10 easy ways to impress her on a first date
Don't Wear a Suit
You get a pass if you work at a place where three-piece suits are required office attire, but keep in mind that dressing to impress can sometimes backfire. If you're taking her to the opera and then to eat at Vast on your first date, fine, wear a suit. But don't bring her to a dive bar in a tuxedo.
Show Up Five Minutes Early
A simple rule to abide by: you should be at your appointed meeting place five minutes early and assume she'll be five minutes late. If you want to impress her, don't make her sit alone at a bar waiting for you. This will also give you ample opportunity to situate yourself somewhere you feel comfortable. If you're picking her up, arrive on time.
Open the Door, Pull Out Her Chair
Any guy who says that he has been chewed out by a "feminist" for doing either of these things is flat-out lying. Yes, we can open our own doors and pull out our own chairs, but it's still nice when a guy shows that chivalry is not completely dead. Neglecting to make small gestures like these probably won't ruin your changes with her completely, but when you do, we notice.
Keep Your Cell Phone Face-Down
Look, we understand. Men don't carry purses, and having to sit down with a hockey-puck-sized phone in your pocket is uncomfortable. If it's possible, keep the offending piece of technology out of sight altogether, but if you need to plop it on the table, silence it and put it face-down. Even if you're fascinated by her, a light blinking out of the corner of your eye alerting you to an incoming message is distracting, and we notice when your eyes are bobbling back and forth between your phone and our faces (or any other part of us).
Keep the Question Ratio at Least 1:1
If she asks you where you're from, answer, and then accept that as an opportunity to reciprocate with a question as well. Questions serve as more than basic first date ice-breakers, they actually enable you to get to know one another. If she's sitting there, firing off questions, legitimately trying to get to know you, and you don't respond in kind, it's a clear indicator that you're either a) not interested, or b) self-absorbed.
Don't Order "Just a Salad..." or a Sake Bomb
Taking care of yourself and being healthy are great, but loosen the dietary strings just a little for this occasion. You don't need to eat a bloody steak from a cow you strangled with your bare hands to prove you're a man's man, but turning your nose up at everything remotely unhealthy and then getting a garden salad makes you seem like a square. On the other hand, resist the urge to order a heaping platter of barbecued giant dinosaur ribs that you need to eat with your hands and feet. This kind of discretion applies to your drink order as well. Don't order sake bombs or start slamming vodka Redbulls.
Three Drinks and You're Cut Off
You might have to alter this to reflect your level of tolerance towards alcohol, but no matter how many beer cans you crush on your head on weekends, cap your date drinks at three. Even if the date is going so well that you've started picking potential wedding destinations, if you get blasted and fall on your face as you're walking out, you just negated the last two hours of progress. Not to mention, if she was about to get into a cab with you back to your place, she probably won't be anymore. Unless she's as drunk as you are.
Don't Talk About Your Ex
They say you should never talk about politics, religion and past flames on a first date. But if you adhere to only one of those, make it the last. Remember, she's trying to feel you out just as much as you're trying to feel her out, and she's feeling just as self-conscious as you are.
Tip Very Well
The jury's still out about whether you're expected to pay on the first date. Some guys insist, others don't. Choosing to pay or not pay, assuming she's not a money-grubbing wench, shouldn't be a make-or-break when it comes to dating a guy. However, if you do choose to pay, tip well. If you're doing drink rounds, tip well. If at any point during the date, you are providing money in exchange for goods and services, tip well.