12 things to consider on the first date


Hi Ernest, I need some advice from you. I am a 20-year-old girl in my second year on campus. I am also born again. I just moved out of my parents’ house. I am staying in a girls’ hostel near campus. Over my time at the university, I have made friends- with both girls and boys. The reason I am writing is that a certain guy who has been in my group of friends has asked me out on a date. He seems like a nice guy, but the only problem is that I have never gone on a date. He is older than me by at least two years. Also, I don’t know him outside the group of friends that we share. What does it mean if I say yes? Does that mean we are now dating? Because I don’t think I am ready for a relationship. However, I don’t mind going on the date. Please help.

Hello Beloved,

Thanks for writing. Congratulations on taking the important step of living by yourself. This is a time when you will grow in responsibility and self-discovery. As you start your twenties, please note that friendships are key in making or breaking this stage in your life. Many people marry in their twenties. Many people meet their best friends in their twenties. It is in your twenties that you make key career decisions. All these things involve relationships with people. This date can set the tempo for how your interaction with men in your twenties will be. So, here are a few guidelines for this first date.

  1. Since you are uncertain, ask the guy for his intentions before you go on the date.

Before you say yes to the guy, please ask him the purpose of the date. This is important because you barely know him. Going on a date with him does not mean you are now in a relationship with him. A date is simply a meet-up to get to know one another. If his idea of a date is that you are starting a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, gently decline the date. Also, understand that with time, it will be easier and safer to accept dates from men who you know and whose values align with yours. For more on that, I recommend my book, Baesics. It will help save your twenties a lot of time and prevent unnecessary heartache, especially with regard to romantic love.

  1. Inform an authority about your date.

Get used to having godly and healthy authority over your life. Many people in their thirties messed up their twenties by living careless lives without godly and healthy authority. There is a rebellious sinful nature in us that assumes authority curtails joy. When you get to your thirties, you realise that you know so little. You begin to wish you were more intentional about key figures of authority such as mentors, disciplers, coaches, and teachers, especially regarding faith, career, and romantic relationships. That authority could be the pastor of your local church, your mother, your father or an elder brother or sister. Ensure that this is an authority you can trust and who can furnish you with godly counsel. Don’t subscribe to authority that deviates from your biblical values. Bad authority will lead you astray. I know of a mother who gave her daughter condoms on her first date. That mother imagined herself to be wise. She even had the nerve to pride herself as a progressive mom in a certain parenting seminar. When you look at the life of her daughter now, you realise she was foolish and retrogressive. The Bible says in Proverbs 26:12, “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Let your authorities be people who are not ashamed to state the moral difference between right and wrong. There is nothing more damaging to youth than lukewarm cowardly authority. Let the godly authority know about the date. They will circumspectly guide you on the fine details of a love life without regrets.

  1. Find out from the man in advance who is paying for the date. 

God forbid you meet a loser of a man who asks you for a date and expects you to pay for it. Or perhaps, he suggests that you go Dutch on the bill, yet he asked you out. You do not want to show up and be caught embarrassingly off guard without money. Even if he says he will pay, carry your own money. This is because you do not know him yet. Have your own transport to get back home. Don’t depend on him to drop you home. Some girls are kind enough on a first date to ask if they can chip in on the date bill e.g. pay for the drinks. That’s your call. However, as a rule of thumb, if he calls for the date, he should pay for it.

  1. Don’t meet the man in a private place e.g., his house, or a hotel room.

Yes, his hostel counts as his house. Let everything be done in the light. Secrecy is the cooking pot for all sorts of moral compromises. Some campus girls have been raped because they naively thought a private meeting will be more romantic. Or they naively thought the man is a good guy, and that he would never do anything to hurt them. I am not trying to scare you; I just want you to be wise. Even if he suggests that you meet at his mom’s house or his friend’s house because there will be people in the next room, do not accept it. Meet in a public place. Also, don’t meet in a place of moral compromise like a club. Be very certain to communicate your values without any shame if you sense that he is diverting from them.

