First Date Ideas, Tips & Etiquette: Confirming First Dates, Drinks vs Coffee vs Dinner Dates; First Date Video Chats, Cancelling, Rescheduling

A lot of people struggle with dating from taking photos, knowing what to write in a profile, which app to use, how to approach someone, how to stand out from the competition and how to screen people.

There are a lot of time wasters out there and while getting someone to agree to a first date in principle, there is no guarantee that the date will happen, the person will appear like their photos or that the person is being truthful about their intentions.


Why Do People Cancel First Dates, Who Reschedules A Canceled Date?

Many people think that once a person agrees to a first date that all the hard work is over – this could not be further from the truth. First dates are extremely elusive these days. Most people either are horrible planners, some are not ready to date, others are rather nervous and some are just awful people who are terrible at communicating or being a decent human being.

There are all sorts of reasons why someone cancels a first date, but whatever the reason, the consensus about rescheduling a canceled date is that the person who cancels the date should reschedule. This seems pretty straightforward, but for those that don’t go on many dates, this can be more difficult.

The initial reaction is to pursue someone that appears to be worth the trouble, or to chase down every possible lead. While I get the motivation and reasoning, most people who need to be chased are not worth your time, not ready to date or are signalling that they will be treating you like this indefinitely. There is a fine line between being persistent and having some dignity – only you can figure that out on your own.


Should You Cancel First Dates? When Is It Ok To Ghost On A First Date? 

People have to cancel first dates all the time – it’s not always a red flag if someone cancels a first date. Someone might legitimately be busy or had an emergency come up. In these cases, simply cancelling a first date is not a red flag, but poor communication can be a red flag. Similarly, if someone is generally unavailable or doesn’t get back to you quickly, it can be a sign that they are too busy to date or not interested in you.

You should cancel a first date if you are uncomfortable going on the date. A person can be uncomfortable if the person is unresponsive, doesn’t confirm plans, sends weird texts, unmatches you on dating apps or if you find something unflattering about the person on Google, Linkedin, social media or public records.

You should feel ok ghosting a date if they send something sexual in nature, block you or get unmatched or try to get you to come to their place.


First Date Red Flags, Is Cancelling A Date A Red Flag? Last Minute Date Cancellations

If someone lies about their age, lies about having kids, lies about their location, or lies about their employment status or height, you should feel every bit annoyed and feel ok cancelling a date. If a person lies to you upfront – what are they lying about? Lying is a sign of insecurity and unwillingness to trust you and give you the benefit of the doubt.

People who cancel a date and who don’t offer a good explanation and don’t make it up to you are a waste of time. They don’t respect your time, they don’t respect you. There are definitely exceptions to the rules when it comes to cancelling/rescheduling, but they are exceptions, not the norm.


Pushy Guy First Date –  First Date Safety Tips, Unmatching Before A First Date

One thing to take note when planning a first date is to see if a guy is being pushy. If a guy rejects your date idea and tries to get you to go to a bar, his place or places near his house, that can be a huge red flag. You should always meet in public places, never lose eyesight of drinks, reject dates you don’t feel comfortable with and go on date ideas that show the guy knows your boundaries/read your profile (i.e. dietary restrictions, allergies etc).


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Image Consultant: Wardrobe, Social Skills & Lifestyle

Eddie is an image consultant in San Francisco with clients in NYC, LA, and beyond. He assists clients w/ fashion sense, social skills, hobbies & interests, etiquette, being more approachable around others & making friends.

What To Do On A First Date: First Date Ideas, Tips; First Date Phone Calls, Video Chats

First date ideas can be a difficult thing to navigate. I am a firm believer that you can learn a lot about someone by the way they communicate, plan a date and show up on a date. Some people want something quick, some want see effort, some want to go to a place where they can display best first impressions and some people just want to meet asap.

If someone is pushy, that can be a huge red flag. If someone is upset because they can’t pick you up from home, don’t go to their place on a first/early date, doesn’t like going to a coffee/tea date because they think that is low effort or boring, you have to assess what your boundaries are. Liking or disliking coffee dates is not a red flag, it’s merely a preference and a sign of compatibility/willingness to agree on something.

Great first dates show effort, show that you read their profile and provide both of you to enjoy your time together. 

Related read: First Date Video Chats


First Date Etiquette: Should You Confirm A First Date? 

One should always confirm a first date. It will save a lot of time and money. Things come up all the time, especially with work, kids, traffic and life. The important thing is to communicate well. If you are going to be late, let them know with time. Similarly, if you really want to go on a date with someone, make sure you leave time on your calendar to keep your commitments.

I am a firm believer in keeping communication on the app until you meet. It makes it harder to report bad behavior if you move things offline or to another communication platform. A guy should provide his number in advance of a date in case the app is buggy but also to show additional commitment. 

