m nervous?
As briefly stated, men are not as smooth and charismatic as they let on. Well, they actually may be charming and personable, but they are laying it on thick to prevent you from seeing their nervousness. All evening, while you play the questions game, eat your meal, watch the film or stage show, he will be wondering if he fooled you. Men know that women find confidence sexy; and they find it equally sexy in females, so he will worry about whether or not you believe his cool bravado, or think he’s just another fake, trying to win you over. Men also see fear as a disadvantage, so if he’s giving off a timid or nervous vibe, you are more likely to view him as weak instead of an alpha-male; and whether or not it’s actually true, men think that women are naturally more attracted to the alpha male over the other guys.
13 Should I ask her where she wants to go?
Some dates start off very casual. Let’s meet at X and then we can go to Y or Z and maybe do A, B or C… Even if a guy plans a date in its entirety, he’s going to second guess whether or not you are having a good time. He will be thinking, “Is this what she wants to do?” Even if this first date doesn’t lead to a second, men are very hedonistic in the way that they want to have fun, and a bad date, or a date that goes nowhere doesn’t have to mean a wasted evening. That and he’s insecure about you telling your friends about the HORRIBLE date you went on with that WEIRD guy… you never know how many of your friends he’s going to match with on Tinder. He’s also very aware of what you want to do because he’s secretly hoping you want to take the party back to someone’s place.
12 Are they real?
Commence with the eye rolling. But seriously, most women: when they got ‘em, they flaunt ‘em. And if they have a particular breast-y shirt, they may crack out a more flattering bra to accentuate the look. Half the fun in first dates if trying to figure out what to wear. You want to be sexy, but not look skanky, and you want to look naturally gorgeous, but not like you tried too hard. Your male dates are not oblivious to this fact. You may catch them looking at them once or twice, hopefully not while you are in the middle of talking (yes, he knows your eyes are up there and he’s not trying to be a dog). If you dressed to flatter them, he is going to wonder if they are real, if they are fake, or if you have a really great bra. The answer doesn’t particularly matter, he’s just happy to spend some time thinking, and fantasizing about them.
11 I hope she doesn’t notice me staring at her
Now that he’s finished taking a few long hard stares below your eyes, that doesn’t mean that he’s done paying an almost creepy amount of attention to you. He’s going to stare at your face, look into your eyes, watch your lips while you talk… Whether you like it or not, this is the age of online dating and chances are, not everyone is 100% honest in their self-portrayal on their dating profiles. Chances are, he wasn’t. So if you notice him staring at you a lot, he’s conscious of it, and hopes he isn’t weirding you out. But he’s also just trying to piece together how accurately you represented yourself on your profile. He wants to know if you’re honest and he wants to know if you’re confident. And if he finds you attractive, he just wants to stare shamelessly at you and boost his own ego while remembering that he’s out on a date with you, you foxy animal.
10 She’s pretty
While he’s staring at you, he’s looking for particular attributes. He’s judging your appearance. You don’t have to be a perfect 10 or a swimsuit-model-type for him to appreciate the way you look. Guys are simple creatures and they all have their own type. Or sometimes their type is a little bit of everything. Your hair color or eye color don’t matter. If you have an extra 5-10lbs of winter fat, it’s probably not a deal-breaker, and that nervous laugh you have is probably cute to him. They appreciate that you dressed up a bit (but didn’t overdo it) and they want to see you smile, because it means you are having a good time on the date with them. This makes them feel good. He is most certainly going to look at you a few times and whether or not it makes you uncomfortable or doesn’t faze you at all, he’s going to pick out features that he likes and finds attractive. And if he finds you pretty, chances are, you’ll know because he’ll grin like an idiot, constantly smile at you, or tell you “you’re pretty.”
9 Don’t say something stupid… don’t say something stupid…
There are always situations where you accidentally say the wrong thing, whether it’s what you are actually thinking or something silly you just blurted out, only to regret it immediately and wish that you hadn’t said anything. These moments happen at the most inopportune moments: wedding speeches, job interviews, and first dates. Men are also guilty of sometimes suffering from verbal vomit, where they just can’t seem to say the right thing. Sometimes it’s one harmless comment, where he makes a joke that is somewhere on the fence between being appropriate and being inappropriate, only to find out that the essence of the joke is actually something that happened to your great grandmother during the war… How was he to know that… All the while, he’s busy putting on his front of being a smooth operator, he’s subconsciously telling himself “don’t say something stupid… don’t ruin it…”
8 How much is this going to cost me?
This might come across as a bit harsh, but chivalry is not dead. Many guys will still pull out their wallets on the first date and insist on paying the tab. That doesn’t mean they aren’t going to think about what they got for what they spent. Men are very financially minded. They think of a date in terms of a value-proposition. This does not mean that men expect you to put out for a date to be “worth their while”, although many of them wouldn’t say no if you offered. For them, the value is in enjoying an evening out with someone who is wonderful to spend time with. And they will be thinking about that from the time the bill comes, and throughout the drive home, while they contemplate whether or not there is going to be a second date. Unless of course, he’s already smitten with you, in which case, his thoughts of “how much did this cost me?” are already greatly justified and he’s happy to spend more on a second date.