  1. Find out in advance what the date will look like.

This will help you prepare. Some men may ask you where you want to eat. Some may have already chosen a restaurant for you. Do not be afraid to state any food allergies you have. If he asks you to choose a restaurant, feel free to suggest one. But don’t look at that request as an opportunity to try a very expensive restaurant that you know will hurt him financially. Be reasonable and be sensitive to him. However, if that puts you under pressure, ask him to lead and make a selection. Some gentlemen are creative and will have more than just lunch with you. They may have chosen a fun activity as well, e.g., bowling, arcade games, or ziplining. You need to know how the date will generally look like so that you don’t find yourself struggling to zipline in an A-line dress. You would be better placed to zipline in jeans trousers. Knowing the date in advance can help you prepare your attire and shoes. Also, if the place you are going is too far or makes you uncomfortable, it is easier to state this in advance.

  1. Do not allow any physical or sexual contact on the date.

Some carnal men assume that if they pay for a date then you owe them a sexual favour. Some naive girls I have counselled have told me how they felt indebted because the man paid for the date. So, in return, they unwillingly gave the man a kiss, a hug or in certain extremes, sex. Of course, those men never got a second date, but imagine what these naive girls lost! Don’t trade your purity (not a kiss, not a hug, not any physical contact to pleasure a man) simply because he took you on a date. Stand by your values. You now understand what I meant when I said it is easier to date men you know and who share your values. When I dated my wife, there was no tension about sexual and physical boundaries because she knew me well and she saw that I embodied my Christian values. Our boundaries were clear because we both subscribed to the Christian faith. We were both waiting for sex until marriage and it was not a debate. Also, don’t wear anything to the date that reveals your breasts or thighs. Dress well and cover up your body. And even if you are covered up, be sure not to have clothing that has sex appeal. Some clothes cover you up very well but they instinctively sexualise your body- either too tight or too suggestive. Let the way you dress communicate your values. Don’t advertise what is not for sale. As C.J. Mahaney put it, “Modesty is humility in dressing.” Even if the activities for the date may be something like the ziplining that I mentioned, be clear about unnecessary physical contact. Men respect women who are resolute about their physical place.

  1. Have a friend intentionally call you in the middle of the date. 

Practice the lost art of accountability from date number one. Inform one of your female friends that you will be on a date. Ask them to call you at a specific time. Pick up the call when you do. Let it be clear to the man when you answer the call that your friends know who you are with and where you are.

  1. Do not entertain filthy conversations.

Draw boundaries in your conversations. The standard of your conversations should be Philippians 4:8. Anything that is not true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy should not feature in your conversations. Therefore, avoid talk that is untrue, ignoble, impure, wrong, perverted, deplorable, mediocre and bad report. The nature of your conversations will reveal his heart, and yours as well. There are perverted people in our world who cannot imagine a date without lewd themes laced in it. Conversations reveal whether our hearts are pure or perverted (Matthew 12:34-35).

  1. Avoid alcohol.

You need to be emotionally sober to start with. Inebriation does not help. Remember you are setting the standard for your interaction with men.

  1. Be responsible.

Don’t compromise your academia because of romance. Be a responsible student. Don’t go on the date at the time you are meant to be in class. Show up on the date on time. There is nothing attractive about being late. Have your phone fully charged. Don’t leave the house when your phone battery is at 31%. Start the date when the sun is up and end the date when the sun is up. You need sunlight, not streetlights to get home. Carry a jacket in case it gets cold. Forget that mumbo jumbo of Hollywood where a girl is out in the evening without a sweater, only for the guy to sacrifice his jacket.  Also, realise that that boy is made in God’s image. The date matters for him as well. Honour him as you would want to be honoured.

11. Remember basic manners

Chew with your mouth closed. Don’t order food you cannot finish.

12. Have fun.

Have a blast. It could be the first of many.

PS: We are having a great event for singles on the 14th of May 2023. Here below is the poster. It’s free of charge. Please come.


Ernest is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband, and a father. He has been married to Waturi since September 2012. They have three children- Thandiwe, Ivanna, and Theo. He is also the author of four books. The Wamboyes are passionate to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ clearly taught and understood in our post-modern world. They are champions of biblical discipleship and furthering the Kingdom of God by transforming one person at a time. They are the founders of The Relationship Centre Ltd (TRC), an organisation that aims to promote biblical family values in contemporary urban communities.

Discussion1 Comment


    This is awesome page, and thank you for the lessons. I have been separated for 30 yrs, I want a divorce. My children are all grown up now.

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