We recently conducted a survey devoted to uncovering the truth about how people typically behave leading up to, during, and after a first date. Did you know that a third of daters choose to abstain from drinking a glass or wine or having a beer to loosen up? However one thing that they don’t abstain from on a first date is getting intimate with each other. Around 7% of all dates *always* wind up with a goodbye kiss, and you basically have a 40% chance of going back to someone’s place and getting lucky after.
Also, it turns out that if you “creep” on your match’s social media profiles prior to meeting up with them in real life, then you’re not alone. Almost half of all daters do this, no matter their age – except it’s worth noting that women are twice as likely to stalk their potential date’s online presence than men are. If you can pass the urge to cancel your date after finding embarrassing photos of them on the internet from 2013, then chances are high you’ll be able to decide if you want to see them again for a second date within just a few minutes of meeting (or once you find out how good they were in bed during that nightcap!).
As part of the survey, some of the questions we wanted answered included:
- Who usually initiates the first date?
- Where do people like to go on their first dates?
- Is stalking your potential match online really a thing, and who actually does it?
- If you’re not splitting the bill, then who typically shells out the cash for it?
- When the date sucks, what are the top "early exit strategies" that are commonly used to get out of an awkward first encounter?
Let’s explore some of the most interesting, shocking, and juicy findings below:
Ladies First, But Not Always
We all know the saying “ladies first,” because chivalry or whatever, but that’s not always the case when it comes to dating habits. Only 5% of women will take the initiative to ask their match on the first date, compared to 69% of men who are (obviously) more likely to do the same. When it comes to age, almost 80% of people over the age of 60 and 63% of people between the ages of 18 to 29 agree that the man usually initiates the first date. The person who makes the first contact, whether it’s in person or on a dating site, is more inclined to make the first move (again) a quarter of the time.
So if men are sending the invites, who winds up paying? Our survey says the ones sending the invitations are the same ones paying. Some 76% of men wind up paying for that first date, and only 1% of women take out their wallets to foot the bill. However, 23% of couples tend to split the bill instead of putting it all on one person, which is especially common among 18-29 year olds who claim that’s the norm for them on first dates. Chivalry is not dead, friends. It’s common courtesy to pay the cost when you’re the one asking someone out, but we’re also about equality out here among the younger generations.
‘Let’s Grab Something To Eat’
It may not come as a surprise, but it’s still interesting that more than 65% of people vote that eating at a restaurant is their ideal first date activity and location. Movies and live entertainment (think comedies or shows) each scored 10% of the votes, with sports, hitting the bar, and chilling at home ranking in much lower at less than 5%, respectively. Whereas 70% of people 60+ enjoy taking their date to a restaurant, things are a bit different for the younger crowd with only 60% of daters between ages 18-29 like going out to eat. Men and women seem to pretty unanimously in agreement, though.
Other common first date activities and locations include:
- meeting at a coffee shop
- walking the beach
- hitting a board game cafe
Young folks are the ones more inclined to participate in these fun, active date ideas, or even propose a double date instead. Oh, and if you’re wondering, someone within the 45-60 age group voted for “graveyard sex,” so no, that wasn’t a young person trying to prank our system.
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Get Out Of Jail Cards
So, for whatever reason, your date is a total fail and you need to get the hell out of there ASAP! Maybe their breath smells terrible, or they weren’t what they portrayed themselves to be on their profile. What excuse do you use to run for the hills? Or do you stick it out like a champ?
Almost 60% of people admit to using an escape plan to get out of a bad first date. If you’re anything like me and you text your mom or friend to call you with an “emergency” that needs immediate attention, then consider yourself part of the 21% of people under 29 years old who do the same. Perhaps a more respectable choice, 21% of people over the age of 60 prefer to just be honest and upfront by telling their date that they’re straight-up not interested – maybe (hopefully) omitting the part about having a bad time, though.
Around 47% of older folks will never leave a date early, no matter how bad it is, by sticking it out and pushing through like angels. “Work” and “not feeling well” are 2 other commonly used excuses, too, making up just over 30% of the total votes when combined. Then there’s the rare breed of individuals between the ages of 30 and 60 who actually get up in the middle of a date to “use the bathroom” but really run away, leaving their date there, never to return their call again. Savage.
Now let’s get to the juiciest survey findings…
Who’s Getting Lucky?
Some 39% of people say their first dates *sometimes* end in a goodbye smooch, meanwhile another third of daters claim that a kiss rarely or never happens. Men are more likely than women to plant one on their dates by the end of the night. Daters between the ages of 18 to 29 are more likely to kiss at the end of their first date, with 9% voting “always,” 22% “usually,” and 34% “sometimes.” On the other hand, the 60+ crowd is the least likely to kiss their date by the end of the night, with 41% claiming they “rarely” or “never” do it.
Even though a kiss might make an appearance by the end of the date some of the time, it looks like A LOT of people are getting lucky on the first date. Almost 4% of people ALWAYS end their night with a bang, in addition to 34% of people who “sometimes” or “usually” do the same. But whose house are they going to?
What’s interesting here is that there’s a clear difference between the frequency of going back to a man’s place and a woman’s place. Around 46% of women say dates never end up at their place after a first date, which explains why almost 50% of men say that their dates sometimes, usually, or always wind up back at their place. Those 18-29 between 18-29 come in hot as the most promiscuous age group according to our survey, with 5% of voters always going back to someone’s place, compared to 2% of 60+ daters.
Round 2 Or Game Over?
How soon into a first date do people typically figure out if they want a second date? Surprisingly, it only takes a few minutes of talking for more than 50% of daters. For 14% of people, they know if they’re down for round 2 depending on how awkward the goodbye kiss (or sex) was. More men report locking in confirmation of that second date at some point during the first half of the first date, whereas more women need more time and decide later on toward the end of the night.
Around 13% of the 18-29 year old crew go so far as to talk over their date with friends to get that second opinion before confirming the next meetup. And, once again, being the more honorable group, older folks don’t really care about outsider opinions and can decide for themselves. They’ll know whether or not they want another date based on chemistry, good conversation, and that final reflection once the first date is over.
To Drink Or Not To Drink...
Do you limit yourself to a certain number of drinks on a first date? If so, how many are *too* many? If you hit your max at 2 drinks, then you’re among the 32%. More than one-third of people say that they don’t drink at all on a first date, compared to 7% who don’t limit their drinking whatsoever (including my ex who had 6 beers and 2 shots on our first date, but I digress). Out of these percentages, it seems that more men don’t drink on the first date than women. Wonder why.
No matter how long it takes you to figure out whether you want to see your first date again, remember never to settle and to always stay true to yourself. There are plenty of top online dating sites and apps to choose from with daters who desire the same thing you do. Put yourself out there, meet new people, and see where things go, whether or not you end that first date with a passionate kiss or a phone call to your best friend to spill about how terrible it went. You’ll never know if you don’t try!