First of all… be on time (Picture: Ella Byworth for

How to absolutely nail a first date (definitely go in for a kiss)


It’s Valentine’s Day, so if you have a first date tonight then you really want to make sure it goes well.

Luckily, new research has revealed the behaviours that are key to success on a first date – and being funny and buying drinks are up there near the top.

A study of 2,000 adults found that you should tell at least two funny anecdotes on a first date, give your date two hugs and ask for a second date no more than twice.

The multiple hugging seems a little intense, but apparently people on the dating scene love it.

The survey – commissioned by Tiqets UK – also said that you should wink at your date, at least once – as well as take at least one selfie together.

But, the most important things to do on a first date are to be on time, be a good listener and avoid talking about your ex. Basics, right?

But what about making your move? The internal debate of whether or not to go in for a smooch can be all-consuming on a first date. And the stats say go for it.

Only one in 10 think it’s inappropriate to kiss on a first date, with 81% ready to go in for the smooch when the time is right.

And Brits are willing to spend money on dates, with an average amount of £73 considered to be perfect. Ouch – you might want to book in that second date after payday.

‘The results have shown that Brits are keen to impress and enjoy soaking up a bit of culture along the way with a visit to inspiring locations to wow their date,’ says Alexis Peppis, UK manager at Tiqets UK.

20 things to do for a perfect first date

1. Be on time
2. Be a good listener
3. Avoid talking about your ex
4. Make your date laugh… a lot
5. Keep conversation light
6. Keep your phone in your pocket
7. Maintain eye contact
8. Smile a lot
9. Avoid telling your life story
10. Don’t take yourself too seriously
11. See your date home safely
12. Be early
13. Play it cool
14. Have back-up questions in mind to avoid silences
15. Use positive body language
16. Wear appropriate shoes
17. Smell amazing
18. Bring a single rose
19. Talk about your date more than yourself
20. Get makeup on point

‘It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut in daily life – so a date is an ideal opportunity to burst the bubble and try something a little different. Sharing new experiences with someone is always romantic.

‘In 2020, we’re seeing these cultural activities become more popular not just when people travel, but when they’re at home looking for a unique date as well.’

The study also found that the perfect daytime date is a walk in a park or botanical garden, a visit to the zoo or a river cruise.

There is a new trend emerging – trying something new, with 45% loving to explore new places on a first date.

But you will likely want to stay in the country for at least the first month with a new partner – Brits believe you should date someone for an average of seven weeks before taking them away on a weekend getaway.

In general, 38% of people surveyed say they like a mix of order and spontaneity on a date, to keep things fresh.

But sadly, 41% said they have never been on their perfect date.

‘Even the healthiest relationship can get boring if you don’t mix it up with new experiences,’ says Alexis.

‘A date is an opportunity to show what you find interesting – and we make it easy to find the cultural activities that will appeal the most to you and your date.

‘More and more couples are playing tourist in their own city as a way to get a new perspective and appreciation for their hometown – or jaunting off on weekend trips to keep the spark alive.’

So, no matter where you are in your relationship – first date or 500th date – there’s no harm in making sure date night is as special as can be.

And being on time is an easy way to start.