11 Things Girls Should Know Before Their First Date

I always do a Google search for my Ooph Lists before I write them. I want to make sure I am not stepping on anyone’s toes. I was HORRIFIED by what I found when I Googled “first date tips for girls”. You should be too. Every tip or list I found was how to get a guy to like you. How to impress. How not to be a turn off. Disgusting.

Not one list was about protecting themselves. Being themselves. Or caring about a boy impressing them. I hope this list is VERY different from the others you find on the internet. I hope it empowers and inspires your daughters.

11 Things Girls Should Know Before Their First Date

1. Always have an out plan. Use your parents if you need to. Have a certain thing you text mom or dad and we will call and get you home.

2. You are NEVER helpless. SAY NO and then fight HARD if you have to.

3. Be yourself, not what you think he wants you to be.

4. Have a couple of topics to talk about in case the conversation stalls. First dates can be awkward for both of you. Topics can be something going on at school, something you are interested in or something you know he is. 

5. If there is a little voice inside your head telling you something? LISTEN.

6. Don’t post your date on Facebook before it happens. And? Don’t talk about it on Facebook after. Good or bad. Too much pressure and too personal.

7. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Go home.

8. Stay in public or around other people.

9. A boy should knock on your front door and introduce himself to your parents. He should walk you to your door at the end of your date and say goodnight to them too.

10. If he isn’t a gentleman on your first date, he never will be.

11. Don’t overdress or wear too much makeup. Just wear what you feel comfortable in. He asked you out because he likes you the way you are.

What would you add to this list?

10 Things a Boy Should Know Before His First Date and more Ooph Lists

About Stefanie

Stefanie Mullen


  1. I am a mom to two boys (17 & 18 yrs old) and I think your lists are great. Both of my sons have dated some very nice girls that I have been happy to have in my home…and they have also dated a few that made me “nervous”. :-)

    If I were going to add to the list, I would suggest the following:

    (1) Emphasize to your sons and daughters that “dating” someone does not give you “ownership” of that person. So many teenage romances are full of jealousy and controlling behavior…and I worry about how they will react in grown-up relationships.

    (2) Respect each other’s family and their rules. Example…We do not allow phones at our supper table. That hour is our family’s time to catch-up and connect. In the past, lots of girls have given my sons grief for not “texting” them back “immediately”…even after my sons explain my rules to the ladies.

    (3) Do not talk badly about your parents, their parents, or anyone else on your date. My youngest son once returned home from his date an hour after he left. His reason…the girl was mad at her parents over her curfew and she spent 30 minutes of their date calling her mother names and talking badly about her family…My son “faked” a headache and took her home. He said, “If she is that disrespectful to her own family, she won’t treat anyone with respect”.

    (4) I also think that it is time to recognize that all of the “daddy’s girls” are not sweet, innocent victims. My sons have shown me texts from girls that make me blush! While you are teaching your daughters to protect themselves from their dates (which is very important)…also teach them to behave “like a lady”.

    These are just my ramblings…based on my own experience as a single mom to two “almost grown” sons. :-)

    • I think your extras are amazing. As a 24 year old in a new relationship, they made me stop & think back on how I have acted the past few months to make sure I haven’t done anything that would go against these tips. My boyfriend was brought up in a very close family, that is traditional & what would be considered old fashioned in this day & age. I’m confident in saying that I believe I have been respectful to all their rules & what they would expect. But it is good to keep in mind as well. Thanks for adding your thoughts to an already amazing post.

    • Tammy you nailed it!!!! I think in this day and time the girls are just as to blame as the boys for pushing intimacy too soon. I also think it would be a good idea to tell everyone’s kids to text only what they don’t mind being seen by the whole world including your boyfriends parents. Maybe the text messages will get cleaned up!
      Hooray for your son!!!!!! Way to stand up and he was 100% correct! People tend to be on their best behavior on a date so if they have a rotten attitude then well it only gets worse.

    • It must of been hard for you tammy so could your sons still have dates

    • Tammy, these are great add-ons. It sounds like you raised your boys well. And yes, although girls need to know how to protect themselves, far too many girls are dressing and acting way too provocative while so young. I wish that young girls knew that they don’t have to dress and act like a tramp in order to get boys to like them and if they do need to do that, then they are attracting the wrong boys.