7 What does she think of me?
As much as you are going nuts trying to figure out if he likes you or not, the struggle is very much mutual, and the struggle is real. Both guys and gals get stressed before first dates and try their best to give a good first impression, unless of course, one of you has decided in the first five minutes that it’s not going to work out. While he’s listening to you answer his questions, he’s wondering if he answered his own questions right and if that means you like him or not. And as much as you may be nervous about what the different looks on his face mean or if he’s really laughing at your jokes, or just being polite, you can take some pride in knowing it’s doing exactly the same thing to him, except maybe a bit worse. He needs you to like him. His ego depends on it.
6 Will my family and friends like her?
Whoa, hold the phone, this is the first date, right? Exactly. Many men go into their first dates exactly the same as women do: looking for a meaningful relationship. Humans crave connection, and they seek this in the form of a monogamous, serious relationship. Guys do a great job of making it seem like women are the crazy, clingy ones because they want a boyfriend, but they share your desire for someone to spend time with. It’s obvious that most people want the first date to go well, and they usually have a decent idea in the first few minutes if there’s any connection or chemistry. The second thought after determining if he likes you or not, is determining if you would fit into his life. Would you get along with his friends? Would his mother approve? Are there going to be any obvious conflicts right off the bat? He’s thinking about all of these things throughout the evening.
5 Is she looking at her cell phone?
Call it common courtesy, or call it manners, but guys are keeping a mental tally of how present you are on the date. Is your mind somewhere else? Does it seem like you want to be there? Are you glued to your phone? He’s on the date to get to know you. To find out if there is anything there and if you really are a match for one another, just as the dating site said. If you seem disinterested or you seem like you’d rather be elsewhere, he’s going to lose interest. Not only is he going to have an unfavorable first impression of you, he’s going to just think you’re a crappy person. He’s going to wonder why you are distracted, and why you wasted his time even going on the date if you weren’t planning on putting down your phone to have some in-person conversation.
4 Do we have anything in common?
Even though opposites attract, it’s difficult to get to know someone when you share very few interests and hobbies. It’s hard to have a discussion with someone when you literally have nothing in common. So what if you matched on being “hot” and finding each other attractive, the most that’s going to get you is a mediocre booty-call (a good one if you’re lucky). Once you find someone you feel has the right amount of looks for you, you start reaching for meaningful things to connect on. Do you make each other laugh? Would you go to a baseball game with him? He’s focusing on how easy it would be to like you and whether he would have to put an unnecessary amount of work in to make it work. Bonding is important to him because he wants to be with someone who’s more than just a pretty face.
3 Is this going anywhere?
Once he’s made a decision as to whether you have anything in common, it doesn’t necessarily lead to a long-lasting, meaningful, perfect relationship. He still needs to get to know some of your quirks, what makes you laugh, what your deal-breakers are, and some of that other serious stuff that should never, but usually gets discussed on first dates, like religion, marriage, kids, politics, etc. You might know what you are and aren’t looking for, and whether he meets your criteria, once the initial attraction is established. He’s going to make a decision at some point in the evening, mentally, if he could see himself with you, or if he would automatically friend zone you, or if he just wants a one night stand because you aren’t his idea of girlfriend material. These things could align for both of you depending on what you are looking for, and what your first impressions of him are as well.
2 I hope she's not like my ex
Things didn’t work out that time around for a reason. No matter how many guys out there deny that they even think about their exes, the truth is: on a first date, she is the most recent comparison he has, other than his female friends, so he’s going to make some mental comparisons. Especially if some things went really poorly, he’s going to look out for little red flags or things that indicate that you might be very self-absorbed, rude, or overly clingy. Basically, he has made a mental checklist and the fewer checkmarks in the centre of the Venn Diagram, the greater the likelihood that he will deem you more compatible and the more likely he will be to remain interested in you past the first date. He doesn’t want to make the same mistakes twice, because by now, he knows what he likes and what he definitely does not want in a partner.
1 Am I getting any tonight?
There it is! There couldn’t be a list of what men are secretly thinking without mentioning the obvious. Humans are sexual creatures, but men are usually more forward about it. Although a close to equal number of men and women would admit to having sex on the first date, more men go into it hoping to score, where women are more likely to be open-minded to it if it happens, but not necessarily pursue it, unless it’s their prerogative. Men are sneakier now, and usually won’t ask you directly if you want to come back to their place, but it doesn’t mean he’s not thinking about what he wants to happen. He is also secretly hoping you put the offer on the table so he can feel a little bit less sleazy. If he hasn’t yet decided if you are girlfriend or one-night-thing material, whether or not you want to go home with him. How the whole thing goes down, is going to secure you a place in one column or the other.