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It could be anything from weird, funny, sweet, embarrassing or memorable (for good and bad reasons, of course). We’re talking about the first date.

If you think you like the person sitting across the table, navigating smoothly through this zone is the only way to score a second.

To keep this fair and square, we asked eight single Indians around the world to bust first date myths, share expectations and how to make hopefully, the right impression.

Neha, 28, Model
Rohan, 36, Digital Strategist
Khyati, 33, Pre-School Teacher
Devanshu, 29, Writer
Tania, 27, Talent Manager
Anamika, 34, Jewellery Designer
Charan, 31, Illustrator
Sanjana, 40, Luxury Magazine Editor

(Some names have been changed to protect privacy)


Who picks the venue?

Neha: Considering it’s a first date, and I’m most probably meeting a stranger, I’d like to pick the venue
– something familiar, in a comfortable environment.

Sanjana: I’d pick a quaint coffee shop, not very noisy, so we can have a conversation.
My thumb rule for first dates: meet for coffee, and see how it goes. Maybe a drink if you kinda know the person.

Anamika: I like it when the guy takes charge. His choice of venue also tells me a bit about him.

Devanshu: I love suggesting venues; I’m quite social and full of good date ideas.

Rohan: I’d love to keep the venue a surprise, but I’d definitely take into consideration her likes and preferences.



Have you ever been late on a first date?

Neha: Try hard as I might, I’m always late! But I’ve set myself a limit – not more than a 15 minutes delay. Thankfully, I’ve stuck to it.

Tania: Never.

Rohan: On one of my first dates, I was an hour late. I felt so guilty about it that now I make sure I always reach before time. Sometimes I offer to pick up my date to make her feel special.

Charan: I can’t stand tardy people. 15 minutes is acceptable. Anything longer and the texts start flying.

What is the first thing you notice about your him/her?

 Neha: Looks. I know that sounds superficial, but it is about his confidence, appeal and hygiene.

Tania: Basic courtesy and etiquette is what I’d notice right at the get go. Next: dressing sense.

Devanshu: Does she look any different from the pictures?!

Anamika: Well, if it’s a blind date? His height, and choice of shoes.
If it’s someone I’ve met before, then just the way he’s dressed. We’d all like someone who makes an effort.


How did you break the ice on your first date?

 Neha: Silly jokes or a filmy dialogue are my thing. The way he reacts would also tell me if it’s going to be a good date or not.

Khyati: A witty one liner usually does the trick.

Tania: Sirf conversation.

Anamika: I’m ridiculously sarcastic, so, humor.

Charan: Usually with a compliment, or a joke depending on the mood. I’m quite chatty on dates.

How addicted are you to your phone? How often do you check it on a date?

Devanshu: Not addicted. Don’t even look at the damn thing.

Rohan: I am quite addicted to social media. But if I were into someone, I would keep my phone away for most part of the date.

Neha: We all have a habit of constantly checking our phones, unless I’m sitting with someone – it’s disrespectful to them.

Drum roll…Who gets the check?

Neha: The guy. The guy. And always the guy. If we get to a second date, I’d take it or at least offer.

Khyati: I think it’s best to split. No obligation, either way.

Sanjana: The guy, but I always offer.

Anamika: I’ve picked the tab before, which was a bit odd for a first date. But it’s usually been the guy.

Devanshu: The guy.

Your SOS strategy to exit early:

 Tania: Thanks to the nature of my job, a “work emergency” is good enough.

Sanjana: Be decent and stay as long as your drink lasts (that’s at least half an hour).
Both of you made an effort and took out the time.

Anamika: Usually I prefer meeting just for a quick drink or coffee, so if he’s a bore/weirdo, it’s easy to get out immediately.

Devanshu: I stay until we’re ‘done’, giving the other person due respect. I don’t really mind strange dates; they make for such great stories!

Gents, would you offer to drop your date home?

 Neha: I’d rather not have a guy drop me back home after the first date. Unless the date goes off extremely well, I don’t like to tell people where I live, if I don’t know them well or feel comfortable enough.

Khyati: If the date went well, why not? It’s a great excuse to spend more time together.

Anamika: I’m a bit old school, I like a bit of chivalry, so yes.
I know it gets hard in cities like Bombay where traffic and distances aren’t helpful,
but I think it’s nice to make an effort especially if things are going well on the date.
A little car ride killed no one.

Devanshu:  I insist.

Rohan: If it’s a dinner date, irrespective of whether I enjoyed her company or not, I’d offer to drop her home. If it was a lunch date, and I don’t see myself seeing her again, I’d say bye at the café.

Charan: Most definitely yes.

How long do you wait, after the first date, to ping or call the other person? 

 Neha: If I really like the guy, I’d text him half an hour later, saying I had a great time. His response would determine who makes the first call.

Tania: If the date ended well, I’d send a simple “thanks for the lovely evening, let’s keep in touch” text.
But there is no rule. The heart does what it wants.

Sanjana: No rule, but I wait for a bit to see if the guy is interested. If I like the guy, I would message in a day or two.

Anamika: I think it’s actually okay to message after the date if you think it went well, especially if the guy isn’t dropping me home. I would appreciate if he checked in to make sure I got home okay. Otherwise, a day or two.

Rohan: If I really like the girl, I would text her the minute she left, saying I had a good time. Why wait?!

Charan: I think the guy is the one who should make the first move. Usually I would give it 3-4 days,
but that would obviously be after following up the first date with a message, letting her know that I’d like to see her again.

Compiled by Noopur Pal

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