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6 Modern First Date Etiquette Rules for Men

Hello daters, I made this video just for you. My name is Marni, owner of The Wing Girl Method, and from here on out I will be your very own personal wing girl. That means it’s my job to explain women to you and break down all the frustrating, confusing and mind-boggling things they do. And, I’ll also tell you what to do to get the women you want using my insider resources.

So, first dates suck. They do. They’re nerve-wracking. You’ve got to get all gussied up for something that may be a total waste of your time. Plus, in today’s app world, you could be having one of these a night with someone you’ve barely invested anything into. The light at the end of the tunnel for first dates is that even though the majority of them don’t continue on to a second date or more, the few that do, become something pretty amazing. Which means that even if your upcoming date may not be the date, there are still some go-to first date rules you absolutely must not break to ensure you’re dating karma is solid.

To help me break down a few of these rules, I’ve asked my friends over at Zoosk to provide me with some hard facts and stats provided from their online dating users. These stats reveal big deal-breakers that you may not be aware of, but need to know to ensure success in dating. So, have no fear because your wing girl is here.

1. Being a gentleman is still a plus with women. 
After surveying 9,000 Zoosk members, a whopping 95% think that holding a door open on a date is romantic, and 93% feel that public displays of affection are romantic, and 82% think that paying for your date is romantic. I tend to agree with 95% of people about holding doors. It’s just nice and classy, and so is paying for a date.

Maybe I’m old school, and some women may be mad at me for saying it, but I think it’s a must to pay for a first date. Doesn’t mean the date has to be super expensive. I simply think it’s unmanly to divvy up the check by halfsies. Listen, if you’re dating the ultramodern woman who doesn’t like being paid for, she’ll let you know at some point in the date, and then, you can adjust accordingly.

2. Have good manners and be presentable.
After surveying 2,300 female Zoosk members, 70% of women said having good manners is the best way a date can make a great first impression, followed by a warm and friendly greeting like a handshake, a hug or a smile.

I’m not a 100% in agreement with this one. Being polite isn’t going to get a woman excited about you and eager to go on a second date. I know I’ve never been turned on just because someone said “please” and “thank you” to me. However, being kind to people, not talking over or at her, and being awesomely enjoyable will always get you a second date. As for the handshake and smile, you definitely want to show a woman you’re comfortable and open, and these things will help you show that.

3. Dress nice for dates.
After surveying over 6,600 Zoosk members, 86% of singles say it’s important to dress nice for a date. And the majority of women feel strongly about this one—94% of women agree that dressing nice for a date is a must.

All right, so this stat needs a little bit of interpretation. Dressing nice does not always mean buttoned up, slacks and good shoes. It can mean that, but you also have to take into consideration your own style, the venue, and the audience that you’re trying to attract. The stat just means that a woman doesn’t want you looking like a slob who could care less. As long as you put yourself together and own whatever style you choose to wear for the evening, it’s going to be appreciated.

4. Do not wear wrinkled or baggy clothes.
So, this one goes with number three. 66% of singles say wrinkled clothes are the biggest fashion turn-off. And, baggy clothes weren’t popular either—50% listed them as a major fashion faux-pas for dates. Wearing socks with sandals or crocs were also huge no-nos, which just goes to show that people really do pay attention to what is on your feet.

Now, I’m not a fashionista, but I find these things highly offensive. Okay, so maybe these things are not offensive, but they’re just simply bad choices. I know I said, own your style, but if this is your style, sell it and get a new style because these things are not attractive and just plain awful. If you want to wear these things in the comfort of your own home, by all means do it. Just don’t wear them if you’re going to go out on a date with any living woman.

5. Women don’t like fast food first dates.
After surveying 7,000 Zoosk members, the majority of women (59%) have a negative perception of their date when they suggest a fast food restaurant. In addition, 10% of women said going to a fast food restaurant for a first date is an immediate deal-breaker.

I get that we’re all on a budget lately, but there’s a good way and a bad way to do a budget date. A first date at Mickey D’s is definitely a bad way. A good way is to find something local going on in the city, like a festival or a market, and just go. Equally as budget friendly but doesn’t signal, “I want this date to be over quick, and possibly, lead to horrible diarrhea for both of us.”

I do have to note that I have had many successful first dates that did end at a fast food chain. This was after an enjoyable evening out and the fast food option was a naughty late-night option that we could both bond on. In this case, it’s acceptable to take your date out for fast food. But, never do it as the first date location.

6. Avoid messy and heavy foods.
When asked what foods they avoid on dates, 23% of the 7,000 surveyed said buffalo wings or ribs. Other unpopular foods for date night are Indian food and anything that’s hard to pronounce.

As I’ve said before, you’re not kidding anyone if you think you’re meant to show your true self on a first date. I know I don’t want to see all your flaws and I certainly don’t want you seeing mine just yet. Let me like you first and then you can show me all the gross human stuff that you do. Which is why eating messy foods or foods that can upset your belly are big no-nos for first dates. Sticking to easy to digest foods and foods that don’t require a bib are always a plus. Save that for date number two.

Listen, at the end of the day, if you guys have a wild connection and the conversation just clicks, these things aren’t going to matter. You can eat wings and ribs and spill them all over yourself. The advice given in this video was for those dates that start off as, “Eh, not so sure if I like this guy just yet.” You don’t want to give her reasons to push you into the no category. So, follow the advice in this video to ensure your best self can shine through and isn’t clouded by silly little deal-breakers.

For more tips on how to rock the first date and make her want to you, go to or check out my other videos on YouTube. And, I’ll see you soon.

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