Related read: How To Conduct Background Checks


Is A Coffee Date A Good First Idea? Do Women, Men Like Coffee Dates? 

One of the most divisive questions regarding first dates has to do with coffee dates. Some people like them, some people loathe them; others think they are efficient and others think they are lazy AF. Read this article to get my thoughts on coffee dates – should you accept them, how to make the most out of them, and more.

One reason why people like coffee dates is because it allows they to meet in person sooner under their terms rather than give up a valuable weeknight, weekend with a total stranger who may or may not be who they say they are. It allows them to go to places that are more well lit and see how someone acts in an everyday environment.

Related read: Coffee Date Ideas, Tips & Etiquette


Online Dating Advice For Women

Screening Profiles, Why Don't Guys Reply, Low-Effort Messages, Overwhelmed w/ Matches, Signs He's Not Into You, What Your Dating Photos Signal, Coffee Dates, Lying About Age, 'No Hook-ups' In Profile & More


What To Do When A Guy, Girl Cancels A First Date, Best Response To A Canceled Date

Nothing. The ball is in their court. Don’t chase people. First dates can be brutal, awkward, frustrating, boring and full of anxiety. First dates are meant to be fun. If someone cancels a first date, take yourself out on a first date. If someone cancels on you, it’s their obligation to reschedule – simple as that.  

Stop texting someone who cancels a first date and doesn’t reschedule – simple!


Who Pays For A First Date, Should A Guy Pay For A First Date? Should A Woman Split The Bill?

First date etiquette suggests if that a person requests a video chat that you oblige. First date etiquette demands you show up on time and look like your photos. First date etiquette requires you to be present on a date but also leave immediately if the person makes you feel uncomfortable, lies to you or doesn’t look like their dating profile.

First date etiquette dictates both parties come prepared to pay their own way. This is why you should avoid dinner dates on first dates. Splitting a check is may feel cheap but that says a lot about the other person rather than a reflection of your personality. Lastly, whoever suggests a date should be prepared to cover a date. Yes, there is a lot of ambiguity, but if you plan fun, affordable dates, you don’t have to worry about getting stuck with a bill.

1) Don’t suggest dates you can’t pay for.
2) Don’t accept dates you can’t pay for.
3) Expect to pay for your half of dates.
4) Don’t go/accept dinner dates, and you won’t half to worry about 1-3.


Should You Go Dutch On A First Date? Who Pays For A First Date? Splitting The Bill On A Date

First dates should be casual. Avoid fancy dinners or expensive activities. One should expect to pay for the first date if he/she asks the other person out. Similarly, both people should expect to split the bill and pay their way. This is why I suggest drinks or something casual rather that something elaborate.

If a woman accepts a date, it’s customary to split the bill especially if there is no chance of a second date. With that said, a woman may want to pay her own way so that there is no doubt about something being owed or her going out on a date for a free meal (it’s a sad, pathetic way one has to think about this but there are many jaded men who think like this).

As a woman, if you want to see the guy again and he insists on paying for date #1, suggest you pay for date #2. The way people respond to bills at the table says a lot about them and their intention.

As a guy, you should know how a date is going but you could say you will pick up the check this time and will let her pay if she decides to see you again for date #2.


What To Say To A Guy After A First Date, After First Date Etiquette

If you are uncomfortable being direct that is perfectly normal, fine. If you had a hard time being yourself on a first date but want to see him again, you can follow up the date with an indirect text.

Stating you had a great time and thanking him for a drink, meal is more than plenty to nudge a guy to ask you out again (assuming he is interested).

If you are not sure who should text after a first date, you are likely not ready to date. Thinking someone is the default is a bit immature. Anyone can text first. Both should text first. Stop playing games.


First Date Etiquette; First Date Checklist; Why Do I Keep Getting Ghosted On First Dates? 

If someone ghosts you on a first date, that is a reflection on them, not you (for the most part). It shows their immaturity and unwillingness to be an adult. With that said, if you keep getting ghosted on first dates, you should do some self-reflection.

-Do your photos look like you now?

-Did you lie on your profile?

-Is your communication cringy? 

-Did you text something sexual?

-Did you confirm a date?

-Do you know how to screen bots/time wasters/scammers?

-Are you picking good first date ideas?

-Are both people ready to date?

Related Reading: Are You Ready To Date?

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About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie is a dating coach for men & women in San Francisco (clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, & beyond ), as seen in the NYT & Bumble). He helps w/ profiles, photos, wardrobe, messaging, date ideas, red flags, lifestyle choices, hobbies, grooming/hygiene, communication, social skills & offline efforts.