In a perfect world, all first dates would be an exciting, romantic, and totally stress-free experience — but in reality, going on a first date usually feels far from easy-breezy. Meeting someone new, especially in a romantic context, is always nerve-wracking, because it's pretty much impossible to know exactly what your date wants, likes, or expects. But thanks to some new data, we now at least have a better idea of what women really want on a first date — and the number one thing is probably not what you'd imagine.
According to Match's 2018 Singles In America survey of over 5,000 singles across the country, ages 18-70+ and of all ethnicities and sexual orientations, the most important thing single women are looking for on a first date isn't a surprise bouquet of flowers, but a feeling: comfort. Of the women surveyed, 79 percent said they most care about feeling comfortable on a first date, even above feeling happy (35 percent) and liked (27 percent).
"It makes complete sense that women have a higher need to feel comfortable over the need to feel happy or liked on a first date," Kali Rogers, Relationship/Dating Expert and Founder of Blush Online Life Coaching, tells Bustle. "If you're relying on the basic psychological spectrum — Maslow's hierarchy of needs — feeling 'safe' is a requirement before one can feel 'loved/needed.' According to Maslow, humans must always feel safe and secure first before their emotions are able to truly develop. So what most women are realizing, is they can't tell if they feel attracted or drawn to a date if they don't feel comfortable first." Of course, first date nerves are inevitable, but once those wear off, it's so important to feel comfortable and relaxed — because that will allow the two of you to really make a connection.
If you're curious what else single women are looking for, here are seven turn-ons and turn-offs that might surprise you.
1. They Want To Be Complimented
It might sound vain, but plenty of people like to have their looks complimented from time to time. The SIA survey found that, on a great first date, 94 percent of single women want their date to compliment their appearance — just make sure it's not creepy.
2. They DON'T Want Their Date To Check Their Phone
Ugh, there's nothing worse than being on a date with someone who seems like they'd rather be alone with their cell phone instead of out with you. For the single women surveyed by Match, the number one turn-off on a first date was a date checking their phone regularly: only one in 10 women thought that was OK behavior, while one in four men found it acceptable.
3. They DON'T Want Their Date To Order A Third Drink
The SIA survey found that more than 80 percent of women think it’s not appropriate to have more than two drinks on a first date.
4. Women Want A Little Bit Of Affection
If you're unsure whether or not your date is interested in getting ~physical~ with you (on any level), you should always ask to be sure. But on a great first date, it seems that most women prefer just a little bit of affection: 82 percent said they would want a hug, and 71 percent would want a kiss on the cheek from their date.
5. Women DON'T Want Their Date To Be Rude To Wait Staff
It's important to be polite to everyone, not just your date (well, duh). The SIA survey found that 38 percent of women find it a turn-off if their date is rude to wait staff, so make sure to always say 'please' and 'thank you.'
6. Women DON'T Want Their Date To Ask For A Bite Of Their Food
According to the SIA survey, 58 percent of women don't like it when their date asks for a bite of their food/drink — and honestly, SAME.
7. Women Want Their Date To Be On Time
Is there anything sexier than punctuality? Apparently not, because the women surveyed by Match agreed that a date arriving more than 15 minutes late is a bad look. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one in four men surveyed think showing up late is OK first date behavior — eyeroll.
Of course, there's no magic formula that will guarantee that all your first dates are smashing successes (and there may plenty of these that you disagree with), but what really matters, above all, is your connection with the other person. But if you're able to feel comfortable, happy, and respected, then you're one step closer to making a connection that has long-term potential