6 First Date Tips – How To Act When You See Your Ex

what-to-do-first-date-with-your-exQuestion: 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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19 Comments

  • Thank you very much. These tips were very useful. I asked my ex out after 2 months of text messages here and there. We had a fun dinner and I felt good about the date. We talked, had a few laughs and even exchanged a friendly hug. She dumped me and I thought we were going to talk about the breakup, but it never even came up. She asked me if I’d met anyone else and said she is not ruling out the two of us getting back together. I’m just not sure how to move this forward and not scare her away. Is there some kind of rule to follow?

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    • It’s not unusual for an ex to still have some feelings after dumping you but just not enough to want to be in a relationship with you right away. One great date isn’t enough for you to know for sure. Continue doing what you’ve been doing and pick up more momentum before you ask her out again. Momentum ensures that things are moving forward naturally, and not just you trying to force them to happen.

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  • My ex boyfriend wants to meet up but I just can’t get over the fact that he got with someone new on the same day we broke up. He says he was hurting and used her to try to get over me. They broke up one week later. I still care about him deeply. What should I do? Should I go out with him?

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    • I don’t think what he did was right. But if you still care about him and somewhere inside you want to try the relationship again at a later time, then go. It’s just two people who loved (and may still love) each other meeting. You don’t have to get back together right away or even soon.

      All the reasons why the relationship didn’t work before must be fully addressed (resolved) and he has to prove that he can be trusted not to hurt you again.

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