Dating can be a nerve-wracking experience for both people involved, especially on a first date. Men may feel under extra pressure, as they typically take a more active role in leading, planning, and even paying for a first date. If you want to safely navigate the land of first dates, it pays to know what girls want guys to do.

Finding the Right Balance

It is important to keep the momentum going on a first date. That starts with creating a balance between the two of you that allows you to have fun together and talk naturally. That means steering the conversation in the right direction and recognizing when someone else is steering it in the wrong direction.

Be Interesting

First and foremost, girls want a guy that is interesting and engaging. That doesn’t mean you have to perform cartwheels, but you should take a keen interest in the conversation and find ways to interject that make it fun and dynamic.

Be Patient

When it comes to first dates, patience is a virtue. Girls don’t want a guy who is overly anxious to move the date along, especially when there is an issue with the atmosphere or an awkward silence in the conversation. Give the date time to find its footing and momentum, and you’ll be surprised how easily the connection develops.

Make Plans in Advance

A major turn-off for girls is when the guy shows up on the date with no plan in place. Girls will appreciate your taking the time to plan a date and know what to expect. Whether it’s dinner and a movie or a walk around the park, having something in mind for your date gives her confidence that you care and are ready to take the lead.

Be Genuine

No matter how smooth you are on a date, girls can really pick up when you’re not being yourself. Girls want authenticity, so whether you’re talking about your career, your family, or your hobbies, make sure that it is genuine and not something you’re parroting from previous dates.

Dress Appropriately

It may not seem like a big deal but the way you dress on a first date communicates a lot. Girls don’t expect every guy to be GQ model, but they do expect you to put in a little effort. That means putting on something clean, ironed, and appropriate for the date.

Watch Your Body Language

Girls tend to pick up on the smallest things, and that includes body language. Make sure you aren’t acting too stiff, too overzealous, or too standoffish. As if often said, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Be Responsive

Regardless of who is leading the conversation, girls want to see that you’re paying attention and you’re engaged. Respond to what she has to say, relate to it, and make sure you’re appearing interested.

Take an Interest

At some point on the date, things should transition to the details about each other’s lives. When the conversation veers in this direction, take the opportunity to ask her questions about her hobbies, her work, or her life goals. Showing genuine interest in who she is will make a huge difference.

Be Attentive

Girls want to be heard, especially on a first date. Show that you’re listening to her answers and make sure you’re not doing most of the talking. A recognition of her side of the conversation is one of the best compliments you can give.

End the Date Politely

As the date comes to an end, don’t be too quick to run away. Politely make sure that you’ve seen your date to her destination safely and thank them for their time. Reassure her that you had a good time and remind her of the good time you had. Offering her a hug, depending on how well the date went, is also a nice touch. Trust your instincts.

Follow Up

If you enjoyed the date, let her know via a phone call, text message, or email. Reach out a day or two after the date to tell her how much you enjoyed the experience and that you’d be interested in going on another.

Meeting someone for the first time can be difficult for a number of reasons, but if you take these tips into account, your first date will be a success. Keep the conversation going, be attentive and polite, and don’t forget to follow up afterwards. If you do all these things right, you’ll be well on your way to many more successful dates.

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