The first date is almost always something quick and easy
A drink if it's nighttime or a coffee/tea if it's daytime.
First dates should be low stakes and low stress. Nothing elaborate or showy. Just a simple place to chat so we can see if there's connection.
Someplace not too loud so we can hear each other talk. I don't like to strain to hear my date or have to talk to loud.
I usually pick a seat at the bar over a table if I have a chance. It's intimidating to sit next to someone than to sit right in front of them. It's a bit less intense, and if it's appropriate, it's easier to brush up against them.
If the chemistry's not there however, we can part ways after a quick drink.
Nice meeting you, thanks for coming out, take care!
You like me I like you
If there is chemistry, I'll suggest another drink or a change of venue. Either a walk or some food, something low stress and simple. I like simple, we're just getting to know each other.
If things are going really well, and we're both feeling a bit smitten, towards the end of the date I'll say,
I had a really nice time with you, I'd really like to see you again.
I don't play games. I don't have time for games. If I like someone, I tell them. Hopefully if they like me, they'll tell me too. Life is too short for games. Also, I always forget the rules.
If she's interested in seeing me again, I'll invite her over for dinner.
Cooking her dinner is a great second date
Inviting someone over for dinner can be fun, intimate, and playful. I love it. It's different than your average second date of dinner out at a restaurant or another drink at a bar. It'll set you apart.
It'll show your date that you're not afraid to put a little work into it.
Also she'll get to see your living situation, which can give her a bit of a snapshot into your life. Make sure to tidy up before she comes over, but I don't need to tell you that.
Be careful though, cooking her dinner is not without it's challenges.
Savvy cooks will know that you need to prep ahead of time, keep it simple, and to not try new recipes for the first time unless you're willing and able to improvise a backup plan.
For the less kitchen inclined
Don't worry though, following these steps will help you make sure that cooking her dinner ends up being a successful first date.
Like any skill, you'll be bad at first but you'll get better. Grab a cookbook or some recipes online and get to work. Cook as much as you can. Start with simple recipes and cook them for yourself and your friends.
Stick to two or three recipes and cook them a few times to make sure they come out OK.
2. Prep, prep, prep
Cooking can be stressful, especially when you're on a second or third date so always prep ahead of time as much as possible. Make your salad or your sides earlier in the day (leave the dressing off until it's time to serve it though). Chop everything that needs to be chopped and preheat the oven before her arrival.
Cooking is about timing. Don't stress yourself out but making something that has too many moving parts.
3. Keep it simple
Don't try to woo or impress by making an elaborate meal. A salad, some roasted veggies, and a simple pasta or rice dish will be fine. It's impressive enough that you're cooking for someone, there's no need to go overboard.
The more complicated you make your meal, the better you have to be at multi tasking and timing. Fine for when you're more comfortable around the kitchen.
What's for dessert? Have her help you make chocolate chip cookies. They're dead easy and fun to make together. Or pull a pint of ice cream from the freezer.
4. Every great plan has a backup plan
Tell your date that you're new to cooking and you're not sure how it'll come out. If it's a huge flop or you burn everything, either call for takeout or grab your jackets and head down to the local pizza joint.
Remember to laugh about it. It's only awkward if you make it awkward. You'll still win points for this one.
5. Remember to have fun
Take it easy and have fun. Cooking her dinner will add a bit of stress to your evening but if you follow the steps above you'll be fine.
If all goes well, you'll be curled up on the couch eating ice cream and chatting about god knows what.
And making out, you might very well be making out. That's fun. We like that.