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How to Greet Someone on a First Date? (Explained with Tips!)

First impressions are critical. And first impressions are even more critical when it comes to the first date. And that’s precisely why first dates are often daunting.

When you greet someone on your first date, you form an impression that is likely to affect your first date. But more importantly, it is going to affect the relationship that follows.

In this guide, I will share tips on making the most of those first few seconds of your meeting by greeting them appropriately and setting the stage right for everything that follows.

Greeting Someone You Met Online

If you have ever been on a date, I don’t have to tell you how awkward first dates can be. Especially when you are meeting someone you met virtually. Over the last few years, virtual dating is becoming the new norm, and an increasing number of people are looking for a potential date online.

But let’s not forget that virtual dating is quite different from the classic physical date. When you are dating someone online, you just have to rely on the profile picture, and in the absence of body language, you have to draft your words carefully.

And things may continue over chat before you finally decide to meet and see each other for the first time. And all of a sudden, a question pops in your mind “How do I greet the person when I meet them?”

From the Virtual World to the First-Ever Face-to-Face Encounter

Depending on how long you have known each other virtually, your relationship with your date may already be established. Maybe you’ve already shared some personal things or even taken things a little forward.

In that case, is a handshake appropriate? Or does it feel right to go straight into each other’s arms and go for a kiss, maybe? That’s a bit too much, right? So how should you greet your potential partner on the first date?

Here are a few ideas that will work when you already know someone virtually but is physically meeting them for the first time.

1. Greet Her On Time

Perhaps the most essential piece of advice that I often give for your first date is to be on time. Whether you are picking them up from their home or are meeting them right at the dating venue, the last thing your date may expect is you not showing up on time.

Time is of the essence!

For your first date, I suggest you would be better off being a few minutes early. It shows that you are reliable, and your date is a priority for you.

And only when you are there on time, you can greet them the right way, or else, it will all revolve around apologizing for being late!

2. Pick Her Up

One of the classic manly gestures you must display on your first date is picking her up. It is always better to pick up your date rather than meeting her right at the restaurant or your preferred date venue. At least that’s what the experts suggest, so why not give it a try?

If she is still living with her parents, who knows, you might get a chance to meet them too. (an added advantage, of course, in case things work out for both of you!)

3. A Sincere “Hello”

Want to be a gentleman with high regard for his lady?

Go for a distant yet firm and sincere “hello.”

I know that kind of looks incomplete, right?

Add a genuine compliment.

Something that can make her smile and make her feel good about herself. Some ideas for compliments may include “you look lovely/great” or “pleasure to meet you.”

Regardless of how you compliment her along with your confident greeting, try to make her feel appreciated and unique in a polite, gentle way.

Additional Essentials Could Be “A Bright Smile and Eye Contact”

This is what fits well in almost all situations. And it is a fool-proof greeting way for the first-timers: no physical contact, no overly public display of affection and no crossing of personal barriers.

Just a bright, genuine smile and a confident eye contact.

Why This Way of Greeting?
  • With a genuine smile, you seem friendly and approachable.
  • You give a message that you are interested in the person standing right in front of you.
  • And above all, it is safe – no judgment involved.

Here, just remember that.

  1. Your smile has to be genuine – Nothing that has been forced or is over the top! And
  2. Your eye contact should be short and confident – It has to give a calming vibe and develop a deep connection; it does not have to be fierce, shifting, and piercing eye contact.

4. The Classic Handshake

What is a better way to greet than a firm handshake? This traditional way of greeting is perhaps the most common way to greet someone on a first date.

But it is only a great way to greet someone as long as you do it right.

So how should you shake hands? Is there a guideline for that too?

Yes, but it just a brief one.

Go for a short yet strong and firm handshake.

Shaky hands, sweaty palms often do not get the right message across.

You can also go for some other not-so-formal variants of a handshake like a high-five or a fist bump, but I feel they are inappropriate, especially on your first date with someone you met online.

But if You Think Handshake is Too Formal – Place Your Hand Around Her Arm or Shoulder

But if the two of you have already developed a connection and if you think a handshake is too formal, then you can stand close by and place your hand over her arm or shoulder.

