First Date Tips: Why Did I Feel Bad After My Date?

Haven’t dated in years? These first date tips help you know on what to avoid, expect, and watch for to quickly know if he’s not “The One”.

first date tips for womenfirst date tips for womenOur First Date Was Not So Good

“Dear Dating Coach Ronnie,

I went out with a new guy, and the date wasn’t all that great. Pretty awkward actually. We had drinks at this place for half an hour, and then went out to take a walk.

He asked me if I would buy him drinks like all the other girls did. What was that about? We were a little drunk and started making out.

During the kissing, he told me I should exercise, but that didn’t stop him from hugging and touching me. When the date was over, he didn’t leave the place but asked me if I knew my way out and hugged me goodbye.

Why Did the Date Make Me Feel So Bad?

I felt terrible after the date, but couldn’t explain to myself why I felt so bad.

The next day he texted me that he wanted to take things slowly and wanted to open up to me. He also said we should do this some other time. He hasn’t contacted me since then. I haven’t reached out either.

Could you explain to me about this situation and if he really wants to get back or not? And even if he does, should I see him after how he was on the date? Is his behavior OK for a first date?

Unsure in Missouri”

He’s Not a Quality Man

Dear Unsure,

I’ll tell you exactly why you felt crummy. He is NOT a quality man and was disrespectful. One thing I will say right away – his behavior is absolutely not OK!

I’m not sure how much dating experience you have had, so I’ll start with some basics.

9 First Date Tips for Women

1. What to Avoid Before the Date

2. Stay Outside the Home

The most important of my first date tips is to never go to a man’s home before you know you can trust him. Especially on a first date. It’s not safe – you didn’t know this man at all. Thankfully he didn’t try to get you into bed or worse.

For the first few dates you want to meet only in public places. Stay out of your home or his until you are ready to sleep with him. it’s too tempting when the bedroom is near by and so is the couch. Visit this post for more first date safety tips.

get help with your first datesget help with your first dates3. Stop at Two Drinks

Avoid getting drunk or even tipsy on the first three dates. You need your wits about you not only for safety, but also to make a good impression.

Plus, drinking lowers your inhibitions, so you might sleep with a man sooner than you would have if sober. This is exactly what some unsavory men hope for.

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4. Keep Your First Date Short

Your first date is really just a chemistry check. do you like each other enough to go on another date? That’s the point of you initial get together.

You want to see how the conversation flows and if you get his sense of humor. Can you understand the other person’s point of view and how they look at the world? Do you like his energy, his smile, and his personality?

Does he have a voice you enjoy and a nice way about him that puts you at ease? How does he treat the wait staff and talk about other people? Does he ask questions to get to know you or only talk about himself?

You can figure out if you want a second date pretty quickly and for that reason, keep the date short. There’s no reason to rush it. I recommend 90-minutes for your first date length. Anything longer and you risk  eliminating the mystery and tension required for healthy attraction.

Even if you are having the time of your life. Regardless of how much he wants you to stay, learn to end the date and leave him wanting MORE. Wondering where you are going and what you have to do.

Remember, scarcity naturally increases his interest and desire for you. Talk about first date tips – that’s a hot one!

5. Men Reveal Themselves Quickly

When he asked if you’d buy drinks like other women have, he’s letting you know what he expects! He isn’t interested in a relationship – he wants free drinks from women, and sex too.

I’m often amazed at how men let you know right away who they really are – one of the vital first date tips you need to know. Too bad most women don’t see these things or take them only at face value.

Surprisingly, he was being HONEST and showing you what his dating agenda really is.

pay attention to signs of controlling behaviorpay attention to signs of controlling behavior6. Watch for Controlling Behavior

He had the nerve to tell you to exercise? Who is he to criticize, direct your life, or control you? You just met!

Of all my first date tips, this is extremely important. Watch out for men who think nothing of telling you what to do about your life, career, body, health, or anything else .

When you even get a whiff of controlling behavior like this, RUN in the other direction. Don’t accept another date from this sort of man.

Block him on your phone and the app and be move on quickly, even if he’s handsome, wealthy or has other good qualities. Save yourself the heartbreak and difficulty extracting yourself from a relationship with a controlling man.

He says one thing but does another? Learn why.

7. Learn “ManSpeak”

He said he wants to “Take it slow.” This is “ManSpeak” which means “I don’t want a relationship” or “I’m not serious about you.” You have to learn how to understand what men mean vs. what they say. That’s why this is another of my essential first date tips.

When a man puts you off, is too busy to see you, wants to take things slowly, that’s a big fat red flag that he doesn’t want a relationship with you.

Since he hasn’t contacted you again, he’s not interested. Consider yourself lucky! He’s not a quality man.

what's the difference between dating and a relationshipwhat's the difference between dating and a relationship8. Dating vs. Relationship

At the end of your question, you asked if he wants to “get back” to you. Truth is, there’s nothing to get back to since you only had one date.

Many women feel confused about what constitutes “dating” versus relationship. This lack of clarity kicks in after three dates when some women think a man is moving towards a real relationship. This is not true.

Three dates is a sign dating may continue which is good. Dating is the process of getting to know someone. The purpose of dating is to vet men for a potential relationship. But three dates is not a relationship. It’s just dating or seeing someone.

Until you have an open conversation and agree to be in an exclusive relationship, you are both free agents. Even if you don’t want to be free. In truth a man owes you nothing until you get to exclusivity because there is no commitment before that. Take this first date tip to heart.

9. What to Expect on a First Date

On a first date with a quality man, you can expect him to show interest in getting to know you. He might compliment you about your looks or personality and ask questions to get to know you.

A good man will be courteous, ask what you want to drink or do. A gentleman will pay for your first date, never expecting you to pay for him or pay half.

Don’t hold out any hope for that substandard guy! You didn’t have a good time, he wasn’t nice to you, you felt crummy, and you deserve better!

You felt badly because he was disrespectful. Free drinks, making out, and telling you to exercise? It wasn’t even a real date since he didn’t take you out, even for a cup of coffee.

This is NOT how a quality man, serious about love, behaves on a first date! When a man treats you this way – walk away as fast as you can!

My Best First Date Tips & Dating Advice

On your next first date, meet the guy in a public place. Keep your wallet in your purse and let him buy you a beverage. Don’t have more than two drinks to keep your wits about you.

Don’t expect to have dinner because it’s better for you to keep the first date short and sweet. End the date within 90-minutes maximum. You can always see him again, so leave him wanting MORE of you. Men like a mystery and a woman who has a life and things to do.

Hold off on making out and intimacy. Wait to see if he calls and asks you out. Does he pursue you consistently with weekly dates?

You want a man who shows you respect and basic courtesy. A little chivalry is always a nice touch too – opening doors, etc.

Build your self-esteem to know you deserve to be treated well and accept nothing less. Walk away when any man treats you poorly, insults you, or asks you to pay for him.

To learn more about dating and understanding men, download my book His Mixed Signals Are So Confusing





Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice  and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony,,, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.