Why a First Date Is Not a Date After All

first-date-not-dateIn these days of Tinder and Online Dating in general you tend to go on a lot of first dates. Most of these dates amount to nothing. Either you don’t “feel it” or they don’t. Perhaps for whatever reason the person you met online isn’t the actual person sitting in front of you. Perhaps they completely misrepresented themselves online. For whatever reason, it just didn’t go anywhere. Often times, this gets many people down.

Date after date, week after week, more misses than hits. I can relate. I’ve seriously lost count of the number of first dates I’ve actually been on in the past few years after my divorce. It really used to get me down until I changed my perspective. Looking back I saw that first dates really weren’t dates at all, they were akin to a face-to-face interview where online dating was like sending out your resume. Think about it, first dates are the threshold to moving ahead with someone. Once you meet them online, you want to see if they’re really that great in person. Sometimes it is, other times it’s a disaster, either way, you tried. I’d like to put something out there … I think a first date is not a date. Yes, you heard right. Confused? I’ll explain.

Why a First Date Is Not a Date After All

Think about it. A first date is pretty much an assessment of a person to see if they are worth pursuing further. It’s essentially a social interaction. Like I mentioned earlier, most people see it as a job interview. How about not even seeing it as a date at all? How about seeing it as a friendly encounter with someone to gauge their potential? I always advise that people should keep first dates simple. Grab a coffee and go for a walk, explore a touristy part of your city, have a drink somewhere interesting or even go window shopping somewhere noteworthy. The whole point is to do something that generates “getting to know you” discussion. You want to see if there’s some chemistry and if you want to get to know them more. When you don’t consider it a date you end up focusing on the process not the dating outcome. Why is that important? It’s important because you see potential red flags but you also objectively see what the person is really like when your vision isn’t clouded. Dating should be fun and often times the enjoyment factor is lost because people are too focused on the wrong things. So how do you focus on the right things? By actually getting to know what makes them tick! Here’s how …

Some Great Getting To Know You Questions For a First Date

Bored of the usual where are you from, where do you work, where have your traveled and do you have any siblings questions? ME TOO! Here are some unconventional questions you can use on a first date (inspired by some cards on the art of conversation I read):

  • What comes to mind when you think of the word “happiness”?
  • What is the time of day you enjoy most and why?
  • What would you do if you knew you would get away with it?
  • What is your idea of a great day?
  • What’s your favorite snack and why?
  • What is the worst meal you have ever had? Best meal?
  • Where are you most in your element?
  • What’s your favorite subject to talk or think about?
  • What’s the biggest bargain you’ve ever found?
  • What is the most important thing in life?
  • What would you most like to be remembered for?

These are just a handful of questions, but you get the idea … it’s about getting to know the real person, not just superficially which helps you make a more informed decision. Also, by going on a date somewhere unconventional where there are things and people you can talk about you can also gauge their reactions to different events. If you ask me, it’s a win-win. If it doesn’t work out at least you’ve met someone new and learned about what makes someone tick … you never know when that might come in handy. I know I soak it all in and it’s helped me immensely in my life and allowed me to chill on first dates and just have fun because really it isn’t a date after all.

READERS: Do you think a first date should be “counted” as a date or should it be a stepping stone to something more or an opportunity to walk away? Share your thoughts and insights in the comments below!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva


  1. I never considered the first meeting as a date nor did I treat it as such. To me first dates generally meant there was already something there and we knew each other no matter how slight in both cases. A first date from online is meeting a stranger you know nothing about. First meetings for me were always casual such as a soda from a mall. I’d then chat with them awhile and if we both felt like it then maybe a lunch or a snack. That way if either of us weren’t interested we didn’t waste time. Most of the time there was no chemistry so why waste hours and money on things like dinner?


    • I love your thinking 🙂 “Most of the times there was no chemistry so why waste hours and money on things like dinner?” As you say…..I would also keep the time down to an hour of so.


      • Me too. I’d meet in between meal times on weekends and if it clicked one of us may suggest dinner or another time to do so. If nothing was mentioned then I figured one or both weren’t interested. It really helped because there were never hurt feelings.


  2. I love how you say they are face to face interviews, I find it very true in my case too. You are asking about each other, trying to think will we be compatible and deciding if they have cleared the round.

    I had never realized but reading this I did.


  3. Yeah, a first date is really just a meeting. But like you said, it’s about the process not the outcome. When I was dating I never put too much stock into a first date because you really don’t know someone after a first date. I always went on a couple dates just to see how the overall experience was and made my decision based on the collective of all the dates. So, yeah, I always considered each date as stepping stones.

    P.S. LOVE the get-to-know-you questions. Thanks Diva!


  4. I think the “first date” should just be a get to know you “meet up”….. Not a job interview with all kinds of esoteric questions. It’s more of a how do you “feel” about the person…. are you comfortable with them? I want my soul to warm up to the person, not my head getting hot from trying to answer all those questions.


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