If you’ve been following our First Date 101 Series, then you know what first dates are all about, you know what kind of dates to avoid, and you know what the best first dates are. Armed with this knowledge, you should already be having more success on first dates. However, there are a lot more concrete actions you can take to improve your first date experience. One of the most important is logistics. We covered it briefly in this article, let’s get into a little more detail.
Dating Logistics 101
As we highlighted in the past, first dates need to be practical and the logistics need to be conducive to meeting or whatever your goals may be. The basics we already covered: meet in an easily accessible location, don’t add unnecessary logistical obstacles like required attire or equipment or incredibly strict time constraints.More concisely, proper dating logistics involve getting three things right:
- Elimination of Obstacles
Location is one of the most important aspects of a first date you need to get right. If you make a date too difficult to get to, your “flake rate” will be very high. However, if you go too far out of your way to make a date extremely accessible to her you risk too low investment from your date and too much of a pain for you. Plus, you’ll always be going somewhere new which makes it difficult for you to build a “data set” from which you can improve on.
The optimal geographic date location is somewhere close to where you live (preferably walking distance) that’s open at the optimal date time (more on that later). It should also be a place you can take different dates to so you aren’t constantly fiddling with your date variables.
Walking distance from your place is extremely useful because it makes escalation easy: the logistical barriers to get her over to your place should you so desire are minimal. The second you add even the need to jump into an Uber, you’ve increased the logistical barrier to escalation dramatically.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, a date close to where you live isn’t feasible. If that is the case, you still want to be close to a location where escalation is easy. In this case, her place is preferable to a “meet in the middle”. The reason is the same: escalation is easy if you can walk to the venue.
A good tip is to not ask her to propose a date location. You propose the date location. If she doesn’t approve due to distance from her, ask her where she lives and pick a place near her. Picking a place lets you keep the ball in your court, a concept we will get into in greater detail later. It also ensures a date at a location you will feel most comfortable in (of the options) and, proper logistics. An added bonus is that women typically like the guy to “take charge” of the date planning.
We mentioned in the previous section that your location should be “open at the optimal date time”. What is that optimal time? Generally, the answer is 8pm.
8pm (or somewhere thereabouts) is the optimal date time with respect to logistics for a few reasons.
First of all, it’s late enough that most people are finished work and have had time to unwind, shower, and change post work. Happy hour might sound appealing, but don’t force your date (or yourself) to rush to meet you from the office. Give both you and her a chance to relax and get ready without feeling stressed or rushed.
Secondly, an 8pm date means that, in most situations, she has blocked off the entire evening for you. This is a crucial logistic advantage versus earlier dates. Earlier dates make it too easy for her to “stack” the evening with other plans. This will force a good date to get cut off too early. If you schedule a date for 8pm, it’s way less likely your date will have any plans after your date. That means your date can last as long as you need it to, even all night.
Conversely, 8pm isn’t too late that the date will be cut off short because everyone is yawning and ready to go to bed after 35 minutes. Also, having to block off the entire evening for you makes her invest, and her investment, as we’ve discussed in the past, will make her want the date to go well.
Lastly, many of the best date venues are only open in the evening, and people are socially conditioned to associate the evening with romance. We mention this countless times, but it’s worth repeating: use social constructs and conditioning to your advantage.
Are there other times that can work well? Sure there are. Not to mention, if either you or her work most nights, or there’s some other scheduling conflict, it isn’t always possible to arrange an 8pm date.
However, you should typically try. Basically, don’t do the 2pm date if you can wait two more days and get an 8pm date.
Elimination of Obstacles
The two factors above are both incredibly important because they eliminate obstacles. An 8pm date, near your place, eliminates pretty much any obstacle to any amount of escalation you desire. Want to spend the entire night together? It’s easily done. Want to only commit an hour? Easy. Want to hit up two venues? Plenty of time to do so. Want to watch a movie post drink or show off your trumpet skills? No problem (except maybe for the neighbors).
However, location and time are not the only ways to eliminate obstacles. Other ways you can eliminate obstacles include:
If you can’t walk, taking an Uber instead of driving can eliminate some obstacles. You can drink if you choose to. You don’t have to worry about parking, and if she drove, you have flexibility to go back to her place without dealing with your car. Similarly, suggesting she take an ride share or taxi instead of drive (if applicable for the situation) can free up her flexibility and eliminate potential logistical barriers later on in the night.
Even if the plan is just drinks, choose a venue that offers food. “Grabbing a bite” is an easy way to extend a date if it’s going well. This simple logistical tip can help you extend a date without it requiring more drinks (which she may be less comfortable with).
Make sure your date idea doesn’t have an unusual constraint, like a strict dress code. It can be quite embarrassing (and annoying) to have to switch venues right off the bat.
The same holds true with seating, always make reservations if you’re doing dinner or potentially even going to a crowded bar (try to reserve two seats at the bar, even if you have to order an appetizer or something). Hunting for a place to sit or having to switch venues due to no seats or a long line is a buzz kill.
Too many men have been stopped in their tracks due to poor logistics. Don’t be one of them.