How to Make a First Date Memorable

The first date can make or break everything. I have a gas-powered oven at my place, which cooks wonderfully. The interesting thing about it is that when I turn on the temperature, the oven doesn’t start to heat right away. It pauses for a minute or so, then there is discernible pop as the fire inside it lights. Then things get hot.

A first date is like this. Asking someone out is like asking for the temperature you want. The pop is that moment on the date when you both realize things could get fiery.

There are a million ways to find that pop. I’ve had a date where the pop was asking a girl if she wanted to follow me into a train yard at three in the morning. When she said yes to such a sketchy offer, I knew she was a bit freaky. On a totally different date at a totally different time in my life, I bonded with someone over both needing to go to an endocrinologist. Anything uniquely shared can cause a pop.

You might say that the conventional dinner and a movie is not going to lead to a memorable first date. After all, it’s so cliché, but doing something completely fucked up or unusual might not be the answer either. Being unconventional for the sake of being unconventional can be predictable and boring. I’ve had dates go badly because I chose unusual stuff to do when all the girl really wanted was to drink beer and hang out.

So really, I would say the first thing you should do on a first date is listen to what that person is saying. Try to really hear them. Listen to their stories, take stock of their feelings, and their interests. The more someone feels like they are seen and heard, the more they will open up to you and trust you.

Talk less about yourself, and resist the urge to boast about your exploits. This seems counter intuitive to most men, but actually the less she knows about you, the more she will want to investigate and discover. She will invest her time in mysteries, especially if she feels like she can share herself at the same time.

Whatever the plan is, be prepared for spontaneity. Often on a date a woman will throw out a challenge to do some random thing that isn’t in the plan. If you are rigid, you may miss out on the real fun.

Once on a banal date, we walked past a scotch-tasting event for investment bankers at a fancy hotel. As a joke she suggested we go in. I decided to call her bluff and we went through the door. Nobody stopped us, for whatever reason, and we had a wonderfully bizarre night sipping scotch with millionaires—we never made our movie, but we had a great time!

What makes a first date memorable to you? Please share in the comments!

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