First Date Etiquette for Newly Singles

Hello, I’m Katie and I’d consider myself a dating pro.  I had at least 31 first dates over the past two years and combined with a load more 2nd dates, I’ve worked out that I had a date every 1.5 weeks over my time being single.

I’m lucky enough to have met an absolute gem of a human being on my 31st app date (who I’m now lucky enough to call my boyfriend) but I had to kiss date an awful lot of frogs before I found him.

I like to also think of myself as the bestie you can come to for all sorts of dating advice… a modern day Carrie Bradshaw if you will (except less fickle, more messy and with an ever better Mr. Big).

I wanted to write up some of my top tips for first dates as I get asked this an awful lot and feel like I’ve learnt so much that my knowledge definitely needs to be passed on.  As with all my advice, this is what I’ve found works well for me; everyone’s dating history and successes are different, but hopefully this will help some of those new to the dating game!

1) Avoid doing a sit down dinner on a first date.  There are multiple reasons for this – firstly, I find it super awkward when I’ve only just met someone to take time to properly read a menu and then eat whilst also trying to small talk and work out common ground.  I much prefer just drinks on a first date wether that be in a pub or cafe, where there is also option to grab food later if you’re both peckish (or drunk and in need of substance).

Note – I always forget to eat dinner before dates so I always end up ordering a bowl of chips for us both to share at pubs which always goes down a treat but makes it much less awkward than a full 3 course meal.

2) Always pay for yourself.  As lovely as it is to get treated, that shouldn’t be the main reason we’re going on dates and we don’t want to give them the impression that’s all we’re after too.  I’ve heard horror stories of girls going on first dinner dates with guys and letting them pay for it all, only for the guy to flip out after the girl says she’s not actually interested.  Some people will feel like you owe them something if they buy everything on the date and that’s never a position I like to feel in, so I prefer to go dutch.  Not only that, but pretty much everyone I’ve dated is always super impressed that I’m equally buying rounds (which always surprises me as I thought every one else did it equally to)?

3) Don’t kiss them on the first date unless you’re sure you like them.  I’ve made this mistake before and again, people feel really led on if you have a snog and then decide you don’t like them.  I know how awkward the end of first dates are, but a quick kiss on the check or a hug will suffice unless you’re sure!

4) A mistake I make A LOT on first dates is asking too many serious questions.  It can either go brilliantly if your date is really open and up for answering said questions, but some will make up bullshit answers and withdraw if they think that I won’t like the truth.  My reasoning for doing this is I absolutely won’t date someone who does drugs and so I like to find that out on the first date to save wasting time on that person, but sometimes it’s not the best question to ask!

5) Try not to put too much pressure or hope on this person being ‘the one’.  Doing this will leave you either ridiculously nervous before and on the date so much so that you won’t feel yourself OR you’ll get disappointed time and time again as sadly not everyone will be for you.  Instead just try to focus on enjoying yourself and learning something new from your date, wether it be a fun fact or a lesson on what you absolutely don’t want from a future partner.

I really hope this helps some of you who are new to the dating game and I’d also love to hear your top tips down below too!

If you have any other dating questions, leave me a comment down below or send me one anonymously to as I’m going to start answering them properly in a new series here on my blog.

Love you guys lots!

K x

Photographed by Kaye @fordtography 

Disclaimer: Purchased all clothes with my own money. Affiliate links contained within post but doesn’t affect you at all!


  1. February 6, 2019 / 8:31 pm

    Loved this post Katie! I’m definitely guilty of doing a lot of these things on first dates and although some i’d still do, I think it totally depends on the person and how comfortable you feel with them.

    So glad you’ve found some happiness after some time. So happy for you! xx

  2. Liana
    February 7, 2019 / 4:32 am

    Hi Katie! I’ve been a fan for awhile and I always love your dating posts. Would also really like to see a post about your take on getting into a new relationship once you’ve had a couple in the past. I’m in that position now, and I’ve just found it very different from how I looked at earlier relationships. Cheers! – Liana

  3. Tahira
    February 7, 2019 / 12:14 pm

    I would say another top tip even before you go on the date.

    If you’re looking for something more serious instead of casual, mention that on your dating profile. I know it can be kinda ‘taboo’ to not be open about your expectations but I found that meant i knew i would be going on dates with people that were serious too.

    You also filter out the wrong people straight away! You might not get as many swipes but at least you know you won’t be wasting your time!

    Interestingly, the next date I went on i met my now boyfriend and we’ve been together for nearly 2 years. So it worked for me!


    (previous p

  4. February 7, 2019 / 4:48 pm

    I’m happily engaged but just want to say those photos are beaut!

  5. Aaron
    February 7, 2019 / 9:52 pm

    Hi Katie,

    I just found your site, so do forgive me if this has been answered before. I’m a guy, newly into the dating game and have setup a bio on tinder. I have a few questions, mainly does a bio really matter? And if so what should I put in it (examples would be great!)?
    Secondly I’m looking for something serious so would you still say drinks is the best first date option or should i try and suggest either something more intimate like dinner or fun like bowling?
    Lastly, I have been getting a few matches (give or take 5 a week or two), however I don’t know how to really converse. Should I be trying to get personal (trying to find out more about who they are and what they like) over tinder/text or save it for meeting in person?

    Thanks for the help

  6. N.
    February 10, 2019 / 12:17 pm

    Hi Katie, thanks for your blogpost!
    While a agree with your points, I do find point 2) a bit more difficult; they rarely let me take my wallet out, but then they are disappointed when I don’t want a 2nd date. Any tips on avoiding this situation without going into a fight about who pays?

    • KatieSnooks
      February 20, 2019 / 2:34 pm

      Hello! This can be sometimes difficult. I think some men would take you paying for yourself to mean ‘she’s not interested’ and then hopefully just get the message when it comes to not planning a second date. I think just be insistent or if they’re going to put up a fight, then they can’t really be disappointed either way you choose! I hope that makes sense x

  7. Amy
    February 19, 2019 / 12:51 pm

    Hi Katie, love your blog and find your posts really interesting! I am in my late 20s and I’ve yet to even have a relationship 🙁 I’m on the dating apps but finding it hard to find anyone who sparks my interest, physically or emotionally. I’ve had a couple of dates but none of them went anywhere. I get plenty of likes but never from guys I’m interested it, I never end up matching with the guys I’ve swiped right on sometimes – hopefully they just don’t use the app rather than not liking me! I’m just about losing hope 🙁 How can I try and change things?

  8. shann
    February 22, 2019 / 8:04 am

    I’m from in a small country called Malaysia in South east Asia and being Asian myself knows that most girls expects the guy to pay on the first date. I’ve only been to a handful of first dates through dating apps and funnily the two dates that I’ve managed to go dutch on ghosted me after the date and the two dates that insisted that they would pay turned out to be my long term ex-bf and current bf. It’s funny how the world works sometimes.

  9. March 21, 2019 / 12:16 pm

    Hi, Kate. I often have problems with sincerity on the first date. I do not know how to help a guy relax psychologically and talk about things that are important to him. I begin to ask questions and understand that our date looks like an interrogation. How can I speak to a person, but not for superficial chatter?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for Something?