Why a First Date Shouldn't Last Longer Than 30 Minutes

September 9, 2009

The first rule of a first date is to make a good first impression and to make it fast...because the clock is ticking.

A new survey conducted by dating service It’s Just Lunch found that when it comes to dating, first impressions really do matter and you don't have a lot of time to make one. The survey, conducted in partnership with American Airline’s in-flight magazine American Way, found that 66 percent of people on first dates will decide in 30 minutes whether the person opposite them is worth another date.

Count yourself lucky if you make it to 30 minutes as the survey shows that 16 percent say they make the decision in the first five minutes, and another five percent of total respondents know “immediately.” Ouch! It makes you question whether it’s worth dating in the first place.

The main reason respondents of the survey gave for not being into their date are as follows:

  • 54% - No physical attraction
  • 48% - Lack of personality
  • 46% - Boring conversation
  • 39% - No shared interests
  • 38% - Different outlook on life

So – the lesson here – don’t be boring, take a shower, and have something interesting (apart from yourself) to talk about.

With these stats in mind, it’s a good idea to keep a first date short and simple. Start off with a coffee or casual happy hour drink. There's no point taking a woman out to a fancy dinner if she knows it’s not going to work out immediately. If things are going well and you’ve reached the 30 minute mark – then proceed to dinner, flowers, a string quartet, etc.

A hopeful sign for those unlucky in love is that 81 percent of the survey’s participants believe there are plenty of fish in the sea. Only 19 percent reported “there is one true love for each person in the world.”

Source: Stockbyte/Getty Images

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