If you’re asking, “how long should a first date last,” you have to keep in mind that the dating landscape has evolved and the speed of dating has increased dramatically over the last decade. Now, the concept of the “Dating Power Hour” is more relevant than ever. In today’s fast-paced world, where attention spans are shorter and people are busier than ever, a one-hour first date can be the perfect way to leave your date wanting more.
As Maya Angelou said (and Oprah has adopted as her own), when people show you who they are, believe them. This holds true on a first date. In fact, research suggests that people form impressions about each other within the first few seconds of meeting.
Many singles assume a date is better the longer they stay together. But going to a second location or letting the date drag on can deplete your energy for dating and wear out your first date welcome.
Here are the top 5 reasons why your best first date should only last 1 hour:
- It’s only a test run: A first date is not about sharing a meal or getting drunk, nor is it about hopping into bed (if you’re seeking a long-term relationship). The first date is a chance to gauge your interest and connection with one another. All you need to know at the end of a first date is that you’re curious enough to spend a second date with them.
- Conserve your time and energy: The sole purpose of a first date with JUST DRINKS (coffee, tea, TWO cocktails tops, etc) is to get in and out as quickly as possible so you can move to a second date, where the anxiety and interview-ish type feelings of meeting someone new are over and done with. From there you can comfortably decide whether you’ve made an interesting connection.
- Ending on a high note: We tend to remember a first date based on the energy we leave with. So if you let a date drag on for 3 or 4 hours (sometimes even 5 or 6), you may be ending on a lull. Having a 1-hour first date will increase the chances of ending on an energetic high.
- Preserve your curiosity: We’ve all made the mistake of oversharing on a first date (or had an experience where your date does the same ). If we divulge too much information on a first date, we might leave our match with the impression that they already know us. Let’s return to the tried but true concept of “leave them wanting more.”
- Treat it like a learning experience: Since you’ll have tons more first dates than you will have fifth and sixth ones, remember to look at each one as a lesson. What did you learn, what do you want to learn, and what can you do with the information? Even a bad first date can teach you something about yourself. Try to focus on the positives and stay as engaged with the conversation as possible.
So as you venture forth into your dating journey, remember the power of the one-hour first date. It’s an efficient way to determine whether you want to see someone again without investing too much time or emotional energy. Keep it short and simple, stay present, and enjoy the process of meeting new people on your dating journey.