Shift Dating

Couple on first date at cafe man paying with credit card

Getting the first date right matters

We get a lot of questions about 1st date etiquette. We’ve assembled a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions. 

We’ve rounded up the answers to our most frequently asked questions about the pivotal 1st date. Impress your next first date with our online dating concierge’s advice. 


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Where’s The Best Place to Go on a First Date? 


According to the Shift Dating team, meeting for coffee or drinks halfway between your homes or your offices is the best first-date spot. Grabbing a cup of joe or unwinding with a glass of wine is always casual. We like that this easy type of 1st date works with both of your busy schedules and fosters conversation. If you want to extend your date after you finish your drinks, take a walk around the neighbourhood and continue the fun. Just don’t go somewhere for a nightcap…but that’s further down in the post! 

In any case, if you’re feeling nervous before your first date, just remember this. A woman just wants to feel comfortable on a first date, according to 79% of women from Match.com’s 2018 survey. More than 5,000 single people living in the U.S participated in the study.  

These are the most important takeaways you need to know: 

It turns out Sunday is the ideal day for a first date.

Unplug on your first date 

The best thing you can do for your first date? Put your phone away! It’s the number one biggest turn off for women, the report found. 

Making a good impression 

Additional big turn-offs on first dates include: 

  • Ordering more than two drinks, reported 80 percent of women  
  • Asking to try her food/ her drink, said 58 percent of women 
  • Being rude to the wait staff, according to 38 percent of women 

Don’t be late 

Also, it goes without saying: do your best to be on time! Shockingly, 1 in 4 men thinks it’s okay to be 15 minutes late for a first date. Spoiler alert: that’s not okay. Punctuality is one of the easiest ways to show your date respect, so make it your priority to be on time. 

What’s The Best Day For a First Date? 


It turns out the old saying is true: Sundays are for lovers. Coincidentally, the Sunday after New Year’s Day is also one of the busiest days for dating apps each year, according to Bumble.

However, it turns out Sunday is the ideal day for a first date.

“When I was single, I always liked planning my first dates for Sunday afternoons,” Chris Rey, a Video Producer in Mississauga, told Shift Dating. He started planning first dates on Sundays after reading an article on GQ in 2017. 

“I like Sundays because when I ask about her day, I learn more about her hobbies and how she chooses to spend her free time,” Chris explained. He also likes that people tend to be more relaxed on the weekend.  

“My date and I will also have stories to share about how we spent our Friday night and Saturday. When you go on a first date on a weekday, I find that people still need to wind down from work,” he said. 

In an article for Self.com, writer Bari Lieberman also discussed the benefits of Sunday first dates. 

“Sunday first dates let me be selfish with my time while also putting myself out there,” she wrote. “And when you fill your Monday through Saturday with interesting things, it ultimately makes Sunday date small talk even more exciting. “ 

Swiping and talking to new matches might be another great way to beat the infamous “Sunday Scaries.”   

Should I Pay For The First Date?

A 2018 survey conducted by the Toronto Star asked the question: “Who should pay on a hetero first date?” and the answers might surprise you. Overall, the majority of voters, 32%, said it should be the person who asked for the date. 

Vanessa Francone, a Marketing and Public Relations Manager in Toronto, agrees. “For the first date, I like the man to take the lead, as he’s usually the one who asked me out,” she says. “Now, whenever my boyfriend Julian and I go out on dates, we make it a priority to take turns on who gets the bill.”  

Meanwhile, 27% of people opt to split the check. 20% of voters said the man should pay for the first date. Also, 20% said the man should offer, but the woman should offer to pay half. 

Shift Dating coaches suggest that if you’re grabbing a coffee or drinks for the first date, the guy should offer to pay the full bill. Especially if it’s under $40. 

Another good rule of thumb: don’t order anything on a date if you can’t pay your half. 

If you’re grabbing a coffee or drinks for the first date, men should offer to pay the full bill if it’s under $40.

How Many Times Should I Let Her Reschedule a Date?

It’s a rite of passage for every online dater: getting cancelled on your date at the last minute. Of course, life happens. And it’s essential to give people the benefit of the doubt. If the two of you are planning your first date, our advice is to let your date reschedule the date just once. Be understanding and say something along the lines of: “Sure, no problem! Let me know when you want to reschedule.” 

But if your date bails a second time? Then it’s time to call it quits. 

One Reddit user said it best, explaining how they approach this unfortunately common phenomenon. “You’re cool, and I would like a chance to get to know you. But you don’t seem to have time to meet up. If things get less busy for you, hit me up and we can arrange something from there. Cheers!” 

Although you don’t have to follow the script exactly, we like that the person is setting boundaries and is politely pointing out that their time is a priority. 

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How Long Should The First Date Last? 

We know how exciting it is to be on an incredible first date. The sparks are flying, the drinks are flowing, and you’re feeling like your best flirty self. Suddenly you look around and realize that the restaurant is winding down for the night. You never noticed that you were the two last customers there. Should you go to a bar down the street and continue the fun, or is it best to call it a night? 

The Shift Dating online concierge team gets this question a lot. We love Matthew Hussey’s (one of the world’s leading dating experts) opinion on the subject. Always defer the nightcap! 

“I know the temptation when a date is going well is to drag it out as long as possible because you’re enjoying being with that person,” he explains in his YouTube video.  

“But that’s not always productive. Think of the best concert you’ve been to; it probably didn’t end at 2 a.m. when you were already tired. You want your first date to end on a high.” 

So when your date asks you for that nightcap, we suggest calling it a night if it’s already past 11 p.m. Use this opportunity to set up the drink for another date the next day or later that same week. This way, you’re both left wanting more, and your next date together is already in mind. 

We’re Crazy About Each Other. But She Wants Something Casual 

It’s always exciting to meet someone you like and who feels the same way about you. The possibilities feel endless. After all, getting to know your new beau is one of the best parts of dating someone. It’s easy to start spending a lot of time together when you hit it off. Before you know it, your 1st date turns into your 2nd date, and conversations start getting more serious. 

However, after the first 3 to 5 dates with someone, you should have a better understanding of where things are heading. Are you both enjoying a fun summer fling?

If you’re sexually intimate, are you exclusive but not together? These are the questions you might want to figure out. 

No matter how much you like someone, it’s essential, to be honest about your needs and expectations. When she tells you she wants something casual, you need to believe her. Or if she tells you she’s dating in hopes of finding a long-term committed relationship, you need to respect that.

At the same time, if they say they don’t know what they want, ask yourself if that’s okay with you. 

To sum it up: don’t date something with the hopes you can change their mind. A big part of that includes respecting their time and ending things early if you’re not on the same page.  

Just remember, you’ll find your match out there! Here at Shift Dating, we can set up your online dating profile to help find that perfect match. And when that time comes, you’ll both be on the same page when it comes to the commitment you want. 

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