A lot goes into a first date — where to go, when to go, should you bring flowers, should you not, should you pay, should you both pay? So the question is: What impresses someone on a first date? After all, you don’t want to blow your chances of a second one. RetailMeNot, renowned for digital savings coupons and promo codes, found out for you. The study was done among a little over 1,000 Americans 18+. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, now’s as good a time as any to find out what impresses someone on a date, right?
“Choose an activity in which neither of you is an expert,” Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author of Allowing Magnificence, tells Bustle. “If you were a competitive tennis player in college, don’t take your date out to the court and humiliate him or her with struggling to volley your fastball back over the net. Outshining your date maybe ego tempting, but it’ll backfire in sparking a romance. Making your date uncomfortable isn’t the goal. Having fun is the goal.”
“Fun” sounds good, yes? According to RetailMeNot’s survey, here’s what would impress someone on a first date, so prepare to take notes.
1By Showing Off Your Great Sense Of Humor
In the survey, 54 percent of respondents said having a great sense of humor would impress them. I know I can relate, and you probably can, too. “The best first date choice: Choose an activity in which neither of you are expected to do well,” says Winter.
“Why? This automatically puts you both in the mind frame, ‘This is just for fun.’ When you expect the activity to be fun, you’re more relaxed. Being relaxed allows for laughter. Competition is eliminated, so it’s truly a shared experience.”
2By Discussing Money
Another high-ranking response was money habits, with 50 percent of those surveyed saying they’d be impressed by the way a date spends his/her money.
“Your first date can be a great opportunity to test the waters and see how the person you’re meeting responds to a simple conversation about money,” Emily Bouchard, a certified money coach, tells Bustle.
3By Showing That "It’s The Thought That Counts"
Another thing that impressed people? Planning something cheap, yet thoughtful or fun. Twenty-four percent of respondents thought so anyway. “When it comes to dates, the more personal, the better,” Kali Rogers, CEO and Founder of Blush Online Life Coaching, tells Bustle. “Romance does not have to be this arbitrary idea that typically comprises of an expensive white tablecloth dinner with candles and Champagne. Instead, think PERSONAL. Think about what THEY like, not what people in general like. A good rule of thumb for planning a date is to ask if most people in general would like it. If the answer is yes, it's probably not very personal!”
4By Paying The Tab
Nineteen percent of those surveyed were impressed when their date paid for the whole evening. However, “If you find yourself offering to pay when you really don’t want to, stop,” Bouchard says. “That will set up expectations that you will have a harder time shifting out of in the future.” Instead, she says to be “proactive and ready to share openly” about your financial expectations. Point taken, though why does talking about money with your date seem so tough?!
“One recommendation is to bring up the ‘first date’ challenge of who pays for what, and how that sets up expectations right from the start,” Bouchard says. “This is called a meta conversation, where you discuss what it’s like for you, and for them, when the bill comes.”
5By Picking An Impressive Location
As far as a date location, 10 percent of people were impressed if their date took them somewhere expensive or high-end. While some people feel less pressure if a date is more low-key, others like to be wooed. Hopefully, your date will get a vibe from you in your pre-date conversations and choose something fitting for your date — whether you mentioned a trendy new place you’ve been wanting to try or that used bookstore down the street.
6By Using Coupons
Contradictory to the above, eight percent of respondents were impressed if their date got a great deal or discount on a date. After all, going back to “it’s the thought that counts” mantra, maybe your date knows you’re really into rock climbing, but it’s not cheap, especially as a first date activity. So perhaps he or she found a Groupon — and, let’s face it, it’s probably still not that cheap. But, it makes for a great first date, and it also shows that your date was listening when you said you’d love to try it out sometime.
No matter what, one thing’s for sure: Just be yourself. Because if you try to impress someone just for the sake of impressing them, your real self will eventually come out, so it’s best not to put on airs and to just enjoy the whole dating process. Plus, you want someone who likes the real you anyway!