Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

How Far Would/Did You Go On a First Date?

This column from earlier in the week prompted some thoughts about how far people are going in the first couple of dates. (It also prompted at least one person to leave the site for good, but that’s another story.) The LW didn’t kiss on the first date, and we can assume from her letter and her update, that that’s probably normal for her. Obviously, she was thrown for a loop when her date invited her back to his place on the second date, and she didn’t know if she had reason to feel offended, unsure what other people consider normal and appropriate. What are your feelings? Do you kiss on the first date? Would you/have you gone home (or invited someone to your home) on the first couple of dates? I went home with a guy on the first date once. You want to know what happened?

Reader, I married him.

What’s your story?

36 comments… add one
  • LadyinPurpleNotRed September 7, 2017, 12:35 pm

    Took a guy home on the first date–five plus years later, we are getting ready to hunker day and wait out a vengeful hurricane this weekend.

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    • Dear Wendy September 7, 2017, 12:40 pm

      Best wishes to you! It’s not to late to get outta dodge and go north, my friend, where the vengeful hurricane won’t reach you. Irma looks to be a big one.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed September 7, 2017, 1:07 pm

        Thank you–we are far south, close to Ft. Lauderdale, so with gas shortages and heavy traffic, it is at this point. We are prepared as we can be and all we can do is hope it shifts a bit more eastward.

  • Janelle September 7, 2017, 12:41 pm

    Waited months, went home on the first date. The ex (of 15 years) asked me to come over for a movie on the second date. He laughs now because I tell him I knew just what that meant but he claims to this day that was never his intention. I do not think how quickly or long you do or do not wait has any real impact on the chances of the relationship. Either it will work or not.

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  • Sunshine Brite September 7, 2017, 1:15 pm

    I’ve taken a guy home, been invited home, and kissed after. All was more in a phase of being more open to experiences; one of which resulted in marriage. Some in a few dates, some more NSA style which fit with where I was in life at the time.

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  • Juliecatharine September 7, 2017, 1:31 pm

    Took him home on the first date, married him โค๏ธ.

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  • Kate September 7, 2017, 1:38 pm

    Weird sleepover. I met my original husband at the mall when I was 17… my parents were out of town and I was getting dinner and shopping or whatever with my friend, and we got approached by these two guys who asked if we wanted to go to a party. So obviously we did. Then (leaving out a series of fucked-up events) they came home with us to my deserted house to watch a movie and everyone slept over. Just making out though. He left a note in crayon asking if I wanted to go to another party.

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  • inkyboots September 7, 2017, 1:38 pm

    Invited him to my place after the first date. Married him about a year later.

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  • Ashley September 7, 2017, 1:39 pm

    Yeah I think women, just like male PUA, get caught in this line of thinking that if I do xyz in that order, then I’ll get what I want. I’ve waited, gone home second date, and every situation has been different.

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  • csp September 7, 2017, 1:43 pm

    I have been married to my husband for 10 years and we have been together for 12. We “went all the way” on our 3rd date. But we were not virgins at that point either. I was with my first boyfriend for a year.

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  • Miel September 7, 2017, 1:51 pm

    I met my boyfriend of six years on a weekend trip in Germany. I had booked two beds in a hostel (two for one deal!) and he said he wanted to come with (we had never met before, but we were in the same internship program). We arrived at the hostel and realized that the two beds were actually just one queen bed in one of their private room. (The “two for one” made more sense then.)

    So… Well technically nothing happened on the first night. We just slept. The second night we kissed and cuddled. The very next morning we hooked up quickly before checkout time. About three days later he came to visit me in the city where I was staying for the summer and we shared my tiny twin bed.

    Oh and he was my first pretty much everything. I just didn’t see the point of waiting, we only had a few days before I was leaving Germany! Anyway, probably going to get engaged next year.

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  • MissDre September 7, 2017, 2:07 pm

    Took my boyfriend back to my Airbnb on the first date. Still together almost a year later.

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  • Elin September 7, 2017, 2:31 pm

    Oh gosh I’ve always just done whatever felt right on the first/second/third, etc date… If the guy and I were clearly on different wavelengths that said a lot. I think people worry way too much about how they’re perceived if they go home with someone or make out on the first date, and should focus more on what they want and what feels right at the time. Sheesh.

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    • RedRoverRedRover September 7, 2017, 6:12 pm

      For some people though, what “feels right” is waiting. I’ve had one night stands and didn’t particularly enjoy them. I like sex much more when I know that I actually like the person as a person. Like, the sex part of the one night stands was fun, but everything after was just awkward and weird, for me. So I wait, on purpose, because I know I’m not going to like it as much if I just jump in. That being said, a lot of my past boyfriends were guys I was friends with first, so those relationships usually started by jumping right into sex. But since I knew them, that was totally comfortable and fun for me.

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  • KG1022 September 7, 2017, 3:13 pm

    Let me preface, I was 20 lol.

