Is the best first date advice to be yourself or not?

First date advice and how to build attraction

The best first date advice is hard to find.

Finding the right and best first date advice is really hard.

It’s common advice to ‘just be yourself’ on a first date, but is that really the most helpful advice for you? Let’s take a moment to help you think through and correctly answer that question.

Bad dating advice is worse than no dating advice

For some reason, everyone likes to share their opinions on how to attract women; how to date well, and how to have fulfilling relationships. But, a lot of these opinions have no basis in scientific fact or proven results. After all, they’re just opinions. They think they know what the best first date advice is, but really they have no idea.

The biggest problem in the world of dating guidance is that too often these opinions about dating get passed off as facts or as helpful dating advice, when in actual fact, they are neither.

I started DateSchool as a personal and vitriolic crusade against all of the TRULY AWFUL dating advice that I’d unwittingly followed and as a result, suffered from, for about a decade or so when I was first learning how to become good with women and dating.

I spent SO MANY YEARS trying to interpret and apply the conventional dating advice.

And as it turned out, most of this conventional wisdom is just B.S. It might sound good to the untrained ear, but those ‘in the know’ recognize this kind of stuff as unhelpful and even misleading.

To be yourself, or not to be, on a first date

A classic example of this type of first date advice is to ‘just be yourself’ when on a first date. This is the kind of crap that people who don’t really know dating say to sound like they know their stuff.

They don’t. Trust me.

I learnt this shit the hard way by “being me” and facing rejection after REJECTION as a result.

I’m here to save you from the same frustrating outcome that I endured way too many times. You’re welcome.

Let’s start by exploring the term “be yourself.” What the hell could that possibly mean, anyway? Don’t pretend to be someone else? Don’t lie? As advice goes, it’s just SO DAMN VAGUE and un-actionable. But I’m gonna help you out here. I’m going to translate it into clear and actionable advice, which will become good dating advice.

When interpreted correctly ‘be yourself’ can become good first date advice, but not great advice and certainly not the THE BEST first date advice that there is on this topic.

I’m gonna share my best first date advice on this matter later in this post, but for now, let’s break down a helpful interpretation of what it could mean to ‘be yourself’

What it (really) means to be yourself on a first date

I’m going to give you a couple of helpful interpretations of the ‘be yourself’ advice, which are less ambiguous and much more actionable.  As I see it, when you’re being yourself on a date, you should:

1.      Refrain from being nervous or awkward – nervousness will make you say and do stupid ass shit, which will embarrass you and make your date feel super awkward

2.      Be ‘authentic’ – let her see who you really are and how you connect

How to not be nervous or awkward on a first date

Trust me, nervousness kills dating success in 2 ways:

1.      Nervousness will make you say and do stupid things that you wouldn’t otherwise say or do.  This will work against the cool vibe that you’re trying to create on your date.

2.      Nervousness is contagious.  So when you’re nervous, you’ll make her feel nervous too; and then you’ll both start feeling awkward and then the vibe you’ve established and/or your date itself will go to shit.

The key to overcoming nerves and awkwardness on a first date is the same as overcoming nerves and awkwardness in any other situation; you first need to know what to do/how to act and then practice the crap out of it until this behavior becomes a natural and automatic thing that you just ‘do’.

Let me spell this out for you, with some helpful examples and actionable guidance.

Knowing what to do on your date

Imagine for a moment that you’re sat in the cockpit of a paramedic helicopter and you need to make an emergency flight across town, to deliver a heart to a transplant patient. Someone’s life is literally depending upon the success of this journey.

Unless you’ve flown helicopters before, you’ll become overwhelmed by all the dials, switches and controls and have no idea where to start or how to get the damn thing off the ground. Meanwhile there’s a healthy, beating heart in a coolbox behind you and the ice is melting…

That’s a boat-load of pressure and when you don’t know what to do, your nerves will kick into OVERDRIVE! Sweating and trembling will soon follow… You’ll start fumbling around and likely pull the control stick and it won’t be too long before you, the heart and the helicopter all go crashing into a nearby building. The end.

Thankfully going on dates is a much less life-threatening experience (well, usually). But, unless you know what you’re doing, you can still expect a lot of fear, nerves and awkwardness.

When your beautiful date walks into the room, looks at you and smiles, your heart WILL start racing, making you feel instantly excited and nervous at the same time. Next thing, you’ll start mentally fumbling around with flashing thoughts like:

What do you say first?
How do you make her like you??
What do you say next???
When do you go in for the kiss???!