  2. Some of the best advice I ever got when I was a teenager was “You don’t choose who you fall in love with, so never date someone you wouldn’t marry.” Luckily, I received this advice before it was too late, but I wish I had received it before I’d dated at all! Before that, I basically dated whoever I wanted, and I didn’t really have any set criteria for who I should and shouldn’t date beyond who I had romantic chemistry with. Girls today need to know what they are looking for (and what they don’t want!) in a mate BEFORE they start dating!

    • This is great advice for both genders! We are far from dating age in this household but I plan on advising my children to create a list of character qualities they want in a mate and not dating anyone who doesn’t meet their criteria. It isn’t fair to the other person to waste their time. I made a list in high school and my husband met all but one thing.

      • I too made a list in high school and again in college with more qualities I wanted in a husband and then soon I met my husband and he met every detail! Amazing!

    • Well maybe you’ll find someone with qualities you never even knew you wanted? :)
      Going on my first EVER date in a few hours, I’m so scared!! But I should
      Have a few mints,
      Clean your nose&ears before date
      Bring lipstick or whatever, make sure it isn’t sticky
      Relax. Being yourself should be the easiest thing to be!

  3. Sherrie Gibbs says:

    I would add: 1) If she has to go to restroom, ask the boy to walk her there, wait for her, and walk her back to the table/seat in movie/etc because she should NEVER leave her drink or food alone which could give date time to put something in drink/food. 2) ALWAYS have enough money to pay for meal if date goes sour…pay, leave table, stay in building, and call parent to come pick you up.

  4. My mom always told me, “Watch your drink.” I didn’t marry until I was 34 years old, and this was really good advice.

  5. Sarah goodwin says:

    I would add that even though the boy is probably paying, this does not give you license to abuse him. Even if he says to get anything you want, DON’T buy the most expensive thing on the menu. You want him to respect you? Respect him.

  6. I’m 17 and I’ve only dated one boy but I think a good piece of advice for the first date is to plan ahead to each pay for yourselves. I know that as a girl, the boy is “supposed” to pay, but I always felt very awkward when he would pay for things for me. I didn’t like the feeling of being paid for while I didn’t do anything for it. I received this piece of advice from a teacher at school who said that if you pay for yourself, you will not feel obligated to give anything in return (such as physical stuff) and you will not feel guilty about ordering something that is too expensive. This allows more comfort on a date and will allow you to be more of yourself as it will eliminate some of the awkwardness.

  7. Rebecca Nickerson says:

    I think it is good to reinforce the girl is in charge of her own body….and can boldly proclaim..NO, this is my body and keep your hands off, I was not prepared for this and was very shy and shocked at the young man for turning into an octopus..all arms..He finally had to figure it out…I was pushing away the hands and arms..and the eve. ended.

  8. Ok, so I’m only 15 and haven’t dated, but I think that if you are planning on dating someone, you should be friends with them first. Half of my friends are boys, and I know 2 of them that like me.

    • I’m 17 and once thought that too, but then – from when I was 15 to 16 – I went out with a boy I’d been great friends with for ages and it completely ruined our friendship. We don’t even talk anymore. I think it’s good to go out with someone you know a little first, but if you’re planning to date someone you know really well, you need to be careful and decide whether it’s worth the potential loss of a friendship.

  9. This is a great list! I’m only 15 and am not gonna date until I am 18. My dad is in the army and it just seems silly to me that I would even THINK about getting into a relationship, if it wasn’t going to possibly end in marriage, and with moving around so often, those chances go down a whole lot.
    ANY guy that I ever date would have to be my friend for a while before we dated. I think another rule would be, don’t go out with EVERY boy who askes you. I would feel much safer with a boy who was my friend, knew my parents, and my parents trusted and liked him and his family.

    • I totally understand not wanting to date without marriage being the end goal but I have to say that part of dating is also practice. You have an idea of what you want in a mate but dating helps to clarify those things, dating just to date is a good thing for those first few years when no one is planning on meeting their future spouse. I learned a lot about myself through dating and a lot about what really mattered to me vs. what I THOUGHT mattered. I was always dating with marriage in mind so I stopped dating anyone once I was sure I wouldn’t marry them after I graduated high school but it was when I realized that I was really done dating for fun and that I only wanted to date to marry that I found my wonderful husband but I wouldn’t trade all I learned from my single years for anything.

      This is also what I’d add to the list.

  10. My Mom always advised taking AT LEAST $20.00 cash incase things go badly and you get stranded, it is emergency money not “oops I forgot my wallet” money. Also tell at least 3 friends/family where who and what the plan is so they know where to look/ who to contact if something goes wrong.

