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Managing Time On Your First Date

When I go into a first date, I have an outline of how I want to spend my time. What I’ve noticed after going on dozens and dozens of first dates is there is an optimal flow to the experience. If the flow is just right, I’m guaranteed some kind of close at the end, whether it’s a k-close, f-close, or something in-between. There are several stages to the date and how much time I spend on each stage contributes to the flow.

firsttime3Here’s an example of time management. I roll into a first date and do some introductions and comfort building. Comfort building is when you first meet someone and you’re making her feel comfortable around you. After that our conversation begins in earnest. We have great conversation for the next four hours, but no flirting. No touching of any kind. At the end of the night I can’t get any kind of close. Why? Because I was missing a couple of stages. I spent too much time yakking and not enough time flirting.

If I’m attracted to the girl in the above example, I consider this a failed first date. I essentially put myself in the friend zone with all the great conversation and no flirting. Getting this result also reduces my chances of a close on the second date. She’s now thinking there is no chemistry. My problem is I’m a great conversationalist and it’s easy for me to get caught up in conversation.

I recently had an ideal first date. The setting was a cool sports bar with the NBA playoffs on TV. Here’s how I broke it down by time:

0 – 15 minutes: introduction, immediate comfort building, drinks. She was clearly nervous so I put extra effort into comfort building and maintaining relaxed, non-confrontational body language.

15 – 1:30: Good conversation with very light flirting. Light flirting for me is giving a small IOI every 15 minutes or so, maybe less. We talked about everything from relationships to sports to movies to sex. Usually when I start with the sex talk I move to the next stage.

1:30 – 2:30: More conversation, hardcore flirting. By the end of this section, we had our hands all over each other. She was completely comfortable getting handsy in a public place. The night ended basically when the NBA game was over.

2:30 – 3:00 – Make-out session in my car. I probably could have pulled but I rarely try to pull on a first date if I’m interested in making her my girlfriend.

What I like about this is the date is a quick investment (3 hours) but not too quick. We got in a bunch of quality conversation, tons of great flirting, and a hot make-out sess at the end. There was never any stretch where it dragged or felt weird. No awkward silences. We both left fired up and hungry for a followup.

If you add another 1-2 hours to this date, you risk saying something stupid or hitting a patch of dead space that doesn’t advance your cause. You’d also be stretching out the conversation part and risk losing the make-out part. Maybe she gets tired or maybe she has to walk her dog. Don’t chance it. I move through the stages when it feels right and try to be time efficient. I want to end the first date around the three-hour mark, provided I’ve hit my milestones. I’m not rigid about this schedule, but I try to massage the situation along.

Lastly, when I date, I’m looking for a girlfriend and a possible LTR. I don’t really date just to get laid. That’s a totally different strategy.

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About Lance Lance is a tech geek by day, social artist and fitness enthusiast by night. He specializes in relationships in real life situations, such as workplace and in business, and his goal is to create high value social circles filled with opportunity. For more on his dating and relationship perspective, check out his blog honeyandlance.com

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