Hinge/Bumble First Date Ideas, First Date Conversation Tips, How Long Should A First Date Last, Dating App First Date

So you have matched with someone on a dating app, managed to flirt your way through not so awkwardly spaced exchanges and are ready to ask the person out on a date – congratulations! Dating app first dates are exciting but can also be stressful. How to be a good date is essential to obtaining a second date.

Many folks don’t make it this far due to various reasons (wrong app choice, negative/lazy bios, self-sabotaging photos, unrealistic expectations about whom they can attract or poor communications skills).

Online dating can be brutal for many – endless rejection, no responses, lack of likes and matches as well as the not so uncommon ghosting. Bumble first dates and Hinge first dates can be stressful and challenging.

Online dating requires patience, knowing what you want, thick skin, ability to read people and profiles as well as a bit of luck (liking + swiping at optimal times, selecting the right dating app; hint: not all dating apps are the same, and a bit of luck).

Below are some first date tips for men, advice on when to ask a girl out on Hinge, where to go on a first date, how to be a good date, how to confirm a date without sounding desperate, how long should a first date last, first date conversation tips, tips for a first date after meeting online, first date red flags and who should text first after a first date. Keep reading to figure out answers to the eternal question – where should we go on a date?

Related read: Creepy Men On Dating Apps


Transitioning From Texting To Dates: First Date Tips For Men, Women

For those that have matched with someone they like, the first few messages can be awkward, random, uncertain or dull. Not every comment and response requires a timely witty comeback, sometimes the best approach is being honest and direct with your matches.

Places like San Francisco lack men who are direct, candid and show some vulnerability. Knowing your strengths, matches and competition will pay dividends on dating apps as well as encounters offline.

Transitioning from matches to dates is a tricky road and many people assume the latter is a foregone conclusion when that couldn’t be further from the truth.

You are competing against time and other people (people your match is dating, has matched with or has yet to match with). Being quick but not overly eager to set up a date is a delicate balancing act where no algorithm nor framework is perfect.

The fact that you have matched with someone is a sign that there is mutual interest. Knowing the sincerity and depth of the interest is hard to figure out.

Unless someone gives you a reason not to trust them or take them seriously (negative bios, bathroom selfies, narcissistic photos/bios, short bios and messages, blurry/dark/distant photos) you should give people the benefit of the doubt.

Coming in with a jaded mindset with inability to trust people is not healthy and will lead to problems with dating apps done the road.

Along those lines, you should constantly review people and their profiles and not make any assumptions. Using common sense and not making excuses for others will help keep a healthy outlook on dating.

Related read: Online Dating Green Flags



When To Ask Someone For A Date Online, How Long To Talk Before Meeting On Hinge, Bumble

Most people would argue trying to secure dates as soon as possible is the best approach – this is more likely the case if you are looking for something casual.

People looking for something with more of a relationship possibility focus will respond timely, show they have read your profile, will ask you questions, will add depth to replies, will want to get to know you.

These are a few of the early signs of showing sincere interest in someone but by no means is it exhaustive. Being patient, spending time with someone in a variety of settings, meeting their social circles will help add confidence during the courting phase.


How Long Should You Chat On A Dating App Before Meeting Up, Online Dating When To Meet

With this in mind, most folks will exchange somewhere between 3-7 or so exchanges over 2-5 days before setting up a date. One philosophy with some serial daters is to go on many coffee dates or go out for drinks asap.

The thought process here is that dinner or a meal requires too much commitment and time which can be awful if you know things will not go anywhere within the first 5 minutes of meeting.

Additionally, few people are commitment phobes and desperately avoid making plans beyond 1-2 weeks.


Talking Too Long Before Meeting, Girl Doesn’t Want To Meet Up

Typically 3-5 days is enough time to chat, send some messages and get a feel for someone. If the person has no info on their profile, is dodgy or is slow to respond, move on. There should be enough info on a profile or conversation to feel comfortable to meet in public for a first date.

Given busy schedules, dates may take up to 7-10 days but anything more than that and momentum can stall and dates may never happen unless you know how to keep up a conversation.


Why Do Guys Want To Meet Soon, Pushy Guy On Dating Apps

Some gays hate chatting, some don’t want you to unmatch, others to want to give you time to do background checks on them. 

Don’t talk to sketch people. Don’t make excuses for strangers. Don’t always be the first to start conversations. Don’t rush to meet up asap because a guy is pushy. Obviously if you don’t feel comfortable to meet, you should just move on and stop trying to see if someone changes.