    Met my husband at a party my BFF dragged me to “because her cousin would totally dig me” – Saw him before I knew it was her cousin, and flirted by the keg (he was so much, 25, “older” and mature haha). After being formally introduced, ended up making out 10min later, and totally let him take me home after.

    We dated for a few months, but I broke it off because I was young and wanted to have more fun.

    He helped me and the BFF move into an apartment a couple years later, and we reconnected. THIS time, he just brought me dinner and slept on my couch every night for a month. I told him that since we hooked up so fast that I thought we should slow it down this round. He would come over after work, and would hang out and watch bad horror movies until I had to go to bed. He now says that he was “wooing” me lol. 7 years later, we’re married, have 2 beautiful fur babies, and he still kids with me about being the “one night stand that stuck”

    I think everyone is different. He was the ONLY guy I ever went home with on date 1, but if you would have asked me a decade ago if we would be where we are now? I would have told you to lay off the sauce!

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  • Ron September 7, 2017, 3:16 pm

    No farther than a one hour drive away for a first date.

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    • Janelle September 7, 2017, 4:17 pm

      Hahahahahha Heck no, I say 15 mins. Then again an hour here is LA which means in traffic like 9 years so you have to be picky about it.

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    • Fyodor September 7, 2017, 4:52 pm

      I was in the process of moving into a condo about a block from BOF* shortly before we started dating. I always tell people that she only stayed with me because of the short commute.

      *Bride of Fyodor

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  • Northern Star September 7, 2017, 3:17 pm

    I’m the outlier here, I guess. Only a hug after the first date with my husband. Didn’t kiss until the fourth date. He was my first and only, though. I’m definitely an outlier.

    I did go back to his place on the second date, but that was because we couldn’t find a bowling alley that was open on a Sunday evening and didn’t want to go to another bar… so we watched TV and ended the night withโ€”a hug, LOL.

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    • Dear Wendy September 7, 2017, 3:43 pm

      Not everyone who goes home with a date has sex! You’re a perfect example of that.

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  • Zanthea September 7, 2017, 3:53 pm

    I say it was the 3rd night, he claims it was on our second date ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t usually have a set time although I usually wait at least past 4 dates. And thats usually spaced two dates over a week . My bf says he would dump someone if hey didn’t go all the way on the 3rd date. To me that’s just eeeuw, as then can you imagine how many diff people one would sleep with lol:)

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  • veritek33 September 7, 2017, 4:17 pm

    I’ve been all over the board. I’ve waited a month/6-7 dates before sleeping with someone. I’ve had sex on the first date/second date, etc. I’ve gone home with guys and I’ve invited guys back with me.

    The relationships that have lasted the longest, admittedly, were the ones I waited a bit to sleep with (though I don’t necessarily believe one thing has anything to do with the other.)

    A guy i dated for almost a year waited till the 7 or 8 date to kiss me. The guy I’m dating now waited until the fourth and I still haven’t slept with him, but I hope to soon!

    I don’t think it matters – just do what you’re comfortable with, have fun, and be safe.

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  • Lianne September 7, 2017, 4:39 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever had sex on the first date, but I have on the second. I’ve also had ONSs but I don’t think that counts. I waited until about a month in with my now husband. But we had one sleepover before the sex sleepover. I wanted to wait. Two more dates ????

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  • Copa September 7, 2017, 5:00 pm

    Y’know. I don’t think I’ve ever kissed anyone on a first date. Usually, I kiss on date 2 or 3 and if things are still going well, the next date — date 3 or 4 — is when I invite the guy back to my place or am invited back to his. (I’m guessing I’m not alone in this, but for me, inviting them back to my place or going to his after a date doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to sleep together.)

    Back in college, I definitely invited a couple guys back to my dorm or apartment a hot second after meeting them at a party or bar. So. My style has changed, it seems. ๐Ÿ™‚

    In any case, I don’t think it impacts the quality or length of the relationship you’ll have. Just do what’s right for you.

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  • HowdyWiley September 7, 2017, 5:39 pm

    Slept together about an hour into the first date.

    Fast forward and we’ve been married 15 years and have three kids. Still super crazy in love.

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  • Ange September 7, 2017, 5:53 pm

    I totally hooked up with my now husband first night. We’d known each other for like a year but this was the first fun outing. He’d already followed me on holiday so why not? Haha. That said there have been other first dates I held back, others I went for it, others somewhere in between. Ultimately it wasn’t sleeping with them that made it not work out, it was that we weren’t right for each other anyway. Any person that is right for you won’t care if you give it up or don’t give it up, they’ll just be happy that you’re happy.

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  • dinoceros September 7, 2017, 6:26 pm

    I’ve gone home with a guy after the first day. That’s not something I currently do or plan to do in the future, but during my 20s it was. It’s hard for me to feel comfortable with someone I barely know, so things just are a lot more fun if I hold off for a bit.

