First date statistics and fascinating facts about the first date and what makes it successful.
First dates are the most nerve-wracking of all the dates. On one hand they’re full of the promise of meeting someone really special. Yet on the other, it feels like your hopes could be dashed with one wrong move in the blink of an eye.
However, there are several things that you can do increase your chances of having a great first date.
These first date statistics are a great start. Not only are they interesting they can give you valuable insight into what makes a first date successful.
From what people notice the most when they first meet to who should pay. And, wether or not you should talk politics to where you should go and more. You’ll get the inside scoop on what works (and doesn’t) on a first date.
Besides being chock full of fascinating dating statics and first date facts. I’ve also included a few of my own pro date coaching insights and tips based on the numbers. Which will definitely help you to have better and more enjoyable first dates.
20 First Date Statistics & Interesting Facts
1. What percentage of people prefer a casual first date?
84% singles prefer casual first dates over formal wine and dinner dates. According to daters polled by Match.com in their annual “Singles In America Survey”. Furthermore, it looks like they’ve also changed their expectations of a first date. And are now thinking of their first dates as less of a high-pressure situation, and more as an opportunity to connect with someone new. (1)
2. Making a good first impression – how long does it take on first date?
Researchers at Princeton University discovered that it takes only a few seconds to make a first impression on a first date. Results found that people make judgments about a person’s attractiveness, likability, trustworthiness, and competence within the first 100 milliseconds of seeing their face. (2)
Another study by the dating app Elite Singles concluded that 60% of daters know within the first 5 minutes of meeting their date if they want to see them again or not. Which suggests that making a good first impression on a first date as quickly as possible is critical. (3)
3. What makes a good impression on a first date?
Given that you only have up to 5 minutes to make a good first impression. It’s important to be mindful of body language and appearance from the very beginning of the first date. As well as, pay special attention to what people notice about each other the most when meeting for the first time. High on the list was teeth (25% men and 46% women) and hands (36% men and 39% women). (3)
In addition, women polled by the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel ranked conversation, being on time, and considerate date planning as making the best impressions on a first date. (4)
4. What makes the worst impression on a first date?
According to a poll conducted by YouGov in 2019, both genders consider being on your phone too much as the worst thing you can do on a first date. Men surveyed came in at 69% and women at 70%.
Other top first date pet peeves and turn offs mentioned in the poll include: having misleading photos Men (52%) and Women (43%). Talking too much or not asking any questions Men (21%) and Women (30%).
When it comes to generation differences, all said that a date being on their phone was a major turn off. However 78% of Baby Boomers polled were much more likely to rank it in their top three. Over Millennials at 62% or GenXers at 65%. (5)
5. Who should pay for the first date?
A survey conducted by dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, found that 52% of singles said that they believed that men should foot the bill on a first date. With 17% saying whomever asked the other person out should foot the bill. While, less than 1% of those surveyed in 2019 said the woman should pay. (4)
Those numbers are closely echoed in another 2019 survey. Elite Singles polled 300,000 singles and found that 63% of men believed that men should pay on the first date. While 46% of the women polled believed that it was the mans responsibility to pay for the first date.
When it came to going to dutch or splitting the bill, only 7% of men were in favor of the idea. While women polled came in higher at 18%. (6)
6. How do singles prefer to communicate before going on a first date?
According to the 2022 Singles in America study conducted by Match.com, 48% of singles prefer to have a phone conversation before meeting up in real life. While 43% prefer to text. Other methods of communication before meeting up include social media (29%). And for an interesting twist 11% of singles said the Metaverse. (1)
7. Who should ask for the first date?
Results of a Coffee Meets Bagel in 2019, found that 37% of respondents agreed that men should ask women out on a first date. While 58% responded that either person can ask. With a mere 5% of those polled that said women should do the asking.
Meanwhile, a poll by eharmony in 2016 found that 67% of women believe that men should ask for the first date, compared to only 28% of men. However, more men (71%) than women (31%) believe that either gender can take the lead in asking the other out. (4,7)
8. How many people use an escape plan or excuse to get out of a bad first date?
The statistics are in and according to a poll by Plenty of Fish in 2018, 58% of singles have used an excuse to end a bad date early. (8)
Another survey conducted by the dating app Hinge in 2017 found that 1 in 3 of their users have used an excuse to end a bad date early. (9)
9. Is talking about politics on a first date a good idea?
Typically if you want to make a first date less awkward you stay away from politics on a first date. However in the current political climate politics can be a huge dealbreaker for many singles.
Here’s what the statistics from the 2022 Singles In America poll say:
10. How likely is it that the subject of politics will be brought up before or on a first date?
22% of singles surveyed said they were more likely to bring up politics on a first date than in the past. Furthermore 29% of respondents said that they’d politely inform their date if they didn’t agree with their choices. While 25.5% would try to understand their perspective. Additionally, another 2.3% singles would opt to immediately end the date, and 7.2% said they would stay to debate with them.
11. What percent of singles experience awkward silences on a first date?
70% of daters experience awkward silences on a first date. According to statistics based on a poll of 2,000 US single men and women (ages 18-55) conducted by the online dating app Plenty of Fish. (8)
My take as dating coach, is that uncomfortable moments happen. And, it’s totally normal for a first date to be awkward. It’s how you deal with it that matters most.
