Dating TipsRelationship Breakups

First Date Drinks or Dinner?

“Which Do You Think Is Better: First Date Drinks Or Dinner?” 

I sometimes get this question from new clients who sign up for my 30-minute intro call, and I always tell them the same thing — taking her to dinner on a first date is a horrible, horrible idea.

There are so many reasons for this, but I’ll give you one right off the bat: If you’re going on a first date from a dating app, you likely don’t even know the first thing about her. What if she’s terrible in real life?

Dinners mean committing to a 90-120 minute experience with a complete stranger. Think about it. Do you really want to invest that much time in someone when you could pretty much tell it’s going nowhere after the first 10 minutes?

Again, that’s just one reason. First date dinners also don’t jive with what I learned from my-100 date experiment. After going on tons of first dates, it became crystal clear to me that first dates should never include dinner because the ones that were one hour or less and cost $10 maximum actually led to more success. 

Still confused about the question, “first date drinks or dinner?” I’ll break it down. Here’s a deeper dive into the reasons why dinners are not a good idea for a first date.

Reasons Why First Date Dinners Suck

Before you start Yelping local restaurants trying to find the perfect spot to take your date, you need to think about the message you’re really sending by taking her out to dinner. To put it bluntly, you might hurt your image and encourage her to take advantage of you. Consider some of these points.

She Won’t Trust You as Much If You Meet at Night



Unless you’re somewhat elderly and prefer to have dinner at 3 in the afternoon (and hey, if you are, more power to you) chances are, your dinner date will be at night. You’re asking her to meet you for the first time when it’s dark outside, which presents a problem.

As women, we’re always hyperaware of our safety. After all, 1 out of every 6 women has been the victim of rape (attempted or completed) in her lifetime. That’s a staggering statistic. 

We also know that meeting strangers from the internet for the very first time when it’s dark outside is a recipe for getting murdered, raped, or taken — at least that’s what society has drilled into our heads since we were infants. 

Because our safety is the number-one most important thing, we’re always subconsciously focused on it. If we agree to meet you for the first time at night (assuming we don’t flake when we overthink it and realize we’re putting ourselves at risk) when we actually do show up to the date, our senses are heightened.

We’re practically in fight-or-flight mode. In the back of our minds we’re thinking, “How many people are around us?” “Will anyone hear me if I scream?” and “Can I trust this guy or is he going to try and kill me?” 

I get it. To you — a man — this all sounds very dramatic. Yet to us, as women, we’ve been brainwashed by society into believing that there are murderers around every corner. Why do you think true crime podcasts are so much more popular with female audiences? We want to know how to not die. 

This subconscious mode of thinking makes it a lot harder to connect and win her trust. It also messes up the sequence of things. First, you want to win trust while it’s easy (which is during the daytime). Next, you want to escalate sexual tension while still increasing trust on the second date. This creates emotional intimacy. 

Then, once you’ve arrived at the third date with trust, sexual tension, and emotional intimacy, you’ve set the stage for a romantic and sexually intimate experience at night.

It Will Kill the Mystery


drinks or dinner

As I said before, I recommend spending no more than an hour on a first date. Any more time will kill the mystery, which then reduces sexual tension (i.e., her level of physical attraction to you), leaving you ghosted or in the friend-zone. 

How does this happen? If you spend as long as two hours on your first date with her, you’ll likely put all your cards out at once and reduce the chances of her wanting to know more about you. 

She’ll have a realistic impression of you… but maybe too realistic. To escalate sexual tension, you need to let her imagination run wild after her first outing with you. Let her imagine how awesome you are by keeping your first encounter short, yet impactful.

If things go well after that date, make sure that the second date location allows for physical activity. You must create arousal through adrenaline or healthy anxiety on the second date to escalate sexual tension. 

She’ll Perceive You as Less Valuable

Even if you’re the richest man in Babylon, spending more than $10 on a first date will have the unintended consequence of making her feel as though she is more valuable than you. Why?

She’ll subconsciously feel as though she hasn’t earned your time and money. So when you give it to her right away, she’ll feel as though you’re easy-to-get and therefore, not valuable. 

It’s also TRY HARD. If you’re trying to decide between first date drinks or dinner, just remember: Dinners are overkill for a first date and scream desperation. 

Everyone wants what is rare, hard-to-get, and in high demand by others. By limiting your time and money, she’ll immediately perceive you as more valuable. 

She Might Expect Dinner on Every Date

she expects dinner all the time 

First date dinners are golddigger territory. That’s why I recommend this dating blueprint:

  • First date – establish trust over a one-hour date, spend no more than $10
  • Second date – escalate sexual tension by doing a fun outdoor and/or physical activity together
  • Third date – increase the chance for physical intimacy after enjoying a nice dinner  

Sequencing your dates this way wards off the golddiggers and super high maintenance women. The last thing you want is to get friendzoned by a babe that just wants free food. 

Notice that I’m suggesting you eliminate dinner dates completely from your first and second meetups. Make her earn that dinner by going on two dates with you before you feed her! Reserve dinner only for the select women who make it to round 3 with you. By then, you’ll both feel as though you’ve earned it. 

If Things Go South, It’s Hard to Excuse Yourself 

Do you really want to be the guy that asks his friend desperately in the bathroom to call him and pretend like there’s been some sort of emergency just so you can get the F outta there?! Didn’t think so. Avoid getting stuck with a troll for hours of horrible conversation and a huge dinner bill by not planning dinners on your first date. 

Why First Date Drinks Is a Better Idea

Hopefully, by now you can see why first date dinners are a bad idea. So my answer to the question “first date drinks or dinner?” is definitely drinks. Here are the main reasons why.

It’s Cheaper

Especially if you live in a large metro area, taking her even to a modest dinner can be a serious hit to your wallet. Spending that much money on someone who you’re not sure if you like yet can also set the stage for resentment on your part. Do yourself a favor: Find a happy hour and treat her to a cheap $6 martini. 

You Can Set a 1-Hour Time Constraint Easier 

Keeping your first date to an hour or less can be easier if you really have somewhere else to go. So let her know that you can only stay for a drink because you have plans later that night. It gives you both an easy out if things don’t go well. 

You’ll Stand Out from the Competition 

Better still, invite her to do something more unique, like join you for a cupcake date, a chocolate tasting, or even most epic boba tea spot ever! Try googling things like “Best bakery in _____ (your city)” or “Best boba tea in ______ (your city).”

Dates like these are super cute and make women feel very feminine, which is just how you want her to feel. And most importantly, it will set you apart from the men you’re competing against and ensure that you don’t spend too much time or money on the first date. 

First Date Drinks or Dinner? Wrap-Up

When it comes to the question, “first date drinks or dinner?” I’m Team Drinks all the way. You simply can’t create the right emotional buildup and sexual tension over your next couple of dates if you blow your wad on an expensive dinner the first day. 

For more tips on first dates, book a one-on-one Skype session with me. During our time together, I can give you personalized feedback on your dating situation as well as invaluable ideas for attracting the women you want. We’ll also determine if my 3 month coaching program could help you reach your dating goals in no time. 

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