Hinge Date Ready, Bumble Covid Date Preferences, How To Go On A First Date

Thanks to covid, dating apps have instituted dating preferences on dating apps that signal what users are open to for first dates. Bumble allow users to select virtual dates, meet IRL or open to any date.

Similarly, Hinge will ask matches if they are ‘Date Ready’ or ‘Date From Home’ indicating if they are ready to go on a date.

You should be aware of what these settings are and plan dates accordingly if not, your match will think you did not read their profile and should immediately unmatch.


Video Chat Before First Date, Meeting; Video Call Before Date Hinge/Bumble

Some people prefer to do a call or video before meeting. Some people hate it, some like it. Everyone is different. It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t so learn to accept rejection.

Video chats and dates can be tough – dark lighting, weird angles, unflattering backgrounds, what to discuss and talk about during quarantine. I wrote about my thoughts about dating during Covid-19 below. Calls and video chats are a great way to screen bad apples – most will not want to engage in such requests.

I do think people should wait given a heightened sense of boredom, looking for entertainment and loneliness but if you must use dating apps, read this article about dating during the pandemic.


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Choose Your First Date – Hinge Poll, First Hinge Date, Hinge Date Ideas

If you are having trouble picking a first date, you can use the poll, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s kind of boring and lazy. Basically, you create a poll and ask people what your first Hinge date should be. That’s it. It’s like crowdsourcing your dating life to strangers.


When To Ask For A First Date, After; Who Should Ask To Meet On Dating Apps?

Planning a first date is part strategy, part communication and part luck. Depending on schedules, some people prefer weekday dates after work as to not get in the way for weekend plans.

Others prefer weekend dates so that they can relax and have a drink. Knowing your audience coupled with not letting too much time elapse is key for setting up a date.

Requesting dates roughly 3-10 days out is usually a safe bet but it doesn’t hurt to ask for a date last minute if something opens up, a particular one-time only event is happening or if you are eager to see the person.

Waiting too long can hurt your chances as it gives the other person more time to match, go on 1st dates and subsequent dates.


How To Confirm A Date Without Sounding Desperate; Should A Guy Confirm A First Date? 

It’s not uncommon to set a date far out in advance do to schedules, life etc. When that happens, it’s good to check in and confirm the date ahead of time. Checking in 1-2 days before the date is fine depending on how far in advance you set a date.

A simple message saying you look forward to the date and providing any info with respect to traffic, parking, weather or new menu items is a great way to have purpose without sounding needy or that you expect to be stood up (again).


Before The First Date, First Date Safety Tips, Screenshotting Dating Profiles

Screenshot profiles, information and messages. Do not navigate off the app. Use Google Voice numbers to limit stalking. Review your information online and clear your data from public view. Don’t accept rides from strangers, meet in public places.

Don’t make your social media public. Communicate on the app only. Creeps and assholes try to block you, unmatch you or hide before a first date or during if bad behavior, harassment or assault occurs.

Don’t go to a strangers house, don’t feel pressured by dates for anything. Don’t go to their place too soon. Don’t leave your drink unattended.

Related read: Online Dating Safety Tips


Warming Up For A First Date, First Date Jitters, Dress Attire – What To Wear For A First Date

Waiting for a date to start can be excruciating. Scoping out venues, waiting anxiously, showing up late or having others notice you are obviously on a first date can cause anxiety.

Some guys plan ahead and go to the gym workout or a run before to pump themselves up (shower in between obviously). Make sure you are not exhausted from an intense workout either – this could backfire easily if you overdo it on your workout. Make sure to get plenty of rest the night before.

Plan ahead so you arrive in time. Plenty of people rush out the door and worry about showing up late. First impressions are key. Show that you value the person’s time.

Similarly, if you are a bit lethargic, consider an espresso or coffee to perk you up before your date. If you are the type that gets hangry, consider grabbing a piece of fruit on your walk over to calm your nerves.

Regardless of timing, dates should be specific (date, time and location) and should allow for wiggle room to end it early in case either party is not feeling it.

However, one should always plan to extend the date in the back if their minds in case they hit it off. Improvising, thinking ahead and planning dates around the other person’s interests shows some effort.

Dressing up appropriately for a date can work wonders for confidence as well as conversation starters. Many guys ignore this part of the date planning process especially when coming straight from work (looking at you tech bros in Patagonia vests and company schwag). Show that you put some thought and effort into dates by dressing up.