When you don’t know what you’re doing on a date, your heart and head will be racing with nervous thoughts and the overwhelming fear of fucking it up at any moment.

Your date will seem unavoidably awkward and you can definitely expect a lot of bumpy rides and a good few crashes and burns too.  So it is almost inevitable that a lot of screw ups and potential heartbreak are on the cards for you.

However, when you know what the best first date advice is, and know how to date, you can predict what’s going to happen when out and about with a lady, and you can even learn how to steer things in the direction that you want versus floundering like a fish out of water.

This makes you can feel infinitely more relaxed and in control of your shit.

If you haven’t explored much of DateSchool yet and you don’t know how to meet women and get a date, check out our FREE 5-day Become a Desirable Dater Course.  It’s free and better than what most people charge money for.

Knowing how to date well is the first thing you need to learn in order to be less nervous, awkward and ultimately much more successful on your first dates.

Be prepared

As soon as you start going on dates regularly, you’ll realize that there only so many things that can happen on a first date, such as:

  • You’ll greet each other, hopefully with a warm hug
  • You’ll get asked about where you work, where you live and what you do for fun
  • You’ll have to figure out whether or not you like her and if she feels the same way
  • You may or may not kiss, seduce her or end the date going somewhere to have sex

That’s it.  After going on a lot of dates, you’ll see this pattern emerge time and again. You’ll also begin to realize that there’s a lot that you can do to prepare for dating success, such as:

  • Get in the habit of ALWAYS greeting your date warmly, with a wide smile and a big hug, like you would greet an old friend
  • Have fun answers prepared for the questions that you’ll always get asked on your date
  • Brush up on the attraction indicators, so that you know whether she likes you and wants you to make a move or not
  • Have condoms in your pocket and ensure that your bedroom and home are in a state of tidiness, ready to receive guests.

There’s a lot that you can and should do to be more date-ready and the simple act of having these things in place will make you feel more relaxed and ready for anything while you’re on your date.  It’s like a tight rope walker always having a net in place, just in case.


Going back to the helicopter example, even when you know what to do, it takes practice to consistently have a smooth take off and landing, without having to think about it.

The same principle applies in dating, the more that you practice the interpersonal skills, the more natural and automatic they become, to the point where you can just do them in a relaxed way without having to think about them.  I’m talking about core dating skills like:

  • Asking a woman out on a date in a smooth and natural way
  • Reading her attraction indicators, so that you KNOW FOR SURE that she likes you and when to make a move
  • Looking at her, touching her and enjoying her beauty without it seeming awkward or creepy
  • Moving in slowly and triangular gazing (looking from her eyes down to her mouth and back up to her eyes) before going in for the kiss

Just like shifting gears in a standard or reverse parking, dating skills need to be practiced for them to become natural and for you to feel relaxed doing them.

Taken together, knowing what to do, being fully prepared and having practice will all go a long way in preventing nerves and panic when you’re on your first date. The more work you do in advance, the less pressure and fear of failure you’ll feel on date-night.

“Proper preparation and practice prevent piss-poor performance”
– the 7 P’s, British Military Proverb


Best First Date Advice: How to Be Authentic

Another aspect of being yourself on a first date is the idea of being ‘authentic’. But that’s YET ANOTHER concept that’s probably got you thinking, what the fuck is that supposed to mean??

Allow me to explain…

When you’re on a first date, you’re making a first impression in the eyes of the woman that you’re with.  From the very start of the date, she’s trying to figure out:

  • “What kind of guy is this dude anyways?”
  • How much does he really respect and value himself?
  • What’s important to him and what does he care about?
  • How does he treat the people that he cares about, or even strangers?
  • Is he really listening to me and genuinely interested in me, or does he just to see me naked?

These kinds of questions all relate to how inherently authentic you are.  Are you behaving and acting in ways that are consistent with what you believe and how you really think and feel?