That’s another appropriate way of greeting someone on a first date. You can still maintain a certain distance or may want to close the gap between the two of you; that’s still your choice. And of course, it depends on how comfortable you and your date are with each other.

Of course, you want to show them that you are interested, but like everything else, you don’t have to overdo it.

Simply go for a gentle, well-placed and brief touch on the arm. Don’t forget to smile and beware of your distance and that’s all that it takes to greet your date this way.

5. A Gentle Hug

Another great alternative is a hug.

Again, it depends on how frank you two already are.

If your date seems uncomfortable (you can gauge through the body language), it is best to avoid it initially, and maybe you can use it as a goodbye strategy.

But if both of you already have that connection, why not greet by a hug?

A short and friendly hug can set the stage right for your date. It reflects how excited you are about your date.

And like I always say, “You don’t have to overdo it.”

Keep it

  1. Short,
  2. Heartfelt and
  3. Friendly.

It doesn’t have to be a crushing encounter!

6. A Short Sweet Kiss

Another step forward on my greeting list is a short, sweet kiss.

You must have noticed that I have arranged the greeting styles in a specific order, and that order is how well you know the other person and your connection with them.

Even if you are meeting someone you were dating virtually, it is still possible to have that connection where both of you don’t mind giving a kiss to each other. And if you are meeting in a trendy neighborhood where people generally don’t poke their nose in others’ matters, why not give it a try?

But if you still don’t have that deep connection, it is best to delay this greeting style till your second or third date!

A general guideline for a first date kiss, “keep it short and sweet.” Even if there are too many emotions flowing in already, stay in control, reserve everything for the end of your date (or later dates) and keep the greeting kiss brief! If you are still not sure whether to go for a kiss on your first date or not, find out more here.

7. The Essential

No matter how you greet someone on a first date, don’t forget that women thrive on compliments. It is best to give a genuine compliment to your date during the first greeting. Dedicate the compliment, especially to the woman in front of you. Something about her that makes you feel special and that can do the same for her. Something that can also work as an ice-breaker.

But you don’t have to think about a long list of compliments. It has to come straight from the heart!

Greeting Someone You Already Know on Your First Date

If your date is a coworker or someone you already know, you still need to approach them without being too overwhelming. Even if you know your date, don’t forget that it’s your first date and things can go wrong. And there is still a long way to find out more about the person and their personal barriers.

You can try all of the above greetings here, but naturally, things would be a little less formal between you two when you know someone.

Here again, something that is very important is to read the signs on the date.

Read the Signs at the Date

Only you would be there to meet and greet her. And no matter how many suggestions and ideas I give in, you will still have to read the signs on your first date and make the right choice depending upon the circumstances.

By looking at the cues and gauging the body language, you can decide whether a handshake or a hug is appropriate. Does the other person prefer to keep a distance or do not even mind a kiss?

So in case she is reserved and distant, a friendly handshake, smile and compliment is a good enough way to greet her. But if she is relatively open and too comfortable in your presence, you can even go for a pat on her arm or shoulder, a short friendly hug and even a brief kiss.

Above All

No matter how you greet someone on your first date, your greeting has to be genuine. Display affection in a way that you feel while keeping in mind the other person’s body language.

How to Greet a Guy on Your First Date?

Everything that I have discussed so far applies to greeting both partners. So whether you are a guy greeting a girl and vice versa, you can use all of the greeting styles highlighted above. Again, it all boils down to your comfort level and how well you know each other. And more importantly, how you think the other person will react.

So whether you are a guy or a girl, make a decent choice that appears appropriate in all settings.

Greeting Someone on a First Date amidst the Pandemic

Ok! Now this one is tough.

First dates are already too overwhelming, and with all the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, it is even more intimidating!

With masks and social distancing, greeting someone on a first physical date can be a challenge.

But you can still try some of the above ways to greet someone on the first day. Instead of a handshake, you can instead wave at your date. Rather than a hug, you can slightly bow and nod in respect and appreciation. And you can even flash a peace sign (if that works for you).

Know that every limitation comes with endless possibilities, so get creative and look for some more exciting ways to greet someone on a first date amidst the pandemic.

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