First Date Gifts: 5 Ideas (And Tips) That Can Help Start The Date Off Right

Updated November 1, 2022 by ReGain Editorial Team

First dates can be extremely intimidating, especially if you don't have an established relationship with your date. The less you know about the person, the more difficult it may be to establish a connection and get the ball rolling towards a more meaningful potential relationship. You must make a good first impression, as you only have one chance to do so. While that may seem like a lot of pressure, use this to motivate you to put your best foot forward. Giving your date a first date gift can not only be a great ice breaker, but show your date that you're a thoughtful, giving, and caring person while also setting you apart from other suitors. Let's talk about some gift options that will be sweet and appreciated but won't come off too strong for a first date.

Making A Good First Impression Can Be Stressful

Before we get into what to give your date, let's talk about some general first date tips that will help everything go over smoothly and help you a second date. First, let's all discuss something really important. We are all our worst critics. Most individuals spend a lot of time psyching themselves out before their first date with someone, engaging in negative self-talk, and experiencing feelings of their date being 'out of their league.' Rather than giving in to these destructive thoughts, take a moment to refocus your mind and engage in positive thinking, keeping in mind there's a reason why your date said 'yes' in the first place. Be confident in yourself and who you are, which will exude an extra element of sexiness to your date. Studies have shown that chemistry is usually not even experienced fully on the first date, but the second, so don't sweat it.

First Date Tips

Arrive On Time

If you want your first date to go off without a hitch, begin with making sure you show up on time. Make punctuality your priority, even if that means showing up a whole half hour earlier, rather than being late. No one likes having to wait for someone, especially while experiencing feelings of nervousness over the meeting and interacting with someone new. Being late may leave your date with negative feelings about whether you will even show up or not, setting things off on a make an effort note. There are some cases where unexpected circumstances do occur, and you may not be able to make it exactly on time. Take the time and make an effort to communicate any unforeseen circumstances with your date to stay informed and so their mind can rest easy as they wait. Be sure to offer a legitimate reason as to why you're showing up late. This will go a long way with earning trust and holding yourself accountable. Consideration of the other person's feelings as they wait will go a long way. Once you arrive, be sure to apologize for your lateness in person.

Listen To Your Date And Ask Questions In Response

It's important that your date feels heard and appreciated. No one wants to hear you go on about yourself without showing interest in the person you're with. Ensure you're aware of the conversation and allow yourself and your date to have a nice tennis match back and forth as you speak. You're both here to get to know one another, so be sure to give each other the equal opportunity to do this.

Even though it's important to get to know one another on the first date, it's also worthwhile to think about the fact that you've both probably been on a lot of other first dates that were very similar, if not the same. There are always typical questions like, "Where do you work?" or "What are your hobbies?". These get very boring after a while and repetitive after a string of first dates. One thing that will set you apart from others is asking questions that are different and unique, offering your date a chance to think about their answer on a deeper level. Asking something like "What is your favorite thing about what you do?" or "What is it that you're most passionate about outside of the workplace?" allows for more of a conversational response.

When your date responds, be sure to be an active listener by asking some follow-up questions to the responses and offering commentary on what was said. Even being able to repeat something that was said when offering comments will go a long way in showing that you care and not only hear what is being said but are interested, invested, and listening.

Don't Talk About The Exes

Unfortunately, this is one of the most common mistakes made on first dates, especially if it has not been a long time since your last break up. Even though it might not be something done consciously or intentionally, most people do end up discussing their past relationships. This is far from appropriate first-date etiquette. This time is about getting to know one another, not one another's exes. Bringing up memories about someone from your past can leave thoughts in the other person's mind that you may still have feelings for them or have unresolved issues. Focus on the person in front of you, not the people you've left behind.

Put The Phones Away

We live in such a plugged-in time, where most people have trouble separating from their mobile devices. However, if you're on a first date, limit or eliminate phone usage so you can show undivided attention to your date. This will make them feel significant, important, and of course, special. It will also give you more time to focus on one another without any distractions. It won't kill you to put your phone away for an hour or two at the dinner table, so show that extra level of respect and attention to your date. It will go a long way in winning you a second. If there may be a situation where you need to check your phone or call someone back, step away and go to the restroom or go outside. Make this conversation quick, and upon returning, offer a sincere apology for any disruption.

Now that you're familiar with some tips for first dates, let's figure out what you should bring along with you to give as a gift.

Avoid Political And Controversial Topics

A common date faux pas is discussing hot topics too soon. The first date is a very fragile time where both you and your date may still be feeling one another out. While it may be important to some of the same political, religious, or moral views, the first day might not be the best time to bring these things up. Establish a personal connection that's purely based on who the person is before discussing their personal views. If you or your date are very passionate about certain topics you disagree on, this can set the stage for an awkward date and even prevent a second.

First Date Gifts


Giving flowers to your date may seem like a cop-out, but it's a classic for a reason. Flowers aren't too personal, so they make the perfect gift for someone that you may not know too well or at all. Everyone will still appreciate the thought behind a bouquet or even a single romantic rose. Giving flowers shows that you have been thinking about her and wanted to go the extra mile to show her special. They'll sit in her home as a reminder of your time together and your thoughtfulness.


This is another classic that you can't ever go wrong with…unless your date doesn't drink. Before your first date, start dropping some small hints to find out about the type of wine they like. Showing up with a bottle of wine will show thoughtfulness. This will have a personal element (since your date will be able to see the effort you put into learning about them and their preferences) but still not be too intimidating or personal for a first date. If things go well and you guys head back together for a nightcap, this gift would be perfect for you both to enjoy together. A bottle of wine is also one of the best gifts for friend couples, for birthdays, weddings, and many other occasions.

Chocolate Or Other Candy

Okay, so we're still rolling with the classics here. It's important to show that you know your date when choosing chocolates. Be aware of any allergies; ask about your date's favorite candies. Do they even like chocolate or candy? If they do, this is a very gentle and sweet (literally) gift that shows your thoughtfulness, ability to listen, and of course, is something that will keep your date reminded of you long after your date is over, as they enjoy the sweet yummy goodness.

Something Exclusive To Your Date's Preferences

We promise this option isn't a cop-out, and no, we didn't run out of ideas. However, this one is really where your listening and intuitive skills will come in handy. If you've spent any time getting to know your date before your first actual date, or if this is someone you've already been familiar with, get them a gift that shows how well you know them and how much you are an active part of your conversations. For example, maybe your date has mentioned their love for traveling. Something like a snow globe of a place they wish to go to or a compass will show that you not only pay attention but support your date's passion. It is also just generalized enough to not come off as too strong or emotionally attached.

A Book

Before opting for a book as a first-date gift, we strongly advise only choosing this option if you're familiar with the person you're going out with. Choosing a book can go one of two ways. Either the person is very receptive or even excited by the book you've chosen, or they're completely disinterested or maybe even offended by the title selected. Rather than walk this line, if you know for a fact that your date is an avid reader and you know what kind of books they're interested in, this can be a great choice that will keep them thinking of you each time they pick the book up.

Making A Good First Impression Can Be Stressful

First dates can be rough. We've all been there. It's an intimidating time where both you and your date are placed in vulnerable positions as you both worry about being judged. Giving your date a gift can serve as a great ice breaker that allows you both to feel a bit more comfortable around each other and maybe even give you a topic of discussion. If you're looking for tips for first dates or are interested in discussing how you can become more comfortable with approaching first dates, visit us at for some help.

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