Don’t over apply cologne (1 spray is fine – clients get my pick for the best cologne to use). Accessories are key and provide a touch of color and flair (dress shoes, socks, scarf, jacket, watch, color scheme and fit are things all women notice). Don’t be another cliche date – stand out, be bold, be confident.

Related read: What To Wear In Online Dating Photos


Online Dating First Date Greeting: How To Great Your Date, First Date Online Dating Etiquette

Most people prefer a short hug. Too long of a hug can feel weird, creepy.

A handshake can suggest disinterest. Some people may not feel comfortable with a hug so look out for body language or extending the arm pre-emptively from a distance.

Read More About First Date Greetings During Covid


How Long Should A First Date Last? How Long Should A Coffee Date Last? 

Dates should be at least 30 up to 60 to 90 minutes but should allow for extra time in case things go well and both of you want to extend the date.

This can mean grabbing drinks at a bar area of a restaurant and ordering another round if you both are up for it to grabbing a small bite.


Are First Dates Awkward? How To Ask A Girl Out Online (Hinge, Bumble)

Yes, it’s not uncommon for first dates to be super awkward. This is especially true if you don’t look like your photos, don’t have a lot of dating experience or are too on edge and nervous.

Over time, people typically become more comfortable with first dates unless they don’t know how to act, are not themselves, are too reserved and end up too concerned about getting rejected again and again.

Be specific, don’t be vague with your date ideas. Have a date idea and day/time or two. Read her profile and review her messages for clues on what to do. Be direct and don’t ask hypothetical situations and don’t be ambiguous.


Where To Go On A First Date, Hinge, Bumble First Date Tips, Coffee Dates, First Date Ideas

As I mentioned above, date places are crucial and can make or break you. Offering to meet someone on a time window around their schedule can show interest and flexibility even if it is for a quick 30-minute coffee date.

Dates that require planning, distance, changing attire should all be taken into consideration and weighted appropriately.

Coffee dates are efficient, low effort and low risk dates options. They are also hard to develop chemistry and rapport depending on the environment, time of day and limiting options nearby.

Having a place to walk around and explore during or after coffee should always be planned but never assumed if you have not made definitive plans.

Researching events or other one time offerings nearby via Eventbrite, Newspaper, Eater etc. can provide an easy way to extend dates, add movement and versatility to otherwise stagnant coffee dates. It pays to keep tabs of things in your area in your back pocket at all times. Stalling for ideas on Google or Yelp apps kills momentum.

Drinks are another easy way to get to know someone quickly and easily. Some people need a little liquid courage to loosen up. Others do better in more fluid environments with good people watching possibilities.

Dates can last as little as 30 minutes or last long into the night – that flexibility is great for dates that you are uncertain about.

One thing to consider is location. Some people are protective of their favorite venues, bars, restaurants etc. Places nearby homes and workplaces can be awkward on first dates due to the likelihood of running into someone you know.

Conversely, selecting places far away increases chances people may need to reschedule or cancel dates because of timing. In either scenario, having back up plans due to time constraints, private events and weather shows extra thought and effort in case things go sideways.

Pro-tip: Most people have access to taxis and car-hailing apps but it helps to be thoughtful and plan dates near public transportation and in good (not so seedy) neighborhoods.

Related read: Are Coffee Dates Low-Effort, Bad Ideas?

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Sitting Next To Your Date vs Sitting Across From Your Date: Face To Face vs Side To Side

Sitting next to a date or sitting across a date is another thing to consider. I am not a fan of sitting across a date for long periods of time, especially at booths or tables.

It can be too much to endure for a first date. I prefer sitting next to or sitting at the corner of the bar (it removes extra space in between you – the table).

This allows each of you to turn closer to each other or get closer if you are vibing. It also adds elements of other interactions and people-watching (conversations with patrons next to you, dialogue with the bartender, analyzing other dates etc.)

Some dates might feel shy or strongly about one thing or another so it’s good to check in and ask. Additionally, you may also want to consider small things like waiting for your date outside to avoid the awkward hello inside the bar.

Usually a warm, simple yet enthusiastic hug is normal for a first date (it sets the tone). Seats next to the front door might be drafty so consider that. Sitting 45 degrees to each other is a great way to start off a date without having to be locked into each others eyes 24/7.