12. How do people typically deal with awkward moments of silence on a first date?
When it comes to dealing with uncomfortable moments of silence on a first date, singles have a range of strategies. According to research, 44% of singles choose to change the subject. Meanwhile, 32% of singles reported talking more to fill the silence in an attempt to keep the conversation flowing.
On the other hand, 15% of singles opt to maintain the uncomfortable silence. Perhaps hoping that the other person will break it. Finally, 5% of singles look at their phone, in an effort distract themselves from the awkwardness. (8)
My pro coaching tip: To keep conversation flowing ask open ended questions. And, make sure to prepare a few first date conversations starters beforehand.
13. What percentage of first dates end with a kiss?
70% of Americans have kissed on the first date according to poll by dating advice.com. Additionally, Bustle reports on results by Match.com which complied and analyzed data from their 2009 to 2015 studies.
Finding that expecting the date to end with a kiss may be dependant on the type of first date. With daters that went on coffee dates (38%) and lunch dates (42%) were less likely to end the date a first kiss. (10,11)
In my experience as a dating coach, coffee dates are romance killers. Which is one of the reasons why I always recommend that my clients skip the boring coffee date. And, instead chose a fun activity based low-key first date idea.
14. What percentage of first dates lead to second dates?
In 2019 Match.com found that 52% of their users said they usually get a second date with someone they’re interested in after a first date.
That’s up slightly from 2015 when ELLE reported on the conclusions of a TimeOut global dating survey. Which revealed that 40% of first dates resulted in plans for a second date. (12,13)
15. How many first dates are successful?
Hinge’s “We Met feature” enables online daters to provide feedback on their dating experience. According to the app, over 90% of users have reported having a good time on their first date, and 72% said they would go on a second date if asked. Which suggests that the first date was a success and an overall good impression was made.
These numbers also suggest that Hinge is one of the best dating apps for having a fun and successful first date that leads to a second date. Via TechCrunch (14).
16. How long is the perfect first date?
70% of daters reported that the ideal first date is between 2-3 hours long. According to a survey conducted by plenty of fish using a sample of 2,000 single Americans. (15)
My take as a professional dating coach: my clients have a much more successful first date that leads to a second, if they keep it to 2 hours max.
17. First Date Nerves – What is the biggest pressure or stress people face on a first date?
The biggest pressure or stress that people face on a first date is often the desire to make a good impression. According to one survey from plenty of fish four in ten singles (40%) say they feel the most pressure when it comes to being interesting.
First date nerves can manifest in a variety of ways, such as, feeling anxious, or self-conscious. Worrying about what to wear or what to say (16%) , or trying to come across as attractive, confident or fun (12%). (15)
18. What percentage of singles drink alcohol on first dates?
According to a survey by Zoosk, 70% of singles report that they indulge in alcohol on a first date. The survey also found that 73% of daters who drink alcohol believe that drinking is a good first date idea. With 46% citing that it’s easy and less formal. And, 27% said that it was a good way to let your guard down and have a relaxing conversation.
Furthermore, the survey found that drinking on dates is slightly more popular with millennials. With 77% of millennial drinkers saying that it’s a great first date option.
However, it looks like Gen Z is making other choices, preferring alcohol-free or “sober dates”. As reported by the New York Post based on a recent poll by the dating app Hinge. With nearly one in three Gen Z Hinge users saying they have no drinks on an average date. Gen Z is also more likely than Millennials to prefer alcohol-free first dates.
19. Should you go for drinks on a first date?
The statistics are indicating overall that drinking alcohol is on the decline. With three out of four of Hinge users no longer preferring to go out for drinks as a first date. (16,17)
As dating coach who has worked with single people from the early online dating days to today with the meteoric rise of the many dating apps. I’ve also evolved my advice regarding drinking on the first dates with my own clients.
Which is essentially to have an alcohol-free date if possible. As alcohol can actually be a barrier to a lasting and authentic connection on a first date. However, if that’s your thing then no judgement. Just try to limit it to no more that two drinks.
In addition, I highly recommend that if you’re going to get drinks, then pair it with a fun activity. Over just sitting in a lounge or bar. Which will help you to make a better overall connection with each other. For example bowling, playing a game of pool, paint and sip night or a trivia night.
20. How many drinks should you have on a first date?
A survey by the online dating site Zoosk.com found that 55% of singles believe that two drinks is the maximum amount to have on a first date. While 17% believe that one is the best option. And, 19% believe that three is fine. (17)
**What To Read Next In First Dates & Dating**
- 9 Dating Mistakes (And How To Fix Them)
- 21 Conversation Starters For A Great First Date
- 20 Fun Weekday First Date Ideas (Easy Dates You’ll Both Love)
- 3 Things You Must Do On A First Date (So You’ll Get Asked Out Again)
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- Match’s Singles In America, 2022, (1)
- Princeton, (2)
- Elite singles, (3)
- Coffee Meets Bagel, 2019, (4)
- YouGov, 2019, (5)
- Elite Singles, 2019, (6)
- eHarmony, 2016 (7)
- Plenty of Fish Conversation Nation Survey Results 2018 (PDF), (8)
- Hinge, 2017 (9)
- DatingAdvice, (10)
- Bustle, (11)
- ELLE, (12)
- TimeOut, (13)
- TechCrunch (14)
- Plenty of Fish, 2019, (15)
- New York Post, (16)
- Zoosk, (17)
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