How to Impress a First Date Like an Absolute Boss

If there’s one thing we can all agree on when it comes to gay dating, it’s that it can be really, really complicated. It’s not just about finding someone you’d potentially like to hook up with or give your time to either. The entire process from start to finish can be a major challenge, not to mention completely confusing at times.

That’s exactly why dates you’re truly excited about are so nerve-wracking. Doubly so if you really like the guy and can picture even the possibility of a future with him! Here we’ll go over everything you need to know how to make a fantastic first date impression. We’ll cover why gay dating is so hard in the first place, as well as touch on a few can’t-miss tips to increase your chances of acing any first date. With any luck, he won’t be able to get you off his mind after you say good night!

Are There Rules to Gay Dating?

Naturally, no two people are going to have the same experience when it comes to gay dating. Yes, part of that is about everyone being an individual, but it’s also about the way the gay dating world has no real protocol people can look to for guidance. Society has a traditional narrative it can fall back on when it comes to how men and women date… but how are two men “supposed to” behave under the same circumstances?

That said, there are no established rules to gay dating. On the one hand, that can be confusing. However, it also opens the door to a lot of exciting new possibilities. You’re free to be completely spontaneous and to think outside the box as far as how you meet and connect to people. Once you find your footing, you get to make your own rules. In the meantime, here are a few gay dating guidelines that pretty much always apply and can take some of the guesswork out of the dating process.

Be Honest

Just about everyone had a mother, a grandmother, or a mentor who taught them honesty is the best policy when they were young, right? Well, Grandma knew what she was talking about. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to put your best foot forward on a first date, especially if your date is a real catch, you need to do it while being yourself.

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A great way to make this easier is to keep things as cool, free, and easy as possible. Steer clear of potentially loaded subjects like past relationships. Instead, keep your focus on lighter topics it’s easier to be 100% honest about. There’s plenty of time for the heavy stuff later.

Do Some Homework

Here in the age of Instagram and Facebook, doing a little low-key research on someone you’re curious about isn’t just possible. It’s a way of life, so using social media to get a little background information on your potential match before a first date is just plain smart thinking. It’s definitely a convenient and reliable way to get a feel for his basic likes and dislikes.

Pay special attention to information that will make it easier to be thoughtful or considerate on the date. Does his Facebook check-in history show a preference for low-key coffee shops over bars and clubs? Is his Instagram feed full of posts about fitness and healthy eating? Does he seem to especially love people, animals, or nature? Use what you learn about his tastes and preferences to your advantage when planning your online gay date. Absolutely everyone is impressed by someone who seems to know what they like without having to ask.

Be Cautious with Your Humor

If you’re like a lot of gay guys, you’ve probably been blessed with that trademark biting humor so many of us have. However, even if telling it like it is and really letting the zingers fly works in your favor most of the time, you’ll want to err on the side of caution when you’re out on a first date with someone you don’t really know.

Try to get a feel for your date’s unique sense of humor before fully indulging your own. If your sense of humor runs on the more sarcastic side, try whipping off a couple of mild comments to see how he reacts. Humor is an important element in any relationship, so it’s really important that you’re compatible in this way.

Don’t Play Games After

If the two of you were only interested in a quick hook-up never to be repeated or simply didn’t hit it off, that’s one thing. If you ended your date hoping to see each other again though, don’t screw things up by playing games. A lot of gay men are proud and really don’t want to be the one to send that first text. This is your opportunity to be a breath of fresh air.

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Yes, we’re telling you to take the initiative and be first. You don’t have to say anything crazy or presumptuous. Just show you’re a guy with manners by – shortly after your date – thanking him for the date and telling him you had a good time. Now it’s up to him to respond and, if he’s really into you, he absolutely will.

Making a Good Impression

At the end of the day, you can’t control absolutely everything about a first date or worry too much about how things will go. There’s always the chance that you just won’t click the way you thought you would and there’s not much you can do to avoid that. Everything else boils down to making the best impression you can.

When in doubt, fall back on good manners and be the type of guy you’d want to be on a date with. Show up clean, well-groomed, and fresh smelling. Be on time. Be an attentive, but engaging conversationalist. Look for common ground the two of you can connect over and give your date your full attention. Don’t lie and don’t play games. If your date is still not impressed, then it’s likely that you simply weren’t right for each other in the first place.

Rob West

Rob West

I worked with Matt to build several hookup apps for gay men, including Guyhop.

I've been in the scene for several years now. Eternally single until I find "him".

My background is in marketing and psychology, which gives me a unique perspective on the LGBTQ dating and hookup scene.