Dates should always be analyzing each other to see the other person’s manners and etiquette. Do you they you into your seat? Do they help place your coat on the back of the chair? Do they ask to see a menu from the bartender or ask to borrow the menu from the patrons next to them?

Did they research the place on Eater to see what is recommended? Do they ask to see what the date likes (ideally this is discussed before the date but if not now is a good time).


Topics To Discuss, Avoid On First Dates, What To Talk About On A First Date

Sounding negative, discussing past relationships and marriage and children plans are generally frowned upon on first dates. Some folks would add politics and religion to that mix but in this day and age, those are a little easier to navigate at least indirectly.

Conversations should be a balance of open-ended questions and answers, stories and examples, observations, curiosities, passions, and aspirations. If it feels like an interview, either change course or abort the mission.

It is imperative that you are well-rounded enough before you go on dates or you can expect conversations to go stiff quickly. Food, travel, work are cliche and grow stale quickly. Discussing weekend plans, holidays, current events are a bit more spontaneous, and relevant and require non-rehearsed answers and insights.

Being able to talk about more serious items can be a good thing as long as they are not too intense. Providing a deep conversation that allows both of you to open up with some emotion, strong opinions or some vulnerability can make or break you in a good way.

Oftentimes, dates that play it safe get stiff and become boring. Hot takes are a good way to see where you date stands on certain issues but make sure they are not cliche or seem rehearsed. Spontaneous, go-with-the-flow and super weird, peculiar or random insight is a great way to connect with your date.

Pro-tip: Some places are more conducive for first dates i.e. places that don’t require awkward eye contact across the table. Finding creative seating environments can make or break a date.  Some seating arrangements make it easier to hear each other, allow for breaks in eye contact and allow for introduction for third parties like servers, bartenders or nearby tables to add elements to conversations.


Good Questions To Ask On A First Date, First Date Conversation Tips

It’s all about dressing well, picking the right date spots, knowing where to sit, having the right topics to discuss as well as being present, excited and approachable during your date.

In addition to these first date logistic items, you also have to know how to choose who to go on dates with (not everyone is worth your time) and have enough to talk about.

Traveling, taking on new hobbies, living in different areas, surrounding yourself with interesting people, trying new things out and communicating emotion and vulnerability are key. You can’t fake this. You can’t hack this.

You have to know how to live a good life in order to speak to it. If you are boring, dull, work too much, have a boring job, live in a boring town, don’t have friends and don’t go out much, dating will be brutal.

Related read: How To Keep Online Dating Conversations Going

Exchanging Phone Numbers + Asking For Second Dates, What To Text After First Date

Most dating apps work perfectly fine for communication – no need to take things offline to WhatsApp, Text or Snapchat especially before a meeting. People can research phone numbers and find additional info about you so there is that to consider.

As a guy, I recommend providing a phone number in advance of the date (after it is secured) to reduce chances of unmatching, app glitches etc. On the same note, asking for a phone number before meeting can be seen as too eager and unnecessary as referenced above.

I recommend asking for numbers at the time or after a second date is secured. This is not always a guarantee but possesses a strong chance. Creating new contacts, syncing profiles to contacts and confusing folks based only on their first names can be tedious.


Signs Of A Good First Date, How To Ask For A Second Date, After First Date Tips

Second dates should always be requested at the end of the first date. Any delay can suggest uncertainty and no one wants that. Ambiguity kills relationships. If you don’t make your intentions clear assume others will.

Having specific plans for a second idea is helpful (especially if you discussed hypothetical dates during the first date) but leaving it open and mentioning planning something specific next day (in most cases) is fine if you are at a lost. More on second dates here.

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Unmatching Before The First Date, Unmatched After Exchanges Numbers

It’s not uncommon for guys to unmatch before the first date. It seems weird or rather odd and while it could be an accident or could be he deleted his profile, some guys do this to make it harder to report them if the date goes bad. This is a possible red flag to look out for when going on a date.


Updating Dating Profile After First Date, While Dating; First Date Red Flags

After a first date, you might be wondering how the other person feels. It’s not always clear if the


Hinge We Met Survey: What Happens If You Say We Met On Hinge

Hinge follows up on people to see if they went on a date with their match and if they would like to see them again. They claim to use this info to better serve matches (false, in my opinion) but mostly to gather data for reporting metrics for PR purposes.

They can tell if you went on a date based on location-tracking, proximity and amount of time your phones are close to each other. Hinge will likely serve you the same people, slightly different order but their main focus is monetization and doing an adequate job to not get you to leave the app.


