6 Tips For A Great First Date With Your Ex


Question: Our breakup was not bitter at all, instead it was full of emotions from both of us. She said that she still cared for me but was not in love like she used to be. That she felt like “something was missing.” At first I tried “no contact,” but I saw that was not going to accomplish anything! I since have called her 3 times since we split up. The first talk was short. The second a little longer and the third was 3 hours long. We talked and laughed about many different things including memories we shared together and things “we” did. We even talk about the day we met. I suggested meeting for coffee but she said that it was not a good idea that it was too soon for that.

Friday this week, she surprised me with a text asking if I still wanted to go out for coffee. I texted back with a yes. She immediately texted me back saying she had hoped I’d suggest dinner. To cut the long story short, we texted a few times and settled on dinner this Friday. I’m both excited and nervous as this is the first time I’m meeting her face to face after almost two months. How should I act and what should I say? I want her back and I don’t want to make any mistakes. Please help me do the right thing

The Love Doctor’s Answer: Congratulations for coming this far. Who in your shoes wouldn’t be both excited and nervous?!

Besides the usual advice on any first date with anyone — look your best but not overdone, arrive early, take a seat facing the entrance (if possible), compliment how she looks, and be on your best behaviour, here are a few more tips on how to make a first date with an ex not just great but effective.

1. Go with no expectations

So far things look really good but that does not necessarily mean she’s ready to get back with you. This is definitely not the right time to bring up getting back together or define the relationship. If she brings up the “old” relationship (which most likely she will) just follow her lead on what she wants to talk about, but don’t introduce topics yourself because you don’t know where she’s at (yet). Think of this dinner “date” as two really good friends catching up.

2. Make the night about being there for HER

The fact that she wants to go out to dinner with you says there are still feelings there.  They may not be enough for her to want to want to come back just yet but there is certainly something there. If she comes across as trying to get closer, let her without trying to push things to happen in your timeline. Your job is NOT to tell her what she feels/should feel, but listen and concentrate on making her feel what she wants to feel. Use your own intuition and observe her body language for any hints she might be giving you about her feelings. Sometimes this means taking a walk on memory lane. Just make sure you try as much as possible to avoid memories that resurrect painful emotions.

3. Avoid confrontation

At times things might get a little uncomfortable but that’s normal. Try as much as possible to always take the negative and make it positive. For example: if you find things getting “heavy”, ask her (in a respectful way) if she really wants to talk about that “right now”. Tell her you’d also like to talk about it but if it will cause tension between the two of you, you don’t want that.  You’ve caused her enough pain already.  You’d rather spend time making it up to her than causing more pain.

If you find anything she says – right or wrong in your view – getting to you the wrong way, take time off. Take a deep breath or excuse yourself and go to the washroom and let it all out. Just don’t let “stuff” run the show for you

4. Show her what she’s missing

You’ve dated this person before so she already “knows” you.  The worst thing you can ever do is act like you’re trying to be somebody else. It won’t help. The next worst thing you can do is act like the same person she broke up with – the person you became just before and just after the break-up. It will be an instant turn off.

Show her the person you’ve become since the break up and how much you embrace the “new and better” you. For example if you had become “boring”, don’t just tell her, you’ve changed. Tell stories about some of the fun things you’ve been doing lately, laugh, tell jokes, and just look like you’re having the time of your life. Of course that’ll be hard to pull off, if you actually haven’t changed at all. That’s why doing the “self-work” pays off big time!

5. Keep the goodbyes short

Don’t try to stretch seconds just because it feels so good to be in the same physical space again. You want her to leave thinking about you and not wanting to forget you. Make sure to tell her how much you enjoyed seeing her again. If she doesn’t look like she’s had fun and does not want to hug or kiss you, don’t try to make it happen in the hope that that’ll get the two of you closer. Women mostly get closer emotionally then they get closer physically. Most men on the other hand do it the other way round.

6. Follow-up

Give her some breathing space, let her process her feelings about the dinner and the things you said. You don’t want to “be in her face” because this will seem like pressure.  My suggestion (see if it sits well with you) is give it a day or two, if she does not contact you, then contact her.  Not to ask her out but to find out how she is doing. You don’t want her to think the only reason you contact her is to go out or try to get her back but because you CARE.  Women are big on that.

If she’s still responding positively, give it a couple more days and then follow it with asking if she’d like to do something fun. Don’t do dinner again, spread out the fun.  Create new memories. Let her feel things are “new and different”.

All my best wishes!!!

More: When Should I Ask My Ex For Another Date?

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  • Spark says:

    I love my ex very much and still do. We broke up mainly because of some of the mean things she’d say about me which made me feel self-conscious and inadequate. After 6 months of no contact initiated by her, she reached out to me. I was surprised because I assumed she had moved on and worked hard to moving on with my life. She has apologized and says she’s sorry for everything. Two days ago, we met for the first time and I felt like my old self again, self-conscious. I’m not sure if it’s just me or it’s how she says things that make me feel small. I don’t feel self-conscious with the other women just my ex.

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    • Love Doctor, Yangki Christine Akiteng Love Doctor, Yangki Christine Akiteng says:

      It’s possible that something about her makes you feel you do not deserve her and even an innocent comment is magnified because of your own issues. But it’s also possible she’s one of those people who has to put others down or make them uneasy in order to feel good about themselves.

      If you still love her and think things can work, go VERY slow and see what’s she’s like now. This does not mean you analyze her but rather analyze the new dynamic between the two of you. What feels comfortable and what feels uncomfortable? What old patterns show up? What old feelings come up?

      Do not fool yourself or gloss over things just to get back, that’s just courting a broken heart. If you can’t see things being different and better, then it’s possible that the two of you just can’t make it even if you still both love each other.

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  • Christian says:

    Yangki, I’m following your dating your ex book and yesterday met up with my ex for the first time since the breakup. We stayed in contact since we run a business together, but avoided each other in person. We both could see that we still have amazing chemistry. She even joked about it feeling like we’re still a couple. We were together for over 4 years. She broke up with me because I became needy and clingy. I want to see her again, but I’m just not sure if I should ask her out or let it happen naturally.

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    • Love Doctor, Yangki Christine Akiteng Love Doctor, Yangki Christine Akiteng says:

      I am happy for you that things look positive. Her saying it feels like you’re still a couple means that she’s comfortable in your company. That’s a good thing.

      You can actually do both. The letting it happen naturally part is not trying too hard to make something happen, and also not simply giving up the first time because it didn’t happen the way you want it to.As mentioned in the book, ask her if she wants to do something together as opposed to the usual coffee/drinks/dinner thing. If you are turned down, a warm and friendly, “I understand, may be next time”, says you are not needy and not forcing anything that should happen naturally. It’s important to note her reasons for turning you down because people in general tell us a lot about who they are and how they feel, if only we really listened. Follow the advice on being persistent about face-to-face meetings without putting pressure (Page 187-191).

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