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Get Down to Business? Not on a First Date

The 3 R's: What women look for on a first date

Ever wonder what women look for on a first date? We spoke with eligible gals to find out how they size up men for relationship potential. What they generally look for are three things: respect, readiness and realism.


  • Show some respect to the wait staff. “I definitely keep an eye on how my date treats service people,” says Michelle, a 30-something single from New York. Acting supercilious, dismissive or rude is a turnoff and suggests to Michelle that you’re a power tripper.  “Don’t complain about the restaurant,” adds Lauren, 31, of Atlanta. “Make a joke about it if it’s awful, but nothing ‘sucks’ on our date. Not your day, not your boss, not the service, not the food. Everything is great because you are in the presence of a beautiful and exciting woman.”


  • Show you are ready for a relationship. “How many times a man mentions his ex is always a good indication of where he stands relationship-wise — the more mentions, the less likely he is looking for a committed relationship,” Michelle says.


  • Show you have realistic expectations. Readiness without realism raises a red flag. “Be super clear about your expectations for fun and not about finding a wife immediately,” Lauren says. “You cannot know that I’m perfect for you on a first date. Don’t act like I am. It seems fake.”


So there you have it — the three R’s women look for on a first date. Respect, readiness and realism. Surprised there’s not a fourth R, for riches?

Women generally aren’t looking for signs of wealth when sizing you up. And they certainly don’t want you to act as though your net worth should impress them. “Don’t tell me about objects you own, such as vacation homes, cars or the latest gadget. Not only am I not interested in these things,” Lauren warns, “but it will seem like your money is all you have to offer if this is what you start with.”