How To Create A Spark During A First Date. Does No Spark Mean No Attraction?

Fun date ideas create the best opportunities for a spark to occur. Music, movement, people-watching, a connection built by great conversation, self-deprecating humor, vulnerability can all help create a spark.

Being too guarded, acting self-conscious, lacking depth in answers to questions and failing to be curious about your date can make it difficult to create a spark. Boring dates, lack of emotions and vocal intonation are reasons why some people find it hard to create a spark.

Sparks on first dates are not always needed. Some people expect a fair tale first date either because they see it in movies or one of their friends experienced it but most relationships don’t have a first date spark. The purpose of date #1 is to figure out if there will be a date #2. Some people demand it but that is mostly due to insecurity.

Change up the second date, make your desire to go on another date known before the date ends and again when you part ways on the first date. Some people have bad days, some are nervous or feel uncomfortable (venue, noise, outfit selection), others are tired or are just not themselves.

Don’t take things personally. Being patient, communicating well and being present and connected is just as important.


No Chemistry On First Date – Can A Spark Develop Over Time

Sparks can definitely be triggered on dates #2, #3. Some people are reserved and don’t want to get their hopes up.

If someone is interested in you and makes the effort to treat you well, be attentive and be curious about you, go on that second, third date. Some people need a little assurance to make their feelings well known.

Others might be playing a guessing game as they might be waiting to see how you feel about them resulting in a possible stalemate.

If you meet a quality person, don’t be shy. Make a move. F gender norms. The only thing worse than being rejected is letting someone get away because you were scared.


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.


Following Up After A First Date, What To Do After First Online Dating

A guy or girl needs to feel some attraction and interest throughout the date in order to be open to a second date.

One can do this by making the other person comfortable, choosing a good first date idea, expressing emotion, varying vocal intonation, being present and dropping subtle indirect hints about a possible second date.


How To Get A Second Date With A Guy, Girl

By the time a first date ends, there should be no doubt about a second date happening or not. If you are quiet, and reserved, don’t initiate conversations or treat date #1 like an interview, don’t expect anything.

Be sure to ask for a second date with enthusiasm at the end of the first date or slightly before when you have the person’s attention. Sometimes taxis or buses can rush the end of dates so plan ahead, wear a watch.

Related read: Why Am I Not Getting Second Dates


Canceling Before A First Date, Last Minute Date Cancellation Without Rescheduling

If your life is so busy, unpredictable that you constantly have to cancel plans, meetings and dates, you should not be dating. You shouldn’t double book yourself nor cut things too close. Always leave room for dates so you don’t have to rush, don’t have to worry about being late.

If you must cancel, do so they day before rather than not being sure the day of. If you do have to cancel, it is up to you to apologize, reschedule if possible and make it up to the other person. One should always Google themselves to see what is out there.


Cancelled First Date But Still Texting

It’s not uncommon to be canceled on frequently if you don’t know how to screen timewasters or there is something unflattering about you online that was not very obvious in your profile, communication

For etiquette on cancelling first dates/rescheduling, read this.


What Is A Successful First Date? Things To Do On A First Date, First Date Etiquette 

Not all first dates should lead to second dates. A successful first date should help you get you closer to finding that special someone and that means having fun, being yourself, meeting new people, relieving stress & anxiety, improving conversation skills and figuring out whether or not someone is worth going on another date with.

The worst type of date is assuming too much of someone and prequalifying them prematurely or not giving someone a fair chance.


Stood Up On First Date, Stood Up On Bumble, Hinge, Reporting People On Dating Apps

If you are stood up, give the other person the benefit of the doubt before jumping to conclusions but if the behavior is obvious, report the user to the apps. On that same not, you can expect people to report you if you lie about your appearance, age, etc.


How To Be A Good Date – Tips For First Date Guys, Girl, First Date From Dating App

It’s really simple. Communicate ahead of time (if you are late, give the person a heads up). Be on time. Be present (get off your phone, be a good conversationalist), put in effort in your appearance and wardrobe, introduce yourself upon meeting, smile, show manners and ask questions.

There are no tricks. If you think there are, you need help.


Unmatched On Bumble/Hinge After Date, He Unmatched Me After First Date, (Hinge, Bumble)

It happens, don’t sweat it. Just move on. Rather than try to figure out what is going on, just focus on those that you do have dates planned with. 

Related read: Online Dating Rejection

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.