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  • Miss MJ September 7, 2017, 9:07 pm

    Thinking about it, I guess I technically went home with my now husband on the first date. Didn’t kiss until the second. It’s a long story, but if you’re getting along and things are comfortable, then what’s the point of trying to check “appropriate” boxes? Honestly, reading the comments, I kinda think that if you’re worried about what’s “the right thing” to do, that may be your subconscious telling you NO!! for whatever reason. Not that means there’s a Red Flag, but just be comfortable with whatever you’re doing and don’t do it until you are.

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  • TheLadyE September 7, 2017, 9:55 pm

    In my last relationship – which I’d say was the most normal/healthy one I’ve had, sexually speaking – we didn’t even kiss on the first date (it was very short, like 2 hours at Panera). I invited him back to my house for a drink/to meet my dog on our second date because it was going really well, and we made out a lot and did some fooling around, but we didn’t have sex. We actually waited more than a month – more than 10 dates! – from our first date to have sex, and when we did it was really special and meaningful. By that point, we had already had a lot of emotional and other physical intimacy so it was like the icing on the cake.

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  • "LW1" September 7, 2017, 10:36 pm

    I didn’t think I’d be using this name again, but since Wendy brought up that it’s safe to assume that it’s normal for me not to kiss on a first date, I thought I’d comment to say that’s correct on a statistical level. But it’s not because I thought a guy would think less of me if I did or that slut shamey stuff. I’ve been on about 10 first “dates” in my life, all from online. Out of that, two were at night, the rest were in the day, in public places, mainly for coffee for a an hour or two. So it’s not that I rebuffed anyone; nobody tried and I didn’t either, and I think it’s fine. It’s just, I think, context. I kissed one guy on the first date, and it was a “night date” — again, context. And he was my first kiss ever at 27. Yup, my memories of my first kiss is from a guy from online that lasted three dates. And the guy from the weekend? The second person I’ve kissed ever. And I didn’t go back to his place, not because I thought he’d never marry me if I did; I just didn’t want to and that’s ok.

    So, basically, if I came across as a teenager, maybe that’s why! I didn’t want to get into all this in my original letter. And I’m free to be a bit more neurotic anonymously on the internet ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m trying to experience more. The other aspects of my life are fairly established.

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  • FannyBrice September 7, 2017, 11:43 pm

    It’s been a long time since I was single, but back in the day I never really had any rules for myself. Basically, if the opportunity to kiss (or more) presented itself and I wanted to, I just went for it. If I didn’t want to, I didn’t. Luckily, all the guys I dated were decent humans who respected my refusals. I also do not know the exact number of guys I’ve slept with – I could recreate it if I thought about it, but I’ve never bothered keeping track because honestly, it just doesn’t matter to me. I had fun, I was safe, I was careful with my own and other people’s feelings, and I am now happily monogamous. I have no regrets.

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  • lucia_la September 8, 2017, 8:31 am

    Oh jeez, I went home with my current boyfriend and stayed up talking until 7am and then slept together. This was not even a date; we had gotten drunk at a work party earlier in the night! Still going strong almost a year later ๐Ÿ˜€

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  • K September 8, 2017, 9:09 am

    @Copa mentioned that her style had changed since college…mine too! In college I was a virgin but did everything but intercourse. I’d regularly hook up with guys I just met that night. Post-college, I only kissed on the first date once, and I ended up dating that guy for 1.5 years. With my current boyfriend, we had known each other for a few weeks, through our hiking group. He wouldn’t kiss me on the first date because he had a sore throat, and I was so disappointed, I didn’t care if I got sick, I just wanted that kiss!

    As for sex, I’ve only once had sex with someone that I just met that night – at a wedding. But it wasn’t a true ONS because I visited his city a month or two later and met up with him and we had sex again ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • scattol September 8, 2017, 7:35 pm

    Here’s a question that has been bugging me with respect to sex and first(ish) date.

    Does it make a difference on how well you know that person by the time of the first date? Is there a difference if it’s a first date with someone you have known as a friend or acquaintance for a while (even years) vs. someone you have just met?

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  • Scarlet A September 9, 2017, 4:00 pm

    I kiss on the first date if I’m attracted to the person (and I have before when I was like “just get me out of here even if I need to go along to get along for a second”). I’ve also gone home on the first or second date before, sometimes that meant sexytimes, sometimes not.

    My current boyfriend of three years started out as a hookup from an adult site with zero strings, definitely very much defined as a fuckbuddy, and then we fell in (happily mutual) love. Him first, then me. I like to tease him that he tricked me.

    Anyway, been all over the map with various results and my feeling is do whatever you want, it’ll end up the same way it would have anyway.

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  • Natalie November 27, 2021, 9:20 pm

    Typically, it always took a few (or more) dates to get me to “go home” with a guy. But my freshman year (college) spring break my boyfriend didn’t come with us, I met a cute guy (OK, met a lot of cute guys that week, but this one in particular) on the last day there; he hung out with us that evening when we went dancing, and it was getting late and it was do or die time, and I decided to do it. Took him back to the condo, and well, my first one-night stand and my first time cheating on a boyfriend. I was a total slut, and I enjoyed every second of it.

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