To make this simple and actionable, I’ll give you my dos and don’ts on how to be authentic:

  • DO be present – when you’re in conversation, take a genuine and undistracted interest in what the other person has to say.  Really try to understand what they’re saying AND the emotion and motivation behind it. This isn’t something that everyone (especially a guy who’s nervous on a first date) does, so it’s very refreshing and powerful for a woman when you give her your undivided attention and really LISTEN to them.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.”
– Steven Covey


  • DO have opinions and principles – It’s ok, in fact it’s a good thing to have informed and well-formed opinions and principles; otherwise you might be too easily persuaded into doing something wrong or foolish.
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”


  • DO live by your own rules –  1) Live by the beliefs and principles that you’ve developed from your own experience and 2) don’t be too easily swayed by the opinions or expectations of others. Being wishy-washy about your beliefs shows weakness of character, which is pretty unattractive.
  • DO speak your mind – Be assertive and don’t be afraid of voicing your opinions or revealing what you’re thinking. This shows strength of character and a certain bravery to put yourself out there, especially if you have a belief which is particularly unpopular, but you know it in your heart to be right.  What if Dr. Martin Luther King decided not to tell people about his dream?
  • DO admit your faults – Nobody is perfect and you’ll get more credit for admitting your shortcomings than you will for denying them or blaming someone or something else for them.

By doing the above, you’ll become much more authentic as an individual, and your date will feel that she’s getting to know the ‘real’ you.  This is a good thing and you want your date feeling that she is connecting with you.

Of course there are also a few things that you want to avoid doing because they will make you seem less authentic:

  • DON’T lie or fake something to impress her – You will get found out in the long-term and when you do it’ll damage the trust and attraction that you’ve built in the relationship. So if you still live at home with your mom, don’t lie about it. Instead just downplay or jokingly understate the reality of your situation (“yeah, I live with family currently, how about you?”). Better still, avoid talking about it and turn the conversation to something else.
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
– Mark Twain


  • DON’T lie about your motives or intentions – It’s a huge compliment to say I find you very attractive or I really want to fuck you.  You just need to make sure that she feels attracted to you first.  If you don’t know that for sure yet, then you might want to downplay or understate again (“Yeah, you seem cool, but I’m not sure yet. Tell me a bit more about yourself… What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever done for someone else?”)
  • DON’T be two faced – Don’t be judgmental of others or say things about other people that you wouldn’t say to their face.  It makes you seem untrustworthy and the kind of guy that would rather bitch about a problem to someone else than man-up and do something about it.

What’s really the best first date advice; to be yourself or not to be?

In this blog post we took some pretty vague and lame dating advice ‘just be yourself on a date’ and translated it into actionable and useful dating advice. When ‘being yourself’ means to be relaxed and authentic on your date, it actually becomes pretty good dating advice.

But even when interpreted so clearly, I’d still say that ‘being yourself” is arguably good first date advice, but it’s not the BEST first date advice that I share with my clients on this topic.

So what is the best dating advice that I’d give for a first date? I give them my simple formula for guaranteed successful first dates:

The DateSchool (best first date advice) success equation

Having FUN + building ATTRACTION = 2nd date


This is literally the best first date advice that there is. It has a strong scientific basis and it has a proven track record in real life.  It means that you don’t want to just ‘be yourself’ on a date, you want to be your most fun and attractive self too.

Being fun

You see, being fun actually makes women like you more.  Fun and playfulness are extremely attractive qualities that some studies have found to rank higher than physical attractiveness or earning capacity. Moral of the story, if you’re not pretty or rich, being playful and fun will help you outshine the competition.  You can find out more about how to be fun and have fun dates in this blog post.

Being attractive

In DateSchool when I talk about being attractive, I mean something more than just physical good looks; I mean the whole package, your presence, personality, social status and sexual attitude. Bundle all of that up together and now I’ve got a complete picture of how attractive you really are to the women around you. You can find out more about how become your most attractive and build attraction on a date in this blog post.

When you’re on a first date, you only have a short amount of time to make a strong first impression – the kind of impression that will make her think:

  • “Dang, this guy’s hot!”
  • “I really hope I see this guy again.”
  • “When’s he gonna kiss me?”

So when making your first impression with her, you can either:

Be your normal average self, but be relaxed and authentic about it, which will definitely help your chances that she feels attracted to you…


You can deliberately bring your A game to the date. Being your most fun and accentuating your naturally attractive qualities will MAXIMIZE the chances of her feeling attracted to you. This means putting your best foot forward, in attraction and dating terms. Now you’re really stacking the odds in favor of giving it the best and strongest start to your relationship together.

The best first date advice isn’t just to be yourself, but to be your most fun and attractive self.

This is truly the best first date advice, hands down.