Liv Talley | NYC's Premier Dating Coach and LOVE QUEEN


How To Have Better First Dates

It’s a commonly held belief that a first date should be casual, cheap, and short.

But how can you really get the most out of them?

Dating is an INVESTMENT.

Look at every first date in business terms: long term investments are made with a certain amount of money that grows over time. Your summation *typically* rises in conjunction with how much you invest.

IE: the greater the investment, the higher the return.

The thing is, all first dates don’t have to be extravagant, Bachelor-esque, trips to Belize.

Unfortunately though, if I had a nickel for every first date that was a trip to NickelCity and then dessert at Yogurtland, I could easily cover that unlimited laser tag myself. For the entire Valley.

Sure, you’ll come across people that make the most basic Provo date exciting…but for anyone that has graduated from “that date,” or is just looking for tips on how to make first dates more meaningful, I’ve outlined the groundwork for better success.

How long should your first date last?

First dates do NOT have to be a marathon. In fact, statistically, first dates should last between 2-2.5 hours for both people to leave the date happy–whether they end up being interested or not.

Reason being: at that point, if one or both of you ARE interested, you’ll want more. On the other hand, if one or both of you are NOT interested, it’s short enough that neither feel trapped!

Nothing is worse than dropping hints that you’d like to go home…for 5 hours…trust me.

Invest in your first date.

The problem with planning the same aforementioned first date every time, is that they feel VERY impersonal. Like, you couldn’t be bothered to plan a real date. That is a huge turnoff.

So when you ask someone on a date, spend just 5-10 minutes asking them a few basic questions like…idk, what they do for fun, their favorite food, etc. Basic human questions, you know?

*WARNING*: Planning a date according to the person you’re going out with, may yield successful results.

You aren’t going to work with every person you go out with. But if you have the right chemistry, and you plan an interesting/engaging first date, YOU’LL WIN ALL THE POINTS.

In fact, did you know that active dates usually elicit a better connection because your date will associate that adrenaline rush to you? That’s spicy.

But if you’re both more the reading type, then chill dates like painting, will trigger that “hey we can do what I like to do together and it’s fun,” part of the brain that develops crushes.

Ask a doctor. (Really. I’m not one and that’s just a situational observation.)

And don’t overthink it, either. Thoughtfulness towards a date doesn’t mean you have to psyche yourself out.

The purpose of this post is to elevate the pressure–not add to it.

Don’t be a cheapskate.

Chances are, your date probably just assumes that you aren’t going to buy them a car and fly them to the Vineyard for a weekend. And it’s ok to keep things low key if you need/want to.

But talking about your financial situation on your first dates, (and arguably at any point in your courtship) is SO TACKY. Even on the flip side, if you feel like it’s appropriate to share the potential six-figures that you’ll make this summer…STOP.

The value of asking the person what they want to do on a date (if you’re the one planning it,) is that you get to figure out the best way to execute it in accordance with your bank account!

Be wise, but tactful. You don’t have to throw down cash money, but it’s social courtesy to not talk about it.

Dates don’t have to cost money to be fun.


Showing interest in your date is just as important to make a real connection as being interesting. Ask your date questions, and generally show excitement to be with the other person!

Have you ever been on a date where you are asking all the questions and never get to answer any about yourself?

People feel closer to each other when they talk about themselves. So if you don’t ask them questions, how are they going to feel close to you?

A simple lesson you’ll learn by choosing to be more engaging with your dates: the most interested you are in someone’s life, the more interesting they’ll become.

Putting effort into getting to know your date, (and how you present yourself,) is so attractive. No one wants their first date to feel sloppy or unkempt.

**That goes for how you show up physically as well**

Trying to both look good, and be an engaging date are just small investments that show interest, and could pay off BIG in the long run.

That’s where real connection forms.

Even if you decide after your date that you don’t make a good match, you can both walk away with a positive impression–which will improve your overall mindset about dating…and in turn, attracts better dates!

Invest in people. Plan original dates. Be considerate of the other person while mindful of your own situation, and be interested.

Stop treating dating like a conveyor belt, and you might actually get married.

Just do your best to make the other person feel special. That will make ALL the difference. It leaves room for reciprocation, so that they’ll want to make YOU feel special.

That’s what we call a win, win.

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