Guys' Take On: First Dates

So he’s finally asked you out. Now you need to decide what to wear. Hair up or down? You want to look sexy, but still casual. When you get there, do you hug? Kiss him on the cheek? Give him an awkward wave? First dates can be almost as nerve-racking as a job interview.

To lessen the stress load a little bit on your next first date, we’ve surveyed 17 college guys about the ins and outs of a first date (and what they’re thinking along the way). It’s nice to know they’re usually just as nervous as we are.

Here’s what the guys dished about going out with you that very first time.

Where He Wants to Have the Date

Dinner and drinks is always a classic go-to for a first date. Our boys know this – 35 percent of them chose dinner and drinks for their date of choice. Another 30 percent, though, said they’d rather do something fun with you during the day. This might be a bit surprising, but we actually love this idea. It’s a little more causal than a dinner date and it lets you both feel more relaxed and in your element. Keep this in mind when he asks you on the date. Your first instinct might be to just keep evenings free for time with him, but our survey says leave open a weekend afternoon just in case!

What He’s Thinking Before the Date

While some boys are consumed by nervousness before a date, others are simply hoping for the best. Zachary, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ’15, said he thinks about all of the things that could possibly go wrong. Andrew, Brewster Academy ’12, said he wonders, “What should I say first?” We wish we could put these poor boys at ease and calm their nerves. Here’s what some of the others had to say about their pre-date butterflies:

  • “Don’t mess this up.” Taylor, military.
  • “Is she going to like me? Am I going to like her? What if she thinks this choice of date is lame?” Jason, George Washington University ’14.
  • “Does this match?” Jim, Syracuse ’12.
  • “If this is a blind date, I'm totally scared she'll be annoying or weird or something. But, if I was the one to ask her out, I'm just excited.” Lenny, Stanford University ’13.
  • “I’m hoping the conversation goes well, I look okay, and that everything goes according to plan.” Forrest, Syracuse University ’12.
  • “Stay calm. Have fun. Make her laugh. Be yourself.” Michael, Roger Williams University ’12.
  • “Be on time.” Anonymous, University of California at Berkeley ’12.

After seeing these responses, we know what the guy needs as soon as you get there: reassurance that you’re excited to be on the date with him. Stop his stomach butterflies with a friendly smile, a quick “Great to see you,” and a hug when you arrive on the scene. We bet he’ll relax at least a little.

What He Wants You to Wear

We asked our guys, if they got to choose your outfit for their date, what would they pick? Almost 40 percent of them chose a sundress. Forrest, Syracuse University ’12, said a sundress is perfect because “it’s classy, sexy, and easy.” Take a cue from boys like Forrest and pick out your cutest summer dress. If he’s taking you out during the day, you’ll look adorable. He chose a dinner date instead? Just add a fun pair of wedges. Some of our guys, like Jim, Syracuse University ’12, weren’t as concerned with what you’re wearing so much as with your ability to choose an outfit that’s appropriate for the location or venue. “A girl with that kind of social awareness who I can bring with me to other events is very special,” he said. This means that even though he might like you in shorts and a cute tank, if he’s taking you out on the town, step up your outfit game a little. Perhaps with, say, a sundress...

How Much Info He Wants You to Spill

This is a tough one. The guys were split on two different ends of the spectrum. 40 percent of them want to know the basics about you - topics like where you’re from and what you’re studying at school. These same guys also want to know a little bit about your plans for the future. Even though it might not matter right now, in terms of thinking about the future of the relationship, it still helps them learn about you. Lenny, Stanford University ’13, said, “I don't want too many details, but sometimes when a girl tells you something sort of personal, but not dramatically so, you feel like she is more honest overall. I suppose, no matter what we talk about, I want her to be honest and true to herself.” 30 percent of them said they just want to casually chat with you on date one and save the other information for date number two. Since you’ll probably run into guys from both sides of the chart, we suggest dealing with each date differently. Gauge how much of your personal info to spill based on how much your date does. If he’s chatting about his friends and family from home, this is probably a topic that is meaningful to him. Offer some of your own stories about your relatives or 5th grade pool parties. If he’s telling you his career plans or how he wants to move across country, he’s opened up the door for you to talk about your own future plans. Daniel, Florida State University ’12, says to dish out “however much is natural. It’s not a job interview.” No need to overthink it!