    • you are so right i agree tell some friends or family and if you can get some of ur friends to go along and secretly watch that way u willl feel much safer

  11. Great list! Sharing this with my teenage daughter. Also, I’d add, to always have a few dollars on her in case she needs a cab (ie…quick get away).

  12. There’s a lot to be said in favor of traditional courting… I’m liking it more and more. :)

  13. Caitlyn Anne browning says:

    You are so rite.thank you sooo much you are really going to help me on my date on Saturday.thanks!

  14. Dating can be fun and can lead to great things; however relationships can become toxic. If your relationship turns to controlling, disrespect, abuse in any form-get out. It’s better to be single and happy than miserable or worse. You are worth it and if he respects himself and others; he (whoever he is will you too).

  15. Sadly, the two lists you did should have been renamed “It’s all about her” and “Beware the Young Rapists.” Some are sound and I’m all for boys being respectful and girls being cautious. Not much was targeted toward a girl being a lady and a boy thinking of himself. I liked the reader who added that girls should not look st the boy like a Red Lobster gift card. Cell phones could be addressed on either, though I feel a little stronger on the girl side. If either is surfing or texting much the date is in trouble. Is it worth mentioning condoms to either or both? If you’re revisiting No Means No, it’s worth a nod to What if the Answer is Yes? A good idea is to remove all thoughts, good or bad, of someone you once dated and absolutely never bring up the topic. Top 10 (or 11) lists are nice, but often too constricted to cover everything. I guess that’s why they’re lists of things kids should know, but no the ONLY things they should know.

  16. I love every one of these post! I am still in the dating age and I have gone a few dates. and as I look back I see what I could have done better and what they guy could have done. thank you so much for posting this it helps me now and always will!!! and Tommy I agree with every thing you have said too! thanks to you both!!!

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  19. wow so boys have to find out what SHE likes and plan the date based on it, show respect in anyway, be the gentlmen opening doors and even EARN the kiss (like this would be some kind of reward), while your girls list contains nothing but the demonizing of boys, making it look like every boy is a potential rapist?! and also the girl is entitled to be herself and shouldn’t mind what he thinks (good thing but this goes BOTH ways!!). you basically favour the girls on so many levels, yet you never mentioned that SHE should ALSO respect the boy and consider what he might like to do on the first date, how about both parties should make the date something that includes stuff that has beneficial aspects for BOTH of them? i’m wondering if i’m really talking to a mother of 3 boys? do you raise them to be some kinda princess worshippers ready to be taken advantage of? you make it look like girls can do nothing wrong and they free to demand everything and boys have to provide it. girls should give respect too on a first date and guess what, they should not be taught it’s all about them while on a date! it’s a shame that there were only two valuable comments on this pointing this out! and as a mother of boys you should actually feel ashamed teaching such demeaning double standards.. you sound so biased and ignorant and not too qualified to raise boys since it sounds like you make them feel they have less value than girls! well, I’m done, just needed to get this off my chest after reading these lists. have a nice day Kev

    • I get this… I have both boys and a girl. I want my boys to have good character and to be respectful to a girl on a date. I also want them to “be themselves”, enjoy themselves and be able to really start to get to know the girl better. I would personally advise against physical involvement with the girl so that they can get to know the girl as a person and a friend without complicating things– even if the girl wants to get physical. But for my daughter, my advice would be a little different: I think girls are more vulnerable than boys, they are weaker and can be taken advantage of. It doesn’t been every boy is going to take advantage of her, but the fact is, there is a real danger from some boys. I dated a girl in college who had been “date raped”. She was a wonderful girl, but she suffered deep emotional pains from that experience often.– shame, fear, self-protection, bitterness, etc. I simply must protect my daughter from the possibility of that danger even while I am letting her go.

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  21. I’m 16 and am going on my first solo date sunday night. This was all great advice! especially in the comment section.

  22. wow this article was great. going on my very first date tonight. Its a group date with couple of friends, but now i know exactly what i need to be looking for. Thanks!

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  24. These tips are great! Thank you so much all of you! I just have a little problem. I have a movie date tomorrow and I’m really scared I will mess up everything (by saying the wrong thing, doing something rude, being all akward while we’re having a conversation, etc.). I don’t know why I feel this way because he’s my best friend and we kinda like each other so he probably likes me for who I am. I don’t know. Maybe this all just unnecessary stress.


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